This is Tanzania – Five Reasons You Should Visit

This past week I’ve been reminiscing a lot about my time in Tanzania and it also got me thinking about what inspired me to go there. I mean for most people, it wouldn’t be the first choice that comes to mind when planning your first solo adventure, right?

When I first announced that I was going travelling and would be spending some time volunteering at an orphanage, I remember people saying to me “why do you want to go there?” “isn’t it quite dangerous?” “you’ll see so much poverty, I don’t think you will be able to cope” “you’re going to catch all sorts of tropical diseases.”

Then of course it was around the same time of the Ebola outbreak in the West, and despite Tanzania being thousands of miles away on the other side of the continent, it didn’t stop some people genuinely worrying, while others would flippantly make very ignorant remarks.

Is it Safe for Women to Travel Solo in Tanzania?

But for as long as I can remember, I have always had a fascination with Africa. So it didn’t matter what anyone said to me, I was determined to go.

I think this was largely down to the fact that my grandparents had spent a number of years living and working in both Tanzania and Ghana before I was even born. Every time I visited them, I was always mesmerised by the African souvenirs that covered their house from top to bottom, and would love hearing their stories about what a magical place it is.

But I wanted to see it for myself, and I very clearly remember looking up at the African-shaped clock on their wall one afternoon and saying to myself, “one day, I will go there.”

So fast-forward a fair few years, and there I was. In Moshi. Living in the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro. In Tanzania. Doing something that I had always dreamt of doing. I’d enjoyed the experience so much, I ended up going back there at the end of my around-the-world trip.

And now I’ve come back to England, people are asking me “why do you want to go back there?” I mean, surely twice is enough?!?!

I can think of a hundred different reasons why I fell in love with Tanzania, but have narrowed it down to a few. And hopefully they will inspire you to give this wonderful country a visit.

1. Tanzania is wild and captivating

Tanzania is one of Africa’s top safari destinations and after going on just one safari trip, it’s clear to see why. Home to a number of national game parks with an abundance of diverse wildlife and vast iconic plains that go on for as far as the eye can see…Tanzania is the stuff that nature documentaries are made of. Not to mention it also boasts Africa’s highest mountain, Mount Kilimanjaro, and of course there’s the beautiful tropical island of Zanzibar lying off the coast. Tanzania offers the perfect mix of adventure and comfort. It’s anything you want it to be….and then some!

This is Tanzania – Five Reasons You Should Visit

2. Tanzania is colourful and vibrant

From the emerald green landscapes to the brightly painted murals covering storefronts and art galleries – there is something colourful to make you smile wherever you look. The women walk the streets wearing boldly printed khangas, and Maasai tribes roam farmlands with traditional red/blue shukas accented with beaded jewellery that catch the eye. Tanzania is a land filled with stunning imagery, and you’ll walk around wishing you had photographic lenses for eyes.

This is Tanzania – Five Reasons You Should Visit
3. Tanzania is about family and community

While most cultures are based on material wealth; community, family and faith are at the heart of Tanzanian culture. Through volunteering I got to spend a lot of time with families living on next to nothing, but that didn’t mean they were any less happy. As you walk around you witness so much laughter, love and joy. Tanzanian communities really look out for one other and welcome visitors with big open arms. While they are probably some of the most disadvantaged people I’ve met, they have been one of the most generous and hospitable. And that is something that really made an impression on me.

This is Tanzania – Five Reasons You Should Visit
4. Tanzania is like music to the ears

Tanzania boasts a rich musical scene that has many different foreign influences. And with almost 130 tribes, there are countless flavours of traditional music that is pleasing to the ears. But it’s the modern bongo flava that really gets your feet moving. You can’t help but bop along to the rhythmic beats and there were many a night I’d find myself dancing to the likes of Yamoto Band or Diamond Platnumz. The Tanzanians love to dance, and no-one can move their hips quite like they do.

