Tanzania is a beautiful country with a myriad of awesome places to visit. It lies in eastern Africa, situated to the south of Equator. It is home to Mount Kilimanjaro, the deepest lake and the largest elephant population in Africa. Kilimanjaro is the highest peak in Africa and the world’s tallest free-standing mountain.
The best time to visit Tanzania depends on what you wish to see and do while you are there. Additionally, it is always good to know a place virtually, before you actually visit the place. There are so many things you should know before traveling to Tanzania. And, by doing so, you will know what to expect and stay away from the culture-shock.
The varied, yet unique landscape of Tanzania will let you savor distinctive climate zones. It ranges from rainforest to alpine desert. Most of all, you get an opportunity of a world-class hiking experience.
Did you know?
- Tanzania has the largest population in Africa.
- The country has the largest concentration and diversity of wildlife.
- The wildlife includes bird species, elephants, buffaloes, rhinos, wildebeests, giraffes, hippos, crocodiles, wild dogs, cheetahs, leopards, and chimpanzees.
- You will find blooming floras in the 16 National Parks of Tanzania.
Best months to visit Tanzania
|Activity||Best months to visit|
|Witness the Great Migration||From July till September|
|Experience classic safari||From June till August|
|Climb Mt. Kilimanjaro||From July till October & From December till February|
|For Zanzibar Holidays||From June till October|
Tanzania boasts every form of wilderness and adventures in its tranquility and matchless wonders. Having said that, the best time to travel to Tanzania is a personal choice. It depends totally on what activities you are looking for. Although there are countless reasons, but we have narrowed down to the best 7 reasons why you should consider visiting Tanzania.
- 1. Mount Kilimanjaro
- 2. Nature and Wildlife
- 3. The wildebeest migration in Serengeti
- 4. The Maasai people and culture
- 5. Zanzibar
- 6. The Ngorongoro Crater
- 7. 7 UNESCO World Heritage Sites
- Tanzania Travel FAQs
1. Mount Kilimanjaro
First thing first! Mt. Kilimanjaro is the main drawcard of Tanzania. It is the tallest mountain on the African continent and the highest free-standing mountain in the world. It has three volcanic cones namely, Mawenzi, Shira, and Kibo. Climbing Kili is not just about scaling the fabled mountain. But, it also allows to enjoy a variety of topography and landscapes with the tender feeling of triumph.
These interesting facts about Mt. Kilimanjaro will leave you stunned:
- Kilimanjaro has a diverse ecological system including rain forest, heath, moorland, alpine desert, arctic summit, and cultivated land.
- More than 25,000 people summit Mt. Kilimanjaro annually.
- The glaciers on Mt. Kilimanjaro are estimated to be around 11,700 years old.
- Mt. Kilimanjaro lies just 205 miles from the equator.
- Mt. Kilimanjaro was first climbed in 1889 by a German geologist Hans Meyer, an Austrian climber Ludwig Purtscheller and a local guide Yohani Kinyala Lauwo.
2. Nature and Wildlife
Nature in Tanzania is at its wildest. The largest concentration of animals; 120,000 elephants, 160,000 buffaloes, 1,100 species of birds, about 2,000 rhinos and much other wildlife teeming throughout Tanzania. Tanzania is also home to the largest population of African wild dogs. From grasslands to woodlands, Tanzania hosts some of the most amazing opportunities for sight-seeing and wildlife safari.
Selous Game Reserve is the world’s largest game reserve while there are 16 national parks in the country. Tanzania is also blessed with the three great lakes of Africa – Lake Victoria, Lake Tanganyika, and Lake Malawi. Lake Victoria is the largest tropical lake and the second largest freshwater lake in the world. Apart from this lake, Rift Valley Lakes and Ngorongoro Crater are home to more than 4 million animals. Tanzania is the playground of Nat Geo wildlife documentaries.
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3. The wildebeest migration in Serengeti
There are claims about the wildebeest migration being one of the seven wonders of Africa. In fact, it is the greatest wildlife migration in the world. It sees over 2 million wildebeests migrate through grassland of Tanzania in search of grazing land and fresh water and this wonder is second to none.
One can witness millions of wildebeests, hundreds of thousands of Thomson’s gazelles, antelopes, zebras and hungry predators like lions, hyenas, and cheetahs in the Serengeti migration.
Lesser known facts about the wildebeest migration:
- It is also known as Gnu migration, Serengeti migration, and Masai Mara migration.
- During the migration, the animals cross the Grumeti River and Mara River.
- The wildebeest migration event is much recognized in the tourism and hospitality industry globally, attracting millions of tourists.
- The migration covers three destinations; Ngorongo Conservation Area, Serengeti National Park, and finally Masai Mara National Reserve.
- The distance covered by the animals during the great migration is about 800 km.
4. The Maasai people and culture
The Maasai people are nomadic tribes in Africa residing in Kenya and Tanzania. Maasai people are equally known for their culture, distinctive customs, and colorful attire. Over 1 million Maasai people lead an extraordinary lifestyle and possess one of the unique cultures in Africa.
Here are some interesting facts about the Maasai people and their culture:
- Maasai people were once considered fierce warriors and feared by all other tribes.
- The Maasai are characterized by unique traditional clothing and jewelry made of colored beads.
- The Maasai are monotheist; they believe in one God, Enkai, creator of the world.
- The Maasai are obsessed with cow herding. A good herd of cattle is measured as wealth.
