Start planning your lake vacation in Tanzania
Sitting just beneath the equator, Tanzania is warm and pleasant all year round, meaning there’s never a bad time to visit and swim in this East African country’s vast and varied lakes. Surrounded by rich, exciting wildlife and offering some of the country’s finest scenery, the lakes in Tanzania are well worth a stop on your itinerary.
What makes Tanzania lakes so special?
Whether it’s the birds at Lake Natron or the wildlife living within the largest tropical lake in the world, Lake Victoria, there’s something to impress any traveler at Tanzania’s big bodies of water. Try snorkeling, take boat rides and go kayaking at some of the most beautiful lakes in the country, and don’t miss an opportunity to interact with locals living on their shores.
The best lakes in Tanzania for your itinerary
With numerous pristine lakes, Tanzania has lots of spectacular scenery on offer. But there are a few don’t-miss destinations. Connect with nature and marvel at the country’s best natural assets at some of these glorious lakes in Tanzania.
See flamingos at Lake Natron
At the foot of the Great Rift Valley lies arguably the world's most caustic lakes, with water so alkaline it can burn human skin. The countless halophilic bacteria here, though, create a perfect environment for the pink flamingos that flock to its shores to feed. The thousands of pink birds are an unforgettable sight. Surrounding the lake, emerald green hills flank its shoresm, and adventurous travelers trek up the nearby Ol Doinyo Lengai to meet native Maasai tribespeople.
Snorkel at Lake Tanganyika
Africa’s deepest lake is also the world’s second-oldest freshwater lake. But it’s impressive not least because of its size. Lake Tanganyika has rushing waterfalls, brilliant marine life including the rainbow cichlid fish, and even Nile crocodiles swimming in its sparkling waters. Brave visitors can snorkel to see the myriad colourful fish that live here.
Enjoy Lake Eyasi's native culture
The Datoga and Hadzabe tribes had a home around the shores of Lake Eyasi for centuries. Here, you’ll get a rare opportunity to meet the modern-day Datoga and Hadzabe, visit their homes and and understand their way of life. Bird watchers will love the lake's inhabitants, which includes storks, flamingos, lovebirds and pelicans.
Lake Victoria's incredible tranquility
By far one of the world’s most famous lakes, Victoria is enormous at over 26,000 square miles. It’s so huge, it spans three countries, including Tanzania’s neighbors, Kenya and Uganda. For the best experience, take to the waters by traditional dhow boat and sail to its verdant islands. You’ll spot all sorts of birdlife, you could catch some Nile perch for dinner, or even see a hippopotamus basking in the waters.
Revel in Lake Nyasa's fresh waters
Home to incredible biodiversity, Lake Nyasa provides all sorts of exciting experiences for the intrepid travelers that make it here. The serene lake is the perfect spot for a refreshing evening swim, or you could explore by kayak to get out even further on the water. Livingstone Mountains makes a stunning backdrop, and the sandy beaches on its shoreline means sunbathing is possible. Hike among the nearby hills and you’ll discover beautiful waterfalls along the way.
Tips for visiting Tanzania lakes
December offers the most pleasant weather for a calming vacation, but if you are a keen birder then plan your trip between June and December to enjoy sightings of flamingos and pelicans.