Travelling the world is on your bucket list, right? Africa is on the top, hey? All the giraffes, lions, tigers, birds, and chimpanzees in Serengeti national park, South Africa and other African savannas’ migration experiences. It is only fair to guess that we all want to have such an African holiday experience.
1. You really have to go on safari or a few safaris
Tanzania is home to two of the incredible iconic safari destinations in Africa – the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater. The Serengeti’s vast savanna plains are home to the Great Migration, an annual event that sees massive herds of ungulate follow the rains to greener and tastier pastures.
The Ngorongoro Crater, the world’s largest inactive and unfilled volcanic caldera, is home to a huge variety of wildlife.
2. Witness the Great Migration
Why do they call it ‘great’? There are some two million ungulates. Over a million wildebeest plus zebra, gazelle and eland rumble across the sweeping savannah of Tanzania’s Serengeti.
It’s one of nature’s greatest wonders and a highlight of any visit to Tanzania. If you ever experience this great migration you have a memory for life.
3. discover the magical Zanzibar
Zanzibar is stunning. There is something for everyone in that magnificent island. Languishing just off mainland Tanzania in the turquoise-blue Indian Ocean, the island of Zanzibar conjures images of perfect, palm-swayed beaches, white sand, billowing sailing boats and down to earth friendly happy locals.
Even the narrow streets of Stone Town, twisting and turning through ancient Arabic buildings, look like an exotic film set. Whether you want to laze on a sugar white beach or becoming actively involved in island life. Zanzibar is your alternate paradise.
4. Go for a challenge.
Kilimanjaro is the fourth most topographically prominent (highest) peak on Earth. But the climb up Kibo – the snow-topped crater that is the highest point of Kilimanjaro – is steep and bitterly cold. It’s worth it.
The view from the top is spectacular and the sense of achievement you’ll feel is unparalleled.
But make no mistake, you are testing yourself against all that nature can throw at you. What is a life really without challenges? So you are right to throw that climb wish ticket in your bucket list.
5. Whatever you do in Tanzania, don’t forget to buy a Kanga
Find a local person and ask about a Tanzanian kanga. You see, it is not everything that is understood through a naked eye.
Talk to a local historian or a cultural expert. Beyond the beauty of the kanga, there is romance, culture attachment, elegance and classy.
I guarantee you that when you return home, your kanga will tell the story.
Kangas are a rectangular piece of cloth that are the must-have item in every Tanzanian wardrobe. Depending on the way you wear them or the patterns they display, they can reveal your status in life, your plans for the day or even your mood.
6. Go to Tanga
The sleepy northern port of Tanga was the first administrative capital of German East Africa and, for a time, a hub for the export of sisal. Those days have long past, leaving the town to slip into a gentle torpor.
For travellers worn out from the excitement of climbing Kilimanjaro or watching the Great Migration, come and relax here. The limestone caverns of the Amboni Caves are well worth exploring – remember to leave a small offering at the pagan shrine at the entrance. The European cemetery is a reminder of it’s more illustrious / Colonial? past.
But the best thing to do is hire a bike from Mikey at the Central Market and amble past the crumbling Art Deco mansions to a sandy beach you’re guaranteed to have to yourself.
7. Eat the local food
You’ll be amazed how everything here in Tanzania is so yummy: While Tanzania is famous for its wildlife, art and music, its cuisine has gone largely unnoticed.
It’s true that in most places you’ll be offered grilled meat, maybe with a curry sauce. But dig a little deeper and you’ll find fabulous dishes that reveal a considerable Indian influence but zinging with the freshness of local mangoes and coconuts.
Drinking in Tanzania is quite the adventure too. Hang out in a village in Africa for long enough and you are bound to be offered some of the local hooch. There’s honey beer, banana beer and fermented sugar can juice called pombe. Gongo is another favourite, known locally – and euphemistically as gin.
When in doubt, simply order a Safari – preferably served ice cold, straight from the chest freezer in the Africa House Hotel in Zanzibar.
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