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Explore Best Cities in Tanzania

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Expert travel information on Tanzania towns and cities in East Africa.

1 Location

Arusha City

Located in north eastern Tanzania, Arusha is the capital of the Arusha Region. The city is situated under the towering giant Mount Meru, and Mount Kilimanjaro is just 82.6km away. Arusha was first settled in the 1830s by the Arusha Maasai. These agropastoral settlers belonged to the Arusha Chini community who lived south of Mount Kilimanjaro. Arusha is the safari capital of Tanzania, and a popular stopover for adventurers who are preparing for a Kilimanjaro trek.


There is more to Arusha than initially meets the eye. With impressive museums, cultural heritage programmes, crafts, and curio markets galore, there is plenty to explore before you start your safari. The city is multinational, with Iraqw, Hadzabe, Maasai, South Asian, and European residents.


The streets are bustling, with Maasai women sat on the sidewalks selling their beadwork, Maasai men wandering through town in their traditional red swathes, enterprising businessman trying to sell batiks, and tour guides offering various exciting 4WD adventures. Despite this intensity, the city has a warmwelcoming atmosphere. Matching the ambiance of the city, the architecture and infrastructure is chaotic, with hectic traffic and old colonial buildings mixed with modern conveniences.


How to get to Arusha? There are two airports near Arusha. Arusha Airport is a domestic airport with only a few daily flights. It is 15 minutes from the town centre, and it is often the starting point for safaris. Kilimanjaro International Airport receives daily flights from domestic, African, and international airlines. This airport is around 45 minutes from the centre and a taxi to the airport will cost around $50. Some drivers may accept a cheaper fare, but you will need to haggle. If you are travelling from Kilimanjaro Airport to the local Arusha airport, allow at least one hour for the journey.

0 Locations

Dar es salaam City

Dar es Salaam is a rapidly growing city home to just over 4 million residents. The name of the city, which loosely translates as ‘haven of peace’, is quite ironic given its chaotic, loud nature. The city is hectic, and you could spend up to three hours in rush hour at night, but it is also a cultural hub. Those that enter the urban jungle will get a fascinating insight into local life and culture. The city has exquisite restaurantsgood nightlife, and several beautiful beaches. Its status as the economic hub of Tanzania makes it well-connected to surrounding cities, Zanzibar, and the national parks in the south.


As Tanzania’s economic capital, Dar es Salaam has good domestic and international transport links. Several airlines offer flights to the Julius Nyerere International Airport (DAR), including Etihad Airways, Emirates, Qatar Airways Delta, KLM, Swiss International Air Lines, and Turkish Airlines. The bus journey from the airport to the city centre takes around 30 minutes.


You can take any bus in the direction of Kisutu. Tickets should cost TSH 200-TSH 400. Alternatively, you can take a taxi or Uber to the city centre, but this will be more expensive. A taxi to the city centre costs around TSh 400.000. After dark, caution should be taken with taxis. Dar es Salaam covers a huge spread of land and taxis can become much more expensive if you are staying in the outskirts of the city. If you book with us, we will take care of your transport.


Where to stay in Dar es salaam? Whether the city is just a stepping-stone for other adventures or a highlight of your itinerary, you will need to find comfortable accommodation. You can choose between a range of hotels, Airbnbs, and hostels. Hostels are a great way for young people to meet fellow travellers and they are often reasonably priced. Some of the best hotels at mid-market prices are The Oyster Bay, The Hyatt Regency (The Kilimanjaro), and The Southern Sun. If you want to stay in a hostel, Happy Feet Backpackers is a great option.

0 Locations

Mbeya City

The Southern highland regions of Iringa and Mbeya possess unique tourists attractions. There are scenic features, including waterfalls , the rift valley escarpment, natural bridges and various volcanic features. These regions also posses rare birds and plant species, attractive scenery and a vibrant local culture.


Mbeya Attractions: Matema beach, at the northern end of the lake, in Kyela district, Mbeya region, is suitable for sunbathing with its soft sands and is renowned for the traditional pottery of the Wakisi community. The Uporoto, Kipengere and livingstone mountain ranges and the rift valley are the other attractions found in Mbeya region. The 20 – tonne nickel iron meteorite in mbozi area and Kalambo falls near the Zambia – Tanzania border are source of tourist attractions. Usangu valley game reserve is famous for its wildlife and has been one of the best hunting safari areas in Tanzania.


Chimala and matamba escarpments, where the road winds down 52 bends, is a major man – made attraction in Mbeya. The road snakes through nine kilometers of escarpment with many waterfalls and breath taking natural scenery. The daraja la Mungu (Bridge of God) at Kiwira is another marvel. The natural stone bridge on the river kiwira is believed to have been formed 18 million years ago. Thre kilometers up the deep gorge from the Bridge of God, is the mysterious and awe-inspiring Kijungu (pot). This natural formation looks like a huge African cooking pot into which the kiwira river pours its waters.

