WHAT TO DO IN TANZANIA
We explore some of the cool things to do in Tanzania that should be included in your travel guide. Boat trips, herbal infused baths and tasting the local cuisine – this is the cultural mishmash that Tanzania has to offer
Words: Emily Georgieva
Photography: Vaibhavi Damania, Tina Vanhove
16 March 2020
Whether you decide to put Tanzania down on your bucket list because of the wildness of the nature, the complex culture of the locals or the intriguing one-of-a-kind atmosphere, you will have made the right choice. The authenticity of the country will stay with you long after you leave. There is much to see in Tanzania, even when you are not trying to do the things that are on all tourists’ lists. Walking down the streets of any town and paying attention to the ease in the way locals complete their day-to-day tasks has no price. An incredible destination, Tanzania is the place to get your adrenaline pumping, to explore the outdoors or simply find a sweet salvation in doing absolutely nothing but appreciate sunbathing at the beach.
If you are visiting Tanzania, surely you will want to do all the cool stuff to tick off your bucket list, but here we’ve made a mixture of some suggestions that will allow you to explore the country in its full cultural capacity. From diving to going for boat trips and learning how to play traditional board games, here’s the top ten things you should do whilst in Tanzania.
TOP 10 THINGS TO DO IN TANZANIA
I. Experience the local cuisine.
Eat like a local when in Tanzania. From freshly caught fish to carefully cooked dishes, the palette of the locals is diverse. We recommend not eating the same thing twice so you can taste as much as possible during your visit. The food varies from rice to porridge, vegetables and cooked meat. Some of the most well-known dishes include pilau (rice mixed with a variety of spices), mshikaki (marinated beef) and samaki (fish).
II. Book a boat trip.
The boat trips in Tanzania are a must. It is inspirational even to only watch boatmen and fishermen practice their craft. Their tailor-made lifestyle is a creative expression of their whole lives. It is why stepping on a boat to explore the Indian Ocean is such a privilege. You get to step in their world and see it through their point of view.
III. Learn how to play bao.
This Swahili board game is popular among the locals. It is a means to pass the time, but it will also probably get you hooked pretty quickly. You can sometimes see people playing it in cafe shops when you pass by on the streets. Once you learn the rules, you can dive into in headfirst.
IV. Go swimming.
You simply can’t visit the country and not go swimming, at least once. It is a relaxing way to spend a day enjoying the slow pace of life. You can swim in the coral reefs to reconnect with nature.
V. Visit the National Parks.
Tanzania is known for its National Parks. Out in the wild you can even see the Big Five roam peacefully in their natural habitat. The National Park are a great way to get in touch with nature. You can learn more about the wildlife and its diversity and one day will definitely not be enough. We recommend checking out Serengeti National Park.
VI. Go hiking.
Hiking has its perks – it leaves you with a sense of satisfaction and the views on the way to the top are definitely worth it. The land massif is generous and presents tons of opportunities to explore the wild side of Tanzania. Mouth Kilimanjaro is the pearl in the country and is worth checking out.
VII. Enjoy the beaches.
If you are visiting the country for relaxation purposes, the seaside will leave you in awe. The beaches are sandy and truly beautiful. You will be able to recharge when you go sunbathing. Pick out a good book and feel the gentle breeze from the movements of the palm trees on the shore.
VIII. Walk the food markets.
Locals sell everything – from fruits and vegetable to spices and herbs. Tanzania is famous worldwide for their spices and herbs. Included in almost every locally cooked dish, the variety of spices will keep your tasting buds on the edge and will have you craving more authentically prepared food. Buy ingredients fresh to support the local production and enjoy the goodness of fresh food.
IX. Dine in the restaurants.
Try the local restaurants. Regardless of whether you want to try meat, fresh fish or veggie meals, they’ll have you covered. Typically, you can experience the local cuisine in a more authentic way if you choose smaller restaurant to the bigger ones that are part of villa resorts for example.
X. Experience the therapeutic bathing in Zanzibar.
Zanzibar is the place to go bathing. Just outside of the town, heading to Maruhubi, you can see preserved 19th century hammam at the Kidichi Persian baths. If you are after the Swahili spa, check out Mrembo Spa as they offer traditional Kiswahili treatment with soaps and products that are infused with locally grown herbs. Talk about exploring the culture of a place while relaxing!