This is Tanzania – Five Reasons You Should Visit
5. Tanzania is a home away from home

At least that’s how it felt for me. It’s hard to put into words how this wildly contrasting place gets under your skin, but it does. I do feel that being there has opened my eyes and changed my views on a whole lot of things, and because of that it’s not been an easy transition getting back to my old life and habits back here in England. Maybe it’s a combination of all the things I mention above or the connections it has with my late grandparents that made it a special place. But one thing’s for certain, I feel more homesick now than I ever did while I was away, and I can’t wait for the day that I can return.

Have you ever been to Tanzania? I’d love to hear your stories below! 

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36 Comments

  • Reply
    emfletche
    August 26, 2015 at 9:22 am

    Love the photo of you giving a piggy back to a monkey! One of things I learned in Kenya is that they’re not shy of human contact!

  • Reply
    Nikki
    August 26, 2015 at 9:28 am

    Haha, can you tell how petrified I was?! This was at Marchame Animal Rescue in the Kilimanjaro region. A worthwile trip – this little guy was extremely cheeky!

  • Reply
    seedoconquer
    August 26, 2015 at 11:57 am

    The picture of you and the boys is pure happiness. Beautiful photographs, lovely thoughts.

    • Reply
      Nikki
      August 26, 2015 at 12:05 pm

      I was definitely at my happiest in Tanzania 🙂

  • Reply
    Ayla
    August 26, 2015 at 3:29 pm

    Oh I love this so much Nikki! I was the same as you – as soon as I stepped foot in Tanzania I completely fell in love. I miss it so much every single day and I need to get back there asap. We went to a nightclub in Moshi and dancing the night away with the local Maasai tribesmen has to be one of the strangest but most fun things we’ve ever done!

    • Reply
      Nikki
      August 28, 2015 at 2:23 pm

      Haha was that at Glaciers in Moshi by any chance?!

      • Reply
        Ayla
        August 28, 2015 at 3:45 pm

        I have no idea what it was called. The whole thing just seemed too surreal!

        • Reply
          Nikki
          August 28, 2015 at 4:10 pm

          Haha brilliant! ????

  • Reply
    Jun
    August 31, 2015 at 11:23 pm

    Hi Nikki! Thanks for this beautiful article (: your reflections on Tanzania are spot-on (: great photos too

  • Reply
    The.Restless.Worker
    September 8, 2015 at 11:41 am

    Love the photos! I’ve heard great things about Tanzania – it’s on my list 🙂

    • Reply
      Nikki
      September 8, 2015 at 11:45 am

      Glad to hear it!

  • Reply
    talktresses
    September 12, 2015 at 3:38 pm

    Beautiful post! My one time in Africa I went to Morocco so I had a completely different experience. I’m so happy that you made this solo trip somewhere so far away & it was worthwhile. What are some of your top tips for solo travel?

    Thanks for sharing!

    Victoria Sallie
    Onetravelbag.wordpress.com
    @onetravelbag

  • Reply
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    September 29, 2015 at 7:43 pm

    […] the last three months of my RTW trip, I had returned to Tanzania – a place I dearly love – but now it was time for me to say my goodbyes. And after nine […]

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    Whoohoo! I’ve been nominated for Liebster Award! |
    October 5, 2015 at 7:54 pm

    […] If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why? My heart says Tanzania – I truly fell in love with this country after spending five months volunteering there. You can find out more about why in my post “This is Tanzania – Five Reasons You Should Visit.” […]

  • Reply
    Majorfields
    October 19, 2015 at 6:47 pm

    Nikki! This is such a great post. I recognize myself so much when you write about the reactions you had when you said your were going to Tanzania. I wrote a smilier post about it, actually my very first, it’s so crazy how narrow-minded people can be.

    • Reply
      whereisnoodles
      October 19, 2015 at 7:08 pm

      Thank you majorfields – it is crazy isn’t it. Im so glad I took no notice! Would be interested to read your post if you send me a link ????

      • Reply
        Majorfields
        October 20, 2015 at 5:49 am

        Sure, this is the link: https://majorfields.wordpress.com/2015/07/28/eh-vad-roligt-ar-det-farligt-i-kenya/ I remember that I felt so frustrated when people really didn’t understand why in the world I wanted to go to Kenya. I guess I took some notice but it would never had stopped me from going.

