Tanzania is home to the highest mountain of Africa and it also contains islands surrounded by the Indian Ocean, making it a popular hotspot for extreme sports adventures. The beaches of Zanzibar are ideal for all kinds of watersports and the mountains of Tanzania mainland are a climber’s paradise.
This is a Tanzania extreme sports guide that takes you to the best adventure hotspots in Tanzania!
1. Mountain climbing
Mountain climbing is one of the popular extreme sports in Tanzania. After all, Tanzania is home to the highest mountain in Africa, Mount Kilimanjaro!
Here are the best places for mountain climbing in Africa:
- Mount Kilimanjaro – climbing this mountain takes about 5 to 7 days depending on which route you use. Six routes take you to the top of the mountain, each has a different level of difficulty andu different time duration. There are many agencies and guides that you can book for the climb. Make sure you go with a good agency because that can significantly increase your chances of success!
- Mount Meru – many climb this as a warm-up for the Kilimanjaro climb but climbing this mountain in itself is challenging. It takes about six days to climb Mount Meru.
- Make sure you take your time to acclimatize properly to prevent altitude sickness. Always go with a reliable agency that will make sure you don’t get altitude sickness and has the first aid and experience required to deal with it! Ask your operator/agency what safety measures they have in case of any emergency before booking with them. Altitude sickness is serious and can have many complications.
Nearby Hospital/Rescue Services
- Kilimanjaro Search and Rescue offers rescue services on Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Meru through helicopters. They transport you to the nearest hospital in case of any emergency.
2. Mountain biking
Mountain biking is an extreme sport that requires a lot of strength, dedication, and courage!
Here are some of the top places in Tanzania to go for mountain biking:
- Mount Kilimanjaro
You can go mountain biking at Kilimanjaro and try to reach the peak! Mount Kilimanjaro is one of the best extreme sports hotspots in Tanzania. Typically, your guide will take some porters with you because biking in certain areas is possible so the porters will carry your bikes through those areas. It’s an adventurous experience and only a handful have successfully reached the top while others retreated after climbing a certain distance.
- Mount Meru
Mountain biking on the slopes of Mount Meru is a fun and thrilling experience!
You can also explore the rest of Arusha National Park on your bike while you’re there.
- Safety warnings are similar to mountain climbing. In this case, chances of altitude sickness are higher because you’re ascending at a faster rate. Make sure you take breaks to let your body acclimatize.
Nearby Hospital/Rescue Services
- Kilimanjaro Search and Rescue offers all sorts of rescue operations on Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Meru.
3. Hang gliding
Flying sports in Tanzania are relatively new because no formal association or organization exists that arrange these trips. However, you can find many private companies and tour operators that will make a tailor-made plan for you!
Here are the best spots for hang gliding in Tanzania:
- Usambara Mountains
The weather conditions and landscape at the Usambara Mountains are ideal for hang gliding. Moreover, the views are stunning!
- South Manyara, Rift Valley
Hang gliding here is also an incredible experience owing to the beautiful views of the Valley!
- Since there are no official flying agencies/organizations in Tanzania, you need to do thorough research on the organization you want to go with. Ask them all sorts of security questions like what kind of equipment they have and what are their emergency backup services.
Paragliding and hang gliding often go hand-in-hand and those professionals that are experienced paragliders often learn how to hang glide too. Paragliding is very popular in Tanzania, owing to the great views you get and the many mountains and hills located here. This combination provides you with wonderful views and a great experience!
Here are some of the best paragliding spots in Tanzania:
Paragliding here gives you a 2-in-1 experience where you get to climb Africa’s highest mountain and then descent by paragliding! No doubt, the views here are breath-taking! Moreover, it gives your feet some rest after successfully climbing the Roof of Africa. It usually takes an hour and a half to reach the ground from Uhuru Peak.
Kilimanjaro is one of the best places to do extreme sports in Tanzania.
- Usambara Mountains
The Usambara Mountains are a lot easier to climb than Kilimanjaro and there’s a lot to see at the base of the mountains. This makes it a very popular spot for paragliding.
- Mount Meru
Mount Meru is another spectacular paragliding destination that provides stunning views and consistent weather conditions ideal for paragliding!
Flyboarding is an adventurous watersport whereby you stand on a device that propels you into the air on top of the water. Zanzibar is one of the best extreme sports hotspots in Tanzania and it’s surrounded by the Indian Ocean, making it a great place for flyboarding.
Zanzibar Parasailing, Zanzibar Treasure Tours and Safaris, and Zanzibar Adventure are some of the operators that provide flyboarding equipment and trainers.
Kitesurfing is a thrilling water sport that leaves you with an adrenaline rush. Zanzibar is one of the best extreme sports hotspots in Tanzania and it’s also a kitesurfer’s heaven with some of the top kitesurfing spots in the world! Zanzibar has strong, consistent winds that make conditions ideal for kitesurfing. Here are the best kitesurfing spots:
- Paje – it’s beautiful and pristine! There are many kitesurfing schools here that provide rental equipment as well. These include Paje By Kite, Zanzibar Kite Destination, Zanzibar Kite Paradise, and Kite Centre Zanzibar. Some of these provide accommodation, too.
- Jambiani – Jambiani is one of the top kitesurfing spots in the world! Some of the kitesurfing schools here include Zanzibar Pro-Kite, Jambiani Kite Centre, and Uhure Kite Zanzibar. They provide equipment on rent too if you don’t have your own.
- Nungwi – Jambo Square Beach, also called Nungwi Beach, has white sand and clear water with strong winds. Kiteboarding Zanzibar offers rental equipment as well as courses.
The best time for kitesurfing in Zanzibar is from December to March. The kitesurfing school you choose will provide you with a first kit and other emergency services if needed.
Wakeboarding is an extreme water sport that involves standing on a board while you’re being towed by a cable attached to a motorboat.
Nungwi, Paje and Kendwa are some of the top wakeboarding destinations in Zanzibar. Some of the agencies that provide wakeboarding include Exploring Tourism Zanzibar, Zanzibar Parasailing, and Zanzibar Extreme Water Sports.
Although not an “extreme” sport, parasailing in Zanzibar is a thrilling and adventurous experience everyone can enjoy regardless of their previous parasailing experience! Gaze over the beautiful Indian Ocean from 300 feet above!
Here are the top parasailing spots in Zanzibar:
Many operators provide parasailing services like Civitatis, Zanzibar Watersports, and Zanzibar Parasailing.
Nearby Hospitals: North Valley Hospital and Nungwi Medical Centre.
9. Scuba diving and snorkeling
Scuba diving and snorkeling are both adventurous watersports activities that let you explore the underwater world. Zanzibar is one of the best scuba diving and snorkeling spots because it’s surrounded by abundant and healthy corals.
Here are some of the best scuba diving and snorkeling hotspots in Tanzania:
- Mnemba Conservation Area
- Pinge Reef and The Great Northern Shipwreck near Stone Town
- Kizidi Reef and Nicki Reef near Kizimkazi
- Kendwa Reef near Kendwa Beach
There are many scuba diving and snorkeling schools that offer courses and equipment in Zanzibar including Big Ocean Divers, Dive Point Zanzibar, Fun Divers Zanzibar, Zanzibar Divers, and One Ocean.
Kneeboarding is similar to wakeboarding except for the fact that the individual is on their knees.
Zanzibar is an excellent destination for kneeboarding with beautiful and pristine beaches like Nungiw, Paje and Jambiani.
Zanzibar Parasailing and Zanzibar Extreme Water Sports provide kneeboarding rental equipment and courses in Zanzibar!