The East African nation of Tanzania is home to the oldest and deepest lakes in the world. This ecologically diverse country is divided into 26 regions that boast a variety of natural attractions for those seeking unusual holiday ideas and adventures. Locally available accommodations include luxury lodges, tents, tree houses and private bungalows that are ideal for travelers who prefer the freedom and affordability of a self catering holiday.
Lake Victoria is the largest African lake by area and the largest tropical freshwater lake in the world. This lake spans three countries with 50 percent falling within the boundaries of Tanzania. Lake Victoria is the source of the legendary Nile River and home to more than 500 species of freshwater fish that are eagerly eaten by eagles and birds of prey. The lake is ideal for bird-watching, fishing, boating and hiking. Hostels, campsites and other accommodations are available within the boundaries of Rubondo Island National Park.
This immense lake straddles four countries and is one of the most important Great Lakes in Africa. Lake Tanganyika was originally located in the nation of Tanganyika, which was annexed with Zanzibar in the 1960s. The two former nations are now collectively known as Tanzania. Lake Tanganyika is the largest rift lake in Africa and one of the largest lakes in the world by volume due to its extreme depth of 1,433 meters. The lake is home to nearly 400 species of tropical fish. Accommodations near Lake Tanganyika include thatched bandas, tented suites and luxurious chalets.
This salty and mildly alkaline lake is located within the Great Rift Valley. The area is home to the Hadzabe Bushmen, who are the last hunters and gatherers in East Africa. This small lake is bordered by the Serengeti and scenic Kidero Mountains. Due to the lake’s shallow depth, seasonal water level fluctuations are dramatic. During the dry season, the lake dries up completely, but rains that fall from November through March fill the lake and attract hippos and wildlife from the Serengeti.
Beautiful Lake Nyasa, commonly called Lake Malawi, is surrounded by the lush Livingstone Mountains. This lake is the southernmost in the African Rift system and one of the most diverse. The lake’s many islands and beaches make it popular with international tourists. Visitors can enjoy snorkeling, boating, diving and recreational activities. One-third of all tropical freshwater fish can be found in this lake. Accommodations for self catering holidays are available in the villages of Kyela, Itungi and Matema.
Measuring less than three meters deep, the alkaline waters of Lake Natron routinely reach temperatures of 50 degrees Celsius. Despite these seemingly inhospitable conditions, Lake Natron is home to a variety of pigment-producing algae and bacterial colonies that dye the waters orange and deep red. Salt flats and freshwater wetlands support a variety of plants and animals. Lake Natron is known for its unearthly beauty that is emphasized by views of the Ol Doinyo Lengai volcano.
This alkaline soda lake is one of the best for wildlife viewing. Visitors can see pink flamingos, storks and herons as they traverse the salt flats. Luxury accommodations, self catering lodges and inns are located in Lake Manyara National Park and the surrounding areas. Unfortunately, human activities are threatening the ecosystem and harming bird populations. However, it is still ideal for viewing hippos, giraffes, elephants and many African animals.
The lakes of Tanzania are located in prime wildlife viewing habitat with easy access to a variety of self catering accommodations in all price ranges. Visitors will find many tented accommodations with en-suite amenities, luxury bungalows and safari operators offering all-inclusive vacation packages.