18 Amazing Things to do in Tanzania – Dream Trip

Written By: The Planet D

While the Serengeti is the star attraction, there are many things to do in Tanzania besides viewing the wildlife. Although, you have to do that when you go! Here are some things that will entice you to make your next Adventure an African Adventure in Tanzania.

Things to do in Tanzania

Tanzania is one of our favourite countries in all of Africa. People welcome you with open arms yelling “Jambo” and everyone always seems to have a huge smile on their face. The landscape is lush and beautiful, the energy was vibrant and exciting and the wildlife is second to none.

1. Climb Mount Kilimanjaro

adventures in Tanzania climb Kilimanjaro
Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro

Our number one pick for adventure in Tanzania is to Climb Mount Kilimanjaro. To climb to the roof of Africa to Uhuru Peak and look out over the Furtwängler Glacier is an awe inspiring sight.

Climbing the Machame Route gives you an extra day to acclimate to the elevation and it is considered the most scenic route. You will have an excellent chance of reaching the summit of one of the most famous climbs on earth. At 5895 metres, it is a feat to be proud of when you reach the summit. Don’t miss this trek of a lifetime.

at the top of Mount Kilimanjaro
Reaching the Peak of Mount Kilimanjaro

Hot Tip: Book in Moshi with Kessey Brothers. We went with them, booked the day we landed in Kilimanjaro Airport and loved every minute of our tour. Read More about our climb up Kilimanjaro

2. Safari in the Serengeti National Park

safari in the Serengeti
Go on Safari to the Serengeti

Serengeti National Park is Africa’s number 1 wildlife destination. And with good reason! Every year over a million wildebeest migrate over its great plains alongside thousands of the other herbivores of Africa during the Great Migration. Besides the Wildebeest, you’ll see impalla, gazelle and zebras roaming freely among the Big Five as they migrate between the Serengeti and the Masai Mara in neighboring Kenya spanning.

Don’t limit yourself to migration season only though. Visiting the Serengeti offers amazing wildlife viewing year round as you spy lions, cheetahs, elephants and leopards living in their natural habitats on the vast African plains.

This UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the greatest places in the world to view wildlife in their natural habitat.Read More

3. Scuba Dive in Zanzibar

what to do in Tanzania Zanzibar

No trip is complete without island time and Zanzibar is paradise on earth. This beautiful island is located in the Indian Ocean and is surrounded by turquoise waters just waiting to welcome you.

This spice island is not only beautiful above its turquoise water with its white sand beaches, is beautiful below the water’s surface. Considered to have the best diving on the entire east coast of Africa, snorkellers will also be satisfied with what they will see. Read More. Make your way to the north of the island to Nungwoi and snorkel only 800 metres off the coast at the Kendwa Reef.

4. Explorer the Beaches of Zanzibar

Zanzibar has the most beautiful beaches in the world. While visiting Stone Town gives a feel of old Arabia, the beaches transport you to paradise. Beaches to hang out in Zanzibar include: Nungwi, Paje, Jambiani, Matemwe and more. Check out the best beaches in Zanzibar.

5. Stone Town – Birthplace of Freddie Mercury

Zanzibar is known for its beaches and turquoise water, but walking around Stone Town makes for an interesting day.

what to do in Tanzania

Freddie Mercury of Queen was born in Zanzibar and it was a highlight for us to see the door to his house and to visit Mercury’s bar for a drink. Okay, so maybe I am too much of a Queen fan there are a lot of other things to do in this UNESCO World Heritage town.

It was once the king of the spice trade and sadly the slave trade. Walk through the narrow alleyways and marvel at the famous Zanzibar doors, (Freddie Mercurie’s old house has a door saying Mercurie’s house) smell the spices and visit the old fort and night markets.

Hot tip: Stone towns stone maze streets get very hot. Choose accommodation on the waterfront to keep cool. 

6. Gombe Stream National Park


Located on the north Shore of Lake Tanganyika, Gombe Stream is a protected area made famous by Jane Goodall.

