Best Things to Do in Tanzania

Endless safari plains. Authentic villages. Africa’s highest peak. And that’s only the beginning. Here’s the best things to do in Tanzania.

Tanzania is a dream. Located in East Africa, Tanzania is known for its never-ending safari plains, and of course, Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa and one of the seven summits. There’s so much to see and do, so much to learn and so much culture to indulge in. It certainly can’t be missed on any African adventure, and it can even warrant a trip all to itself. If you are planning on climbing Kilimanjaro, experiencing all the safari spots and enjoying the culture of Tanzania – you’ll need a couple of weeks.

Tanzania was actually my first solo trip, and I loved it. It was big step in me becoming the person I am today. I truly like to think I found myself in Tanzania. Mostly on the slopes of Kilimanjaro, but also the plains of the Serengeti, the local school I visited and the villages I explored. It’s a life changing trip that I think everyone should take at some point in their life, seriously.

I wanted to put together a guide for all the best things to do in Tanzania. I’ve got more in-depth guides on each of these things, which I’ll link into this overview. Let’s get into it!

The best things to do in Tanzania

Climb Kilimanjaro

Climb Kilimanjaro

One of Tanzania’s biggest selling points, along with safari in The Serengeti, is Mount Kilimanjaro. Not only is it Africa’s highest mountain, but also the one of the seven summits. Standing at 5,895m, you can see all the way to Kenya from the top, and if that isn’t impressive, I don’t know what is! Each night on Kilimanjaro you camp in stunning campsites, making your way slowly up the mountain.

It’s a tough climb and you do have to be in good physical shape – but it’s definitely doable with the right training. You can expect to feel the effects of altitude sickness on Kilimanjaro – but it’s well worth it. There are several routes you can take to climb Kilimanjaro, varying in time and overall difficulty (however – they are all difficult!).

Longer routes are said to help you adjust to the altitude. I personally did the Machame Route (one of the more popular routes) in 6 days. Tough, but incredible. You climb higher and sleep lower a couple of the days to help you acclimatise.

To climb Kilimanjaro, you’ll be based in Moshi, a gorgeous part of Tanzania close to the foot of the mountain. This is a great place to experience local life in Tanzania.

If you are interested in climbing Kilimanjaro (and why wouldn’t you be!), I recommend checking out my ultimate guide to climbing Kilimanjaro, where I detail everything you need to know.

You do need a tour generally speaking to climb Kilimanjaro. I went with G Adventures and couldn’t fault them. 

Safari in The Serengeti

Safari in The Serengeti

Tanzania is arguably the best place to safari in the world, and the fact that it is home to The Serengeti is a big part of that. The Serengeti stretches over 12,000 square miles, through Northern Tanzania and in to South Western Kenya. The name ‘Serengeti’ is derived from the local Massai Language in Tanzania, meaning ‘endless plains’, which sums up The Serengeti perfectly.

There’s more wildlife than you can imagine in The Serengeti, and if you want to spot the big 5, this is your chance. There’s huge numbers of lions, elephants, giraffe, zebra, hyena, hippo, buffalo and wildebeest.

Also, home to over 500 species of birds, crocodiles, and cheetahs and leopards, which although are hard to spot, you’ve got a pretty good chance. You need at least a couple of days in The Serengeti to truly get the most out of the safari – to venture in all directions, pay a visit to Pride Rock from Lion King, and be on the lookout for a leopard.

The sunsets and sunrises in The Serengeti are some of the most beautiful you will ever see. You can customise your safari – there’s everything from luxury lodges to camping. I personally camped during my safari, which I loved and felt made the experience even better. Check out my ultimate guide to Safari in Tanzania for an in-depth guide to The Serengeti.

 Massai Village

Visit a Massai Village

You’ve probably heard of the Massai people, and if you are in Tanzania you will probably see young boys dressed in all black scattered along the side of the road on route to the Serengeti. A visit to a Massai Village is a great way to learn more about the Massai people, how they live and truly experience Tanzania.

There are many options for visiting villages, and the one I did was organised by G Adventures, who run an initiative called clean for cook-stove, where they are raising funds to implement clean and safe cooking stoves in Massai Villages.

Safari in Ngorongoro Crater

Safari in Ngorongoro Crater

Ngorongoro Crater was formed over 2 and a half million years ago, and the crater spans 264 square kilometres, while the conservation area surrounding it spans over 8000 square kilometres. One of the most impressive spots for safari in Africa after The Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater is extremely impressive. The area is extremely beautiful, and the crater is home to over 25000 animals.

You’ve also got a great chance of spotting the big 5 in the crater, with zebra, lion, elephant, hippo, buffalo, hyena, ostrich and wild dogs common. Ngorongoro Crater is also home to 30 black rhinos, and is the place where you are most likely to spot one!

 Tanzania  village walking tour

Do a local village walking tour.

One of my favourite ways to learn about a culture is walking tours, and in Tanzania they were what truly made my experience. I did a couple of walking tours in Tanzania.

Chat to your accomodation owners, most of who can organise a tour of the local village for you, I got to visit a local school and dance with the school kids, and also experience a traditional Tanzanian meal in a local’s home. You’ll also get to learn about all aspects of Tanzanian life, such as how to make banana beer and wood craving.

Relax and explore in Arusha

Relax and explore in Arusha

Arusha is the base for all safari in Tanzania, and the bustling town is filled with cute lodges and shops. There’s lots of exploring to be done if you want to shop for souvenirs or experience local life, but it’s also the perfect place to relax.

After all the action of climbing Kilimanjaro or exploring on safari, it’s nice to relax for a little bit. Stay at one of the family-owned lodges and relax by the pool or in the outdoor restaurant with a Kilimanjaro beer and watch the monkeys on the roofs overhead. Personally, I stayed at the Outpost Lodge and adored it!

Travel in Tanzania: What you need to know

Money Matters

The local currency in Tanzania is the Tanzanian Shilling, however, US dollar is widely accepted and in some cases, preferred. I suggest carrying mostly US dollars, and some small Tanzanian Shilling.

If you are paying for something in US dollar and only need a small amount of change, you might get Tanzanian Shilling as change. Cash is more commonly accepted compared to card, so carrying cash is important. There are some ATM’s in common tourist areas such as Arusha and Moshi.

Where to stay in Tanzania



For before and after climbing Kilimanjaro, you’ll want to stay in Moshi, I stayed at a couple of places and loved them!

Honey Badger Lodge

A gorgeous little lodge nestled in a local village near Moshi, you can relax by the pool here and watch the monkeys jump around on the rooftops. The food is great, the staff are kind, and you can go on walking tours of the local village. I loved my stay here.

Stella Maris Lodge

A gorgeous lodge with the friendliest staff in the world (in my opinion!), the Stella Maris lodge houses Kilimanjaro climbers before and after their climbs. Sit in the bar on the 4th floor and you’ll be able to have a drink with incredible views of Kilimanjaro. The food is great, it feels homely and the staff are so friendly, I cannot recommend it here enough.


For the base of your safari, Arusha is the place to stay!

Outpost Lodge

Featuring a pool, bar and restaurant with a great and varied menu, Outpost Lodge feels like a little bit of luxury in Tanzania. The rooms are lovely and spacious, the vibe is good, and it’s the perfect place to relax before and after safari.

You won’t regret a trip to Tanzania. It’s a truly beautiful country with so much to offer, and I guarantee you’ll fall in love with it just like I did!

Happy travelling,