Serengeti, Kilimanjaro, Ngorongoro... if any country conjures up visions of Africa, it’s Tanzania. From the pristine coral reefs of the Swahili Coast, to the slopes of the continent’s highest mountain, it teems with wildlife – and promises to take your breath away.
"This is a country with both Africa’s highest and lowest points: Kilimanjaro and Lake Tanganyika. It has some of the continent’s most impressive game parks, and a coastline of pearly-white beaches perfect for sun-worshipping."
To top it all, Tanzania is one of Africa’s most stable nations, making its many treasures all the more accessible. And those treasures don’t come any greater than the vast plains and savannahs of the Serengeti: top of the tree when it comes to wildlife-watching. Running in a very close second is the Ngorongoro Crater – ‘Africa’s Eden’ – a caldera packed with big game (apart from giraffes, who can’t climb the steep sides) and many luxury lodges.
Biggest of all though, is Selous Game Reserve in the south: it’s larger than Switzerland. But while these may be the most popular spots for game-viewing, the more adventurous head for Ruaha and Katavi: both untouched, off the beaten track and pulsating with energy; or Mahale, renowned for its chimpanzees.
And then there’s the coastline. Known as the Swahili Coast, its place on the ancient trading routes between India and the Middle East have given it a heady cocktail of cultural riches, while nature has bestowed immaculate coral reefs, throngs of coconut palms, and silky soft beaches.
Wherever you head for, though, take the opportunity to get to know the locals. Warm, friendly and unfailingly polite, their pride in telling you about their beautiful country may well turn out to be a high point of your trip... higher even than Kilimanjaro.