Hire a guide to take you to trek and see the famous chimpanzees of the area. You are almost guaranteed a sighting of our closest cousins.

Besides the chimpanzees, you’ll also be able to see olive baboons and red colobus, redtail and blue monkeys.

7. Marvel at the Rift Valley

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Kilimamojo Lodge in Tanzania

The Great Rift Valley spans from Lebanon all the way through Africa through Tanzania to where it ends in Mozambique.

It is a beautiful vast site in Tanzania housing the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and the Serengeti.

Stay at the Kilimamoja Lodge for the very best view of this massive valley you’ll have anywhere.

8. Visit the Iraqw Village

The Iraqw Village located near the town of Karatu, not far from the Ngorongoro crater was a highlight for us when visiting Tanzania.

vist the iraqw village in Tanzania
The kids at the Iraqw Village are genuinely happy to see you

This tribe hails from Ethiopia and opens its doors to tourists where they teach you about their customs, language and way of life. If you are going to visit one village in Tanzania, this is it!

9. Oldupai Gorge (Olduvai Gorge)

visit Tanzania oldepai gorge
The site where the Leakeys discovered Hominid evidence

Oldepai Gorge is known as the cradle of civilization. In the 1970s Mary and Louise Leakey discovered the existence of the first human species dating back 3 million years. This significant finding established the fact that humans evolved in Africa.

10. Take a Balloon Safari

If you are up for a splurge, there is nothing better than taking a hot air balloon over the Serengeti Plains.

balloon safar in tanzania

See wildlife from above and have a great adventure flying over Africa. Balloon flights end with champagne and breakfast starting your day off right!

Be prepared balloon safaris on the Serengeti go as high as $600 but if it’s your once-in-a-lifetime trip, it’s worth every penny. 

11. Tarangire National Park

It may not be the largest or most famous park of Tanzania, but the Tarangire National Park packs a punch.

what to do in tanzania safari
Safari in the Serengeti

It was in Tarangire that we had some of our most unique animal encounters in Tanzania. From ostriches mating to lions in a tree, Tarangire is an excellent spot to see African animals.

By staying inside the park at the Sopa Lodge, we had the opportunity to look out over the plains and marvel at wildlife coming in at sunrise and sunset.

We went on Safari to Tanzania with Go Ahead Tours, check out their website for Tanzania safari adventures.

12. Nogorngoro Crater

Tanzania travel ngorngoro crater
Zebras in the Ngorongoro Crater

It’s the largest unbroken caldera in the world that is not submerged in water and it houses 45,000 animals living in harmony.

Visiting the Ngorongoro Crater is a beautiful experience watching wildlife within the volcano. Within the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Massive herds of wildebeest, zebras, Impala, buffalos, and elephants roam the landscape. You will come across a lion or two and if you are lucky, a rhino may cross your path.

13. Visit a Maasai Village

visit tanzania masai tribe
The Masai Warriors jump for joy

You cannot visit East Africa without visiting a Maasai Tribe.

The original nomads and Maasai warriors will welcome you into their villages showing you how they make fire while putting on performances and jumping high in the air.

Their majestic voices will win you over and you won’t be able to leave without digging deep into your wallets to buy a souvenir.

Be prepared: The Maasai have been running tours for decades and know the art of the deal. They’ll quote high prices but you can barter. 

14. Lake Victoria

Lake Victoria is the source of the White Nile and it is the largest lake in Africa. It is the second largest freshwater lake in the world after Lake Superior. Bordered by Kenya and Uganda, this lake is not to be missed when visiting Tanzania.

It is one of the least visited places in Tanzania, but you can take boat trips and do some amazing bird watching on its shores. A suggested boat tour is to book a trip between Bukoba and Mwanza on the MV Victoria.

15. Lake Manyara National Park

visit Tanzania lake Manyara
The famous flamingoes of Lake Manyara

For a more popular bird watching destination Lake Manyara is the place to be.

