From the vast Serengeti plains to snow-capped Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest peak, few places can match Tanzania for its world-famous natural attractions. East Africa’s largest country also offers the thundering annual wildebeest migration, one of the greatest wildlife shows on earth. Add to this the powdery white sand beaches and the sparkling Indian Ocean waters of the Zanzibar archipelago and it provides all the ingredients for an unbeatable trip.
One of the four most naturally diverse nations on earth, Tanzania has Africa’s second-largest number of bird species (around 1500), the continent’s biggest mammal population and three-quarters of East Africa’s plant species (more than 1000). More than 40% of the country is protected, so there’s wonderful hiking terrain and spectacular wildlife viewing including the Big Five as well as antelopes, cheetahs, half a million zebra and hundreds of thousands of gazelle, impala, topi and eland.
But Tanzania is not just about the wildlife. It is a country rich in traditions, heritage, customs and music, much of which has survived despite the ravages of colonialism – it achieved independence from Britain in the early 1960s. The best known of its 128 tribes are the red-robed, spear-carrying Masai, who live around the safari parks in the north. They are friendly people who often welcome tourists into their villages.