Tanzania: Main Sights
Serengeti, Ngorongoro, Kilimanjaro...
Tanzania's sights can be easily reached by foot or through guided or self guided tours. Travellers will instantly pick up the unique Spanish culture in Tanzania as you will enjoy white sandy One does not need to go far on Tanzania to find a perfect beach, whether it be packed with summer crowds or remote and quiet. The best beaches in Tanzania can be found around Jandia, on the southern tip of the island. Tanzania is famous for windsurfing.
Arusha is located at the foot of Mount Meru and is at an altitude of 1300 meters above sea level. Built by the Germans in the late 19th century, Arusha quickly became the center of colonial administration, and is today one of the fastest growing cities in East Africa. The city is an ideal gateway to the Seregenti and other nother parks and is often the starting point for safaris. Highlights include Mount Meru and Arusha National Park. On the lower slopes of Mount Meru visitors may spot buffalo, giraffe, black and white colobus monkey and warthog. Ngurdoto Crater is also a top destination and Arusha National Park is one of the few parks where walking is permitted. Lake Manyara is also accessible from here and only 1.5 hours drive away.
Dar es Salaam
The most populated city in Tanzania, Dar es Salaam means 'haven of peace' in Arabic. Once a small, 19th century fishing village Dar es Salaam now has 3 million people of which are a mix of African, Arabic and Indian cultures. Tanzania's main port is also found here. In the northern section of the harbour is Kivukoni Front which boasts a bustling fish market. The architecture here is also of interest as it is an ecelectic mix of Swahili, German, Asian and British influences. Notable structures along the waterfront include the German hospital, Lutheran Church, St. Joseph's Cathedral. You can learn more about the history of the city in the National Museum the feature of which is a 1.7 million year old skull of Nutcracker Man, and the Village Museum which showcases traditional housing and crafts.
Gombe Stream National Park
Gombe Stream National Park is a haven for thousands of chimpanzees. The smallest national park in Tanzania is famous for the work of Jane Goodall, a British researcher who arrrived in 1960 to study the chimpanzees (the longest running study of its kind in the world). Guided walks take visitors into the forest to observe the many members of the monkey family as well as the many other species of primates and mammals that live in Gombe Stream National Park. Over 200 bird species have been recorded in the tropical forest including barbets, starlings, sunbirds, crowned eagle, kingfishers and the palm-nut vulture.
A world class diving and snorkelling spot, Mafia Island draws divers to the undersea world protected by the Mafia Island Marine Park. This island paradise first saw settlers in the 8th or 9th century but Mafia became a more important settlement during the 12th to 14th century when it held a key position in the East African trading routes.
The Germans established headquarters in 1892 at Chole on Mafia Island. A large boma was built as well as other buildings including a jail. During WW I, Mafia Island became a base for British troops as a location to attack the German battleship, Konigsberg.
Mount Kilimanjaro National Park
Mount Kilimanjaro includes the highest peak in Africa which has made it a popular tourist destination since its opening in 1977. Kilimanjaro was formed over 1 million years ago by volcanic movement along the Rift Valley. Three points - Shira, Kibo and Mawenzi came to be about 750,000 years ago. The highest point is Uhuru Peak on Kibo, which is one of the Seven Summits of the world. The Seven Summits are a list of mountains that are the highest on their continent.
Unlike other parks in northern Tanzania, Mount Kilimanjaro National Park is not visited for the wildlife but for the chance to stand in awe of this majestic snow-capped mountain and for many, to climb to the summit.
Ngorongoro Conservation Area
The Ngorongoro Conservation Area is home to the famous volcanic Ngorongoro Crater, located between the Serengeti and Lake Manyara. Other attractions that draw tourists to the area include Embagai Crater, Olduvai Gorge and Lake Masek. Ngorongoro Conservation Area is a Unesco World Heritage site as the largest intact caldera in the world. The crater floor has all the necessities for the thousands of animals that inhabit the area to thrive. Olduvai Gorge, which is also in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, is an impressive way to see the famous discoveries of remains of early man.
Pemba Island is the northernmost island in the Zanzibar archipelago and is the world's major clove producer. Pemba was seized by the Sultan of Muscat in the 17th century, who was so enchanted by the Spice Islands that he decided to rule from the region. The hilly island has deep valleys which 1, 000 meter peaks. The city of Chake Chake is also popular with scuba divers who can see coral gardens, colourful sponges and sea fans. Visitors to Pemba will also enjoy the long standing traditions of medicine and magic. People come from throughout East Africa to learn from the voodoo and traditional healers or seek a cure for an illness.
Seregenti National Park
A vast treeless plain, the Serengeti National Park is home to thousands, even millions of animals searching for fresh grasslands. 'Serengeti' means an 'extended place' in the Maasai language. As the largest national park in Tanzania, the Serengeti attracts thousands of tourists each year, all year round. Highlights include the annual migration of millions of zebra and wildebeest. Nearly 500 species of birds make their home in the Serngeti as well as large herds of antelope as well as plentiful lion, cheetah, hyena, and jackal.
Little has changed in the last 200 years in Stone Town, the cultural heart of Zanzibar. Expect a mix of influences from the Persians, Portuguese, Omani Arabs and British colonials along narrow streets and winding alleyways lined with grand houses as the original Arab owners vied with each other for the most extravagant home. The majority of the homes were built in the 19th century, when Stone Town was one of the most important Swahili trading towns in the Indian Ocean. Walk along Creek Road to see the orginal town, and the location of the Central Darajani Market, Beit el-Amani, City Hall and the Anglican Cathedral. Visitors can also take a Spice Tour, including cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, black pepper, vanilla and lemongrass.
Selous Game Reserve
A World Heritage Site since 1982, the Selous Game Reserve is larger than Switzerland and is the world's largest game reserve. The Selous is also home to the largest elephant herd in the world with about 32 000 elephants living in the reserve. The reserve also includes Mikumi National Park and is home to a diverse range of species.