This alkaline lake is famous for its pink flamingo population. But aside from the thousands of migrating flamingoes, you also see storks, kingfishers and eagles. It’s not just for the birds though, we were mesmerized by the baboon colony walking en masse like Planet of the Apes to the forest and the statue-like giraffes reflections in the water.

15. Arusha Cultural Centre

Located in Arusha the cultural centre is a new attraction housing African art and paintings.

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Strolling through the art gallery in Arusha

It’s a fascinating walk through African culture all in a tranquil setting. Sip cappuccinos on the terrace or browse the gift shops.

16. Shanga Village

visit tanzania shanga village
Blind artisan at work

Also located in Arush, the Shanga Village is a project that helps disabled people hone their skills selling arts and crafts.

The workshop lets you walk through to enjoy artisans at work and learn how they make glass ornaments, tapestries and clothing. You can buy jewelry or other crafts to support the project that runs on a sustainable model of recycling materials.

17. Arusha National Park

Mount Meru is the second highest mountain in Tanzania and people come to Arusha National Park to climb this mountain. Mount Meru is a thousand meters lower than Kilimanjaro, but it is also beautiful. The free standing volcano rises 4,566m high into the sky. When trekking here you need an armed ranger as there is an abundance of wildlife that could put you in a bit of a pickle if you were on your own.

Keep an eye out for Colobus Monkeys which are easily spotted. You’ll also see buffalo, zebras and our personal favorite, warthogs.

Mafia Islands

Mafia Island, situated in the magnificent Indian Ocean off Tanzania’s coast, is a place of profound tranquility and natural beauty. Part of the Mafia Archipelago, the island is less frequented than Zanzibar or Pemba, making it an unspoiled paradise for visitors looking for serenity. 

Spanning around 50 kilometers long and 15 kilometers across, Mafia Island has a rich history dating back to the 8th century with sleepy fishing villages, coconut groves, and sandy beaches. The island’s warm, clear waters harbor vibrant coral gardens, making it a premier destination for diving and snorkeling. It is also a nesting site for hawksbill and green turtles.

The island’s main attraction is the Mafia Island Marine Park, Tanzania’s first marine park, which encompasses a variety of ecosystems from coral reefs to mangrove forests and is home to a staggering array of marine life. It offers some of the richest reefs in the world, with over 50 types of coral and 400 species of fish identified so far, making it a dream for snorkelers and scuba divers. 

The island is one of the few places in the world where you can experience the incredible spectacle of whale shark migration between October and March.

Pemba Island

Pemba Island, part of Tanzania’s Zanzibar Archipelago, is a quieter and lesser-known sibling to the popular Zanzibar Island (Unguja),

Known as “The Green Island” in Arabic, its landscape is a lush tapestry of dense forests, mangroves, and verdant hills interspersed with traditional Ngezi villages. 

Pemba’s agricultural affluence – particularly in clove production – has been its economic backbone, earning it the nickname “The Spice Island.” Visitors are often enticed by its rich aroma of spices, blending with the salt-tinged ocean air to create an unforgettable sensory experience.

Renowned for its unspoiled coral reefs, Pemba is a paradise for divers and snorkelers, teeming with an abundance of diverse marine life. Adventure seekers can explore the island’s untamed wilderness, hiking through the Ngezi Forest, home to many endemic species. 

Visitors can delve into local traditions, learn about the island’s Swahili culture, and explore historical sites such as the 15th-century ruins at Ras Mkumbuu and the ancient walled city of Chake Chake.

Luxurious eco-resorts, like the Manta Resort, provide unrivaled relaxation experiences, including a unique underwater room.

Selous Game Reserve

Covering approximately 50,000 square kilometers, the Selous Game Reserve is one of the largest faunal reserves in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

Located in southeastern Tanzania, Selous is known for its diverse landscapes, which include grassy plains, woodlands, swamps, and savannah. The mighty Rufiji River, the largest river in Tanzania, bisects the reserve and provides an essential water source to its abundant wildlife, creating a vibrant and dynamic ecosystem.

Renowned for its impressive wildlife concentrations, the reserve is home to some of the most significant populations of large mammals in Africa. 

