Tanzania is a beautiful country located in East Africa, known for its vast wilderness areas, rich wildlife, and vibrant culture. Home to iconic natural wonders such as Mount Kilimanjaro, Serengeti National Park, and the Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania offers an unforgettable experience for visitors. In this guide, we'll provide you with essential information about visiting Tanzania, including visa requirements, the best time to visit, popular attractions, and travel tips.

Popular Attractions

Serengeti National Park

Serengeti National Park, located in northern Tanzania, is one of the most famous and iconic wildlife reserves in the world. Spanning an area of approximately 14,763 square kilometers (5,700 square miles), the park is home to a diverse array of flora and fauna, making it a premier destination for wildlife enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.


The Serengeti is renowned for its large concentration of wildlife, with over 70 large mammal species and over 500 bird species. The park is home to the Big Five (lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo, and rhinoceros), as well as cheetahs, hyenas, giraffes, zebras, and numerous antelope species. The Serengeti ecosystem also supports one of the largest populations of lions in Africa.

The Great Migration

One of the most spectacular natural events in the world, the annual Great Migration sees more than 1.5 million wildebeest, along with hundreds of thousands of zebras and gazelles, move across the Serengeti in search of fresh grazing lands and water. The migration typically starts in the southern Serengeti around December, moving towards the north and the Maasai Mara in Kenya between July and September. The spectacle of the migration, particularly the dramatic river crossings, draws visitors from all over the world.

Landscapes and Ecosystems

The Serengeti is characterized by its diverse landscapes, which include vast savannahs, rolling grasslands, dense woodlands, and riverine forests. These varied ecosystems support the rich biodiversity found within the park.

Best Time to Visit

Wildlife viewing in the Serengeti is excellent year-round, but the best time to visit depends on your specific interests.

For the Great Migration: December to March (calving season in the southern Serengeti) or July to September (river crossings in the northern Serengeti).

For general wildlife viewing: The dry season (June to October) offers the best overall wildlife viewing, as animals congregate around water sources and vegetation is less dense.

Accommodation and Safaris

The Serengeti offers a wide range of accommodation options, from luxury lodges and tented camps to budget-friendly camping sites. Safari options include guided game drives, walking safaris, hot air balloon safaris, and even cultural visits to local Maasai villages.

Getting There

The most common way to reach the Serengeti is by flying into Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) or Julius Nyerere International Airport (DAR) and then taking a domestic flight to one of the park's airstrips. Alternatively, you can drive from Arusha, which takes about 8 hours.

Visiting Serengeti National Park is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, offering unforgettable wildlife encounters and breathtaking scenery. It is a must-see destination for any wildlife enthusiast or nature lover.

Mount Kilimanjaro

Mount Kilimanjaro, located in northeastern Tanzania near the Kenyan border, is the highest peak in Africa and one of the Seven Summits – the highest points on each of the seven continents. At an elevation of 5,895 meters (19,341 feet) above sea level, Kilimanjaro is also the world's highest free-standing mountain. It is an iconic destination for trekkers and mountain climbers from around the globe.

Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro

Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro does not require technical mountaineering skills, making it an achievable goal for individuals with good physical fitness and determination. However, the high altitude, unpredictable weather, and potential for altitude sickness are factors that should not be underestimated. Proper preparation and acclimatization are essential for a successful summit attempt.


There are several established routes to choose from when climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, each with its own unique characteristics and levels of difficulty:

Marangu Route: Known as the "Coca-Cola Route," it is the oldest and most established route, offering hut accommodations and a relatively easier ascent. However, the shorter duration of this route (5-6 days) may not provide sufficient acclimatization for some climbers.
Machame Route: The "Whiskey Route" is more scenic and challenging than the Marangu Route, featuring a higher success rate due to better acclimatization opportunities. The trek typically takes 6-7 days.
Lemosho Route: This scenic and remote route offers excellent acclimatization opportunities and a high summit success rate. The trek takes 7-9 days.
Rongai Route: Approaching the mountain from the north, the Rongai Route is less crowded and offers a more gradual ascent. The trek takes 6-7 days.
Umbwe Route: The most difficult and least used route, Umbwe is steep and challenging, recommended only for experienced climbers. The trek takes 6-7 days.
Shira Route: Similar to the Lemosho Route, the Shira Route approaches from the west and offers great acclimatization opportunities. The trek takes 7-9 days.

