Iconic Sites and Historical Landmarks in Tanzania

May 7, 2020
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Tanzania is home to endless natural beauty, diverse wildlife, scenic beaches and significant historical landmarks. After all, the earliest remains of humans and their ancestors were found by archaeologists in Tanzania! In fact, humans are believed to originate in Africa!

Here are some iconic sites and historical landmarks in Tanzania that should be on your must-visit list:


Iconic Sites

  • Ol Doinyo Lengai

Ol Doinyo Lengai is an active volcano in Tanzania that has the coldest lava in the world! It’s a black volcano that erupts black, silvery lava made of carbonatite. The lava isn’t cold, it can reach temperatures of about 500 degrees Celsius, but compared to other volcanoes that erupt at 1000 degrees Celsius or more, the lava of Ol Doinyo Lengai is considered to be the coldest in the world!


  • Lake Natron

Lake Natron in Tanzania is home to the largest lesser flamingo population in the world, with over 100,000 lesser flamingoes lining the lake!

It’s a beautiful lake and the flamingos give it a rich, pink hue!


  • Ngorongoro Crater

The Ngorongoro Crater is the largest intact volcanic caldera in the world and it’s also one of the most popular tourist sites in Tanzania! Take a walk around the rim of the crater and experience the beauty of the crater yourself! You can even spot the Big 5 here!


  • Lake Manyara National Park and Tarangire National Park

These two national parks are home to the famous tree-climbing lions! Imagine watching lions chill up in trees and sleep on branches! That’s what you get to see at these iconic national parks!


  • Kilimanjaro National Park

At Kilimanjaro National Park, you get to spot wildlife with a beautiful background consisting of Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa! You can spot elephants, giraffes, hippos and zebras here with a spectacular view of Mount Kilimanjaro at the back!


  • Serengeti National Park

Serengeti National Park is home to one of the greatest natural phenomena to exist. The Great Migration of Serengeti is an annual migration in which millions of wildebeest take part every year. They migrate from Serengeti to the Masai Mara in Kenya and back again. Watching the migration happen right in front of you is an experience of a lifetime! You can also spot the Big 5 at Serengeti.


Historical Landmarks

  • Olduvai Gorge

The Olduvai Gorge is a significant archaeological site where some of the earliest remains of human ancestors were discovered. It also revealed significant tools that our ancestors used to hunt!

The findings of this site played an important part in the discovery of human ancestry.

The Olduvai Gorge is located in the Great Rift Valley.


  • Isimila Stone Age Site

The Isimila Stone Age site consists of sandstone pillars in a dried-out valley. The importance of the Isimila Stone Age site lies in the fact that many weapons dating back to the stone age have been found here. The place is beautiful and interesting with a lot to see and explore! It’s located on the Iringa plateau of Tanzania.


  • Songo Mnara

Songo Mnara is a small island just off the coast of Tanzania. The island contains ruins of several mosques, houses and a palace that date back to the 15th century. The architecture of the ruins is impressive and heavily influenced by the many different cultures that occupied the place throughout history. Songo Mnara is a UNESCO World Heritage Site! Visit this island and explore the ruins.


  • Kilwa Kisiwani

Kilwa Kisiwani is another island just off the coast of Tanzania. The island served as a major port for the civilizations that inhabited the area from the 9th century all the way to the 19th century. The island now consists of ruins that have immense historical and architectural significance. The Great Mosque of Kilwa is a spectacular building consisting of 16 domes. The ruins of the Palace of Husuni Kubwa are also magnificent. The port was part of important trading routes between China, India, Africa and Saudi Arabia.


  • Saint Joseph’s Cathedral

Saint Joseph’s Cathedral is located in Dar es Salaam. It was built by the Germans in the 19th century. The cathedral has original German drawings and inscriptions hung on its walls!

It’s a beautiful place to visit!


  • Stone Town

Stone Town, located on Zanzibar island, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its narrow streets and impressive architecture are worth a visit!

There are many historical landmarks in Stone Town, some of which are listed below:

  • House of Wonders – The biggest building of Stone Town, the House of Wonders was built as a palace for Zanzibar’s second Sultan in the 19th It was the first building to have electricity in Zanzibar!


  • Old Fort – The Old Fort was built in the 17th century by Arabs. The large size and architecture of the Fort are very impressive. The courtyard of the Fort now contains many stalls that sell traditional African items like the Tinga-Tinga art paintings.
  • Palace Museum – The Palace Museum was originally built as a palace for the Sultan of Zanzibar in the 19th Today, the museum contains original belongings of the Sultan and his family!


  • Kondoa Irangi Rock Paintings

The Kondoa Irangi rock paintings are paintings that were made on rocks, caves and other items by ancient residents of the Great Rift Valley. The Kondoa region is now declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site owing to these paintings!

The paintings depict animals like giraffes and lions along with hunting of the animals by people.


So, what are you waiting for? Head over to Tanzania and visit these iconic sites and historical landmarks!

While you’re there, don’t forget to check out the Arusha Food Guide!

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