Top 10 Hidden Gems in Tanzania
Do you want to get off the beaten track? Do you want to visit hidden gems besides the usual touristic hotspots like safari, Kilimanjaro, and Zanzibar in Tanzania? Here’s our top 10 of less frequently visited places in Tanzania.
#10 Chemka Hot Springs, Moshi
This oasis is located about an hour and a half from Arusha. Don't worry though, during the second half of the drive you'll enjoy magnificent scenery as we drive through deserted lands, with a view of mount Kilimanjaro on a clear day; passing my numerous baobab trees. The water is very clear, there is a rope to swing from; and if you feel something tickling while you swim near the rocks, those are the little fish eating the dead skin from your feet.
You’ll get here for between 30 and 50 USD from Arusha or Moshi, depending on the size of your group.
#9 Gods Bridge, Mbeya
About a 40 minutes drive from Mbeya town centre, you’ll find God’s bridge. A naturally formed bridge over a picturesque waterstream. The rough texture of the bridge makes a splendid picture. You’ll get here with a car and a guide from Mbeya for 20-40 USD depending on the size of your group.
#8 Lake Victoria, Mwanza
Mwanza is a gorgeous port city in the lake region, bordering lake Victoria. The city if very vibrant, and in the evening on the lake, you can see thousands of little fishermen's lights. A truly magical spot. You can also visit the lesser know Saanane National Park. You can take a bus from Arusha to Mwanza for about 20 USD.
#7 Lake Tanganyika, Kipili
Kipili is a very quiet and peaceful village right next to Lake Tanganyika. It is very remote, so accommodation and food choices are pretty limited, yet it is definitely worth the visit if you’re looking for a quiet space to relax and recharge your batteries. You can reach Kipili by bus or by car from Sumbawanga, or Iringa.
#6 Maasai Village
Important to note, a maasai village is only off the beaten track if you visit an authentic one. Some of these villages are so frequently visited that they just put on a show. If you are able to visit a village off the beaten track with your tour operator, you’ll see the Maasai in real life. You’ll get to know their customs and habits, and be welcomed in their village and houses.
#5 Fishers Market, Bagamoyo
Bagamoyo is about an hour away from Dar es Salaam, and was the trade center during German occupancy. The whole town is picturesque, yet the fishers market tops the cake. You can select your fish right next to the ocean and have it fried on the spot. I recommend taking a guide as it can be pretty hectic to go on your own.
#4 Isimila stoneage site, Iringa
Rain and erosion has caused the ground to collapse, yet some spots were protected by stronger ground, forming these amazing pilars. The site is about an hour away from Iringa and costs around 20 USD, including a guide. You’ll walk through these amazing rock formations for about 3 hours.
#3 Irente Viewpoint, Lushoto
Starting from Lushoto town, a 2 hour hike through beautiful nature will bring you to this breathtaking photo opportunity with the far stretching views of the Usambara mountains. The Kisasa waterfalls are nearby as well, that didn’t make it into the top 10 but are still very well worth the visit.
#2 Lake Eyasi
Lake Eyasi is in the Northern Safari circuit yet it’s not visited as frequently. This beautiful jawdropping lake is truly in the middle of nowhere, as you’ll soon notice while driving through cacti & palmtree bushes to get here. This gem is high on the list because it’s not just the lake that’s amazing, it’s the way there as well. An extra bonus is the Hadzabe tribes that you can visit additionally, also referred to as bushmen. Your local tour operator can easily add on a day in Lake Eyasi when you go on safari. When you add it to your safari the cost should be about 100-150 USD per person, with overnight camping.
#1 Katavi National Park
Katavi National Park tops the cake. I did not have high expectations of this National Park as an expat having seen most of the parks very frequently already. The sight at Ikuu bridge within the park however, I had never even dreamt of. Tons of crocodiles and hippos just right there under the bridge. Truly unreal. You can drive through Katavi National Park from Mpanda or Sumbawanga.