10 Best Tanzania Tourist Attractions

Conveniently situated in East Africa with a coastline stretching for a massive 1400km between Mozambique and Kenya, with such a huge Indian Ocean coastline staring at them, Tanzania had no choice but to put that to good use. What did they do?

 They put up three massive ports and a few other smaller ports along the coastline with Dar es Salaam port only, handling an astonishing 14.3 million tonnes of cargo in 2016 worth a staggering US15 billion.

The next thing they did was, of course, World-class hotels and resorts this industry alone raked in US2.5 billion in 2019 and has proved to be a money-spinner for Tanzania.

 Holiday packages are not cheap, especially in east Africa, this is mainly due to their target market, which is the USA, Canada, and Europe who have money to spend, but for those that have visited Tanzania, they will tell you that it was money well spent.

Let's check out the best tourist attractions in Tanzania.

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1. Ruaha National Park. 

cheetahs in a game park
photo courtesy of Barnaba Kufakunoga in Ruaha: Professional tour guide.

With the mighty Ruaha river running through this giant national park which is the largest protected area in Tanzania, this is home to all manner of wildlife, zebra, buffalo, elephant, lion, leopard, cheetah, many bird species are also flourishing in this UNESCO heritage site park.

The government also fully utilized the giant Ruaha river by constructing a hydropower plant at Kidatu dam and this mega power station is supplying most of the country with electricity, this power station alone generates about 200 megawatts of power daily.

Ruaha is way too remote for some tourists but it is a good opportunity for those who love the serenity of nature. If you love to see predators like lions making their kill you will definitely see it here.

 Weatherwise temperatures don't fluctuate that much because this region lies on the equator so the most preferable time to visit Ruaha is during the dry season from May to October when most animals flock towards the Ruaha river.

Do not attempt to visit this park in the wet season from October to April because you will be disappointed wildlife is scattered, roads are muddy and you will have to contend with the suffocating humidity. Tour operators do not close shop though in the wet season.

Places for accommodation in Ruaha 

2. Serengeti Ntional Park.

a pride of lions in a game park
photo courtesy of Barnaba Kufakunoga in Ruaha: Professional tour guide.

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Located in the eastern Mara Region in northern Tanzania you will find the world-famous Serengeti National Park, measuring a massive 15000 square km.

This park is home to probably the largest number of wildebeest, lions, and zebra, during the dry season almost half a million wildebeest, zebra, antelope embark on the great trek towards Maasai Mara in neighboring Kenya for greener pastures in what has now become known as the Annual Migration.

During this great migration, thousands of wildebeests and other wildlife die due to disease and mainly due to predators like lions and crocodiles.

The Grumeti river is home to thousands of bloodthirsty crocodiles lying in wait for the desperate trekkers, remember they have to cross back into Serengeti again and more are killed.

 Strewn across the larger national park are protected game reserves offering visitors a personalized safari experience that will leave you in awe, most of the lodges will offer you a world-class and luxurious environment after a grueling day deep in the savannahs of Ruaha, after a nice shower and good food you unwind, relax and watch the stars till you fall asleep, what an experience!.

Places for accommodation in the Serengeti.

3. Ngorongoro Conservation Area.

a hippo in a pool of water

photo courtesy of Barnaba Kufakunoga in Ruaha: Professional tour guide.

Ngorongoro is a conservation area and is so privileged to host one of the seven wonders in Africa, the Ngorongoro crater which is a masterpiece of natural phenomena.

Sitting on 260 square meters and 20km diameter this magnificent feature is actually a giant caldera of a collapsed volcano, when you gaze at this beauty from the rims of the crater you can only say, wow!

 Visitors can view it from the top of the rim or they can hike down the slopes to the floor of the caldera, you will find smaller water bodies on the crater floor.

On the not so steep side of the crater, all the way to the rim and beyond you will see the big five, the gifted laughing hyena, leopard, cheetah, gazelles, elands, wildebeest, zebra, and many other species.

Ngorongoro is the best among nine other craters found in the conservancy, top-class lodges are dotted around this beautiful park, the climate is good, usually mild and warm but temperatures can plummet on the crater rim so be warned especially if you have to tour the area early in the morning, you will freeze. 

Places for accommodation in Ngorongoro.

4. Mount Kilimanjaro.

mount kilimanjaro
photo by Balazs Simon

Apart from being the highest summit in Africa it also comes 4th in the world with a height of 5895 meters.

This majestic snowcapped natural wonder has been conquered by many but some have fallen, the iconic Kilimanjaro has single-handedly managed to put Tanzania on the world map as one of the best tourist destinations in the world.

Kilimanjaro can be easily spotted from Kenya's Amboseli National Park and can be accessed from there but it's one of the most grueling adventures you don't have to subject yourself to, Mount Kili is easily accessible from Tanzania.

There are many choices to choose from as far as safari tour operators are concerned and most of these operators have professional guides licensed by the Kilimanjaro National Park and are holders of Wilderness Responder and First Aid certificates and more than five years of mountaineering experience, so you would be in safe hands, all you need is your purse and hit that booking button and you are on your way for an adventure of a lifetime.

 Prices for hiking range from around USD1500 to a whooping USD8000 depending on your package.

Places for accommodation in Mount Kilimanjaro.

5. Lake Manyara National Park.

man water rafting in manyara
photo by Surja Sen Das Raj

Situated in southwest Arusha in the Manyara region, Lake Manyara National Park offers visitors a more laid-back experience, especially for those that love bird watching and a bit of game viewing.

 Its landscape is predominantly grassland, woodland, and forest you will also see that most of the area is covered in swamps. Lake Manyara Park is home to over 300 bird species including flamingos.

