Are you heading to Tanzania for your next holiday?

This is a country in Africa with plenty of wildlife, but what else is there to see and do besides safaris?

Before we share some of the best things to do in Tanzania, here are a few things you’ll need first:

Once you’ve sorted this out, you can plan all the activities for your trip to Tanzania.

We’ve done the hard work and found some of the best things to do other than the usual safaris on offer.

1. Sunset Cruise

Sailing through the calm waters of the Indian Ocean and watching the African shorelines glimmer in dusk is a fascinating experience.

Begin the journey in late afternoon, and catch the parade of late summer lights on the seas.

The local dhow picks you up from Stone Town, leaving the city’s hustle and bustle behind.

On the cruise, you sail over the balmy waters surrounding Zanzibar Island, and have some snacks and drinks.

If you have opted for a dinner cruise, enjoy a delicious meal as the sun melts down into the horizon.

The sunset cruises are typically 2-3 hours long.

  • Location: Zanzibar, Tanzania
  • Duration: 3-4 hours

Check Tours

2. Zanzibar Dhow Cruise & Sea Sports at Kwale Island

At Tanzania, have an adventurous day out at the sea under the sultry tropical skies.

On a dhow cruise, jump into the crystal-clear water to swim and snorkel amidst marine creatures and thriving coral reefs.

Try your hand at jet skiing, diving and different types of beach activities.

Have a platter of Swahili BBQ, a variety of fresh seafood and seasonal fruits.

You will stopover at the Kwale Island where you can sunbathe on the sandbanks.

There is also an opportunity to check out an ancient Baobab Tree that has been standing on the island for the last 500 years.

The itinerary includes passing through Stone Town, Vuga, and Zanzibar City.

  • Departure Point: Stone Town or Cruise Terminal Port of Zanzibar
  • Departure Time: Tour starts at  8:30am
  • Duration: 7 hours

Check Tour

3. Paje Beach & Blue Lagoon

On your Tanzanian retreat, if you feel like withdrawing to a secluded place, Paje is your go-to spot.

The village island is renowned for its consistent offshore winds making it an ideal spot to learn kiteboard surfing.

The shores are dotted with shallow lagoons, sandy bottoms and flourishing reef systems.

Travelers can sunbathe on the sun-drenched beaches and chill out in the cool lagoons.

Approximately 10 km from Paje, you’ll find the Blue Lagoon.

Blue Lagoon is a popular spot for snorkelers because of great water clarity and marine life.

Dive in and spot creatures including eels, parrot fish, lion fish, squirrel fish and plenty more.

  • Departure Point: from your hotel in Zanzibar
  • Departure Time: 9am
  • Duration: 6 hours

Check Tour

4. Nakupenda Beach

Nakupenda Beach is a sandbank located a few miles from Stone Town, and it literally translates into ‘I love you’ in Swahili.

Quite romantic, isn’t it?

The beach sketches an idyllic picture for a romantic and leisurely respite for couples.

It’s vast stretch of sandy goodness with ebbing waves of Nakupenda is mostly deserted.

A brilliant array of bird species and tortoises often make grand appearances, and tropical fish frolic in the water.

From Nakupenda, you can also pay a visit to Prison Island, a perfect spot for snorkeling and tortoise viewing.

You can either go for a full day trip, or short 2-hour one.

  • Departure Point: from your hotel in Zanzibar
  • Departure Time: 9am
  • Duration: 8 hours

Check Tour

5. Zanzibar Food & Spice Islands

This four-hour tour tells you all the secrets behind the popular nickname for Zanzibar – Spice Island.

It is mostly conducted in a small group of people giving you a personalised experience.

Learn the history and facts behind the island’s renowned spices, their origins, and trading systems at Spice Farm.

Apart from spices, learn about fruits that are cultivated on the islands as well as traditional sauces.

You’ll be taken off the beaten tracks that are only known to locals.

The best part, lunch is included on the tour!

By the end, you’ll have in depth knowledge about all the local spices with their textures and aromas.

  • Departure Point: Old Fort and Cultural Center, Hurumzi St, Zanzibar, Tanzania
  • Departure Time: 9am
  • Duration: 4 hours

Check Tour

6. Historical Stone Town Walk

The oldest part of Zanzibar, Stone Town is a designated UNESCO World Heritage site.

The narrow alleys punctuated with limestone buildings are no less than a labyrinth.

On a two-hour historical tour, visit the popular landmarks like Anglican Cathedral, House of Wonders, Palace Museums, the Old Fort, Darjani Market, Hamamni Baths, Freddy Mercury House and much more.

Explore through the bazaars, buy lovely souvenirs and have a cup of local coffee.

When you want to relax, stroll at the town’s seafront promenade which is fronted by turquoise waters.