Best Time to Climb

The best times to climb Mount Kilimanjaro are during the drier months, which are June-October and January-March. These periods offer more stable weather conditions and improved visibility. The rainy season, from November to December and April to May, can make the climb more challenging due to slippery trails and increased cloud cover.

Preparation and Equipment

Preparing for a Kilimanjaro climb involves physical training, acquiring the necessary gear and clothing, and understanding the risks associated with high-altitude trekking. It's essential to have proper footwear, layered clothing for various temperatures, a quality backpack, and essential items such as a headlamp, water bottles, and sun protection.

Guided Tours

Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro requires hiring a registered guide and support team, which usually includes porters and a cook. Many tour operators offer all-inclusive packages that provide transportation, park fees, food, and accommodations. It's essential to choose a reputable company that prioritizes safety, ethical treatment of porters, and responsible tourism practices.

A successful ascent of Mount Kilimanjaro is a physically and mentally demanding yet rewarding experience. With proper preparation, determination, and respect for the mountain, reaching the summit can be an unforgettable achievement.

Ngorongoro Crater

The Ngorongoro Crater, located in northern Tanzania, is the world's largest intact volcanic caldera and a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is a major highlight of Tanzania's Northern Circuit and part of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. Formed over two million years ago by the collapse of a massive volcano, the crater spans an area of approximately 260 square kilometers (100 square miles) and is 610 meters (2,000 feet) deep.


The Ngorongoro Crater is home to an incredibly diverse array of wildlife, with an estimated 25,000 large animals living within the crater. It is one of the few places in Africa where you can see the Big Five (lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo, and rhinoceros) in a single day. Other wildlife species found in the crater include cheetahs, hyenas, wildebeest, zebras, gazelles, and more than 500 bird species.
The Ngorongoro Crater is also known for its dense population of predators, including lions and spotted hyenas. The enclosed nature of the crater has led to a unique ecosystem where wildlife and human populations (such as the Maasai people) coexist.

Best Time to Visit

Wildlife viewing in the Ngorongoro Crater is excellent year-round. However, the best time to visit is during the dry season (June to October), when the animals are easier to spot due to thinner vegetation and their tendency to congregate around water sources. The rainy season (November to May) offers lush green landscapes and more abundant birdlife, but some roads may become impassable.


There is a range of accommodation options around the Ngorongoro Crater, from luxury lodges to budget-friendly campsites. Many lodges and camps are located on the crater rim, offering stunning views of the crater floor below. It is essential to book accommodation well in advance, as the area is a popular tourist destination.

Safaris and Activities

A visit to the Ngorongoro Crater typically involves a guided game drive into the crater, where you can spot wildlife up close in their natural habitat. The steep walls of the crater provide an exceptional backdrop for photography. In addition to game drives, other activities available in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area include guided walking safaris, cultural visits to Maasai villages, and exploring other nearby attractions, such as the Olduvai Gorge.

Getting There

The Ngorongoro Crater is accessible by road or air. The nearest city is Arusha, which is approximately a 3-4 hour drive from the crater. Alternatively, you can fly into Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) or Julius Nyerere International Airport (DAR) and then take a domestic flight to the Lake Manyara or Arusha airstrips, followed by a drive to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area.

The Ngorongoro Crater is an extraordinary natural wonder and wildlife sanctuary, offering visitors the chance to experience a unique and thriving ecosystem. It is a must-visit destination for any wildlife enthusiast or nature lover traveling to Tanzania.


Zanzibar, an archipelago located in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Tanzania, is a popular tourist destination known for its rich history, vibrant culture, and pristine beaches. The archipelago consists of two main islands, Unguja (commonly referred to as Zanzibar) and Pemba, along with numerous smaller islands.

Stone Town

Stone Town, the historical heart of Zanzibar City, is a UNESCO World Heritage site characterized by its maze of narrow streets, intricately carved wooden doors, and stunning architecture that reflects a blend of Arab, Persian, Indian, and European influences. Key attractions in Stone Town include the House of Wonders, the Old Fort, the Palace Museum, and the former slave market site at the Anglican Cathedral.


