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What to do in Tanzania and Zanzibar

Tanzania: perfect for adventurous travellers

Tanzania is a fantastic destination for travellers looking for somewhere exotic and exciting to explore. Aside from the country's many national parks that make it an outstanding place for safaris and following the annual Great Wildebeest Migration, it is also home to Africa's highest peak - Mount Kilimanjaro - as well as the beautiful islands of Zanzibar.

As well as going on safari, you can climb not only Kilimanjaro, but also another of its mountains - Mount Meru - or take to the waters of the Indian Ocean on a scuba diving adventure. Other activities on offer in Tanzania include cycling, hiking, fishing, hot air ballooning and river boating, so there are lots of options to keep you busy during your trip.

Make the most of a safari in Tanzania

Staying at a safari camp in Tanzania and observing the country's spectacular wildlife is high on the list for many people, with driving and walking tours available in many of the national parks. One of the most popular spots to visit is the world-famous Serengeti, where you can witness the incredible wildebeest migration (depending on the time of year you visit).

However, this is far from the only protected area that is worth exploring during your trip to Tanzania - the Great Rift Valley, Ngorongoro Crater and Katavi National Park are just a few of the other places you can discover. Katavi National Park is one of the best places to visit during the dry season, as the Katuma River shrinks and attracts vast hordes of animals who come here to drink.

The Ngorongoro Crater, which is in the Arusha region, is a great place for walking safaris. The Olkarien Gorge, the Northern Highlands Forest Reserve and the Olmoti Crater are just a few of the places where you can undertake short treks to observe Tanzania's wildlife up-close.

Top activities in Zanzibar

After spending time discovering the wonders of Tanzania's plains, many people choose to head to the stunning islands of Zanzibar for some downtime. However, if you don't enjoy lying on a beach soaking up the sun for days on end, you will find plenty of alternative activities on offer here.

Due to the archipelago's position in the Indian Ocean, the waters off its shores are a haven for marine life, with spectacular coral reefs thriving just below the surface. Scuba diving is a very popular activity in Zanzibar, as is snorkelling.

The annual whale shark migration, which takes place from October to March, is one of the biggest draws for divers who are keen to swim alongside the largest fish in the ocean. For those not ready to take the plunge with scuba diving, snorkelling is a fantastic alternative and doesn't require any specialist training.

To see more of Zanzibar's coastline, go on a cruise in a traditional dhow. These kinds of boats have been used in the region for centuries and sailing in one will give you an insight into the local culture. You can visit one of Zanzibar's smaller isles on this kind of trip, such as Tumbatu Island, where you can explore the ruins of a 14th century mosque or visit the remains of a settlement dating back to the 12th century.

Tanzania's best treks

As it is home to Africa's tallest mountain - Mount Kilimanjaro - Tanzania is a hotspot for trekking. The most challenging hike you can do here is to the top of Kilimanjaro; a walk that usually takes at least five days, although spending longer on the mountain increases your chances of successfully reaching the summit at 5,895 m.

There are six routes to the summit, so do some research about which you'd like to follow. Generally the Machame and Marangu trails are the busiest, with the Shira, Lemosho, Rongai and Umbwe tracks attracting less traffic.

The smaller Mount Meru at 4,565 m is another excellent trek to consider and one that takes less time than Kilimanjaro. If you're feeling particularly energetic, you can arrange to hike up both peaks, with Meru providing an excellent acclimatisation walk ahead of the Kilimanjaro ascent.

Excursions and Attractions

bawe island

Bawe Island

If you dream of whiling away the hours on an idyllic tropical island during your holiday in Zanzibar, this excursion will enable you to do just that. Bawe Island is a secluded private resort island, located approximately five miles away from the historic...

diving from stone town

Diving from Stone Town

Located in the Indian Ocean, approximately 20 miles off Tanzania’s East Coast, the beautiful Zanzibar archipelago is endowed with some of the best and most varied dive sites in the world. Steep wall dives, drift dives, shallow lagoons and...

diving in zanzibar north-east coast

Diving in Zanzibar North-east Coast

Located in the Indian Ocean, approximately 20 miles off Tanzania’s East Coast, the exotic island of Zanzibar is blessed with some of the most spectacular coastline in Africa. The unspoilt north coast is particularly breathtaking, boasting...

dolphin tour

Dolphin Tour

The majority of travellers visiting Tanzania are drawn to its dramatic landscapes and fantastic wildlife viewing, which is amongst the best in the world. The beautiful island of Zanzibar, which is part of Tanzania and lies just 20 miles off the coast of...

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