Tanzania is the best safari destination in Africa. Why? With more than 25% of the country preserved as national parks or conservation areas, the landscapes are vast and open. In fact, Tanzania is home to some of the last authentic places on the continent where you’ll find abundant wildlife in their natural environment without all the tourists. The country is also home to Kilimanjaro, Africa’s tallest mountain, and Ngorongoro Crater, the world’s largest intact volcanic caldera. Here are 5 reasons that should convince you to travel to Tanzania.
- Tanzania has been voted one of the best destinations for 2015. The New York Times, Travel + Leisure, and other travel gurus have weighed in, and they all agree: Tanzania is one of the top travel spots on earth! These publications put Tanzania in the top-20 can’t miss destinations worldwide. We couldn’t agree more!
Photo: Thomson Safaris guest, Tina Siebold
- Experience plentiful wildlife. Visit Tarangire National Park for its famed elephant population, as well as large herds of zebras and wildebeests. Serengeti National Park is famous for the Great Migration, where herds of herbivores stamped through the open plains in search of water and fresh grazing grounds. The Ngorongoro Crater is a paradise of pink flamingos and over 30,000 mammals in just 102 square miles – making it the densest mammal population in the world. The more intrepid traveler should opt for Ruaha National Park, an off-the-beaten path destination that’s ideal for tracking rare species with few tourists.
Photo: Thomson Safaris staffer, Paul Jones
- Where else can you experience five climate zones in the span of a few days? Climbing Kilimanjaro is like a condensed trip from the equator to the North Pole with temperatures ranging from 90°F to -10°F. A trek up the mountain offers a challenging yet attainable feat, and it’s one of the last places on earth where you can be truly free from the daily grind – there’s no cell phone coverage!
Photo: Thomson Safaris Kilimanjaro guest, Peter Gaylord
- Don’t forget the breathtaking sand, seacoast, and ancient alleyways of Zanzibar. Spend colorful days exploring the island’s bustling markets of Stone Town, or visit the plantations that were once the hub of the global spice trade. For more relaxing pursuits, sunbathe on pristine white-sand beaches or snorkel in the clear blue Indian Ocean, home to extensive coral reefs.
Photo: Thomson Safaris guest, Pete Rubin
- Take advantage of misperception. Flights to Tanzania are relatively more affordable this year due to an unfortunate misunderstanding. While Ebola made news (but is now under control) in a very small region of West Africa, Tanzania and parts of East Africa, more than 5,000 miles away, also suffered a drop in tourism. To be clear, there is no current threat, nor was there ever a concern for those who want to travel to Tanzania for a safari or Kilimanjaro climb. Given all this, now is an ideal time for Tanzania travel because thinner crowds mean more intimate wildlife viewing, and less expensive flights than we’ve seen in a long time.
Large herds of elephants make Tarangire National Park a safari highlight
Video: Thomson Safaris guest, Padma Jagannathan