        • Reply
          whereisnoodles
          October 20, 2015 at 8:18 pm

          It can be frustrating, but it’s a common concern. I guess the media is mostly to blame. Just as long as you don’t let it discourage you, that’s all that matters! How is your thesis going?

          • Majorfields
            October 22, 2015 at 6:59 pm

            True the media is a big problem. My thesis is going well, The collection of data at the school where I am has turned out to be much smoother than I could ever imagined!

  • Reply
    Nathan Friesen
    October 30, 2015 at 2:18 pm

    Great post! Tanzania is definitely on my bucket list along with 16-20 more African countries!

  • Reply
    Joe
    January 13, 2016 at 6:44 pm

    Hi! I came across your blog via Twitter and this caught my eye as I’m going back to Tanzania this summer: I’m taking 14 teenage girls (God help me…) to build a library for the Kilimanjaro Young Girls in Need School near Moshi! Which orphanage was it you worked at? I might have to see if I can track it down 🙂

    Having visited Zanzibar and scaled Kilimanjaro I shared many of your experiences and I agree that it’s a beautiful place. Luckily I’m returning there soon!

    • Reply
      whereisnoodles
      January 13, 2016 at 10:31 pm

      Wow that’s incredible! I volunteered at Newlands Scool/Orphanage. Was incredible! Moshi is like my second home, can’t wait to return one day! I’m very jealous! Will you be blogging about it?

  • Reply
    Joe
    January 13, 2016 at 11:32 pm

    Thanks 🙂 You say you’re jealous but you’re not responsible for the teenage girls! I am blogging about it on my website yes – have only just started out so there’s much detail for me to fill in. It’s very exciting, and I’m hoping that the kids I’m taking out there will get as much out of it as the kids we are going there to help 🙂

    • Reply
      whereisnoodles
      January 14, 2016 at 7:34 am

      I look forward to hearing about it and if you need any tips about Moshi is be happy to help or put you in touch with some people.

  • Reply
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  • Reply
    Matt from Two Tickets To
    May 21, 2016 at 9:10 pm

    Couldn’t agree more! Especially the “you’ve been twice already, why would you want to go back?!” quote – I get this a lot, because I keep wanting to go back!

    What an amazing country – loved reading this 🙂

    • Reply
      whereisnoodles
      May 21, 2016 at 9:21 pm

      I’m so glad to find someone who agrees! I’m planning my third trip back later this year 🙂

  • Reply
    Jill Friedman
    June 4, 2016 at 9:39 pm

    I’m heading to Tanzania in November for a photo safari. Any suggestions for where I should go before or after? Anything to put on the ‘do NOT miss’ list? I’ll be solo.

    • Reply
      whereisnoodles
      June 4, 2016 at 10:32 pm

      Hey Jill, if you’re based in Moshi or Arusha, Lake Chala and the Hotsprings are a must. I have quite a few other posts on my blog about some of the activities I got up to so hopefully they’ll give you some inspiration 🙂

  • Reply
    Ayla
    June 10, 2016 at 10:09 am

    Totally agree with every single word of this. Tanzania is my favourite place in the entire world and I am desperate to go back. We were hoping to go again this year but it didn’t work out so fingers crossed for next year. I left a big piece of my heart here and I’m sure you did too ❤️

    • Reply
      whereisnoodles
      June 10, 2016 at 8:04 pm

      It has a way of getting under your skin! I’m hoping to return in the not too distant future. Would be awesome if we were there at the same time!

    • Reply
      Charles Benjamin Amas
      November 26, 2016 at 10:30 pm

      Your Most Welcome AYLA. Tanzania is always welcoming all people from around the World. Peace and Beautifully natural Country.

  • Reply
    Charles Benjamin Amas
    November 26, 2016 at 10:28 pm

    Nice Post Whereisnoodles.com . It is my pleasure you showed the World how Tanzania Is the Blessed Country in Africa. Keep it up Tanzanians are happy for you Dada.
    Tanzania has been mentioned that it is the Best Safari Destination in Africa that can host both Budget and Luxury Travelers.

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