House of Wonders, which is home to the Museum of History and Culture, is not only the largest—but also the tallest building in Stone Town. Built in 1883, the palace was the first building on the island to have electricity and the first in the region to have a working elevator. Since the early 2000s, House of Wonders has showcased a permanent collection of artifacts related to Swahili and Zanzibari culture.
Travelers can explore the grounds, which include a traditional Swahili boat, old-world fishing tools and famous ships, or wander the halls that offer an up close look at traditional garments, historic portraits of royalty and ancient furniture taken from former sultans’ homes. A visit to House of Wonders provides travelers with a window into the local culture and the island’s rich history.
On a continent known for its wildlife and safaris, few national parks hold the same iconic status as the Serengeti, Tanzania’s oldest and most popular reserve. Home to all of Africa’s Big Five, this massive park spans some 12,000 square miles of savannah, open plains and rugged cliffs that some one million wildebeests, 200,000 zebra and 300,000 gazelle call home.
Each year, these animals make a three-week pilgrimage from the Serengeti to Maasai Mara in search of better grazing and more plentiful water. This incredible event, commonly referred to as “the great migration,” is unlike any other game viewing experience on earth. The sheer volume of animals can make passing in safari trucks nearly impossible, as thousands of zebras and wildebeests fan out over the plains. Regardless of the time of year, travelers will likely spot prides of lions, giraffes, rhinos, and maybe even a cheetah.
This national park, stationed in the northeastern region of Tanzania, is located an easy drive from the center of Arusha, making it a popular stop for travelers to this beautiful and diverse city. Despite its relatively small size, Arusha National Park offers visitors a unique opportunity to explore some of East Africa’s diverse environments, as well as gain access to many of the continent’s most famous mammals.
Visitors can explore the Meru Crater funnels in the Jekukumia River, hike to the apex of Mount Meru and enjoy breathtaking views, or embark on a wildlife adventure to grasslands of the Ngorongoro Crater. Though travelers won’t find the same number of animals in Arusha National Park as some of Tanzania’s bigger reserves, they’ll still get a taste of what makes this one of the country’s most popular destinations. The park may be lion free, but plenty of wild buffalo, giraffe, zebra and monkeys roam the land, as well as an impressive number of indigenous birds.
Travelers looking for an authentic East African experience need look no further than the crowded stalls and narrow passes of Darajani Market. From early morning until late at night locals and visitors alike wander between merchants selling tree-ripened fruits, freshly caught fish, savory stews and spicy local delights.
While Darajani is mostly a food-lovers paradise, with plenty of vendors selling fresh ingredients and homemade delights, visitors can also find some random items, like brand new electronics, spare tires and modern clothing shipped in from overseas. Travelers should be prepared to haggle for the best price—particularly on fragrant spices—one of the best souvenirs from a trip to Zanzibar.
This traditional African market is one of the largest and busiest in all of Zanzibar. Local Tanzanians wander the streets as the sun rises—or hop aboard rusty metal bikes just after the call to prayer—to collect fruits, vegetables and other family essentials well before the day kicks off.
Travelers can explore dozens of vendor stalls where cheap produce, fresh meats, dried maize meal, local crafts and inexpensive imported clothing line the narrow passes of this covered market. The thick smoke of cooking food mixes with dust, sweat and the sound of shouting voices, making a trip to Zanzibar’s Mwanakwerekwe Market a truly African experience.
A trip to Tanzania puts travelers face-to-face with beautiful beaches, exciting cultures and incredible African wildlife. But a visit to Amani Children’s Home, just outside of Moshi, offers a unique opportunity for travelers to connect with some of the people who make this country so unique—children.
Since 2001 Amani has been providing food, shelter, education, medical care and counseling to Tanzania youth left homeless due to poverty and HIV/AIDS. The cheerful yellow building with a bright green roof typically houses between 70 and 100 kids, making it the perfect place to spend a day—or even a week—volunteering time, services or material goods for a greater cause with the breathtaking backdrop of the Tanzanian countryside.