0 Locations

Mwanza City

Mwanza is the second largest city in Tanzania and the most pleasant city in Tanzania. The surroundings are beautiful, situated on the hilly banks of Lake Victoria with amazing rock formations, green hills and slopes. Mwanza is everything because of a good climatic condition, a charming city, kind and most friendly people but is altogether very different from Arusha and Dar es Salaam which are the other big cities in Tanzania. It has all the big city features like Restaurants, Hotels, Hospitals, Markets, Transportation, Bars, Clubs, Banks and Supermarkets, but has a local touch to it than any other city, and that is what makes it charming.


Plenty of Destinations and Touring: Mwanza is the excellent Tourist destination and the best place to start a Tour, the nearest city to Serengeti National Park a world heritage site and recently proclaimed the seventh worldwide wonder, Tanzania’s oldest and most popular national park. Mwanza is located at the shores of Lake Victoria has beautiful beaches, the fishing industry around and unique scenery being a hilly place, with splendid rock formations. Mwanza has Saanane Island park the nearest park from the city center in East Africa, Mwanza is a wonderful destination endowed with a combination of attractions. Take a look for more destination/attraction at the right side of the page or below.

0 Locations

Zanzibar Island

Anchored 22 miles off Tanzania’s coast, Zanzibar is an archipelago of over 50 islands and islets.  The two main Islands of Unguja and Pemba are believed to have once formed part of Africa, but broke away between 5 and 23 million years ago. Uniting with Tanzania in 1964, Zanzibar is now one of the best beach holiday destinations in East Africa, with beautiful white sands and clear blue waters stretching as far as the eye can see.


As a primary trading post on the spice, silk and slave trade routes for over a millennium, Zanzibar has been a unique cultural crossroads, blending African, Indian, Arabian and European cultures. This is most apparent in the Old Stone Town, one of the few remaining ancient towns in Africa.


Stone Town is a labyrinth of chaotic alleyways, interposed between towering limestone houses, each with ornately carved hardwood doors with brass finishings and terracotta roofs. Alongside the architecture, Zanzibar is unique in its cuisine, religion, politics, and way of life. It’s very different to mainland Tanzania, and makes for a perfect start or end to an East African safari. 


Things to do in Zanzibar: Zanzibar offers a number of outdoor activities and water sports, including cycling, kitesurfing, diving, or just general island hopping. Most hotels are based on the mainland, but if you want to escape the bustle of the main island’s beaches, there are plenty of smaller islands to give you that marooned-on-a-desert-island experience.


Paje, Jambiani, and Chumbe Island: The north coast of Zanzibar is popular with kite surfers, and most companies offer a range of boards and lessons for beginners. Paje is one of the most popular sites, with crowded beaches for kitesurfing and diving, and a lively atmosphere. Meanwhile, Jambiani is a quieter option with plenty of restaurants. For snorkelling and diving aficionados, Chumbe island – 12km from the main island – is the best place to be. This protected marine park is easy to get to (only 45 minutes by boat from Stone Town) and your money goes towards protecting a fragile ecosystem.


Mnemba Island, Stone Town, and Spice Farms: Mnemba island is largely regarded as one of the best dive and snorkel spots in Zanzibar. The island is a 30-minute boat ride from the town of Matemwe on Unguja’s East coast.  Zanzibar city comprises two parts: Stone Town, the historical epicentre, and Ng’ambo (literally translated as ‘the other side’). Stone Town is the historical core of Zanzibar, said to be the only remaining ancient town of East Africa still used today.


It offers enough activities for two days, including strolling around the labyrinthian alleys, touring the old slave market, visiting Prison island, checking out the old Sultanate ruins, or getting lost in the old market. Let’s not forget that the Zanzibar archipelago is, rather exotically, also known as the ‘Spice islands’ for its historical role as the centre for spice trade. It’s well worth taking a tour of the spice farms that still operate today and can be reached from Zanzibar city.


How to get to Zanzibar: There are some direct flights to Zanzibar offered by Condor, Jetfly, Ethiopian Airways, Kenyan Airways, Oman Air, Qatar Airlines, Arkia Israeli Airlines, KLM, FlyDubai, Meridian, Easyjet, Mango and Turkish Airlines. Or, you can take a 20-minute flight from Dar es Salaam to the airport in Zanzibar, called Abeid Amani Karume International Airport.


Alternatively, a ferry operates from the harbour in the centre of Dar es Salaam to Zanzibar City. It runs four times a day and prices are usually half that of plane tickets (around $35 at time of writing). The ferry takes around two hours. Note that the seas can be rather rough, so be prepared if you are prone to sea sickness. Again, although Zanzibar is part of the Union, it has its own immigration service, and you need a valid passport to enter. And if you are travelling from countries that have Yellow Fever, you will need proof of vaccination.

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