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Best Places to Visit in Tanzania

    


When you travel to Tanzania, the best places to visit and enjoy a safari include Katavi, Selous, Ruaha, Tarangire, and Ngorongoro. Of course, there's also the Serengeti where you can witness the great annual migration of millions of wildebeest. Some of the best beaches on earth can be found in the Zanzibar archipelago, and Mafia Island is equally idyllic. For more action, you can hike up Africa's tallest mountain, Mount Kilimanjaro. Other incredible mountains include Mahale, where you can visit the largest remaining population of chimpanzees in the wild. Explore all 10 of Tanzania's best destinations below.

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The Serengeti, Northern Tanzania

Wildebeest Herds gathering for annual migration, Serengeti, Tanzania
Tom Brakefield / Getty Images

The Serengeti National Park offers the absolute classic African safari setting. The migration of millions of wildebeest and zebra starts here. The vast expanse of grasslands makes the Serengeti fantastic for spotting lion kills because you can see the whole spectacle clearly. There are mobile camps that are worth staying at because the wildlife concentrates in certain parts of the park depending on the time of year and the rains. The best time to go is between December and June, but you can't really go wrong any time of the year. A hot-air balloon ride at dawn is a truly magnificent experience.

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Mount Kilimanjaro, Northern Tanzania

Man walking towards Mt. Kilimanjaro

Michael Mellinger/Getty Images

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Zanzibar, East Coast

Sailboats on a tropical ocean
Iztok Alf Kurnik / Getty Images
Mt Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

Africa is known as one of the best destinations for adventure travel and what can be more adventurous than hiking up the world's tallest free-standing mountain? Africa's highest peak, Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, stands at 19,340 feet (5896m) and will take you 6 days to conquer. The exciting thing about this mountain is that anyone who is fit and determined can make it up. ​No special climbing equipment or expertize is needed. Serious hikers sometimes use nearby Mount Meru as a practice climb.

Zanzibar is one of Tanzania's top destinations because of its fascinating past and its incredible beaches. Zanzibar's location in the Indian Ocean has made it a natural trading center throughout its history. Famous for its spices, Zanzibar also became an important slave trading post under its Arab rulers. Stone Town, Zanzibar's capital, is a World Heritage site and boasts beautiful traditional houses, narrow alleyways, a Sultan's palace, and many mosques.

Zanzibar has many beautiful beaches, that can be enjoyed on any budget. Some of the surrounding islands offer a total paradise for the luxury traveler, Mnemba island is absolutely idyllic for a romantic vacation.

The Ngorongoro Conservation area borders the Serengeti in northern Tanzania and includes the world's largest crater which acts as a natural enclosure for almost every species of wildlife found in East Africa. This includes the very rare black rhino. The Ngorongoro Crater is where you'll witness some of the densest population of wildlife in the world and it's a truly amazing place for photographers. The Maasai still live within the conservation area, and it's also home to Oldupai where some of the ​man's earliest remains have been found. 

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The Selous, Southern Tanzania

The Selous, southern Tanzania

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The Selous is Africa's largest reserve, a world heritage site, and not as crowded as the Serengeti. You can see elephants, cheetahs, black rhinos, African hunting dogs, and plenty of hippos and crocodiles. The Selous swamps, rivers and wetlands allow tourists to take their safari by boat, which is a big draw. Walking safaris are also popular here and you can also enjoy night drives.

Accommodations in Selous and surrounding areas are somewhat limited but all offer a very intimate and unique safari experience. 

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Mahale Mountains, Western Tanzania

Common chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) sitting outdoors

Anup Shah/Getty Images 


Mahale was the research base for a team of Japanese anthropologists for several decades. Despite the gorgeous clear waters of Lake Tanganyika and the obvious draw of the chimps themselves, Mahale was not an established tourist destination until about decade ago. It's still remote, but absolutely worth t07 

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Tarangire National Park, Northern Tanzania

Colorful bird on a branch

Diana Robinson Photography/Getty Images

Tarangire is a popular day trip for those following a standard northern safari itinerary, but its baobab dotted the landscape and numerous dry riverbeds are worth much more time. During the dry season (August to October) Tarangire has one of the highest concentrations of wildlife in Tanzania. It's an excellent spot for those who love watching elephants, zebra, giraffe, impala, and wildebeest. 

Tarangire is a good place to enjoy walking safaris and an excellent birding destination. Be prepared to swat tsetse flies here, at certain times of the year they can get annoying.

Accommodations in Tarangire include lodges, campsites, and luxury tented camps.