Epic Places in Tanzania You Didn’t Know Existed

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Tanzania is home to many wonderful locations that should be on every travel lover’s wish list. Tourists can enjoy exciting safaris and game drives at the Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, and Selous Game Reserve, go hiking at Mount Kilimanjaro or Mount Meru, explore the markets at Dar Es Salaam or Stone Town, or enjoy the views at Lake Manyara or Arusha! For travellers who wish to do something unique, and visit lesser known places, here are some epic places in Tanzania that most travellers did not know existed!

 

  1. The Kondoa Irangi Paintings

The Kondoa Irangi paintings are found at a series of caves carved into a hillside. There are around 150 to 450 decorated rocks here, and they are said to be over 50000 years old!

 

  1. Rubondo Island National Park

Located in the scenic lake Victoria, Rubondo Island National Park is a lesser known park so it is a great place to avoid the crowds. Also known as 'Noah's Ark' for its extraordinary biodiversity, the park is home to amazing wildlife such as hippos, crocodiles, chimpanzees, monkeys, rhinos, giraffes, and elephants. Visitors can also find 200 species of birds, and around 70 species of butterflies!

 

  1. Ol Doinyo Lengai

In Arusha, tourists must visit the spectacular Ol Doinyo Lengai, a stunning volcano located near the Gregory Rift. Called “Mountain of God'' by the locals, this location is a unique geological oddity as the lava fountains become hard midair. Adventure seekers can climb the slopes of the rock formations surrounding the active volcano vents. This extraordinary tourist spot is the only volcano known to have carbonatitite, a rare lava that is black but cools to a whitish powder!

 

  1. Kuza Cave

Kuza Cave is a geological formation located in Jambiani. The region has many underground rivers which have eroded two layers of limestone and created the Kuza Cave. Fossils of animals such as giraffes, waterbucks, and zebras have been found here, and many of the ancient bones have marks created by sharp tools, proving that ancient humans also used to be here. The cave is sacred to the local people, and they visit it to worship and pray!

 

  1. Mshiri Village

In Arusha, the amazing Mshiri Village is a great place to visit as here, tourists can interact with the Chagga people and witness the culture, and lifestyle of the mountain tribe. They can explore the thatched huts at Marangu Mtoni, or visit the Mshiri Vocational Training School where young artisans engage in the traditional craft of woodworking. Visitors can even buy these crafts as souvenirs!

 

  1. Mwenge Woodcarvers Market

Another great spot to visit is Mwenge Woodcarvers Market in Dar Es Salaam, where travellers can find intricate tribal art, bead jewellery, Tinga Tinga paintings, sculptures, and wood carvings, all sold at open air stalls! Visitors can even witness the creative work being done by the painters, sandal makers, bracelet makers, sculptors, and carvers! They can engage in bargaining, and buy gifts and souvenirs!

 

  1. Laetoli footprints

Near Olduvai Gorge in the Serengeti Plains, tourists can visit Laetoli, where ancient footprints can be seen preserved in ash! This unique spot can teach tourists about the incredible history of Tanzania!

 

  1. Engaruka Ruins

Tanzania has a rich history that tourists should learn about during their trip. In the 15th century, locals began cultivating indigenous crops such as millet and sorghum. They built furrows to canalize the Engaruka River so they could bring water to the fields. Terraces were constructed, and the slopes overlooking these fields became more populated as villages expanded. In the 18th century, these villages were abandoned, but the reason for this remains a mystery. The site has now become the interest of historians and archaeologists.

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