16 Things To Do In Tanzania Other Than Safari 2021

1. Kilimanjaro Hiking

A free-standing, snow-covered dormant volcano, majestic Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa. Located in northeast Tanzania, it can be seen from far into Kenya and Amboseli National Park.

75,000 mountaineering enthusiasts climb Kilimanjaro every year so it is not the most untouched mountain, nor is it the most arduous. However, it is certainly a test of one’s endurance, with altitude sickness the main reason for hikers not getting to the summit of Kilimanjaro.

Although it has become a very popular challenge and the experience slightly crowded with other climbers, we still highly recommend it for anyone with an interest in mountaineering.

2. Visit Zanzibar Island

Zanzibar Island is known as Africa’s tropical paradise, offering the world’s most beautiful beaches. Miles and miles of white sandy beaches dotted with palm trees, surrounded by the clear azure water of the Indian Ocean. Zanzibar Island is part of the Zanzibar archipelago together with Pemba Island and many smaller islands. These islands are also called the Spice Islands because of its rich history in spice trade and many spice plantations.

Colourful corals and culture Zanzibar Island offers laid-back beach life, but also an diversity of activities and a colourful culture and history. The old Stone Town is amazing mix of cultures. Food lovers and culture enthusiasts can visit interesting cultural places like Sultan’s Palace, the House of Wonders and Darajani or Forodhani food markets.

You can go on a Spice Tour or explore the amazing coral reefs and swim among tropical reef fish. The opportunities are endless. Zanzibar Island has all the ingredients to make a memorable holiday.

3. Nakupenda Island

Nakupenda (In swahili means I LOVE YOU) is the name of an amazing sandbank located just off Stone town. A Full day trip dedicates Prison Island’s giants tortoises visit, snorkeling, sunbathing, taste of Sea foods and seasonal fruits. Snorkeling off Prison island, viewing stunning array of colored corals and tropical fish of the islands before reaching dream place Nakupenda.

A place where brilliant birdlife exists, very white sand, limpid and crystalline water. You would live in the natural reserve that hospitable by its naturalistic and their proper pearls of Indian Ocean.

4. Day Trip in Pemba Island

Pemba Island is one of the lesser known islands of the Zanzibar Archipelago, but a popular honeymoon destination. This pristine green island is truly one of the most beautiful places on the planet. If you are looking for peace, rest and a romantic atmosphere, this is the place to be. A tranquil hideaway and one of the best dive sites in the world.

Pemba Island is also known as the “Green Island” thanks to its fertile soil and lush, green hills and thick vegetation. This untouched island has lots of forests, mango trees and vast clove plantations. A third of the population depends on small scale farming (rice, cloves, cinnamon, bananas, cassava) and fishing.

5. Stone Town Walk

One of the best things to do in Zanzibar, in order to get a true understanding of the island, is to take a walking tour.

Stone Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Centre and one of the most interesting places I’ve ever been to in my entire life. Seriously.

Whilst I’d say that taking a tour isn’t necessary and it’s absolutely fine to have a wander on your own, having a guide for a few hours will provide a great insight into the island (and save you from being lost in the labyrinth of alleyways… forever – just kidding).

Some of the best things to do in Stone Town include the House of Wonders (which sadly collapsed on Christmas Day 2020 – sums up 2020 hey?), the Old Fort, Freddie Mercury’s House, St Joseph’s Cathedral, the Hamamni Persian Baths, Jaws Corner, the Abeid Curio Shop and the Zanzibar Cultural Arts Centre.

What I really love about tours in Stone Town, is that the guides point out all the tiny details of the architecture, things that you would never notice on your own as well as explaining a lot about the culture and the history of the island, the Omani sultans and Princess Salme, a feminist and rebel who wrote Memoirs of an Arabian Princess from Zanzibar.

6. Explore Arusha City

Arusha is one of the largest cities of Tanzania, located in the northern part of the country, near Arusha National Park, Tarangire National Park, Lake Manyara National Park, Mount Kilimanjaro, and numerous other tourist attractions. Arusha is a center of education, culture, and politics, with a great number of Embassies in Tanzania located there. Local community is very multi-national, with a good number of Muslim, Christian, and Hindu people living together in harmony.

7. Visit Mafia Island

As an unspoiled, little-visited alternative to other Indian Ocean locations around Zanzibar and along the coast, Mafia and its surrounding archipelago including Jibondo, Juani and Chole have a great deal to offer. However, as with Pemba, Mafia has better diving than Zanzibar, but worse beaches.

Just a 30-minute flight south of Zanzibar, Mafia is the one island off Tanzania’s coast that really encourages visitors to explore its offshore islands and sand bars. There are very few hotels here which only adds to the attraction of Mafia as the beach destination for the adventurous traveller.

8. Explore Dar es Salaam

Located at the gateway to exotic destinations like the Zanzibar Islands and Mount Kilimanjaro, Dar es Salaam offers a unique seaside destination filled with diverse culture, art, music, and history.

As the largest city in Tanzania, get out and discover an endless list of fun attractions from sugary white sand beaches to historic landmarks, including Oyster Bay, the Tinga Tinga Market, and the Botanical Garden – all just minutes away from our relaxing beachfront hotel.

Take a day trip ferry ride to Bongoyo Island or peruse and purchase handcrafted goods at the Mwenge Handcraft Centre. Whether you are in town for leisure or business, immerse yourself the greatest cultural experiences at your fingertips.

9. Visit Prison Island

This island is off the coast of Stone Town and is also known as Changuu island (don’t mix it up with Canggu in Bali!). Although Prison Island in Zanzibar seems like an intimidating name (and like it might not be a fun day trip!), it’s a bit of a misnomer. There never actually was a prison on the island. They used the island to house rebellious slaves in the 1860s and as a place to quarantine people with yellow fever.