Zanzibar boasts some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, with powdery white sand and crystal-clear turquoise waters. Popular beach destinations include Nungwi and Kendwa in the north, Paje and Jambiani on the east coast, and Fumba and Menai Bay in the south. These beaches are perfect for sunbathing, swimming, and water sports such as snorkeling, scuba diving, and kiteboarding.

Spice Tours

Zanzibar is often referred to as the "Spice Island" due to its history as a major producer of spices like cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, and black pepper. A guided spice tour will take you to local spice farms, where you can learn about the cultivation, uses, and history of these spices, as well as sample and purchase some to take home.

Jozani Chwaka Bay National Park

This is the only national park on Zanzibar Island and is home to the endemic Zanzibar red colobus monkey, as well as other wildlife species, such as bush babies, various bird species, and the impressive Zanzibar tree hyrax. The park also features a mangrove boardwalk, where visitors can explore the unique mangrove ecosystem.

Water-based Activities

Zanzibar offers exceptional opportunities for snorkeling and diving, with a variety of marine life, coral reefs, and clear warm waters. Top diving spots include Mnemba Atoll, Leven Bank, and Tumbatu Island. Other water-based activities available on the island include fishing, sailing, and dolphin-watching tours.

Culture and Festivals

Zanzibar's rich cultural heritage is influenced by African, Arab, Indian, and European traditions. The island hosts several festivals throughout the year, such as the Zanzibar International Film Festival, Sauti za Busara music festival, and the Zanzibar Food and Spices Festival, which showcase local music, films, cuisine, and culture.

Best Time to Visit

Zanzibar can be visited year-round, but the best time to visit is during the dry season from June to October, and between January and February. The rainy seasons, from November to December and March to May, can be less ideal for beach activities due to occasional downpours and higher humidity.

Getting There

The most common way to reach Zanzibar is by flying into Julius Nyerere International Airport (DAR) in Dar es Salaam, followed by a short domestic flight to Zanzibar's Abeid Amani Karume International Airport (ZNZ). Alternatively, you can take a ferry from Dar es Salaam to Stone Town, which takes approximately 2 hours.

Zanzibar offers a unique blend of history, culture, and natural beauty, making it an ideal destination for travelers seeking both relaxation and adventure.

Tarangire National Park

Tarangire National Park, located in northern Tanzania, is known for its diverse landscapes, rich wildlife, and distinctive baobab trees. Covering an area of approximately 2,850 square kilometers (1,100 square miles), the park is named after the Tarangire River, which serves as a crucial water source for animals during the dry season.


Tarangire National Park boasts a large concentration of wildlife, particularly during the dry season (June to October), when animals congregate around the Tarangire River. The park is famous for its large population of elephants, which can often be seen in groups of several dozen. Other commonly sighted animals include wildebeest, zebra, giraffe, buffalo, impala, and various antelope species. Tarangire is also home to some rarer species, such as the African wild dog, fringe-eared oryx, and the long-necked gerenuk.


The park is a haven for bird enthusiasts, with over 550 bird species recorded. Migratory birds from Europe and Asia visit the park between November and April, while the dry season offers excellent opportunities for spotting endemic and resident species, such as the yellow-collared lovebird, ashy starling, and the northern pied babbler.

Baobab Trees

One of the unique features of Tarangire National Park is its impressive baobab trees. These ancient and massive trees dot the landscape, providing a dramatic backdrop for wildlife viewing and photography.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Tarangire National Park is during the dry season, from June to October, when wildlife is concentrated around the river, and vegetation is less dense, making it easier to spot animals. The rainy season, from November to May, offers lush green landscapes, abundant birdlife, and fewer tourists, but wildlife sightings may be more challenging due to thicker vegetation and dispersed animals.

Accommodation and Safaris

Tarangire offers a range of accommodation options, from luxury lodges and tented camps to budget-friendly campsites. Safari options include guided game drives, walking safaris, and night drives (in designated areas). Some lodges and camps also offer hot air balloon safaris, providing a unique aerial perspective of the park's landscapes and wildlife.

Getting There

Tarangire National Park is easily accessible by road or air. The nearest city is Arusha, which is approximately a 2-3 hour drive from the park. Alternatively, you can fly into Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) or Julius Nyerere International Airport (DAR) and then take a domestic flight to one of the park's airstrips.