  • Departure Point: Old Fort, Mizingani Rd, Zanzibar, Tanzania
  • Departure Time: 9am, 10am, 2pm, 3pm
  • Duration: 2-3 hours

Check Tour

7. Prison Island

The magical Prison Island of Zanzibar is filled with beauty, playful tortoises, and comforting warmth to unwind and relax.

It is a history rich area that’s worth exploring.

If you are looking for a laid back time, you can stroll around the shores and learn more about the former residents.

There’s an array of exotic wildlife to accompany you on the island, where antelopes and peacocks are often spotted, besides the humble tortoises finding sanctuary in the sandy beaches.

In the evening, you can enjoy a lovely spread of seafood BBQ with friends and family.

If you are looking for an adventurous excursion, you can snorkel in the crystal clear turquoise waters and explore psychedelic coral reef networks hidden in the depth of the ocean.

  • Departure Point: Your hotel in Zanzibar
  • Departure Time: 8am, 1:30pm
  • Duration: 3 hours

Check Tour

8. Materuni Waterfalls, Coffee & Chemka Hot Springs

Surround yourself with natural beauty and sunshine by spending an afternoon at Materuni Waterfalls and Chemka Hot Springs.

It’s a great opportunity to mingle with the locals, eat and drink at the small bar, soak in the sun or go for a dive.

The tour starts with a visit to the lovely Materuni waterfalls, where you can learn more about the village life and Chagga culture while absorbing the spectacular view.

The coffee experience is a must for all the caffeine junkies.

Delve in to the complete processing procedure of coffee beans accompanied by colorful Chagga songs and dances.

Finally, the Kikuletwa hot springs await you past bumpy slopes and sugar cane fields.

It is one of the most peaceful places to relax and collect your thoughts while taking some memorable pictures.

  • Departure Point: from your hotel in Arusha
  • Departure Time: 6:30am ot 8:30am
  • Duration: 12 hours

Check Tour

9. Mt. Kilimanjaro Hiking

Mount Kilimanjaro is the tallest freestanding mountain in the world, and on the buck list of many people.

Check it off on your bucket list by taking a hike along the many trails with truly rewarding views.

The guides are quite knowledgeable, and ensure you get to experience the best views during your climb.

Wear the most comfortable shoes you have as this hike is no joke, and can be a bit challenging for some.

Only go for this adventure if you are a serious hiker and an outdoorsy person.

The campsites are tranquil and comforting, where you can enjoy roasting marshmallows together and sleeping under the stars.

It is a wholesome experience that will stay with you forever.

  • Departure Point: from your hotel
  • Departure Time: 7:30 am
  • Duration: 11 hours

Check Tour

10. Explore Arusha

Arusha has a lot to offer besides a typical safari trek through the national park.

The Mount Meru stands erect as a lovely backdrop.

You can soak in its captivating beauty from afar or plan a hiking trip with trained guides.

You can even visit it for a quick stroll on the lower slopes and enjoy the fascinating waterfalls of Arusha National Park.

The multicultural, ethnically diverse city is colorful and lively, with the world’s only museum displaying precious gemstones.

Explore the vivacious shops and food markets filled with exotic spices, nuts, fruits and coffee beans, or sit by one of the quaint cafés for a refreshing cup of coffee.

  • Departure Point: from your hotel in Arusha
  • Departure Time: 8am
  • Duration: 10 hours

Check Tours

11. Explore Dar Es Salaam

Dar es Salaam has a fascinating history.

What was once a dormant Zaramo fishing village, has now evolved into a vibrant topical metropolis that has a lot to offer.

The city has a calming vibe, with a multitude of craft markets and tasteful restaurants, as well as a busy fish market.

The mixed architecture of multiple ethnic origins livens up the city.

You can enjoy a peaceful evening on the offshore islands or coco beach after a productive day of exploring the city’s markets and gardens.

Don’t forget to stop by at the museums and cathedral to learn more about the Dar es Salaam’s culture and history.

  • Departure Point: from your hotel in Dar es Salaam
  • Departure Time: 8am
  • Duration: 9 hours

Check Tour

12. Water Sports

Tanzania is a safe haven for water sports enthusiasts.

There are plenty of excursions, tours and water activities available for the travelers.

Embark upon the excursion boat of Aquana, and head out to explore different islands including Prison Island and Bawu Island.

Check out giant tortoises at play, beautiful peacocks displaying their feathers, dik-dik antelopes and historical monuments.

Take a day trip to Materuni Waterfalls where you can swim and gaze at the cascading falls.

From there, you can also visit the coffee farm and Kikuletwa hot water springs.

Popular water adventures in Tanzania include swimming in lagoons, snorkeling, jet skiing, kitesurfing, and sunset cruises.

Check Tour

Tanzania is much more than safaris and wilderness.

If you want to find out more about this African country, have a look at our other excursions.

Find More Tours in Tanzania

For all new cities, I go overboard on my itinerary, just to see every major attraction. Countries I've visited include New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, China, Cambodia, Japan and Thailand. Mostly Asian countries. Next target - Europe!