Let’s play a word association game. We’ll say a word and you tell us the first thing that comes to your mind. Ready? Tanzania….Safari.
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There is no better word choice because Tanzania is synonymous with amazing safaris. With its 16 National Parks and 17 Game Reserves, including world-famous wildlife destinations like the Serengeti, Selous, Ngorongoro and Taragire (just to name a few), one can go on more safaris in this East African country than any place on earth.
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Our point is this, the United Republic of Tanzania is an incredibly special sanctuary for animals as well as the human spirit. Many travellers return for multiple visits and virtually all of them rave about how life-changing this stunningly beautiful and important country is. Rest assured, we’re going show you why and point out Tanzania’s very best safaris, sights and activities.
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It all starts in Dar es Salaam, the largest city and former capital, located on the Swahili Coast. To better inform your future travels, stop by the Makumbusho Village Museum and learn about many of Tanzania’s tribes by touring authentic dwellings. Since each tribe’s hut has a distinctive architecture, this education will add to your appreciation of the cultures you encounter during your travels.
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Your travels should include a trip to see a Masai Village, one of the most well known of any African tribes. This is cultural immersion at its best and many guidebooks will tell you how shrewd these villagers are at haggling with tourists. For many tribespeoples, this is the main source of income. Be generous.
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What you may not know is Tanzania offers incredible “surf safaris”. In Coco Beach – Oyster Bay, you’ll find a completely different cultural experience at this really fun, safe surfing spot. Unlike many surf spots along the coast, you do not need a boat to get out to it. We recommend an early morning session, as the wind tends to shift around lunchtime. Feel like carving up the dance floor instead? There are some great clubs and bars you can drop in on here, like Triniti Guest House & Bar.
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Now it’s time to trek up the Swahili Coast past exquisite beaches to the ferry that will ship you over to the paradise that is Zanzibar island (locally called Unguja). Zanzibar is technically an archipelago of about 50 islands with pristine, white sand beaches and turquoise water that rival any tropical destination on Earth. You’ll also find what is considered the best diving and kitesurfing on the East African Coast.
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Navigate the charming, narrow streets and old Arab neighbourhoods of Zanzibar’s Stone Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, to find the night market in Forodhani Gardens. Our tip is to look for the vendors with the longest lines of locals, as this is often a sign of the freshest, best quality food. The night market is a culinary safari of delicious foods – so grab a freshly squeezed sugar cane juice with lime and window shop before you start sampling the extensive menu of samosas, grilled meat in curry sauce and of course, a symphony of seafood treats.
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Even though you’re a world away from home in the Indian Ocean, you can still enjoy some authentic pop culture by locating the birthplace of Farrokh Bulsara. You likely know this famous four-octave singer as Freddie Mercury, the lead singer of Queen. See if you can discover his “Bohemian” house. Bismillah!
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Another top destination worth a visit is the secluded and serene Pemba Island, where its kind, friendly people make it one of the most relaxing places you’ll ever visit. Check out the all-inclusive Manta Resort and its truly unique underwater hotel room. Don’t forget to tip your own private butler-concierge!
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We’ve saved the best for last. No trip to Tanzania can be considered complete without going on an actual safari. So our first suggestion is to take a photo of Mount Kilimanjaro — Africa’s highest mountain peak. Don’t climb it. It takes at least 5 days and you’d need to be properly acclimatised to the altitude.
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Now we’ve saved you 5 days of exhaustion, here’s what you do with them based on the animals you most hope to see in the wild – because the animals are precisely why we go on safari.
Absolutely go see the Serengeti, home to the great migration, a lackadaisical/frantic journey of about one million+ wildebeest and almost as many zebra and gazelles. You’ll see a host of opportunistic carnivores like lions, leopards and hyenas stalking the grassy sidelines. A truly unique excursion is to view the animals via a hot air balloon tour, most of which serve champagne! Best times to see the migration are December through March.
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One of the very finest accommodations in the region is the Singita Sasakwa Lodge. Kick back in a 5-star cottage and talk about the phenomenal wildlife you saw over a round (or two) of their legendary gin & tonics.
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Ngorongoro Crater, one of the world’s largest volcanic calderas, is populated by an immense variety of wildlife, including one of the largest populations of lions and the critically endangered black rhino. It’s definitely a once-in-a-lifetime thing, so don’t miss it!
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Jane Goodall and her 100+ chimpanzees are why we are recommending that those who love these charmingly clever primates go to Gombe Stream National Park. Get up close and learn about these charming animals, located on the north shore of Lake Tanganyika, which is the smallest national park in Tanzania.
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Elephant lovers must book a safari in Tarangire National Park, located in Northern Tanzania. The dry season (June through October) is the optimal window to see the most impressive land animal on Earth, the African elephant, whose numbers sadly continue to dwindle due to despicable poaching for the ivory trade.
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Selous Game Reserve is Africa’s oldest and largest animal sanctuary. This unspoiled wilderness is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is home to hippos, giraffes, elephants and black rhinos.
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Whatever safari you choose, Tanzania will not disappoint any traveller to this truly important nation. It stands guard to protect these magnificent animals from extinction and to preserve the natural beauty of the land. Book your next beach vacation in Tanzania today and see for yourself with ENTERTAINER getaways on your ENTERTAINER app! You’ll get to enjoy your vacation with up to 60% off your hotel stay!