Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Tanzania

Tanzania is renowned for its majestic natural highlights, from Mount Kilimanjaro to the unspoiled beaches of Zanzibar. Most visitors will make their way through Dar es Salaam en route to the wilderness areas, with the opportunity to soak up the sun on the picturesque beaches of Zanzibar.

Scuba divers and snorkelers flock to the coral gardens off Pemba and Mafia islands, teeming with colorful marine life. No visit to Tanzania is complete without exploring the vast natural wonders from safaris to wildlife adventures. Our list of the top attractions in Tanzania is sure to help you experience this vast and varied country.

Mount Kilimanjaro

Mount Kilimanjaro is an awe-inspiring sight; Africa’s tallest peak, it rises majestically 5,895 m high. The national park encompassing its slopes is not visited for its wildlife but to observe the cobalt-hued, snow-capped summit. Evidence suggests the three volcanic cones – Shira, Kibo, and Mawenzi – formed around 750,000 years ago, with Uhuru Peak of Kibo being the highest point.

The mountain ascends from farmland to rainforest, alpine meadow and a barren lunar landscape as one moves upward. Wildlife such as elephants, leopards, buffaloes and eland call these various terrains home while birdwatchers delight at the abundance of birds of prey in the alpine zone. In late 2020, the Tanzanian government approved a plan to construct a cable car on the mountain, taking visitors about 3,700 meters above sea level. The best months to scale the mountain are from late June to October, during the dry season.

 Serengeti National Park

Serengeti National Park is a captivating expanse of luscious greenery and flourishing wildlife. Over 1.5 million wildebeest, plus hundreds of thousands of zebra and gazelle, partake in the great annual migration, a breathtaking phenomenon that is the primary draw for many visitors.

The Serengeti is among Tanzania’s largest national parks and a major tourist hotspot, home to the Big Five, and nearly 500 species of birds. To experience the beauty of the wildlife and this park at its peak, the best months to visit the Serengeti are from June to September. This is also the coldest period while the wet season falls between March and May. The migration generally begins in May or early June, and is one of the most spectacular events that nature has to offer.

Zanzibar Beaches

There are plenty of restaurants here too, with many serving traditional Swahili cuisine that includes seasonal seafood and spices. For culture and fun, the Sunday Market is a must-see, as is a visit to the nearby Jozani Chwaka Bay National Park for some wildlife spotting. The island is also famed for its luxurious beach resorts, offering a bit of privacy away from the bustling city.

Zanzibar is the perfect destination for a beach holiday and its numerous attractions will leave you wanting more. Rewrite
Zanzibar, part of the Zanzibar archipelago, is a tropical paradise praised for its stunning beaches and captivating culture. Soft white sand and crystal clear waters are the highlights of this island, along with the traditional dhows scattered along the coast.

The heart of Zanzibar is home to Stone Town, a historic city dotted with Arabian townhouses, narrow alleyways and a bustling port, as well as restaurants serving traditional Swahili dishes. A visit to the nearby Jozani Chwaka Bay National Park, the Sunday Market and luxurious beach resorts add to the charm of this idyllic island replete with activities and incredible sights to behold. From the shores to the markets, Zanzibar promises an unforgettable experience that will leave you wanting more.

Ngorongoro Conservation Area

The Ngorongoro Conservation Area is one of Tanzania’s premier tourist destinations and home to the remarkable Ngorongoro Crater, the largest intact ancient caldera in the world and nearly three million years old. Once a towering mountain, its eruption and subsequent collapse left behind a permanent supply of water and a large habitat for thousands of animals.

The crater floor is well known for its abundance of wildlife, from lions to rhinos, and an estimated fifty percent of the animals are wildebeests and zebras. Nearby Lake Migadi is another highlight, a picturesque spot that attracts flamingoes to its shallows while hippos seek refuge in the grasslands by evening. Bird watching is excellent, with wide variety of species to admire in this remarkable conservation area.

Olduvai Gorge

The Olduvai Gorge is a key archeological site that has revealed critical information about early humans. Situated on a series of fault lines in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, millennia of erosion has uncovered fossils, remnants, tools and even footprints of early mankind. In 1911, a German professor identified remains, and later generations of the Leakey family discovered a skull and bones believed to be from two million years ago.

The famous footprints at the nearby Laetoli site also testify to the fact that at least three hominid species lived here around two million years ago. This remarkable site offers an incredible opportunity to explore and decipher the history of mankind.

Tarangire National Park

Tarangire National Park is a wildlife enthusiast’s dream. Rich with an abundance of wildlife, herds of wildebeest, zebra, buffalo, impala, gazelle, hartebeest and eland can be seen congregating around the lagoons during the dry season, from July to September.

Elephants are also in large populations, with baobab trees making an unforgettable scenery in the grassy savanna. The park is also a popular spot for birdwatching, with more than 300 different species including eagles, falcons, kites, vultures, herons and storks amongst others. The many sights and activities available make Tarangire National Park a worthy and memorable visit.

Lake Manyara National Park

Lake Manyara National Park is a stunning ecosystem of forests, woodlands, grasslands, and swamps, two thirds of which are covered with water. Its most significant feature is the vast population of wild animals such as tree-climbing lions, elephants, and hippos, which also boast the park’s unparalled closeness.

This unique habitat is also home to the world’s largest concentration of baboons, as well as thousands of flamingoes during specific times of the year. Wildlife drives, canoeing, mountain bike tours and bird watching are just some of the unforgettable activities the park offers. Lake Manyara National Park is an incredible place to discover nature, where you can be sure to witness some once-in-a-lifetime views.

