3 Must-Have Places in Your Tanzania Travel Bucket List

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Tanzania is a land of endless beauty; picturesque landscapes, exotic wildlife, thrilling adventures and delicious food dominate this land. It’s a great place to spend your holiday! 

While most of the popular places in Tanzania include the Serengeti and Zanzibar, they often get very crowded during the peak season. Here are other 3 must-have places in your Tanzania travel bucket list that will never disappoint you:



  • Selous Game Reserve


If you want to explore the largest and oldest game reserve of Africa, head over to the Selous Game Reserve. Filled with endless wildlife, picturesque scenes and utter beauty, the Selous is truly a gem in Tanzania. Since it forms part of the southern safari circuit, it is less-frequented (it lacks only the fame of the Serengeti), giving you some exclusive time with nature!

Selous offers you a diverse range of safaris including boating safaris, game drives, walking safaris and fly camping! There are many accommodation options ranging from mobile tents to luxurious lodges to suit your needs. It’s an all-in-one safari destination for families, couples and friends.

It’s one of the few places left in Tanzania where you can spot the African wild dogs!



  • Walking safaris, boating safaris, game drive and fly camping available


  • African wild dogs can be spotted
  • Lions and elephants found in large numbers
  • Not crowded
  • Largest game reserve of Africa
  • It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site



Best time to visit: June to October

Wildlife: At Selous, you can spot hippos, lions, elephants, buffaloes, wildebeests, giraffes, sable antelopes, African wild dogs, zebras, hyenas and leopards.

Birdwatching: Contains over 440 bird species. These include kingfishers, colorful bee-eaters, yellow-billed storks, fish eagles, and lapwings. 

How to reach Selous: You can reach Selous via train, car, or air!


  • Mafia Island


Mafia Island offers you a peaceful retreat from the busy city life. It’s a great place to spend time with your family or significant other and has exciting and adventurous activities to offer. It’s a pristine island that isn’tdeveloped. The white sand beaches lined by palm trees and surrounded by clear turquoise water give you a great holiday experience. Here are some of the most fun activities for you on Mafia Island:


  • Swimming with the whale sharks


What could be more adventurous and thrilling than swimming with the biggest fish of the ocean, the whale sharks? They’re harmless, so you don’t need to worry about being eaten up!


  • Diving


Mafia Island is surrounded by beautiful, healthy and abundant corals. Explore the underwater world and see for yourself how beautiful and scenic it is. Some of the top diving spots surrounding the island include:

  1. Kinasi Pass – Keep a lookout for barracudas, parrotfish and large groupers!
  2. Chole Wall – Observe angelfish, butterflyfish, damselfish, and nudibranchs. 
  3. Milimani Reef – Check out lionfish, moray eels, glassfish and stunning corals!



  • Kayaking


Explore the Indian Ocean and the small islands around Mafia while kayaking! 


  • Mafia Island Marine Park


Go snorkeling in this beautiful marine park! It has beautiful and abundant corals as well as diverse marine species including eels, octopuses and stingrays!

  1. Mafia Island has a nesting site for turtles where you can watch them hatch. It’s a beautiful sight and makes you fall in love with nature. 
  2. Enjoy fishing and windsurfing at Mafia Island! You can catch kingfish and barracudas here!



  • Usambara Mountains


The Usambara Mountains consist of two parts, the Eastern Usambara Mountains and the Western Usambara Mountains. The Usambara Mountains are Tanzania’s hidden gems, with lush scenery and fertile lands.

On your hike up the mountain, you’ll also get the opportunity to interact with many locals. Here are some of the top spots in the Usambara Mountains that you should visit:

  • The Mkuzu Waterfall

A beautiful and scenic waterfall! It’s a must-visit!

  • Irente Viewpoint

The Irente Viewpoint is one of the most popular spots on the mountain. From this viewpoint, you can observe the Mazinde village and the Maasai plains. Don’t forget to check out the Irente Farm cheese factory nearby!

  • Magamba Forest

Explore the Magamba forest, where you can spot black and white colobus monkeys. 


Best time to visit: June to November

So, what are you waiting for? Head over to these places in Tanzania and have an amazing holiday!

Don’t forget to check out the Arusha Food Guide while you’re there!

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