This East African country offers white sandy beaches, with impeccable sunsets, top-notch safari services and mesmerising markets all offered by one of the friendliest populations on earth. Take a deep breath; and jet towards Tanzania.
Tanzania has a lot to offer for the unconventional traveller. We’d recommend heading to Serengeti for a safari, then unwinding on the heavenly beaches of Zanzibar, while taking in the beauty of Stonetown, and finally heading towards the capital city, Dar Es Salaam for a final taste of what Tanzania has to offer.
Serengeti: For All the Animal Lovers
Serengeti offers a wide variety of options for travellers, so whether you’re a luxury traveller who loves that little extra bit of pampering or an adventurous soul who loves to rough it out, you’ll find what you need in Serengeti. In terms of top-end hotels, the Kempinski Bilila Lodge (3874LE per night for a standard room, plus 298LE per night per person for the Serengeti park entry fees) is situated in the heart of Serengeti National Park.
What to Do: The hotel offers a spectacular view from the infinity pool, main foyer and both restaurants of a watering hole that is frequented by animals including elephants, zebras and warthogs. The hotel also offers private game drives (1192LE per person for a full day) where you can see a vast array of wild animals. A must visit while at the Serengeti is the Ngorongoro Crater, where you can see black rhinos amidst a stunning view of a volcanic crater.
How To Get There: To reach Serengeti you can catch a light plane flight from Kilimanjaro or Dar Es Salaam airport to Seronera airstrip with Coastal Aviation or Tanganyika Flying Company (average 2086LE per person return- excluding airline tax).
Zanzibar: Pure Bliss
Anyone who says Zanzibar is overrated hasn’t experienced the bliss and tranquillity that The Residence has to offer. Tucked away on the beautiful Kizimkazi Island, this hotel definitely goes by the 'you get what you pay for' motto. Paying between 4261LE to 10,340LE per night for a basic villa is definitely not possible for the average traveller.
However, for those how can afford the price tag, the staff at the Residence will ensure you don’t have to lift a finger; from your private butler who offers a packing and unpacking service, to the daily fumigation and the hotel golf car that is happy to drive you to your room if you’re too tired to ride the complimentary bike
What to Do: The hotel’s beach is private and therefore, hawker-free. The crystal clear waters merging into aquamarine skies are enough to make any person swoon at this heaven on earth.
If the fresh air of the residence isn’t enough, you could organise a dolphin tour with the hotel, or a visit to Jozani Rainforest (approximately fifteen minutes from the Residence), where you can visit the fiery orange and grey Colobus monkeys. The entry fee for Jozani Forest is 149LE per person.
A trip to Zanzibar isn’t complete without a walking tour of the narrow alleyways of Stonetown. Stonetown’s charm lies in the fusion of the Omani and Indian influence, especially magnificent wooden doors, patiently crafted by Zanzibarian carpenters. Amidst the wooden masterpieces, lie quirky boutiques filled with East African artwork, attire and accessories.
Queen and Freddie Mercury fanatics should watch for Mercury House, the house where Freddie Mercury was born. The important thing is to watch out for pickpockets, and to remember that Zanzibar’s street sellers are more persistent than Cairo’s.
If you have time, pass by Bait Al Ajyib (House of Wonders); the only museum in Zanzibar. If you want to embrace more of what Stonetown has to offer; head towards Darajani Fish and Fruit market for the real hustle and bustle of Zanzibarian life. If you’ve got another half-day to spare, and would like to feed some of the world’s oldest giant tortoises, head towards Prison Island by Dhow.Dar Es Salaam
While Dar Es Salaam doesn’t match up to the mesmerising tranquillity of Zanzibar, nor the natural beats of the Serengeti, you cannot leave Tanzania without passing through.
What to Do: The best thing to do is to head towards Slipway market for some more arts and crafts, and then drive down Tourre towards the Golden Tulip hotel, where non-guests can use the infinity pool overlooking the Indian Ocean. The entry fee varies depending on the season, so it is best to check ahead of time. Another market worth visiting while in Dar is the Slipway market, the main area for crafts shopping in Dar. A local drink that you must try is Tangawize; a mixture of a ginger, lemon and soda all fizzing in perfection in a glass bottle, and costing about 5000 Tanzanian Shillings.
Finally, what’s a visit to Tanzania without picking up a precious stone? Head towards the Moevenpick in Dar Es Salaam where a specialised jeweller has the best available prices for real certified Tanzanite (range between 3,874LE to 5,066LE per carat).
How to Get There: A number of airlines offer daily flights to Dar Es Salaam, including Egypt Air, Ethiopian airways and Kenyan airways. Flights cost between 2682LE and 5960LE, depending on transits and airline.