With its massive landscapes untouched by cultivation, Tanzania boasts some of the best nature and wildlife adventures in the world.
From an amazing spectacle of the Great Wildebeest Migration in the Serengeti, gorgeous marine life in the waters around Zanzibar, artisan markets and delicious local food, this African country definitely offers a few once-in-a-lifetime experiences.
What to do after climbing Kilimanjaro
Tanzania offers some of the best African safari experiences. And the best parks - like the Serengeti, Ngonrogoro, Lake Manyara and Tarangire - are not far from Mt Kilimanjaro.
There are 100s of safari tour operators and accommodation options to choose from. I recommend setting aside at least 3 days for a safari.
If your Kilimanjaro hike is early in the year it's possible to book a Serengeti safari that tracks the great wildebeest migration. During this time you might see many thousands of hoofed mammals like wildebeest, gazelles, elands, zebras and more move across the savannah and across Mara River.
If you trekked Kilimanjaro during the time when the migration is elsewhere (it's way i the north of the Serengeti between June-October), then you might want to spend a little more time at Ngorongoro Crater as it's a thriving park with masses of animals gathering around the world’s largest inactive volcano crater. It is also home to a huge variety of wildlife.
Zanzibar islands sit in the warm Indian Ocean famous for its crystal-clear aquamarine waters. It is possible that the color name was actually inspired by this very coast.
This is why Zanzibar is the perfect opportunity to take a beach holiday break after your climb and enjoy a gentle summer breeze under a palm tree on a soft sandy beach.
And if relaxing on a beach is not your thing, then you shouldn't miss diving in Zanzibar.
With warm (up to 85F) waters and excellent underwater visibly (30+meters), the Swahili Coast offers amazing dives for pro-divers and beginners alike. Because the flora and fauna here is amazing and the waters are so warm all year round, you can spend quite a bit of time on your diving expeditions.
Tanzania Souvenir Shopping
With a huge duffle bag filled with dirty socks and hiking gear after your climb, the last thing you’d want is to stuff it with big heavy souvenirs.
Thankfully, Tanzania has a fabric artisan culture, which means you can fold your feather-light relics and buy a few for your friends and family without overloading your bags and shoulders on your return flight.
Kanga is a local material design found in every local’s closet.
Each pattern and color tell a unique story about you, your interests, mood and more, so buy those with caution and ask which piece of material would work best for you to avoid any wardrobe mishaps. Some kangas have obvious images like portraits of political leaders and other famous people.
Tanzanians are amazing with their cloth-painting, so getting a tablecloth or small pillowcases that have been hand-painted using natural local colors could make any interior richer almost immediately.
Go on a Tanzanian Cycling Tour
Most Tanzanian cycling tours venture along the border with Kenya, so they take you through most Northern Circuit parks like Serengeti, Lake Manyara and Ngorongoro.
Although these are great, you might find that they are a challenge of their own, so might not work as an add-on to your gruelling Kilimanjaro climb, unless you're very fit.
If you are heading to Zanzibar or the coastal town of Tanga, you can hire a bike to explore the local ancient streets packed with cafes and amazing architecture.
In Zanzibar, Stone Town boasts some of the fine examples of Arabic architecture, which resemble the narrow and twirling streets of Marrakesh in Morocco. If you spend enough time here, you’ll also come a cross a fortress or two.
In Tanga, you can venture out from Central Market into the streets you will bike past some of the great art deco palazzos and a myriad of food and quilt stores, you will eventually end up at a quiet beach, so make sure to pack some picnic to watch a sunset with some cold beer and a few local delights.
Taste the Local Cuisine
Like most African countries, Tanzania has a very diverse and ancient food culture.
However, in order to get a real taste of local delicacies, you’d need to venture off the beaten tourist tracks and ask your country guide to take you to a local restaurant for a delicious curry with a taste of Indian food tradition and fresh fruit, like mango, coconut, pineapple, pear, orange and more, accompanied by chapati bread and whali rice.
Some of the most famous dishes include grilled meat, or nyama choma, marinated beef called mshikaki. There are also a variety of samaki – fish dishes to be admired.
After your Kilimanjaro climb, you will indulge in the local beer drinking culture with a bottle (or two) of the best local Kilimanjaro Premium Lager. But apart from regional beer, like Serengeti and Kili, you can also try fruity beers, which are truly a tropical delight after a hot African day.
It seems that anything sweet can produce a bottle of beer in Tanzania. Try Raha or Mongozo for a beer made with bananas, Floris for a bottle of beer made from apples or passion fruit, honey and sugar can also be found in various local lagers. Served cold on your hotel deck, they will make you a memory of their own!
Check out our guide to African mountain ranges, or see our detailed hiking guides below: