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Tanzania | © evaschlomberg/Pixabay
Tanzania | © evaschlomberg/Pixabay

11 Breathtaking Natural Landscapes in Tanzania

Picture of Gill Lange
Updated: 21 December 2017

Beautiful vistas are not hard to find in Tanzania as the country is blessed with striking natural scenery that varies from vast tracts of wilderness to gorgeous seascapes. The mainland is littered with amazing national parks that rank among the best in Africa, while the islands of Zanzibar archipelago offer a tropical paradise of exquisite proportions.

West Usambara Mountains

Take a break on the wild side and explore the stunning wilderness of the Usambara Mountain Reserve, an ancient Eastern Arc chain located about 5 kilometres (3 miles) from Lushoto town. This remote region of East Africa is mostly covered with forest reserve with spectacular views of the Mkomazi and Handeni plains and Mount Kilimanjaro on the horizon. Numerous waterfalls, hikes in the forest, and an arboretum are among the beautiful attractions.

West Usambara Mountains

The Usambara Mountains, Tanzania | © mathiasmoeller/Shutterstock

The Usambara Mountains, Tanzania | © mathiasmoeller/Shutterstock

Pangani

Rumoured to be a haven for smugglers, Pangani is a village that the rest of the world has seemingly passed by. Overgrown with lush tropical vegetation, the quiet streets can be explored at an uninterrupted and leisurely pace. The town was once a grand port serving China and Arabia with slaves, ivory and spices but today is a beautiful mess of age-old fig tress and crumbling ruins, peppered with a few hotels and resorts.

Pangani

Street in Pangani, Tanzania | © Vincent van Zeijst/wikicommons

Street in Pangani, Tanzania | © Vincent van Zeijst/wikicommons

Kizimkazi

This fishing village on the southern coast of Tanzania was once a walled city and epitomises traditional Zanzibarian life, full of rich culture and surrounded by warm and welcoming people. Slow is the way to go here in order to take in the idyllic beach surrounds and the clear blue waters of Menai Bay. Bottle nose dolphins are a big attraction and those that are lucky may even get to swim with them.

Kizimkazi  

Ngorongoro Conservation Area

Once a gigantic volcano, this panoramic area is now a protected world heritage site and one of the most popular and visited destinations in Tanzania. Here wildlife and the Maasai live together peacefully in the abundant caldera where water is never scarce and food is easy to come by. The Ngorongoro crater is considered one of the world’s most astonishing natural wonders and no list of scenic African landscapes would be complete without it.

Ngorongoro Conservation Area, +256 741 220199

Jozani Forest

This exquisite natural forest is one of the last remaining sanctuaries in the world for the characterful red colobus monkey, and is filled with gorgeous mahogany trees and lush mangrove swamps. The natural wonder of the park attracts a large number of tourists every year and is fabulous for a day trip, allowing visitors to lose themselves in the forest-like environment and learn more about the funny and interesting habits of primates.

Jozani Forest

Tarangire National Park

The Tarangire ecosystem is one of the most lively and diverse in Tanzania with over 700 lions, 450 bird species, and one of the highest concentrations of elephants in the world. The park is also a beautiful sight to behold with constantly changing scenery, where grassy savannas flow into vast, verdant swamps and enormous termite mounds litter the landscape. Giant baobabs offer shade to animals such as large herds of zebra and buffalo that flock to the banks of the Tarangire River during the dry season.

Tarangire National Park, +255 27 250 3471

Mount Kilimanjaro

Dramatic and dominating the skyline, Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa and also one of the most scenic. It is topped by three volcanic peaks while the base is fringed by the Kilimanjaro National Park. The park is a UNESCO World Heritage site and graced with various vegetation zones that include montane forest, moorland and grassland.

Mount Kilimanjaro

Nungwi

Located on the northern shores of Zanzibar, Nungwi’s palm fringed coastline and warm ocean water is what island holidays are all about. This little slice of paradise blends together all the elements of a perfect beach getaway, where soft white sand shimmers in the sun and is offset fabulously against the sparkling blue sea. Traditional dhows dot the shoreline and colourful coral reefs fringe the island.

Nungwi

Ruaha National Park

This dramatic and scenic park is the largest in Tanzania, holding a reputation as one of the country’s best kept game viewing secrets with a wild and unrushed feel that sets it apart from other reserves. It is well known for its varied and beautiful landscape that includes rolling hills, open plains, enormous baobab trees, and the great Ruaha River. The remote and essentially untouched wilderness sweeps across a gorgeous countryside where age old trees stud the hills and rocky escarpments add a touch of drama to the skyline.

Ruaha National Park 

Serengeti Plains

The Serengeti easily ranks among the most recognised and popular wilderness areas in the world. Each day presents a different image of Africa at its classical best, with grassy plains that stretch on forever. The area pulsates with tension and energy as the plains and valleys are a favoured hunting ground for predators all through the year. The region is also famous for its picturesque beauty and birdlife and brings the magic of Africa to life.

Serengeti National Park, +255 27 250 3471

Visit a tea plantation

Tanzania is one of the most important tea producing countries in Africa, making a sizable contribution to global production every year. The country’s warm subtropical climate and seasonal rains provide ideal conditions to grow tea, and plantations are found mainly in the high lying areas where the air is cooler and more precipitation falls. The lush and scenic mountainous surrounds are a gorgeous sight to behold.