 There is another exciting feature in this park which is one of my favorite "baboons", I absolutely love these human-like fellows, the fights, the cries, the way they behave generally is so fascinating and you will see troops of them here.

Places for accommodation in Manyara.

6. Tarangire National Park.

photo courtesy of Barnaba Kufakunoga in Ruaha: Professional tour guide.

Located in the Manyara region, Tarangire is a hive of activity especially in the dry season when wildlife throng the Tarangire river which runs through the park.

Visitors here can easily view the big five as this park has one of the highest concentrations of wildlife, the landscape is mainly grassland and baobab trees which are a common feature. Tourists can choose from several lodges scattered around the national park.

Places for accommodation in Tarangire.

7. Katavi National Park.

zebras grazing next to aircraft
photo courtesy of Barnaba Kufakunoga in Ruaha: Professional tour guide.

This national park is also situated in the Manyara region and accessibility is a bit of an issue if you are to drive from say, Dar es Salaam you have to stretch and yawn for a good 1500 km, definitely not good but there is an air charter service that can be arranged by your tour operator landing at a small airstrip at Ikuu.

  The remoteness of the park is its major drawcard because it means the park remains fresh and unspoiled and it is truly so because you are not likely going to come across any other humans or tour trucks crisscrossing the area.

Sitting on 4471 square kilometers of natural habitat this national park is comparably big and can offer visitors a good safari experience although poaching and other illegal activities continue to pose a threat to the future of this beautiful park.

Places for accommodation in Katavi.

8. Arusha National Park

lion resting in a game park
photo courtesy of Barnaba Kufakunoga in Ruaha: Professional tour guide.

Smaller than its sister parks and sitting on Mount Meru which is a dormant volcano that last erupted in 1910,  Arusha National Park is located in the Arusha region northeast of Tanzania, this park consists of three distinct landscape features;

  •  Meru crater.
  •  Ngurdoto crater.
  •  Mormella lakes is a series of small lakes which completes this magnificent natural architecture.

This park is home to a rather strange and beautifully coated monkey, its coat is black and white and of course, you will see zebra, warthogs, herds of buffalo, and many others.

 For bird watchers, this is the place to be, all manner of bird species is found here including the bar-tailed trogon.

 Most holidaymakers who come to Arusha national park are interested in hiking the second highest peak in Tanzania and they won't be disappointed as guided walking trails are readily available to take them through the lush plains full of wildlife towards the mountain entrance points, they will also have a chance to get up close with nature for that undeniable ecstatic safari experience.

No worries about accessibility as this park is probably the most easily accessible park in the country.

Places for accommodation in Arusha National Park.


9. Selous game reserve.

a cheetah resting in a game park

photo courtesy of Barnaba Kufakunoga in Ruaha: Professional tour guide.

Named after Frederick Selous who is said to have died in the hands of the German armies in 1917, Selous Game reserve is the largest game reserve in Africa and is sitting on a massive 45000 square meters of unspoiled habitat eating up about 5% of the vast nation of Tanzania.

Since almost half of this vast space is inaccessible due to its thick forests and jagged peaks, the government decided to construct Julius Nyerere  Hydroelectric Power Station but this was heavily criticized by environmentalists because of the ecological imbalance that would be brought by such a massive project on Rufiji River.

The northern side of Rufiji river is where most of the action is, the big five, zebra, wildebeest, warthogs, eland, giraffe, you will see all the action here. There are plenty of safari tour operators to choose from offering nothing but the best of the African safari.

Places for accommodation in Selous.

10. Olduvai Gorge.

The place of the wild sisal is the meaning of Oldupai which was later loosely changed to  Olduvai by the pair of British/ Kenyan archaeologists Mary and Louise Leakey maybe because Oldupai was a bit of a tongue twister for them and they decided to change it to Olduvai.

The Gorge remains a very important and strategic tourist attraction due to the many archaeological discoveries that have been made here. The most prominent find of this Unesco world heritage site is the footprints of a man, a woman, and a child who presumably were his family and this was a major indicator that there was human habitation millions of years ago.

11.  Gombe Stream National Park.

A family of chimpanzees snuggling together

photo courtesy of Barnaba Kufakunoga in Ruaha: Professional tour guide.

It's definitely not fair to document Tanzania's tourism without mentioning one of its main crowd puller which is our human-like fellows, the chimpanzees, if you ask me I would say chimps are definitely human save only for the sophisticated intellectual capacity that we possess, from emotion, observation, fighting to mate they are definitely human take it from me.😄😋

All this narrative takes us to Gombe Stream National Park where you will see chimps and more chimps, thanks to the work of Jane Goodall who was a British researcher and decided to leave all the comforts of Britain to live in the jungle only to research and document about wild chimps.

Places for accommodation in Gombe.

12. Zanzibar.

girl playing with toys on a beach
photo by kindel media

Zanzibar is a semi-autonomous region found in the Republic of Tanzania. Located about 35km off the coast of east-central Africa.

 This island consists of some other smaller islands which include Pemba island. Zanzibar is blessed to have some of the best beaches I have ever seen out there, sunbathing is the in thing on this island.

Unguja, which is its Swahili native name has made significant strides in making sure that its tourism sector is at par with mainland Tanzania, thanks to the government's efforts, they managed to put up a big airport that can handle millions of visitors per year.

The airport is already being patronized by major airlines which include Air France, Lufthansa, Ethiopian Airlines, Qatar Airlines, and many others. Most visitors still prefer to fly to Dar es Salaam and then connect to the island by ferry but this is unnecessary because Zanzibar already has direct flights from Asia, Africa, and Europe and this can save time and money.


These are my top 12 picks on Tanzania's tourist attractions, you will agree with me that this east African country has so much to offer in the tourism space, so you might want to consider Tanzania on your next African safari experience, and as usual, don't forget your outdoor traveling gear.

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