Mount Kilimanjaro

Tanzania Travel Guide

06° 22′ 09″ S, 34° 53′ 20″ E

Tanzania in a few words...

The history of Tanzania is filled with stories of struggle and triumph, victory and peace, stretching from the beginning of human settlement, through the arrival of colonialism to the advent of independence. Tanzania has been described as one of the most diverse countries in Africa and this is reflected in the fact that there are more than 158 local languages spoken in the country. Swahili is the national language that is widely spoken while English is the official language of education, administration and business.


Natural attractions include spectacular scenery, historical and archaeological sites, nature reserves and national parks teeming with wildlife and unpolluted beaches. As the highest peak on the African continent at 5,895m (19,341 ft) Mt Kilimanjaro has taunted avid explorers with its snow-capped peak for decades.

The coastline is over 804km long with the nearby islands of Zanzibar, Pemba and Mafia offering an array of natural, cultural, historical and archaeological attractions. Because Tanzania lies below the equator, the coolest months occur during the northern hemisphere’s summer, and all-year round the weather remains pleasant and comfortable. Tanzania’s equatorial climate brings two seasons of rain each year: the masika or long rains that fall from mid-March to the end of May, and the mvuli or short rains, that come intermittently throughout November and parts of December, and sometimes stretch into early January.

02:25 UTC +3

local time

Dodoma

capital city

957,087

area in km²

Swahili

main language(s)

Our local team

Looking after yourself on the mountain is the most important thing - eat often and stay hydrated! No matter how fit you are, if you go too quickly the risk of getting altitude sickness goes up. You will always hear our guides advising "Pole Pole", swahili for slowly, slowly. Your safety is always our first priority.
Portrait of Rachel

Your specialist

Rachel

Operations

Highlights in Tanzania

Hikers looking at the Mount Kilimanjaro

Kilimanjaro

The highest mountain in the world to stand on its own in the middle of a coastal plain, and the highest point on the African continent at 5,895 m. The massif is made up of three volcanoes, Kibo, Mawenzi (5145 m) and Shira (4002 m). Uhuru Peak, the summit, is on Kibo.

Herd of elephant in Tanzania

Ngorongoro Crater

When you descend to the bottom of this old volcano, you always have the feeling of entering the shell of a natural Noah's Ark. Today, almost all the carnivores and herbivores of the plains or wooded savannahs have made their home here. There is a sodium lake where flamingos live, as well as a freshwater lake with a flourishing hippo population. Endangered Black rhinos are well protected here and it is not uncommon to see them roaming the plain.

Baby elephant during a safari

Tarangire Park

Tarangire is one of Tanazania's smaller parks but during the dry season, from June to October it attracts incredible concentrations of wildlife. During this period, the Tarangire river provides the only permanent water in the area and so all of the the animals in the southern Masailand in Tanzania make a bee-line here as the summer temperatures soar.

Add in the fact that Tarangire draws less visitors than its more famous neighbours at Ngorongoro and the Serengeti and you have all you need for some great safari viewing.

The park also contains some of the largest elephant herds in Tanzania and is home to three rare species of animals – the Greater Kudu, the Fringed-eared Oryx, as well as a few Ashy Starlings.

Meeting with a herd of buffalos

Serengeti National Park

The Serengeti is a vast park covering 1.5 million hectares of savannah. The horizon seems light years away and the swathes of grass extend seemingly forever with just the occasional acacia tree punctuating the huge expanse. The annual migration of vast herds of wildebeest, gazelles and zebras, followed by their predators, is one of the most impressive natural events in the world....

Sleeping lions in a Tanzanian National Park

Lake Manyara

Lake Manyara National Park is one of Tanzania’s most beautiful parks nestled between a shallow soda lake (covering two-thirds of the park) and the Great Rift Valley’s western escarpment. Along this thin stretch there is a wide variety of habitats, from groundwater forests, to swampy delta, acacia woodlands and a small grassy plain.

This varied habitat is then home to a wide variety of wildlife animals, including one of Africa’s largest concentrations of elephants and large flocks of flamingos.

A particular highlight of Lake Manyara are the tree climbing lions. This is one of the few places in Africa where full grown lions regularly take to the acacia trees to lounge in the shade. And a tree full of lions is a fabulous sight!

Jambiani beach in Zanzibar

Zanzibar

The old town of Zanzibar, called Stone Town, is located on the west coast of the island. The Portuguese erected an imposing fort there to protect their trade route to India. Stone Town has since been a "medina" in the Indian Ocean, and Zanzibar has therefore become the cradle of Swahili culture and language, a mixture of African and Arabian language, culture and cuisine.

Your destination in pictures