- Male and female circumcision is a significant ritual amongst Maasai people
- The Maasai jump has a meaning – the tribe believes that the higher a man can jump, the stronger he is.
Zanzibar (also known as Spice Island) is a semi-autonomous region of Tanzania located in the Indian Ocean. And, it is home to Stone Town, a World Heritage Site. When one talks about Zanzibar, it is about exotic islands for bucket-list-worthy and idyllic holidays.
Some major attractions of Zanzibar:
- Zanzibar has some of the world’s best islands providing travelers with world-class beach experiences.
- Stone Town, the historic center, has lured travelers from around the world.
- The Jozani Forest Reserve is the home of rare Red Columbus Monkey.
- Swimming with the dolphins at Kizimkazi South Unguja.
- Pange Sandbank is a perfect spot for snorkeling in the calm and shallow waters amid coral and tropical reef fish.
- Misali Island offers idyllic beaches, nature trails for spotting flying foxes, good snorkeling, and superb diving.
6. The Ngorongoro Crater
The Ngorongo Crater in northern Tanzania is also known as “Africa’s Garden of Eden”. It offers various dramatic landscapes. Moreover, it is a wildlife haven with more than 30,000 animals including elusive Black Rhinos.
A few things which you need to know about the Ngorongo Crater:
- The crater was formed when a volcano erupted about 2.5 million years ago.
- Ngorongoro Crater is listed on UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Site, and one of Africa’s Seven Natural Wonders.
- The Ngorongo Crater is home to some 25,000 large animals and is the most densely populated area of mammalian predators in Africa.
- The compact area of the crater allows you to spot the Big Five animals throughout the year: Rhino, African Elephant, African Lion, Cape Buffalo & African Leopard.
- The Maasai people graze their cattle in the crater, and the wildebeest migration passes through Ngorongo Conservation Area.
7. 7 UNESCO World Heritage Sites
Tanzania is home to 7 UNESCO World Heritage Sites from Stone Town to the largest African game reserve; the Selous. The 7 UNESCO World Heritage Sites are:
- Serengeti National Park.
- Ruins of Kilwa and Songo Mnara.
- Ngorongoro Conservation Area.
- Kilimanjaro National Park.
- Kondoa Rock-art site.
- Selous Game Reserve.
- Stone Town.
These sites add eternal glory not just to Tanzania but to the whole of Africa. These wonders of Tanzania have enticed travelers from around the world. They will entice you to enjoy all authentic and diverse Tanzanian adventure activities.
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Tanzania Travel FAQs
Here are some of our most frequently asked questions by travelers. And we strive to answer each one of them as fittingly as possible.
How safe is traveling to Tanzania?
In general, Tanzania is a safe and hassle-free country to visit. As long as you travel with a local tour operator, your safety will be of prime concern, unlike when you travel independently. To avert any untoward incident while traveling in Tanzania, we advise you to take precautions and follow all government travel advisories.
Stay away from crime hotspots to evade general crimes like petty thefts, street mugging, and bag-snatching. Also, avoid secluded areas and do not travel alone after dark. Respect the sense of local dress code and carry minimum cash or valuables while strolling around.
When is the best time to travel to Tanzania?
There is no specific answer to this question. The best time to travel to Tanzania depends on the activities that you wish to take upon. Different parts of the country have different attractions and they have their own best times to visit.
Any time of the year is good to travel for wildlife lovers. But, if you wish to witness the Great Migration, then the right time is between July and October. For beach lovers, the right time to visit the Zanzibar beaches would be between June and October. Likewise, if you wish to conquer Mt. Kilimanjaro, there are two distinct seasons to consider, namely January to March and June to October.
What kind of weather can I expect on a safari trip in Tanzania?
Weather in Tanzania is usually warm, dry and sunny. There is more rainfall from December through April, but it is typically warmer (70ºF-80ºF). The months from May through November are drier and comparatively cooler (60ºF-70ºF).
Where can I see the Great Migration in Tanzania, and when?
The Great Migration, also known as the Great Serengeti Migration, is one of the ‘Seven Wonders of the Natural World. It is a large herds of hoofed animals led by the wildebeest for food and water. Other animals that participate in this migration are zebras, gazelles, and eland.
During migration, these animals circulate the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania and the Masai Mara Game Reserve in Kenya. The precise timing of the migration is entirely dependent upon the rainfall pattern each year, usually between July and October.
How safe is food and drinking water in Tanzania?
Tanzania’s food is safe to eat in most parts of the country. However, we advise not to eat cold or pre-prepared foods and reheated food. Similarly, drinking tap water is not safe in the country. We recommend drinking bottled, retreated or filtered water to avoid any kind of health hazards. To minimize your exposure from any bacterial infection, we suggest that you brush your teeth with bottled water. Peel the raw fruits or vegetables before consuming it to avoid contamination from harmful or toxic objects.
Wash the fruits that you wish to eat with filtered or bottled water only. Stay off from ice as you don’t know the source of the water used to make ice. Prefer to have your drink without any ice rather! Do not eat dairy products if they are not pasteurized and try avoiding salads as much as possible.
Are there ATM facilities in Tanzania?
All large cities and urban centers in Tanzania have ATM kiosks. However, these are rarer in small towns, rural areas and villages. Make sure you have enough cash if you are visiting outside the big cities. Or, any other payment methods must be available with you.