10 Amazing Facts You Didn’t Know About Tanzania

POSTED ON 6th December 2016 BY

Tanzania is regarded as an excellent safari destination, largely due to its many world-class opportunities for game spotting…

Tanzania is home to many of the best and biggest parks in Africa, and some of the most varied and unique landscapes that you’ll ever see. From grasslands to woodlands, rock formations, and mountain peaks, there’s no question that Tanzania features some amazing opportunities for sightseeing, and photo-hunting alike.

These varied ecosystems are also ideal conditions for one of the most quintessential aspects of any great safari: African animals.

No safari would be complete without a glimpse of a few of the “Big Five,” or the chance to see some lesser-known, but equally fascinating animals. Fortunately, Tanzania doesn’t disappoint.

Home to the Great Wildebeest Migration, each year, Tanzania sees millions of animals make their way across the land in search of water and fresh pasture. Wildebeest, zebra, and gazelle make the arduous journey, and brave the raging Mara River, filled with waiting crocodiles.

But the great migration isn’t the only aspect of Tanzania that’s worth seeing. Herds of grazing animals mean that predators won’t be far away. In Tanzania, you’ll have the opportunity to see lion, cheetah, leopards, and hunting dogs.

If you’re curious about what this beautiful country has to offer, here’s a look at ten reasons it’s regarded as one of the best safari destinations in Africa.

 

1. Nearly 30 Percent of Tanzania is National Parks

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Safari Drive – Ultimate Tanzania

Tanzania boasts some of the best national parks in the world. The Serengeti National Park is one of the most famous and best-loved parks, and is home to more than one million species of large mammals. It’s also a World Heritage Site, and has also had the honour of being named a 7th world wonder.

The Serengeti is the site of the Great Migration, where wildebeest and zebras make their way across the plains in search of fresh grasslands. It’s also home to great buffalo herds, elephants, giraffe, leopard, impala, and gazelle, as well as the endangered Eastern Black Rhinoceros.

Tanzania also features the largest population of elephants; which can be found in the Selous Game Reserve.

Another famous Tanzanian park is the Gombe Stream National Park, where Dr. Jane Goodall famously carried out her studies on chimps.

Take a look at our trademark itinerary: Tanzania’s 5 Parks which is the ultimate wildlife experience.
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2. Mount Kilimanjaro is the Tallest Mountain in Africa

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A Starry Night of Mt.Kilimanjaro

Ernest Hemingway wrote about the beauty of Mount Kilimanjaro, and this snow-capped, cone-shaped mountain is a site that will take your breath away as well.

Standing some 5,895 meters above sea level, this mountain is the tallest in Africa, and the highest freestanding mountain in the world. It’s also home to almost every kind of ecological system there is, from cultivated land, to rainforest, alpine desert, and arctic summit.

While this dormant volcano provides a breathtaking hike for those who are interested, you’re more than welcome to admire this mountain’s grandeur from the ground.

 

3. The Great Migration Sees Over 2 Million Animals Travel Across the Plains

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Crossing the Mara River

The Great Wildebeest Migration sees over 1.5 million wildebeest, as well as zebra, and gazelle, make their way through the grasslands of Tanzania and Kenya in search of pasture.

Undoubtedly, the most exciting part of the journey is the Mara River crossing, where massive herds make their way to the Masai Mara, braving crocodiles, and danger at every turn.

 

4. Ngorongoro Crater is One of the Best Places to See the Big Five

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Ngorongoro Crater vignette

Another must-see destination in Tanzania is the world-famous Ngorongoro Crater, located in northern Tanzania.

Thought to be the result of a volcanic explosion, this fertile valley is one the most beautiful natural wildlife safari destinations in the world, and has even been named one of Africa’s Seven Natural Wonders.

The enclosed nature of the crater has created an ecosystem all of its own, resulting in some of the best opportunities to spot game. It also has the densest known population of lions.

Buffalo, elephants, leopards, and rhino can also be seen here, in addition to a host of other well-loved African classics like the ostrich, zebra, cheetah, wildebeest, gazelle, and even hippos.

 

5. Lake Tanganyika is the Second Largest Lake in the World

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Trip to Tanzania, Africa and Gombe National Park on Lake Tanganyika

Lake Tanganyika is one of the largest freshwater lakes in the world by volume and depth; second only to Lake Baikal in Siberia. In fact, it is so large that it belongs to four different countries; Tanzania, Burundi, Zambia, and Congo.

The lake is fed by at least 50 streams and rivers and is regarded as one of the world’s most biologically rich and scientifically valuable habitats.

Lake Tanganyika holds an astounding 8 percent of the world’s freshwater, and is home 500 fish species; most of which stay within 20 metres of the surface.

 

6. Tanzania is Home to Distinctive and Delicious Cuisine

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African Cooking - Tanzanian woman prepares traditional meals

If you are looking to expand your palate, then Tanzania is the place for you.

In Tanzania, you’ll have the chance to sample wild game like crocodile, warthog, antelope, or even ostrich. Other local favourites include tilapia fish, pilau rice, and samosas. It’s the spices that really make this food special and the use of coconut, cardamom, garlic, and turmeric feature prominently in a number of traditional recipes.

You’ll also have no problem finding fresh, locally grown produce such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, or coffee.

 

7. Baobab Trees Can Easily Live 1,000 Years

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"The tree is like a human being"

Baobabs are a beautiful and fascinating tree that can be seen in Tanzania’s Tarangire National Park.

Some species of the Baobab can live 1,000 years, or longer, although the oldest one, found in South Africa, is believed to be an astounding 6,000 years old.

More useful information about preparing for safari in Africa is available in your free copy of African Safari: The Ultimate Field Guide a 37-page guide to safaris in Africa written by our expert team.
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8. Tarangire National Park is Home to Unique Tree-Climbing Lions

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Tree Climbing Lions of Uganda

Baobabs aren’t the only thing to see in Tarangire National Park; this park is also home to tree-climbing lions.

The reason that these lions have taken to climbing is unknown. Whether it’s to catch a cool breeze or escape the tsetse flies is a matter of debate. Of course, there’s also the chance that the lions simply enjoy the view from up high.

Whatever their reasons though, watching these lions gingerly move across the branches is a sight that’s worth seeing.

 

9. The Beaches of Zanzibar Are Stunning

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Vol.20 Zanzibar, TANZANIA “Ocean, women and Zanzibar”

While beaches may not be one of the first things that you think of when you imagine an African safari, a trip to the beautiful island of Zanzibar is the perfect way to round off a safari.

The beaches of Zanzibar are infamous for a reason. Featuring white sand, blue waters, and swaying palms, they’re regarded as some of the most beautiful beaches in the world.

 

10. Scuba Diving Off the Coast Offers Experiences Unlike Any Other

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Scuba Diving on Pemba Island, Zanzibar, Tanzania

While there’s plenty to see in the mainland, there’s a whole world underwater as well.

Diving or snorkeling off of one of Zanzibar’s islands will provide you with some rich up-close encounters with some of amazing and unique underwater sea creatures found among the coral reefs. You could spot lionfish, leaf fish, sea horse, green turtles, and even frog fish.

 

Are You Ready?

As you can see, Tanzania is a unique and beautiful safari destination, one that offers plenty to see and do in terms of game-spotting opportunities, as well as spectacular and unique landscape. Little wonder that it ranks amongst the top safari choices as an ideal destination for first-time, and experienced safari-goers alike.

To learn more about safari holidays in Africa, download a free copy of the African Safari Field Guide – a useful 37-page book we wrote on the subject.

Image Credit: Feans via Flickr.


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