Visitors can expect to see a wide range of species, including elephants, black rhinos, African wild dogs, buffalos, hippos, crocodiles, and various species of antelope. It also hosts more than 350 species of birds, making it a paradise for bird watchers. 

The reserve is unique in the sense that it allows for diverse safari experiences, including walking safaris, boating safaris on the Rufiji River, and classic game drives, providing different perspectives to view its stunning landscapes and wildlife.

18. Cycle the Country

things to do in tanzania

If you want an epic adventure. Take a ride from Arusha in the north to Mbeya in the south. See everything that Tanzania has to offer from the seat of a bicycle.  Ride through coffee plantations and lush countryside.

This is the Africa you have always dreamed of. Epic climbs through tropical forests, switching between paved roads and bumpy trails will challenge and excite you. Make your way to the Capital of the country Dodoma. See a Tanzania that other travellers never will and get to know the people of Tanzania up close and personal as you stop for a coke on the side of a highway.

Watch our video of the Best Things to do in Tanzania

things to do in tanzania video

And these are the best things to do in Tanzania that we’ve done. What did we miss? Let us know in the comments below.

Travel Planning Resources

Looking to book your next trip? Why not use these resources that are tried and tested by yours truly.

Book Your Flights: Start planning your trip by finding the best flight deals on Skyscanner. We have used them for years and have found that they have the best flight deals.

Book your Hotel: Find the best prices on hotels with these two providers. If you are located in Europe use Booking.com and if you are anywhere else use TripAdvisor.

Find Apartment Rentals: You will find the cheapest prices on apartment rentals with VRBO.ย 

Travel Insurance: Don't leave home without it. Here is what we recommend:

  • Safety Wing - Occasional Travelers.
  • Medjet - Global air medical transport and travel security.

Book Your Activities: Looking for walking tours, skip-the-line tickets, private guides, and more? Then we recommend Get Your Guide.

Need more help planning your trip? Make sure to check out our Resources Page where we highlight all the great companies that we trust when we are traveling.

About The Planet D

Dave Bouskill and Debra Corbeil are the owners and founders of The Planet D. After traveling to 115 countries, on all 7 continents over the past 13 years they have become one of the foremost experts in travel. Being recognized as top travel bloggers and influencers by the likes of Forbes Magazine, the Society of American Travel Writers and USA Today has allowed them to become leaders in their field.

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35 thoughts on “18 Amazing Things to do in Tanzania – Dream Trip”

  1. This is a complete list for. I have heard beautiful things about Zanzibar. From Ngorongoro Crater to Stone Town, the beaches and the street food. I would to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro, the biggest mountain in Africa. Thank you for the list buddy.

  2. Tanzania is really a beautiful place! But I never had gone there. I just visited Kenya with my uncle last year. I really want to visit again and this time I will go there, hope so. Thank you for sharing these beautiful pictures and helpful post with us!

  3. Indeed Tanzania has more to offers beyond wildlife which it is mostly known for. Its tourism potential is vast for visitors with an interest in culture, local experience, mountain climbing and beaches! It definitely has all one would need.

  4. I love everything on this list but I think you forgot the nightlife. Hahaha! Go big or go home, right? There are some pretty great bars in Dar and Arusha.

  5. Wow you’ve listed some of the best things to do in Tanzania. Visiting next week. Surely going to cover all the places mentioned.

  6. I recently came back from a short vacation in Zanzibar, the local people were so friendly and I definitely thought Tanzania has so much to offer! I really want to visit again and this time spend few weeks exploring places like Kilimanjaro and Serengeti…

  7. We have never thought about traveling Africa too much as the flights were always really expensive so we didn’t want to commit that many points to lose just yet ๐Ÿ™‚ However reading through this and seeing the amazing images has moved Africa up a few notches on our bucket list. We will give it a realistic goal of 2019. Thanks for the inspiration!

