Interesting Places of Tanzania

Interesting Places of Tanzania

Tanzania has more than 20 regions, each region has its own nature of people except in middle towns

Here we are analyzing to you mostly interesting places in Tanzania, those you do not need to miss once you visit Tanzania.


Interesting Places of Tanzania

Situated near the Kenyan border, the bustling town of Arusha stands in the foothills of Mount Meru at an altitude of about 1,500m. Although the town is not usually a destination in itself, it is the most popular and convenient springboard from which to explore the legendary northern game-viewing circuit.

In Arusha practically everything centers on the safari industry. From 1978 to today, it has risen from ninth largest town to second-largest town, with a population of 270,000. It is likely that the driving force behind Arusha’s steady rise is the lure of the tourist dollar.

Apart from shopping for curios, there are not many things in Arusha to occupy a visitors time. That said, only 45 minutes from Arusha town is the most accessible and arguably underrated of northern Tanzania’s national parks – Arusha National Park, which is detailed below.

Arusha National Park

Arusha National Park is often overlooked by travelers rushing to the more famous sights of the Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti. However, with a little time, Arusha National Park offers some lovely walking in the foothills of Mount Meru and canoeing on the Momela Lakes, plus gentle game drives. If you have the time it is well worth a day or two.

There is a range of activities to do in Arusha National Park. This includes walking safaris which are always accompanied by a ranger and last for a maximum of four hours, during which you would stop for a break at one of the park’s lovely picnic sites. You can also explore the far reaches of the park by vehicle, taking in some of the lovely views and keeping an eye out for wildlife. Another great activity here and one not found in other safari parks in Tanzania is a canoeing safari which allows you to explore the Momela Lakes.

Arusha’s Airports

There are two airports near Arusha: Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA) is 40km east of town, off the main highway between Arusha and the mountain. KIA is used for larger international flights from Kenya, Nairobi and Europe, as well as regional safari connections in Tanzania. The much smaller Arusha Airport, on the town’s western fringes, is a minor hub for Tanzanian regional flights.


Dar es Salaam

Although Dodoma, in the middle of the country, is Tanzania’s designated capital city, Dar es Salaam remains Tanzania’s social and commercial heart, as the country’s largest city and main port. Most travellers fly into and out of ‘Dar’, as it’s always called. We’ll often be able to arrange for you to connect straight through to your safari or beach lodge, but occasionally an overnight stop here is needed. Then visitors are often surprised how much they enjoy the place.

Dar isn’t one of Africa’s most beautiful cities; many parts of it are dusty and poor. Yet it’s a vibrant and interesting corner of modern Africa. Colourfully clad people jostle with vehicles and bicycles in the streets, whilst street-stalls sell anything from wooden carvings to matching sets of luggage.

Whether you’re visiting prior to a Tanzania safari, or en route back from a Mozambique beach retreat, the city has a handful of good international-style hotels,



Kilwa – meaning ‘Place of Fish’ – is the collective name given to three different areas on the Tanzanian coast: Kilwa Kisiwani, Kilwa Kivinje and Kilwa Masoko. Visitors come here to explore UNESCO-listed ruins that tell the story of centuries of coastal history.

Kilwa isn’t located on the usual tourist route, so the quality of accommodation isn’t as high, and apart from visiting the ruins there isn’t a great deal to do. However, travellers who want to learn a little more about the colourful history of this area will find it an adventurous addition to an off-beat itinerary.

Kilwa Kisiwani

Kilwa Kisiwani is an abandoned city filled with crumbling mosques, remnants of once glorious palaces, and ancient tombs. Said to be one of the most important-surviving relicts of the Islamic-influenced Swahili maritime trade, it’s quite rightly the main attraction for visitors to the area. The island can be reached by a short boat ride, and explored with a private guide for around US$50, including the entrance fee (which the guide will buy on your behalf from the Department of Antiquities). The trip takes at least half a day, or a full day if you want to combine it with Songo Mnara (see below).

According to local historians, the island was settled in the 11th century by Ali bin Al-Hasan of Persia, who ruled over the island for 40 years. The dynasty he founded was credited with having established Kilwa as a significant trade centre. Over the next two centuries, various successors ruled and were overthrown, but they built impressive coral-stone houses and lavish mosques – the remains of which can still be seen today.

When the Portuguese took over the coastline in 1505 they assumed control of Kilwa Kisiwani. They murdered the majority of the residents and replaced the Arab palaces with forts. Today, a small number of local fishermen live on the island, but for the most part it is deserted.

