Top 5 Places To Visit in Tanzania
Located in the Great Lakes region of Africa, Tanzania is a famous east African country, that boasts of its diverse culture and ethnicity. Tanzania is famous for its wildlife and almost 38% of the country’s land is comprised of protected wildlife reserves. The tourism industry forms nearly 12.7% of the country’s GDP with tons of tourist attractions that make it a definitive place to visit. The nation was formed in 1964 when two different regions Tanganyika and Zanzibar to create Tanzania following the Zanzibar revolution. Despite of it falling in the tropical zone, Tanzania’s climate remains pleasant and cool during most times of the year with variable rainfall in the various regions. If you are planning for an escape to the serene landscapes of Tanzania, here are some of the best places you can visit.
- Selous Game Reserve
If you have heard a lot about the wildlife in Africa, then you should not miss visiting one of the largest wildlife reserves in the world. Spanning a massive area of approximately 45,000 sq kilometres, the Selous Game Reserve is the largest protected area in the African subcontinent. It was established in 1982 and has also been listed among the UNESCO World Heritage Sites owing to its large reserves of wildlife and nature.
The park was named after the English conservationist Sir Frederick Selous who helped establish the nature reserve before his death at the hands of Germans during the First World War. The largely unspoilt flora and the undisturbed environment make Selous Game Reserve a home for several wildlife species.The African Elephants, Black Rhinos, Cheetah, Nile Crocodiles, Hippos, Hunting Dogs, Antelopes and Giraffes etc. can all be spotted in large numbers in Selous Game Reserve.
- Kilwa Kisiwana
The former Arab capital of Kilwa Kisiwana is located on an island off the southern cost of Tanzania and is a popular tourist attraction. It was a prosperous town which was founded between the 13th and the 15th centuries by the Kilwa sultanate. Kilwa was considered to be one of the most important ports in the Indian Ocean and was also visited by the famous Moroccan explorer Ibn Batuta.
Although in ruins after the fall of the sultanate in the 15th century, the buildings are some of the best preserved specimens of Middle Eastern architecture in Africa and are also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Great Mosque located here is one of the largest and the oldest Mosques on the Swahili coast of Africa and is a must visit attraction. The Great Palace of Husuni Kubwa and the little fort of Husuni Ndogo are also some great places to explore and feature a striking medieval Islamic architecture.
Located in the Tanzanian autonomous zone, Zanzibar is a collection of islands located in the Indian Ocean. The islands were inhibited by the Arab peoples who somehow managed to sever their political ties from Arabia and eventually landed under the rule of the Sultan of Oman. It became incorporated in the Portuguese empire following the discovery by explorer Vasco da Gama in the late 15th century that started the era of European rule in Zanzibar. Eventually, Zanzibar came under the governance of the British Empire and developed as a British colony.
Today the islands hold a large number of natural and manmade attractions and are a favourite holidaying spot for the people of Africa. The Stone town located in the capital city of Zanzibar, is one of the prime attractions and comprises of 19th century buildings with an evident influence of Islamic, European, Persian and Indian elements. Kendwa, Paje, Zanzibar butterfly centre, Seaweed centre and Jozani Forest etc. are the other major attractions in Zanzibar.
If your thirst to experience the African wildlife hasn’t been quenched after a visit to Selous Game Reserve, then you must head towards the Serengeti National Park. Located in the eco-region known as Serengeti, the national park was established in 1981 as a protected wildlife reserve and is known for its vast population of African wildlife. It is also one of the ‘10 Natural Travel Wonders of the World’ and is a home to the largest population of African Lion in the world.
It is also home to the Great Migration which involves the yearly migration of humungous populations of game such as Wildebeests, Zebras and Gazelles etc. in order to reach better grazing grounds. African Lion, African Leopard, African Elephant, Black Rhinoceros, Tanzanian Cheetah, Zebras, Giraffes, Wildebeests, Antelopes, Gazelles and the African Water Buffalo etc. and huge variety of over 500 species of birds are the famous wildlife species that can be found in Serengeti.
- Mt. Kilimanjaro
While the Himalayan peaks and the pristine snow cover of the Alps have attracted tourists for several ages, the African Mt. Kilimanjaro is a not to be missed spot. Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa and the highest free standing mountain in the world at a massive elevation of 5,895 meters above sea level. The mountain is actually a series of dormant and extinct volcanoes famous for its trek routes. There are a total of 7 trek routes of variable difficulty that go into the massive summit.
Kilimanjaro is also famous among the trek enthusiasts due to being more accessible than the other high peaks in the world and climbing certificates are awarded to the trekkers to preserve their memories. The mountain is not just famous for being the tallest in Africa but is also a great place to experience the montane vegetation and wildlife in Africa. Close to the Kenyan border, Mt. Kilimanjaro also provides some great panoramic views of the surrounding forests and grasslands that are not less than a treasure trove of African wildlife.
With the abovementioned attractions, Tanzania is one of the best places to experience the true African outback and marvel at some of the greatest wildlife reserves. The natural beauty, the historical heritage and the most diverse Swahili culture make Tanzania a must visit spot for the nature lovers.
Rohit Agarwal is an architect and a traveller. He likes to visit the various places across the globe in search of adventure and experiencing new cultures. Luke also shares his travel stories across several blogs and websites such as Transindiatravels.com and others.