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Where to go in Tanzania – Planning your Tanzania itinerary

So, you’ve decided that Tanzania is the place to go. We can’t help but agree. Who would deprive themselves of glittering lagoons, rolling natural plains, or beaches that resemble something quite heavenly? And all in the company of the captivating animals and people that make this part of East Africa so culturally rich. The sheer wonder of places like Tarangire with its undisturbed safari experience or Tanzania’s own stunning World Heritage Site- Selous- can seem somewhat daunting at first. That’s where we come in. We’ve hand-picked a selection of the best and most vital destinations for your journey to Tanzania. So, what are you waiting for?  

If you’re a first-time visitor wondering ‘where to go in Tanzania’, this alluring country has plenty to give. If jaw-dropping views are your thing, you can’t miss the UNESCO-listed Ngorongoro crater. The crater’s immense walls offer magnificent vistas of lush countryside dotted with sparkling lakes, while down below lions, leopards, elephants, rhinos and all sorts of cool creatures roam freely. Sounds pretty epic, right? 

And it’s not just the landscape and wildlife in Ngorongoro that will take your breath away. You’ll have the privilege of seeing the Masaai tribe in their own home- amidst the rolling plateaus and prowling felines. Expect to see them partaking in traditional songs and dances with their crimson robes blending into the sunset. Unmissable cultural experience? We’ll let you answer that one.

Wildebeest grazing tanzania

After such a tantalizing experience, you may be craving the comfort of a town like Arusha. Nestled between the world-famous Serengeti National Park with its picture-book vistas and the intimate oasis of Lake Manyara, Arusha offers a perfect stop-off during your Tanzanian experience.

 Here, you can relax in the shadows of the mountaintops with an iced latte from Africafe (maybe even taking it on a quick ‘bean-to-cup’ plantation tour while you’re at it) or have a browse of some traditional African market stalls. Wherever you go, you’ll be greeted with a warm ‘karibu’ (welcome.) 

And what better way to wind down after all of your adventures than with a relaxing beach break? Zanzibar archipelago offers some of the world’s most picturesque beaches lapped by warm, clear waters. Flop down on soft sands, snorkel with shoals of vibrant sea life and embrace the laid-back island life. You can’t get much closer to paradise than this.

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Locations to add to your Tanzania itinerary

Ngorongoro

There’s nowhere else quite like the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. Everywhere you look there’s a new natural wonder to be amazed by. The area is home to the largest unbroken and unflooded volcanic caldera in the world, as well as the highest density of predators in Africa. Lion prides bask in the sun, elephants graze in the grasslands and flamingos wade through the water.

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Serengeti

For many, the Serengeti is the quintessential African experience. Vast savannahs stretch as far as the eye can see, wildebeest migrate in their millions and lion prides snooze in the scorching sun. You’ve probably seen it on wildlife documentaries or when longingly flicking through travel brochures, but nothing compares to seeing this epic destination for yourself.

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Zanzibar

Snow-white sands, sapphire waters and World Heritage old towns. As first impressions go, Zanzibar hits the mark. A gem in the Indian Ocean, this tropical archipelago has long been a favourite spot to unwind after an adventure holiday in East Africa. It’s a place where time stands still, the pressures of modern life become a distant memory and fun-filled activities are always on the agenda.

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Lake Manyara

If you’re thinking of giving it a miss, we’ve got one word of advice: don’t. Though much smaller than other northern circuit parks, it packs quite a punch with its animal-spotting opportunities. You could be watching large herds of elephants wandering through the forests one minute and observing a lioness lounging in an acacia tree the next.

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Selous

Compared to many of the northern parks in Tanzania, where the landscapes can become crowded with tourists, the peaceful and pristine countryside is a big part of the appeal at Selous. The miombo woodlands, borassus palms, acacia savanna and wetlands are a breathtaking backdrop to your safari, offering fantastic photo-ops at every turn.

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Tarangire

Though it’s often overshadowed by the more well-known safaris, Tarangire National Park boasts just as many natural wonders. And because it manages to slip under the tourist radar, you won’t be competing with other safari vehicles for the best viewing spots either. Exceptional animal sightings in an undisturbed environment - what’s not to love?

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Arusha

Whether you’re watching wildebeests and zebras migrating in their millions across the Serengeti plains or gazing in awe at the sheer majesty of Africa’s highest mountain, spine-tingling sights await around every corner. This is a place that will captivate you from the get-go and continue to surprise.

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