My visit to Tanzania was also my first time exploring a sub-Saharan African country. I had an amazing journey and loved every minute of it. Here’s a travel guide with a 3-week Tanzania itinerary across the country, from the savannah to the top of Kilimanjaro and the beautiful beaches in Zanzibar.
3-week Tanzania Itinerary
Part 1 of our Tanzania Itinerary: from Dar Es Salaam to Arusha
Our international flight landed in Dar Es Salaam. Our safari was leaving two days later from Arusha. We could have taken a flight to cross the country, but we opted for a different experience that we found more interesting: we went there by bus. Read our experience here.
Part 2 of our Tanzania Itinerary: a 6-day safari
We left from Arusha and explored the wonderful and iconic parks of Tanzania. We were travelling with a guide/driver and a cook and camping every night. It was fantastic: I never imagined we would ever be able to see wildlife from that close.
We went to Tarangire, Lake Manyara, Oldupai Gorge, Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater. And we saw all the animals you can expect in an African safari. It’s hard to tell which one was the best, but I’ve written here about the highlights of my safari trip.
We also had two stops to visit local villages: one stop at a traditional (and disappointing) Masaii village and another stop to learn more about the modern Tanzanian history and culture at Mto Wa Mbu village. You can read all about it here.
Part 3 of our Tanzania Itinerary: Our 5-day climb to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro
Going on a safari was quite high on my bucket list. But for me, climbing Africa’s highest summit was even more exciting. When we flew to Dar Es Salaam, we saw the top of Kilimanjaro from the plane. At almost 5,000 metres high, it was at the same level than us in the plane. Since realising that, I was quite nervous about it – especially as I felt my body weak as I was a bit sick.
As expected, reaching the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro was a challenge. One of the hardest hikes I’ll ever do in my life. It doesn’t mean you cannot do it: it’s not technically difficult. But the altitude – and worse the altitude sickness – makes every step harder than it should be.
If you’re interested to read more about Kilimanjaro, I suggest reading these two articles:
- How to prepare Mount Kilimanjaro: my five big tips for the climb
- The life lessons I learnt while climbing Mount Kilimanjaro
Part 4 of our Tanzania Itinerary: A few days relaxing on Zanzibar Island
I have to admit I didn’t do as much as I wished in Zanzibar. After going down Kilimanjaro, my joints were tired and painful so I used Zanzibar as an opportunity to rest on a beautiful beach while talking to locals and eating delicious barbecues on the beach. It’s one of the best places to relax, check out the best beaches in Zanzibar here to get an idea of the beauty of the island.
I still got to do activities that didn’t require too much effort: two scuba dives and a great trip on a traditional sailing boat – which was amazing. Although they sounded interesting, I had to skip the iconic capital Stone Town and the spice tour.
Before you go to Tanzania
Talk to you GP about your trip so you get the necessary vaccines and learn more about Malaria prevention.
If you plan to hike Kilimanjaro, read here my tips to prepare the climb. It’s also a good idea to talk to a healthcare professional about it if you have any questions about altitude sickness.