Tarangire National Park offers a serene and off-the-beaten-path safari experience, with its magnificent landscapes, abundant wildlife, and majestic baobab trees. It is an ideal destination for nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts looking to explore the diverse beauty of Tanzania.

Lake Manyara National Park

This park offers diverse ecosystems, including forests, grasslands, and wetlands, supporting a variety of wildlife

Visa Requirements

Visa requirements for visiting Tanzania can vary depending on your nationality, the purpose of your visit, and the duration of your stay. This information is accurate as of September 2021, and it is essential to check with your local Tanzanian embassy or consulate for the most up-to-date information on visa requirements before planning your trip.

Visa Exemptions

Citizens of some countries, primarily from the East African Community (EAC) and a few other African nations, do not require a visa to enter Tanzania for tourism purposes. A complete list of visa-exempt countries can be found on the Tanzanian immigration website.

Visa on Arrival

Many nationalities are eligible for a visa on arrival when entering Tanzania. This means you can obtain a visa at the port of entry (airports or border crossings). For tourism purposes, a single-entry visa is typically issued, which is valid for 90 days. The cost for a visa on arrival varies depending on your nationality, but it is generally around USD 50-100. Payment must be made in cash, and it is recommended to have the exact amount in US dollars.


Tanzania also offers an eVisa system, allowing eligible travelers to apply for a visa online before their arrival. To apply for an eVisa, visit the Tanzanian immigration website, complete the online application form, and upload the required documents. The processing time for an eVisa is approximately 2-3 weeks. It is advisable to apply well in advance of your trip.

Required Documents:

To obtain a visa for Tanzania, you will generally need the following documents:

  • A valid passport with at least six months of remaining validity from the date of entry
  • A completed visa application form (for an eVisa or if applying through an embassy or consulate)
  • Two recent passport-sized photographs
  • A return or onward travel ticket
  • Proof of sufficient funds for the duration of your stay
  • A yellow fever vaccination certificate (if coming from or transiting through a country with a risk of yellow fever transmission)

Please note that additional documents may be required depending on your nationality, the purpose of your visit, or the type of visa you are applying for.

Visa Extensions

If you wish to extend your stay in Tanzania, you can apply for a visa extension at the immigration office in Dar es Salaam or other regional immigration offices. Tourist visas can be extended for an additional 90 days, but it is important to apply before your current visa expires.

Other Types of Visas

If you are visiting Tanzania for purposes other than tourism, such as business or volunteering, you may require a different type of visa. In this case, consult the Tanzanian embassy or consulate in your country for detailed information on the application process and required documents.

Remember that visa requirements can change, and it is crucial to consult the Tanzanian embassy or consulate in your country or visit the Tanzanian immigration website for the most up-to-date information before planning your trip.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Tanzania depends on your interests and the specific destinations you want to explore. Tanzania offers diverse attractions, from wildlife safaris to beach vacations, and the ideal time to visit can vary. Here's a complete guide to help you plan your trip:

Wildlife Safaris

The optimal time for wildlife safaris in Tanzania depends on the specific park or region. In general, the dry season (June to October) offers the best conditions for wildlife viewing, as animals tend to congregate around water sources and vegetation is less dense, making it easier to spot them.

Serengeti National Park: The dry season (June to October) is ideal for wildlife viewing. Additionally, the wildebeest migration can be witnessed in the western and northern parts of the park from June to July and in the northern part from August to October.
Ngorongoro Crater: Wildlife viewing is excellent year-round, but the dry season (June to October) offers better visibility and more comfortable weather conditions.
Tarangire National Park: The dry season (June to October) is the best time to visit, as wildlife is concentrated around the Tarangire River.
Lake Manyara National Park: The dry season (June to October) is the ideal time for wildlife viewing, but the park can be visited year-round.

Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro

The best time to climb Mount Kilimanjaro is during the dry seasons (January to mid-March and June to October). During these periods, the weather is generally more stable, and the trails are less slippery, providing better climbing conditions.

