Travel Guide: Explore the Northern African Country of Tanzania

Tanzania, home to the world’s most famous National Parks and attractions. The tallest mountain in Africa, Mount Kilimanjaro, looms over the bountiful wildlife parks. The dormant volcano makes for a spectacular vista. Serengeti National park is another famous place to visit, with many beautiful and majestic creatures for you to see. The capital city of Dodoma holds plenty of activities amidst the various buildings. Not to mention, the cultural exploration you can undertake within Dodoma itself. 

With such a wild and wonderful African country to explore. There is no end to what you can do. There is something to suit every taste. I have curated a few of the best things you might like to enjoy on your Tanzanian travels. But first there are a few things you need to know.

Things you Need to Know

In light of recent events, there are obviously travel restrictions which may be in place. I have a bit of information on these Covid -19 restrictions as well as local diseases and vaccinations which you should be aware of if you are travelling to Tanzania. It is important to note that you should research into these topics more extensively as the information I am going to give you covers just a few of the basics. 

Covid-19 Travelling Restrictions

Imahe of covid-19 virus and writing that says ;be informed'
Credit: Madison Public Library

In light of the global pandemic caused by the Covid-19 virus, the way we travel has changed quite a lot. If you want to travel to Tanzania, you will be required to give a negative covid-19 PCR test certificate when you arrive in the country. 

This test must be taken at least 72 hours before you arrive. In addition to this, all passengers must fill in an online ‘Travellers Surveillance Form’ which must be handed in at least 24 hours before arrival. Additionally, there are temperature scannings for all international travellers which have been set up by the government. 

Of course there is more information on the covid-19 travel restrictions for this country on their official websites, so if you are interested please make sure to give them a read. It is important to stay informed, especially in times such as now. 

Prepare Yourself

Silhouette of a Mosquito
Credit: University of Exford

On the topic of global pandemics, there is still the risk of endemic infections occurring within countries. Diseases such as yellow fever or cholera can spread and cause these illnesses to spread throughout the country or even be taken back to your own country. As such, I believe that it is important to be aware of what vaccinations and precautions you can take to avoid such an outcome. Some of the most pertinent illnesses are as follows: 

  • Yellow fever: Any traveller over the age of 1 who is from a country with high transmissions of this illness must provide a certificate proving they have received this vaccination. 
  • Malaria: This is a serious and ever present threat in Tanzania. It is transmitted by mosquitoes and can be deadly if left untreated. There is no vaccination for malaria but there are precautions you can take to avoid contracting this disease. So please do your research and take care when protecting yourself against mosquito bites. 

There are a lot more diseases to be aware of and a lot of recommended vaccinations you may want to consider. So please do your research and take precautions wherever you can. 

Tanzanian Cuisine you Have to Try

No trip is complete without trying a few of the local dishes. Even if you are a picky eater, I think that trying the cuisine of the country is great fun and something to consider. I have compiled a few dishes local to Tanzania. There are of course, many options out there if any of  these do not strike your fancy. Vegan or vegetarian options are also available should you be that way inclined. So, without further ado, here are a few of Tanzania’s best dishes. 

Zanzibar Pizza

Zanzibar Pizza from Tanzania
Credit: Yummy

The name of this dish suggests this dish has Italian origins. However, there are very few similarities shared between the Zanzibar pizza and its Italian counterpart. This dish is made with unleavened dough which is flattened and stretched till it is quite thin. It is then filled with various ingredients and wrapped up so it looks almost like a pancake. After it is filled and sealed, it is fried in ghee until it is a lovely golden brown. 

This is a common snack made by street vendors in Zanzibar and Dodoma.It reminds me of an omelette but with bread used instead. So if you are in Tanzania and you happen to spot someone selling these delicious snacks, buy one and taste this deliciously unique food. 

Vitumbua

Vitumbua or Coconut Doughnut from Tanzania
Credit: Sanjana Feasts

If you have a sweet tooth, then you have to try this delicious Tanzanian coconut doughnut. These delectable treats are made from rice flour and coconut milk as well as a few other ingredients for taste. Vitumbua happens to be vegan and is delicious. So, if you want a fluffy treat in Tanzania, you simply have to try one of these coconut doughnuts. You will not regret it. 

Mchuzi wa Samaki

Mchuzi wa Samaki a Tanzanian dish
Credit: Will Fly For Food

Also known as ‘Tanzanian Coconut Fish Curry’. This is great for anyone that enjoys mild spice in their curries. This dish is delicious and flavorful. A fantastic way to enjoy fish on your travels. Salmon, hake prawns and various other fish can be used in this dish and all are equally as delicious. So, if you are a lover of fish, this is a great place to start. 

Supu ya Ndizi

Supu ya Ndizi a Tanzanian dish
Credit: That Sister

This vibrant and delicious dish is known in English as a ‘Plantain Soup’. As the name suggests, this dish is made up of mashed plantain, chicken stock and spices for flavour. Usually, salt and pepper are used as seasoning. This dish is delicious and is often served at breakfast time. So if you are up for trying something a little different in the morning, this dish is worth a try.

Visit the Capital City of Dodoma

A great place to start any adventure is the capital city. With plenty of shops, activities and cultural experience opportunities. The city of Dodoma is truly a great place to begin your trip. From wonderful shopping districts to beautiful center pieces dotted around the city. There is truly something for everyone to enjoy. 

Whether that is an activity, a location or an event to experience. I have collected a few things you might enjoy. As always, there are plenty of other options out there, so if there is something you do not like, feel free to add it to my list and create your perfect holiday. 

