5 Not-Promoted Things To Do In Tanzania

Everything, from delicious food to landscapes, all the way to culture is extremely colorful and vibrant. 

Tanzania
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So, daydreaming and planning phase is finally over and you’re about to set your feet in east-African gem Tanzania. Tanzania, geographically speaking, is extremely diverse and features sandy beaches and tropical islands on the eastern coast, an endless safari in Serengeti and untouched wildlife, the highest African mountain Kilimanjaro, and much more. Furthermore, local people are very friendly and opened to tourists, which will definitely make your trip to Tanzania unforgettable. Everything, from delicious food to landscapes, all the way to culture is extremely colorful and vibrant. 

Let’s read about non-promoted things to do in Tanzania and get prepared for a trip of your lifetime. 

1. Immerse in a Local Cuisine

Tanzania local cuisine
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Tanzania is mainly known by Kilimanjaro and tropical island Zanzibar, but don’t be fooled, a diverse local cuisine is simply mouthwatering and extremely fresh. Whenever you arrive in a new country and don’t know anything about the local food, we recommend you to follow a simple rule – eat where the locals eat. The most common Tanzanian food consumed by locals is by far Ugali; a mixture of vegetables, meat or fish, beans, rice, and delicious nyama choma. Ugali is often served with a dipping sauce that tends to be extremely spicy. Nyama Choma is a local dish filled with fresh meat, vegetables, and beans. Tanzanians know how to make their barbeque and the meat is juicy and extremely chewy. Chapatti is probably the most consumed food in Tanzania, and it’s easy to get addicted to it. It’s a flatbread (similar to Indian Naan) that comes with various dipping sauces and vegetables on a plate. Ndizi Kaanga, or fried green bananas are one of the most popular tourist dishes. 

Smelling or sniffing is always a thing you do before tasting new cuisine? Forget it in Tanzania since smelling the food is seen as a suspicious act towards the quality of food and skills of the chef. Don’t worry, locals know how to prepare their food.

2. Wander Around Serengeti National Park

Serengeti, Tanzania
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Serengeti or locally known ‘endless plains’ is the national park that is located in the northern part of Tanzania. The name ‘endless plains’ is delivered from the massive area of the park that reaches around 15,000 sq km. You can easily stay in Serengeti for a few weeks since the biodiversity of the ecosystem is surreal. 

The national park is divided into four main sections:

  • Southern area – features endless plains and abundant wildlife. The best time for visiting the southern area is from December to March since it’s a migration and mating season where you’ll be able to see hundreds of herds passing by. 
  • Seronera area – features various accommodation options and diverse wildlife throughout the whole year. It’s the most visited part of Serengeti, so if you’re looking for off-the-beaten-path, then it might be a wrong place.
  • Western Corridor – features a vast amount of wildlife and offers stunning views of Grumeti river which is a natural habitat of crocodiles and hippos. 
  • Northern area – features stunning wildlife movement during July since it’s a very remote area without any tourists stepping in. You can immerse in various activities including walking safaris, off-road adventures and observing the streams of iconic Mara river. 

3. Conquer Mt. Kilimanjaro and Mt. Meru

Kilimanjaro
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One of the most popular places to visit in Tanzania is by far Kilimanjaro. Every year, thousands of adventurers set their feet on challenging trails that lead to the top. However, conquering Mt. Kilimanjaro requires proper gear, specific preparation, and money for passes. Once you do the math, climbing to Mt. Kilimanjaro isn’t the most budget-friendly thing you can do, but don’t worry, there is an alternative – Mt. Meru. Did you know that Mt. Meru is the second highest peak in Tanzania (4,565 meters) that lies on an active volcano? If you’re looking for an affordable alternative featuring diverse wildlife on the way, breathtaking views, various climate zones, and no tourist crowds, then climbing Mt. Meru is a must thing to do in Tanzania. On the trail, you’ll encounter a few lodges offering a comfortable shelter for a night, wild animals (monkeys, buffalos, even elephants) and stunning surrounding views. Conquering Mt. Meru might be a perfect ‘warm-up’ for Kilimanjaro. 

4. Experience a Traditional Healer

If you’re a believer in alternative medicine and rituals, then you definitely have to experience traditional healing. Did you know that roughly 80% of the Tanzanian population avoid (or don’t have access) to modern medicine and turn to traditional healing? There are more than 75,000 registered traditional healers around the country who focus on different types of healing, mainly using ancient rituals and herbs. For instance, Mwanahija Mzee, a traditional healer focuses her healing on massages. The massage is extremely traditional and she uses a mixture of powerful plants, roots, and leaves that, supposedly, has positive effects on people. You can find hundreds of positive experiences online, so give it a try!

5. Learn About Tanzanian Culture Through Colorful Festivals

Tanzania Festivals
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Participating in traditional festivals will definitely show you the true color of Tanzania and its people. There are various festivals through the year, but the most famous one is Mwaka Kogwa – the celebration of Persian New Year. Enjoy the traditional folk music accompanied by dancing, singing and wild drumming. The festival is unique for the local’s fight with banana sticks. Each local is armed with banana sticks, they gather together and beat each other with such a passion. The whole festival features traditional Swahili food, folk music, and taarab music. If you’re looking for an authentic adventure experience, then Kilimanjaro marathon might be a perfect event for you. The event is organized every March and a few disciplines including a full and half marathon. It’s probably one of the most physically demanding marathon events in the world, so be sure to be prepared!

What is your favorite activity in Tanzania?

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