Zanzibar and Coastal Areas

The best time to visit Zanzibar and other coastal areas of Tanzania is during the dry seasons (June to October and December to February). The weather is typically sunny and dry, with pleasant temperatures, making it perfect for beach activities and water sports. The rainy seasons (March to May and November) can be less ideal for beach activities due to occasional downpours and higher humidity.


Tanzania offers excellent birdwatching opportunities throughout the year, but the best time for spotting migratory birds from Europe and Asia is between November and April. The dry season (June to October) is ideal for viewing resident and endemic species.

Weather and Climate

Tanzania has a tropical climate, with two dry seasons (June to October and December to February) and two rainy seasons (March to May and November). The dry seasons are generally characterized by clear skies and pleasant temperatures, while the rainy seasons can bring heavy downpours and higher humidity. The temperature can vary depending on the altitude, with cooler temperatures in the highlands and hotter conditions in the lowlands.

The best time to visit Tanzania depends on your interests and the specific destinations you want to explore. The dry season (June to October) is generally the best time for wildlife safaris and climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, while the dry seasons (June to October and December to February) offer ideal beach conditions in Zanzibar and other coastal areas.

Travel Tips

When planning your trip to Tanzania, it's essential to be well-prepared to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience. Here are some travel tips to help you make the most of your visit:

Health and Safety

  • Visit a travel clinic or your healthcare provider at least 4-6 weeks before your trip to discuss necessary vaccinations and medications.
  • Tanzania requires a yellow fever vaccination certificate if you are coming from or transiting through a country with a risk of yellow fever transmission.
  • Take measures to prevent mosquito bites, as malaria and dengue fever are present in Tanzania. Use insect repellent, wear long sleeves and pants, and consider using a mosquito net when sleeping.
  • Drink bottled or treated water and avoid tap water, ice, and uncooked fruits and vegetables to reduce the risk of waterborne illnesses.
  • Practice sun safety by wearing sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat, and staying hydrated.

Money and Currency

  • The official currency in Tanzania is the Tanzanian Shilling (TZS). It's a good idea to carry some cash in small denominations for local transactions.
  • US dollars are widely accepted in tourist areas, but ensure you bring newer notes (dated 2006 or later) as older notes may not be accepted.
  • Credit cards are accepted in larger hotels and establishments, but many places, especially in rural areas, only accept cash.
  • ATMs are available in major cities and towns, but their availability may be limited in remote areas.
  • Tipping is customary for guides, drivers, and hotel staff, but the amount depends on the service provided and your satisfaction.

Language and Communication

  • The official languages of Tanzania are Swahili and English. Swahili is widely spoken, while English is commonly used in tourist areas and larger cities.
  • Learn a few basic Swahili phrases to help you communicate with locals and show respect for their culture.
  • Consider bringing a phrasebook or downloading a language app to help with communication.

Cultural Etiquette

  • Dress modestly, especially when visiting rural areas or religious sites. Cover your shoulders and knees, and avoid revealing clothing.
  • Respect local customs and traditions. Ask permission before taking photographs of people, and avoid photographing government buildings or military installations.
  • When greeting people, a handshake is the most common form of greeting. Use your right hand, as the left hand is considered unclean.


  • When planning your itinerary, allow extra time for transportation, as road conditions and traffic can cause delays.
  • Taxis, buses, and minivans (dala-dalas) are common forms of transportation in urban areas, but agree on a price before getting into a taxi or hiring a reputable taxi company.
  • Domestic flights are a convenient way to travel between major cities and tourist destinations.
  • For a more personalized experience, consider hiring a private driver or joining a guided tour.

Packing Essentials

  • Lightweight, breathable clothing, including long sleeves and pants for protection against insects and the sun
  • Sturdy, comfortable shoes for walking and hiking
  • A hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen for sun protection
  • Insect repellent and a mosquito net
  • A reusable water bottle and water purification tablets or a water filter
  • A power adapter (Tanzania uses Type D and Type G plugs)
  • A small first aid kit with essential medications
  • A lightweight rain jacket or poncho for the rainy season
  • Binoculars and a camera for wildlife viewing

Travel Insurance

  • Purchase comprehensive travel insurance that covers medical expenses, evacuation, trip cancellation, and personal belongings.

By preparing for your trip to Tanzania with these travel tips, you can ensure a safe, enjoyable, and memorable experience. Remember to respect local customs and traditions, practice

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