Mafia Island

Mafia Island is a tranquil paradise, the perfect destination for divers and snorkelers from around the world. Protected by the Mafia Island Marine Park, its crystal clear waters host an abundance of fish and sightings of green turtles, an endangered species. Tourists can also enjoy deep-sea fishing with a chance to catch tuna, marlin, and sailfish, as well as a variety of other big-game fish.

While the best months for diving are October to March, the best weather period is May to October; March and April, however, bring heavy rainfall. With a history dating back to the 8th or 9th C, when it held a pivotal role in East African trading, Mafia Island is exemplary of the abundant culture that Tanzania has to offer.

Pemba Island

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Pemba Island, the northernmost isle in the Zanzibar archipelago, is a haven of unique attractions and culture. Its waters are renowned for its astounding diving and scuba opportunities, with wonderful coral gardens, lively sponges and intricate sea fans making up its vivid aquatic landscape.

Chake Chake, the main population center, is a popular spot for water adventurers, but Pemba is ideal for those who prefer to stay dry- land activities like mountain biking on its 1,000-meter peaks, beach lounging on Misali Island, and taking part in the clove-producing industry offer countless activities.

Pemba is well known for its Juju traditional medicine and magic practiced by healers and voodooists, a custom that invites visitors from across the continent in search of healing and knowledge. Spectacular nature and a distinct culture couple to make Pemba Island a truly unforgettable experience.

Katavi National Park

Katavi National Park is a stunningly remote spot, with a prolific flood plain split by the Katuma River and numerous veering seasonal lakes which host an incredible array of wildlife. These lakes are home to massive groups of hippos and crocodiles, as well as hundreds of species of birds, with a landmark spectacle of 200 of the aquatic mammals.

The dry season brings life in the park to its peak, with elephants, buffaloes, antelopes, lions, zebras and giraffes congregating to the remaining pools and streams. It is an unforgettable destination, which will take your breath away as you explore the wilderness and discover the stunning fauna that calls this park home.

Stone Town

Stone Town is a remarkable and vibrantly alive city in Zanzibar, with little having changed since the 19th C when it was a major Swahili trading port in the Indian Ocean. The narrow alleys and winding streets are lined with grand old Arabian townhouses, many with bras-studded and intricately carved wooden doors. There are several landmarks and restored sites of historical significance, from the Darajani Market, Beit el-Amani, and City Hall to the Anglican Cathedral and Beit el-Sahel or the People’s Palace.

The Forodhani Gardens, the Old Dispensary with its carved wooden balconies, the Hamamni Persian Baths from 1888 and the oldest preserved structure in the area, the Old Fort, are must-see attractions in this time-honoured city. Visit Stone Town to travel back in time and appreciate this remarkable Swahili city.

Selous Game Reserve

Selous Game Reserve is the largest of its kind in Africa, covering 5% of Tanzania’s area. Established in 1922, the forbidden zone located south of the Rufiji River remains undeveloped, heavily forested and full of cliffs, while travelers can access the area north of the river, with expansive grasslands, woodlands, rolling hills and plains.

Home to the largest catchment area in East Africa, the Rufiji River is an important feature of the reserve, allowing visitors to spot a variety of wildlife while they journey, such as elephants, hippos and rhinos along with buffalo, antelope, warthog, giraffe, wildebeest, cheetahs and lions, plus more than 350 bird species recorded in the area. The best time to visit is between July and October, making any visit to Selous Game Reserve a surefire way to spot an array of astounding wildlife.

Arusha National Park

Arusha National Park is a smaller destination, but its considerable range of habitats, from the forest of Mount Meru, to the Ngurdoto Crater in the southeast, to the seven Momella Lakes, make it a must-see destination in Tanzania. Its lush plaza of flora and fauna feature the striking black and white Colobus monkeys, along with buffalo, zebra and warthog, as well as a vast variety of resident and migratory waterbirds.

But the park is not just for the animal lovers- it is also the gateway to Mount Meru, the second highest mountain in Tanzania, with its inspiring views of the volcanic cone in its crater. The ascent is steep but passes through a symphony of parkland, forest, heather and moorland. People come to Arusha National Park for the views, and come away having experienced even more.

Frequently Asked Questions

When is the best time to take a safari in Tanzania?

The best time to visit Tanzania and its many safari parks depends on which park you plan to visit. For Tarangire National Park and the Selous Game Reserve, the best time to go is between July and October. August to October is the peak season for Katavi National Park. Similarly, visitors usually plan to come to Serengeti National Park between June and September for the highest concentration of animals. However, the presence of animals is high throughout the year, making any time a good time; the only time to avoid is during the rainy season of March and April.

Where are the best beaches in Tanzania?

Tanzania is home to some of the most stunning beaches, with iconic white sands and crystalline turquoise waters. A mecca for kiteboarders, Zanzibar Island boasts beaches like Nungwi, Kendwa and Paje, while Pemba Island is home to Misali Island beach. On Mafia Island, Utende beach stands out, with its picturesque views. Any of these stunning beaches are ideal for a relaxing break in Tanzania.


Tanzania is home to some of Africa’s most beautiful and alluring tourist attractions. From the famous Serengeti National Park and its abundant wildlife, to majestic Mount Meru, the serene lake of Manyara, and the exotic Zanzibar archipelago, this East African nation offers a wide range of attractions that are sure to captivate and delight visitors. With its abundant wildlife watching opportunities, diverse cultural hubs, breathtaking landscapes, and pristine beaches, Tanzania is an ideal destination for those who love adventure and exploration.


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