If you close your eyes and conjure up the quintessential romantic image of Africa, what you’ll most likely imagine is Tanzania: the drama of the wildebeest migration along a seemingly-endless savannah; the incongruous snow and glaciers of Mount Kilimanjaro; the iconic and statuesque Maasai warriors; the exotic palm-fringed beaches on the spice islands of Zanzibar. It’s all here. Tanzania boasts some of the most impressive national parks and game reserves in Africa. The Serengeti National Park is considered the continent’s premier spot to see wildlife roam unheeded across vast open plains.
Nearby, within the steep walls of the Ngorongoro Crater lies the most densely concentrated population of African mammals on earth. Not to be forgotten, the Selous Game Reserve is larger than Switzerland, and is wild, remote and still virtually untouched by humans. Even further from the beaten path are parks in the extreme west of the country which offer the unique opportunity to track chimpanzees in their natural habitat on the fringes of Lake Tanganyika, one of Africa’s Great Lakes.
Beyond its safari stalwarts, Tanzania has no less than 804km (503 miles) of sublime coastline and pearly-white beaches with some magnificent islands offshore. Known as the Swahili Coast, this was a favoured stop on ancient trading routes between the Indian sub-continent and the Middle East. Spices, jewels and slaves once passed through, bringing with them a mélange of cultural riches that remain today.