Tanzania is a land with many wonders, unparalleled diversity of fauna and flora. Kilimanjaro, the highest permanently snow-capped free-standing mountain in Africa, the exotic Islands of Zanzibar, the finest game sanctuaries of Serengeti, Tarangire, Lake Manyara, Ngorongoro Crater, Ruaha, Selous, and the Marine Park of Mafia Island are only a few of the living examples. The scenery, topography, rich culture, and friendly people present excellent cultural tourism, beach and honeymoon destinations, game hunting, historical and archaeological ventures, and the best wildlife photographic safaris in the world. Tanzania has 15 national parks, 29 game reserves, 40 controlled conservation areas, and marine parks.
Dar es Salaam is the largest city and economic capital of Tanzania. Located in a quiet bay off the Indian Ocean coast, the city has developed into an economic importance to become a prosperous center of the entire East African region. Its bustling harbor is the main port in Tanzania.
Seven kilometers north of the city is Bongoyo Island Marine Reserve, which offers good snorkeling and diving sites for those who want to explore the water. The reserve boasts of its beautiful beaches, secluded islands, and many varieties of marine species. Although the type and population of coral and fish species are not as numerous as other sites on Zanzibar, Pemba, and Mafia Island, the Bongoyo Island Marine Reserve is well worth a visit. It is a great way to spend a day out and see the coast.
It is known as Spice Island. The gorgeous island of Zanzibar on Africa's east coast is exploding with culture and history, apparently at odds with its idyllic geography of white-sand beaches with palms swaying lazily in the sea breeze. The island has some of the best beaches in the world. The surf varies depending on what side of the island you are on, but visitors will find soft white sand and clear shallow water, along with traditional boats lining the shore.
The historical city of Stone Town, known for old Arabian townhouses, narrow alleyways, and a busy port, is located in the heart of Zanzibar.
Mafia Island draws divers and snorkelers worldwide to the undersea world protected by the Mafia Island Marine Park. The best months for diving are October to March, but Mafia Island's best weather is in May to October. March and April are months of heavy rain.
Mafia Island Marine Park has coral gardens, an abundant variety of fish, and a relaxed diving atmosphere. Countless birds and over 400 species of fish can be seen in the area. Mafia Island is also a traditional breeding site for green turtles, which are unfortunately endangered.
Mafia is also desirable for deep-sea fishing, especially tuna, marlin, sailfish, and other big-game fish.
Pemba Island is the northernmost island in the Zanzibar archipelago. Around Pemba are many desert islands and some of the best scuba diving in the Indian Ocean, with exceptional visibility. Coral gardens, colorful sponges, and sea fans are all found in the underwater haven. Chake Chake, the main population center on Pemba, is a popular base for scuba divers.
Pemba is less visited than Zanzibar and, as a result, has a more laidback environment. The island is hilly with deep valleys, and it has become popular with mountain bikers drawn to the 1,000-meter peaks. Just offshore, one spot not to miss is Misali Island Beach. This incredible white-sand beach is on an uninhabited tropical island.
Pemba is a major world clove generator and is well known for the juju traditions of medicine and magic. People come from throughout East Africa to learn from the voodoo and ancestral healers or seek a cure.
Stone Town is the cultural heart of Zanzibar, and little has altered in the last 200 years. The grand old Arabian homes lining the narrow streets and winding alleys give the city its unique attractiveness. The majority of homes in Stone Town were built in the 19th C when Zanzibar was one of the most famous Swahili trading towns in the Indian Ocean. Visitors will notice the bras-studded, intricately carved wooden doors on many of the houses.