Tanzania & Zanzibar
Opulence meets wilderness in Tanzania; an explorer’s paradise that assails the senses with beautiful palm-fringed beaches, unspoiled national parks making for the perfect luxury safari, the laid-back spice island of Zanzibar, and the continent’s highest mountain – the snow-capped Mount Kilimanjaro. Fast becoming a draw for those who want a holiday that mixes sun-kissed glamour with really wild wildlife, the Tanzanian archipelago has it all: Masai warriors, friendly locals, and one of Africa’s most dramatic spectacles: the Great Migration.
The largest country in Eastern Africa, Tanzania assures an epic and exotic journey in a land fuelled by beach-studded islands, traditional Swahili cuisine, and a fascinating culture.
Whilst Selous Game Reserve tempts with elephant herds and grazing hippos, and Gombe Stream and Mahale both entice with chimpanzees, the Serengeti National Park is Tanzania’s safari superstar. You are almost guaranteed a sighting of The Big Five (lion, elephant, buffalo, leopard and rhino), but time it right (November to May) and you can watch thousand-strong herds stampeding on these plains during the wildebeest migration.
Further wonder awaits at the nearby Ngorongoro Crater, the world’s largest crater with 2,000 foot high walls. This is home to the elusive black rhino, wildebeest, lion, zebra, leopard, cheetah, elephant, and more safari wonders.
To retreat to paradise, the islands of Tanzania – Mafia Island and Pemba – offer empty sands and marine-rich waters. But the showstopper is Zanzibar, the dazzling archipelago in the Indian Ocean known as ‘Spice Island’. Take to Stone Town’s ancient streets for mosques, colonial mansions, museums and bazaars, enjoy a tour of the spice and fruit plantations, and hit the swathes of pristine white sands to do absolutely nothing. Away from your sunlounger, dive, snorkel, swim with dolphins, and take sunset cruises on white-sailed dhows.
For those with an adventurous spirit and reasonable level of fitness, scaling Africa’s highest peak – Mount Kilimanjaro – is the ultimate challenge. Whilst it is a hard slog to the top, the alpine deserts, lush rainforests and glaciers make the climb a truly memorable experience.
When to visit
Tanzania and Zanzibar is a great destination to go for most of the year. The rainy months in March to May are worth avoiding .
The best wildlife viewing months in Tanzania are during the Dry season from late June to October. The best chance of seeing the wildebeest migration in the Serengeti is during June and July and the time to see the wildebeest calving is late January to February.
Mount Kilimanjaro is best climbed either between July and October or January to March, whilst the best time to visit Tanzania’s coast, its islands and Zanzibar is between August and October.