5 exciting things to do in Tanzania
Thinking about Tanzania, the first things that come to my mind are game drives through the Serengeti, watching dancing Masai, experience abundance of wildlife and standing at the rim of the Ngorongoro Crater. Here are 5 amazing things to do in Tanzania you didn’t know about…
1. Tracking primates
Yes, you read correct. And no, I have not confused Tanzania with Uganda or Rwanda. The Mountains of Mahale are home to Tanzania’s densest population of primates: yellow baboon, blue and red-tailed vervet monkeys are never far away. Then of course, you have the chimpanzees. Track through the lush green forest; as soon as you reach the chimps, you have an hour to observe how they play, eat and interact with each other. I can also recommend a forest tour through Jozani Forest on Zanzibar. It’s one of the last remaining sanctuaries in the world of the red colobus monkey.
2. Travel back in time
Did you know that Tanzania has many ancient UNESCO World Heritage sites? I’m not talking about Stone Town on Zanzibar, which is the most well known one. There are some secret jewels worthwhile visiting if you don’t mind rugged and exhausting road trips. If you are interested in rock art then Kondoa is a must. If you love ancient ruins and remnants of glorious days, then the villages Kilwa Kisiwani and Songo Mnara will not disappoint. For a cultural experience, go hunting with the Hadzabe at Lake Eyasi or visit the Datoga tribe. A visit to these ancient tribes fits into a safari through the Northern Circuit.
3. Take a boat or canoe trip
The traditional safari experience is game drives; hence it’s no surprise that you’ll come across quite a few safari jeeps while being in the Serengeti or the Ngorongoro Crater. So why not take the less-traveled routes? There are many options for a different kind of safari experience. Explore Arusha National Park on a canoe trip. Discover Selous a hidden gem in the south of Tanzania on a boat cruise along the Rufiji River. Or how about a boat safari on Lake Tanganyika in the Mahale Mountains National Park? See some colorful exotic tropical fish swimming in the crystal clear waters and watch a spectacular variety of birds along the lakeshore. Sounds amazing and different, right? Why not add it to your ‘things to do in Tanzania’-list.
4. Run a marathon
Either just for fun or for serious marathon runners (half or full marathons), Tanzania is the place to be. Each year, about end of February, you can participate in the Kilimanjaro Marathon. The route passes through small farm villages and banana and coffee plantations with loads of locals cheering and motivating the runners. It’s also a qualifying event for the Comrades. Dare to test your speed with a cheetah? Then I’d recommend the Serengeti Marathon. The fourth year in the making, it takes place the last Saturday of November. For 4km you do actually run in the world-famous Serengeti, in the western side of the park. With a bit of luck, you might even run through the yearly migration of wildebeest and zebra. What an amazing spectacle to be in… Would it be one of the things to do in Tanzania for you?
5. Visit Freddy Mercury’s hometown
Zanzibar is not only famous for powder fine white sandy beaches and the crystal clear Indian Ocean. It is also the birthplace of famous Freddy Mercury. Back then he was Farrokh Bulsara living in Shangani, Stone Town with his family. There’s a house in Stone Town with a plaque indicating it to be the house of Freddy. Some say it’s a scam and the “real” house is somewhere else. No matter what you believe to be true, wandering through the little alleyways of Stone Town and experiencing Swahili life is always a beautiful experience.
Not yet convinced to travel to Tanzania? Here are 5 reasons for a safari holiday in Tanzania.