  8. I recently got back from a trip to Kenya / The Maasai Mara, and now I desperately want to go to Tanzania. I’ve heard so many incredible things… Kenya made me fall in love with Africa, and I bet that this country will do just the same XX

    • The Masai Mara is amazing too! That was our first real African safari. I remember we took a hot air balloon over the Mara and we floated over The Serengeti. (our pilot got in a little bit of trouble, authorities tracked us down as we landed and said “You have crossed the border!” But our pilot said, “there wasn’t much I could do about the wind!” Haha. I remember going, wow! I’ve now had a mini Serengeti Safari. They are both amazing.

  9. Just discovered your website (yeah, I know, guess I’ve been living under a rock). Anyways, I couldn’t agree more on your post on Tanzania that “Tanzania is Africa.” When I visited Tanzania, it changed my life and represented the quintessential idea I had of African culture. And although I didn’t trek mount Kilimanjaro, the Serengeti Safari and Zanzibar Island were more than enough to make me long to go back to Tanzania. Did you volunteer there as well? Me and one of my best friends volunteered in one of the most amazing tiny little villages, and it totally change my life! It was one of my favorite things to write about on my blog. Thanks for such wonderful articles.

  10. The beauty of Tanzania is unrivaled and the resources it showcases are vast. It is simply recognized as a land of majestic marvels. The wildlife sanctuaries here are fresh and well-maintained. Diverse species of wildlife roam about in its area that serves the real intention of its creation. The wildlife here is free to flourish at its own pace and own fashion. Thus it is no surprise why Tanzania safari is known as the best game viewing trip in the world. For more information you can visit Tribal Tourist website.

  11. I have been to Africa a couple of times but more on business. But seeing these makes me want to go back for a real adventure.

  12. This article is so enticing. I am getting interested on the places you just mentioned. Also, the images you took from each place are wonderful! Thanks for sharing

  13. Tanzania! What a great place it is, immensely majestic! I traveled to Tanzania last year and it was a dreamworld, but I cannot believe I missed one or two places that you mentioned above, seems I need another trip ๐Ÿ™‚
    .-= Hannah Hamilton@ Rolling Garment Bags´s last blog ..Samsonite Aspire GRT Wheeled Garment Bag โ€“ Perfect for the Professional on the Go! =-.

  14. All the above places are the best places to visit and explore in Tanzania. It is the ideal and perfect destination to see with plenty of adventurous activities to do and see for visitors.

  15. Great and adventurous list! Another one of my favorite places in Tanzania is the Selous National Park. It’s a vast area that seems almost unexplored, quiet, and far from the common tourist safari’s.

    Thanks for the advice on Gombe Stream NP, looks pretty interesting, hopefully I will be able to check that out next month!
    .-= Migrationology´s last blog ..Buffet Fighting- My First Meal Adventure in Vietnam =-.

  16. Great post, and I love the pictures! I’m absolutely DYING to go to Tanzania, and this makes me want to go there even more. I don’t know if I could handle a hike to Kilimanjaro, but I would love to go on a safari and visit Zanzibar! One day…
    .-= Emily´s last blog ..Boat and Breakfast- B&Bs on the Water =-.

  17. This is such a beautiful and inspiring post! I spent some time in Tanzania years ago after I finished peace corps in Namibia. Your photos capture such amazing things about the country. My personal favorite memory of that trip was visiting Zanzibar, and your picture reflects that gorgeous clear water I remember. Of course, I loved how everyone yelled out greetings to us too…

    So thrilled to find your site and looking forward to reading more…
    .-= Mary R´s last blog ..Temple of the 10-000 Bug Bites =-.

  18. My father lived in Tanzania when I was in high school, so I had an opportunity to visit Zanzibar and go on safari in some game parks. I can’t wait to revisit next year with Dan to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro and see other regions!
    .-= Audrey´s last blog ..Panorama of the Week- Berlin- Where German Wine Meets Contemporary Art =-.

  19. What a great list, I feel I should be heading to Tanzania after reading this and seeing those photos!
    .-= AdventureRob´s last blog ..Malaysian Night Market =-.