Journey to Tanzania – Practical tips for the traveler
Since childhood, I have been fascinated and frightened by Africa. Savannahs with lots of wild animals, militant countries with constant armed conflicts. The middle of the African continent seemed uninhabitable. But despite everything, my curiosity did not disappear.
I dreamed of seeing majestic African pets not behind bars, but free. Talking to tribesmen who still preserve their cultural heritage. Combining all this with the amazing beaches of the islands. Making it all safe. I was looking for just such a place and I found it.
A necklace of fabulous islands with amazing beaches – Zanzibar. Mainland Tanganyika with endless savannahs, ancient tribes and the pearl of the African continent – Kilimanjaro.
All of this is Tanzania. This is the one I want to add to our list of amazing places to visit.
Amazing Unguja. – 5 must-see places on the island.
It is the island of Unguja that we know as Zanzibar. That’s what we see in the photo. It is there where the white sand and the piercing blue of the ocean, transparent as a tear. But how to choose a beach? Where is the best place to stay?
People in need of peace will find it in the quiet east coast. There is little noisy entertainment – just you and the ocean. But don’t forget that this is the coast that is most susceptible to low tides. It’s a time when the water rises and falls for miles off the coast, exposing the bizarre landscape of the seabed. Wear your slippers and go for a walk at low tide. Wander between corals and sea urchins. Watch the funny little crabs. Say hello to the local women who crowd around the algae they grow for sale. And when the water returns, take a kiting lesson at Paje Beach, or watch the amazing spectacle of dozens of kite wings against the blue sky.
The north of the island is more suitable for young people, but it does not matter how old you are. If you need to have fun – you are here. Nungwi is the most popular beach on the island. There are many cafes, disco and almost no ebb of the ocean. You can swim all day and dance till late at night. Here you can meet members of the famous Maasai tribe, or make friends with tourists from all over the world.
2. Stone Town
If you think that Zanzibar-Unguja is only magnificent beaches you are very wrong. Are you interested in history? Then you have to go to the west of the island, to the capital Stone Town. This is where you feel the mix of cultures: the narrow Arabic streets, the English architecture, the slave market, the nightly, East Asian-like food markets.
Ask about the history of the amazing doors in the local houses, find the birthplace of the famous Freddie Mercury (Farrokh Bulsara), leader of the band Queen, and in the evening go to the waterfront to join the contemplation of one of the most amazing spectacles of our planet – the sunset.
By the way, here is the best value on the island to buy tours and souvenirs.
3. Jozani Forest
If you are fascinated by all that is rare and unusual, be sure to visit the Jozani mangrove forest. Here you will see amazing trees that are not afraid of salt water. This forest is also home to the red colobus, an extremely magical monkey that is found nowhere else in the world. With their cute little faces, they will melt the most calloused heart. Arrive first thing in the morning to make it all happen. Keep in mind that entrance to the park is not free and is only possible with a guide.
4. “Turtle” Island
The island of Prison or Changuu is known to tourists as turtle island. A hundred years ago, the governor of Seychelles gave him two turtles. Since then, the turtles have managed to greatly multiply. And then, became victims of the local population, which almost wiped out their population, because of the tender meat. Now a park has been created for them, where they live in natural conditions. In care and safety. There is also a fee to enter the park. In addition to the ticket you get a bundle of succulent grass, which is so fond of these giants. Do not be alarmed when you see the paint on their backs, it does not harm them. This is how park workers mark the age of these animals. You can get to the island as part of a tour or rent a boat in Stone Town.
5. Chumbe Island or Barbie Reef
Zanzibar is located in the Indian Ocean, and therefore is a great place for snorkeling and diving. Here you will meet colorful fish, sea turtles and whale sharks. The latter are safe for humans and allow you to swim quite close to them. You can get a good look at them.
Snorkeling can be done even on the beach, but you will not see such a variety. For this you have to swim to the coral reefs. You can choose organized excursions, or you can arrange one on your own, prearranging a boat.
When all the charms of the island will be explored it’s time to go to the mainland.
Tanganyika: Safari, Maasai and Kilimanjaro.
There is a stereotype that safaris are too expensive and long, but this is not entirely true. Safari can be arranged for almost any budget and time.
There are several ways to get there:
- Take a tour of Zanzibar;
- Buy tour in Arusha
- Rent a car with a driver.
When buying a tour to Zanzibar, do not take the first one that comes along. Ask about the reputation of the travel agency. Find out what others offer.
You can fly for one day, which is the cheapest option. Or for two days and there is also a choice of staying overnight in a campsite or in a luxury hotel. An excursion that includes trains to the famous Serengeti will be expensive. But to see the entire African five animals, you do not have to take the most expensive tour, it can be found in other parks. For example Ngorongoro with Arusha. It can be visited in one day without an overnight stay in the savannah.
Mikumi, also known as the second Serengeti, is near Zanzibar. Tours here are cheap and short, they fit in a day. This comes in handy when you come to Zanzibar for just a week.
To fully immerse yourself in the adventure, set aside a whole week for a safari. You’ll sleep under the stars and be able to climb Kilimanjaro. See the Big Five of Africa and all the real hosts of the continent.
If you want a great Safari and do not want to overpay, fly to Arusha. This town is the closest to Kilimanjaro and the most famous national parks in Tanzania. Tours here are cheaper.
Experienced tourists in Arusha do not buy a tour, but hire their own car, hotel, and guide. But if you are new to this business better trust the professionals. In any case, amazing discoveries, tears of happiness from the meeting with nature and warm memories for a lifetime are guaranteed to you.
By the way, if you can’t raise the money for this trip, let your family and friends help you. Put it on your wish list. Let your dream come true.
If you are interested in history and want to see what the Aborigines lived, go to the Maasai settlement. You will find them in the north of Tanzania. The visit can be arranged on your own or with a travel agency.
Be prepared for the fact that these are not all ancient tribes. They live in the modern world and actively interact with it. But they have preserved their traditional way of life in their settlements. You will see where and how they live, learn about the traditions and rituals of these semi-nomadic tribes. At the end of the meeting they will perform their world famous dance and maybe even invite you to participate.
“The Roof of Africa,” “The Crown of Tanzania” – it is how this amazingly photogenic peak is often being called. Nearly 6,000 meters high, it towers over the scorching savannah, covered with a cap of glistening white snow.
She is the dream of beginner climbers and hikers who want to challenge their stamina. Every year she receives thousands of those who want to admire her or conquer her.
Even if you do not want to conquer this peak will not leave you indifferent to its majestic appearance.
What to bring as a souvenir?
Every time I go to a new country, I think about what to bring as a memento. I look for what it has that you can’t find anywhere else in the world, or what it’s famous for.
In Tanzania, these are local tribal products, masks, painted pieces of cloth called kanga, and traditional Tinga Tinga paintings.
If you’re looking for something truly unique, look no further than tanzanite. This rare gemstone is mined only in Tanzania, at the foot of Kilimanjaro and nowhere else in the world. It is better to go to Arusha, where you can buy it cheaper.
To summarize, I highly recommend visiting this wonderful country. I am sure everyone will find something special here. Tanzania will not leave anyone indifferent. You also.
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