Why Aren’t Americans Traveling To Tanzania: East Africa’s Hidden Gem?

When most of us think of an idyllic holiday, Tanzania doesn't come to mind. However, the East African country is full of wonders—from the height of snow-capped peaks to the plains of migratory animals and white-sand beaches.

Let's divide the most iconic destinations into two broad categories.

(See up-to-date travel advisory for Tanzania before visiting.)

  • Safari Adventures: The north is dotted by famous routes, such as Serengeti National Park and Mount Kilimanjaro. Rare animal and bird sights are waiting for you.
  • Maritime Adventures: Zanzibar archipelago offers laid-back stays and fun water sports. Think of Maldives. You're in for a similar treat right in the middle of Africa.

Visit

Serengeti is a protected savanna, boasting a national park and several game reserves. It's popular thanks to the annual migration of over a million wildebeests. But you can also lit up your Instagram stories with tree-climbing lions and African elephants in the background.

Ngorongoro Crater and Lake Manyara are nearby, showering the awe-inspiring diversity of wildlife. Swamps and shallow lakes host flamingoes here.

Mount Kilimanjaro, a picture postcard, is among the Seven Summits. The likeness of volcanic alpine peaks is fused with African rainforests.

Too eager to unpack your sunscreen? 

The Zanzibar Archipelago consists of a namesake island (aka Unguja) along with Pemba. You must dock at Mafia Island, especially for scuba diving and snorkeling.

This journey to the Indian coast will let you pass through the port city of Dar es Salaam. It's brimming with touristy and cultural sneak peeks. Nonetheless, the winding streets of Zanzibar's Stone Town preserve Swahili architecture—wooden doors with intricate carvings—to impress you.    

Stay

You'll find small lodges and huts on every island. Zanzibar hosts many five-star, all-inclusive resorts to spice up your beach vacations. Emerald, Gold, and Meliá Zanzibar are a few to name.

If you're landing at Kilimanjaro Airport instead, there are luxury as well as mid-priced hotels in and around the city. However, a better base to launch your multi-day safari tour is Arusha. It has its own airport with transfers and tour agencies.

Get Around

The northern circuit is home to popular destinations, thus, well-maintained. Fly to the airports for long hauls. Within cities, a variety of cheap transport is available in the shape of tuk-tuks and bike taxis. Boats frequently leave for isles.

You can hail a cab on your way. Make sure it's metered. You don't want to get ripped off.

Traveler's checks and credit cards aren't that common. But US currency easily converts into Tanzanian Shilling (1 USD = 2300+ TZS | 2022). Keep cash at hand, but not too much to attract unwanted attention. 

Renting a car is a tempting option for self-driving along wild African bush and soothing sea breeze. However, neither law and order nor road conditions warrant the escapade.