Kilwa Kivinje

Kilwa Kivinje – a small town on the mainland – was once the southern centre of the slave trade with up to 20,000 slaves passing through annually and, consequently, it was very wealthy. Outlawed in 1873, the slave trade is still thought to have continued in Kilwa Kivinje until 1880. Afterward, the Germans took over the town and used it as an administrative centre, but following the end of World War II the town gradually lost importance and today it is a small port. Travelers can visit the big fort with a cannon leftover from World War I, an old German market hall, as well as an attractive beach where you can watch the local fishermen. Very few people visit the area, so it provides an authentic insight into Tanzanian life.

Kilwa Masoko

The most modern of the three ‘Kilwas’, Kilwa Masoko is where most people base themselves to visit the ruins of Kilwa Kisiwani. There is little of historical interest here, but Jimbizi Beach – where Kimbilio Hotel is situated – is pleasant enough for a day or two.


Mafia Island

Mafia Island is one of the five sleepy, tropical islands which are clustered together in the Indian Ocean, known as the Mafia Archipelago. They are a 35-minute flight from Dar es Salaam and, compared with Zanzibar, they are relatively little known – yet if you are seeking an undisturbed beach holiday, they are well worth considering.

On arriving at Mafia’s tiny airport (a grass runway, a windsock and a hut) it is clear that the pace of life is slow here. Sandy roads lead through the one-street capital of Kilindoni, then friendly farming and fishing villages. At the coast you’ll find mangrove forests, a few short stretches of golden beach and a brilliant turquoise sea. Sleepy dhows float between the islands.

All five islands of the archipelago – Mafia, Jibondo, Juani, Chole and Bwejuu – have lush vegetation and wildlife, with coconut palms, baobabs, cashew, mango and papaya trees in the interior. These are home to bushbabies, wild pigs, blue duikers, genets, vervet monkeys and Pteropus fruit bats (flying foxes). On the coast, mangrove forests and tidal flats attract endless sea birds.

Mafia Island Marine Park

It is the ocean here that is a great attraction. In 1995, the Mafia Island Marine Park was formed to protect the archipelago’s reefs. Within Chole Bay, the shallow reefs are perfect for snorkeling or learning to dive. Outside the bay, its entrance is guarded by a long coral wall, attracting more experienced divers. Here are more than 50 genera of coral, including giant table corals, huge stands of blue-tipped staghorn corals, and over 400 species of fish.

This is one of Tanzania’s best areas for diving. You’ll always see something exciting, from rainbow-colored clownfish to octopus, rays and the odd gigantic grouper or large potato cod. Sharks and dolphins are found in the deeper waters, and at night turtles crawl onto remote beaches to nest. (Note that due to local winds and currents, dive sites outside the bay are often only safely accessible from about mid-September to the end of February.)


Zanzibar Island

Lying off Tanzania’s coast, the Zanzibar Archipelago consists of over 50 islands, most of which have a long history and a rich cultural mix. The best-known island here is Zanzibar (or ‘Unguja Island’, as it is more properly known). It is an integral part of Tanzania – even though it often seems separate, and this website treats it separately!

The larger islands in the archipelago are highly fertile, with many agricultural resources. They’re covered with small farms and everywhere the air is thick with the aroma of spices – it’s an exotic atmosphere. The beaches on these islands are often stunning: many are powdery white sand, shaded by palm trees. The sea is shallow and tropical, and the reefs are great for snorkeling and diving.

We’ve split Zanzibar up into the following areas – click on the headings:

Stone Town

The heart of Zanzibar Stone Town is a labyrinth of narrow alleys complete with palaces, mosques, and tiny shops. Come here for a night or two to stay in a small hotel or converted merchant’s house – and soak up the atmosphere.

East Coast Zanzibar

The east coast of Zanzibar is lined with long, powder-white beaches; it very sows and relaxed. We’ve included here the best small resorts; all quite different! Or travel offshore to the magical Mnemba Island – for the ultimate private island getaway!

Northern Zanzibar

Two or three hours’ drive from Stone Town, Nungwi has long been a magnet for visitors seeking their slice of paradise. Come for good diving and beaches, and a lively village atmosphere; there’s a lot going on here!

Michamvi Peninsula

Zanzibar’s southeast, the Michamvi Peninsula is very similar to the ‘East Coast’ – small lodges, and the odd larger hotel, on long, stunning, powder-white beaches and palm trees.

South-west Zanzibar

South of Stone Town, the Fumba Peninsula is one of the most relaxed and friendly corners of the island – and its very quiet, with few visitors. There are two beautiful lodges here – and offshore is an award-winning eco-resort on Chumbe Island

Pemba Island

Although part of the archipelago, Pemba is a half-hour flight north-east of Zanzibar. It’s a less developed island with a more traditional people, and one smart lodge.

Mafia Island

Although not part of the Zanzibar Archipelago, the neighboring Mafia Archipelago deserves to be better-known – even if we are often glad that it isn’t! Come for a handful of great-value tiny beaches lodges, and great snorkeling and diving. They’re not glitzy or glamorous – but they’re good!