It seems a bit of a shame to travel all the way to Tanzania to climb Kilimanjaro and then simply jet home again without seeing any more of the country. Don’t get me wrong, the experience of ascending the peak is amazing, but it’s also worth allowing a bit of time to explore what’s on offer elsewhere in Tanzania once you’ve finished the trek.
To give you some inspiration, I’ve come up with two suggestions of places to visit and things to do after the first part of your holiday to Kilimanjaro comes to an end.
The first option is to head to the stunning tropical islands of the Zanzibar archipelago – the perfect place to kick back and relax after climbing a mountain! There are two main islands here, with lots of small islets dotted around them. Their location in the Indian Ocean means you can expect to find pristine white-sand beaches, as well as amazing coral reefs just below the surface.
While you may be tempted to just sit back and relax on the coast after the challenge of climbing Kilimanjaro, I think it’s better to include a few activities and excursions on your trip to Zanzibar. One place worth visiting for a dose of culture is Stone Town, a vibrant and eclectic city that’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to a host of outstanding buildings.
Large palaces and mansions can be found on its streets, as well as small houses nestled on its narrow alleys, a wide range of restaurants and shops and bustling markets. It’s got more than its fair share of historical sites, too, with the Anglican Cathedral, House of Wonders, Palace Museum and the Old Fort among the places you shouldn’t miss.
Go on a safari in Africa
Tanzania is a wonderful place to go on a safari and, although you may have spotted some of the country’s fascinating wildlife during your Kilimanjaro ascent, I think the chance to see a host of amazing animals in their natural habitat is too good to pass up – after all, you have travelled a long way to get here, so you may as well make the most of it!
You can travel to the famous Serengeti Game Reserve if you want, or head to one of Tanzania’s lesser known national parks, like Lake Manyara, Tarangire or the Ngorongoro Crater Conservation Area. If you don’t have lots of time to spare on your safari adventure, I reckon Lake Manyara is the best choice.
This reserve is relatively small – 330 sq km – and, unsurprisingly, features a very large lake! Because it’s reasonably compact, it’s a great place to see a wide variety of creatures in a short space of time. For instance, in the forests you can look for the likes of baboons, blue monkeys, bushbucks and forest hornbills, while on the flood plains you’ll spot animals including wildebeest, zebras, buffaloes, klipspringers, lions and elephants. Around the lake itself there are hippos, in addition to a vast array of birds, such as pelicans, cormorants, flamingos and storks.
If you’re after spectacular scenery as well as astounding wildlife, the Ngorongoro Crater is one of the best options, with the stunning Olduvai Gorge and the vast volcanic crater among the landscapes you’ll encounter. The main crater is home to black rhinos, lions, grant’s gazelles, elands and zebras, to name just a few, while leopards are found on its forested upper slopes.