Gaddafi Mosque

The Gaddafi Mosque
Credit: African Story Live via Twitter

This building is the largest mosque in Tanzania. In addition to that, it is also the second largest in East Africa. Second only to the GAddafi National Mosque in Uganda. This beautiful building can be found in the capital of Tanzania. Dodoma. It was named after its founder, Muammar Gaddafi, who provided the funds to begin its construction. 

Lion Rock

Lion Rock in Dodoma - Tanzania
Credit: AS Salaam Air

This imposing site in Dodoma is a great stop while you are in the city. Also known as Simba Hill, this natural structure offers a great aerial view of the city from the northern side of the region. This is one of the few landmarks of Dodoma and, as such, is something you simply have to see during your stay. Taking a hike up the rocky path is definitely worth your trip. Make sure to dress appropriately and bring along plenty of water. 

Kondoa Irangi Rock Paintings 

Cave paintings near Dodoma, Tanzania
Credit: Wild Secret Safaris

About two and a half hours from the city of Dodoma are these caves. The Kondoa Irangi Rock Paintings are some of the world’s most beautiful. There are plenty of preserved, prehistoric paintings in these caves. It is estimated that there are over 1600 spanning over two hundred sites . If you are interested in doing a bit of caving and exploring the ancient history of this country, this is a great place to begin your journey. 

The Museum of GeoSciences

The GeoScience Museum in Dodoma, Tanzania
Credit: Mapio

If you are interested in Geology and science, then a trip to the Geo Science Museum in Dodoma is a great stop for you. You will learn a great deal about geology in Tanzania and in general. However, if you are not a fan of this topic, this is not particularly something you will enjoy. So decide beforehand whether you are interested in learning about geology before you go to this museum.

The Vast Natural Beauty of Tanzania

Tanzania is probably most famous for its wildlife. The Serengeti national park is very famous throughout the world and for good reason. It is home to many creatures, great and small. From lions to elephants. Not only that, but there are gorgeous white sandy beaches along the coast of this country and stunning scenery to take in. There are quite literally too many fantastic places to see and jot down for you here. So I have curated a few options which are the most famous in the country of Tanzania. 

The Serengeti National Park

Sebra Crossing the road with her foal
Creidt: Serengeti Park Tanzania

Home to millions of animals, mammals, birds and reptiles. This vast treeless plain is probably most famous for the annual wildebeest migration. However, there are other animals, such as the big five, which are always present in the area. The SerengetiNational Park is the second largest in Tanzania and, by extension, it attracts a large number of tourists. 

If you are interested in experiencing the Tanzanian wildlife and natural environment, this is a great place to start. 

The Ngorongoro Crater

The Ngorongoro Crater tanzania
Credit: Journeys By Design

Once a massive volcano, the Ngorongoro crater is the biggest intact caldera in the world. Some speculate that before the volcano erupted, this would have been the highest peak in Africa. This crater is now home to one of the world’s most beautiful wildlife havens. After three million years of erosion, it is not a fantastic spectacle to witness.

Check out the Beaches in Zanzibar

Beach in Zanzibar
Credit: Lonely Planet

This semi-autonomous island off the coast of Tanzania is a very famous holiday destination. The beautiful beaches and clear blue water are one of the many selling points of this delightful island. If you are looking to just relax and enjoy your time, this is a great place to spend your vacation. Lie on the beach and enjoy the sun or take a dip in the water. Perhaps even go out diving . There are plenty of activities to enjoy in Zanzibar.

Olduvai Gorge

Olduvai Gorge tanzania
Credit: Art of Safari

If you are interested in historical sites and peoples, then you have to check out Olduvai. This paleoanthropological site is located on the eastern plain of the Serengeti. There have been many fascinating discoveries in this area. Including the most continuous known record of evolution over the past two million years. This site is also a UNESCO World heritage site and, as such, is protected. But if you are interested in seeing the dig site, you may be able to catch a glimpse on your tours. Or perhaps organise to see it up close and personally. 

Lake Victoria

Lake Victoria
Credit: Journeys By Design

Take a moment on your travels to see the great Lake Victoria. It is the largest lake in Africa and is mostly lying in Tanzania and Uganda. It is truly a grand sight to behold. This famous lake was also found to be the main source of the Nile River. When you see how vast the water is, you are not surprised. Additionally, this lake is home to many, many creatures and, as such, needs to be protected. It is important that if you visit this location you take care not to litter or pollute the water. We have a duty to take care of our environment and that goes for every single one of us.

Before we Sign Off

Wayne Lotter - Nature Conservationist
Credit: The Guardian

Before I finish off this article I would like to take this opportunity to speak up about the abhorrent poaching that is happening in this country. Many innocent animals are being murdered for their tusks or horns, like rhinos or elephants. This is still a major issue today and if nothing is done about it we will lose entire species in our lifetime. Recently, the last Northern White Rhino died. That is one subspecies of rhino that is potentially gone forever. 

Many brave nature conservationists put their lives on the line to try and save the lives of these animals. One such person was a close family friend. Wayne Lotter lost his life to poachers. As a co-founder of the PAMS Foundation which aids in conservation and anti-poaching support. He devoted his life to this cause and I believe that it is a worthy and noble cause we all need to be aware of. If you are able to donate to the cause, please find the PAMS Donation page or the IAPF Donations page and give something to this cause. 

The End of Your Tanzanian Adventures

Mount Kilamanjaro
Credit: Britannica

That is the end of this week’s travel guide. Ending on a rather somber note this week. However, if we sit by and do nothing we will lose so much more than we imagine. Tanzania is a beautiful and diverse place to visit for your vacation. With so much to see and do in this amazing little country. You will have no end of ideas  nor will you be bored. 

If you are interested in more of my work please visit my profile and leave likes and comments. Or if you would prefer to read something else entirely, explore our vast array of articles at Yoair.

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