Nowadays, the island is a tourist destination because it is home to giant tortoises. It’s a peaceful sanctuary for this vulnerable species. Some people estimate some of the tortoises on the island are more than 150 years old!

To get to Prison Island, you have to take a 25-minute boat ride from Stone Town. Most hotels can help you book a tour or you can head to the beach and look around for someone advertising one. If you want a more in-depth tour with a chance to snorkel, you can book a private tour! If you want a tour that takes you to all the sights in Stone Town and Prison Island all in one day, consider this tour instead. That way, you’ll get to see a bit of everything that Stone Town and Prison Island have to offer!

The island is open every day from 9:00am to 4:15pm. You can plan to spend about 2-3 hours there during your visit (or longer, depending on the tour you’ve booked). The island does have a $4 USD entrance fee, which may be included with the cost of your tour (make sure to check or ask beforehand!)

10. Day Trip in Materuni Waterfalls

This very impressive Waterfall is one of the tallest in the area, spewing crystal clear glacier water 70m into its basin. The beautiful path leading to Materuni Waterfall is located 2500m above sea level

It traverses thru valleys and hills covered by tropical rainforest, past coffee, banana and avocado “shambas”, the Kiswahili word for farms. On a clear day great views of Kibo and Moshi town can be seen. The hike to the base of the Waterfall can be demanding and hiking boots are recommended.

As this trip is so close to Moshi town it is ideal for those people with limited time but who would still like to see some of the nature and beauty that this region of Tanzania has to offer.

Materuni is one of the few villages of wonder in Northern Tanzania sitting at the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro. The village is blessed with full of all the beauty worth much visiting for holiday, week-end outing or vacation.

While in the village, scenic view of Moshi Town and Mount Kilimanjaro is astonishing. This green village with fresh air from green vegetations welcomes visitors to explore the beauty of the land and cultural heritage of the Chagga people.

11. Coffee & Chemka Hot Springs

This is probably the best place to swim. Emanating from within the earth, the geo-thermally warmed water is constantly renewed and is therefore very fresh and clear and clean.

It’s a very pleasant place to spend a couple of hours with family, or to relax before or after a climb or safari.The distance from Arusha to the hot springs is 69km and the journey normally takes around 1 hour 20, so one should allow at least 5 hours for this excursion.

Round-trip transport from Arusha makes this an hassle-free way to escape the city for a day at the hot springs, where you can swim, relax tired traveling muscles, and enjoy an included picnic lunch before returning to the city.

12. Sunset Cruise in Zanzibar

Enjoy this stunning sunset cruise on a local dhow. Leave Stone Town in the late afternoon and cruise along the coast, slicing through the clear turquoise water. Sit back, relax and enjoy the peacefulness of the ocean as you hear the ripple of water on the sides of the dhow. Drinks and light snacks will be served.

The sounds of the hustle and bustle of Stone Town grow faint in the distance until they seem only in a memory. Sink back into the dhow bench and enjoy the romance of Zanzibar Island while the sun sets down with its beautiful orange colors. The fiery golden-sun setting beyond the horizon is breathtaking as it makes the sky a magical canvas of shades of pinks, purples, blues and orange.

13. Explore the Ruins at Kilwa Kisiwani

Once a burgeoning empire, the biggest and most powerful on the East African Coast, the Tanzanian Kilwa Kisiwani (isle of the fish) now stands in ruins; its labyrinthine pathways, grand palaces and majestic mosques completely abandoned, stripped of their former beauty. Take a walk through Kilwa’s amazing history and discover the incredible wealth that once inhabited its walls.

The city comes down to the shore, and is entirely surrounded by a wall and towers, within which there are maybe 12,000 inhabitants. The county all round is very luxurious with many trees and gardens of all sorts of vegetables, citrons, lemons, the best sweet oranges that were ever seen

14. Experience Private Island-living on Mnemba

The island is often referred to as Mnemba Atoll, although this isn’t technically correct as an atoll is a ring of old coral reefs enclosing a shallow lagoon – whereas Mnemba is still a true island surrounded by reefs. Green turtles are regular visitors to the island; females come to nest on the pristine beaches, with the hatchlings emerging around 55 days later.

In the forest, Mnemba is home to two species of antelope, the spaniel-sized suni antelope and the endangered Aders’ duiker; there are thought to be just 300–400 Aders’ duiker left in the wild, with around 25 of these found on Mnemba. And the rich biodiversity of the coral reefs surrounding the island is enhanced by a resident pod of bottlenose dolphins, which are regularly spotted by visitors.

15. Go Deep-sea Fishing off Pemba Island

Zanzibar is a mecca for deep-sea fisherman!

With it’s position, far out in the Indian Ocean, the Zanzibar Archipelago attracts all kinds of weird, wonderful and big game fish, like barracuda, wahoo, kingfish (my favourite), yellowfin tuna, sailfish and marlin (blue, black and striped) to name but a few (all seasonal).

Spending a day on a boat, bobbing around in the middle of the ocean and trying to reel in some fish is not my idea of a fun time, in fact, I’d probably spend the whole time puking over the side, but my other half loves it.

16. Hike to the top of Mount Meru

Located in the Arusha National Park, this mountain is the fifth-highest on the African continent and the second-highest in Tanzania. Its fertile slopes rise above the surrounding savannas and are covered in lush and beautiful forests where birds and monkeys thrive. Although leopards are also known to frequent the area, they are notoriously difficult to spot.

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