The Lakes & Mountains

In addition to the world-famous Mount Kilimanjaro, covered in greater detail elsewhere in this publication, Tanzania has many other mountains and some of the world’s largest and deepest lakes.

Eastern Arc

A crescent shaped mountain range running along the eastern side of Tanzania. Formed millions of years ago, they contain some of the most biologically diverse, and endemically rich, montane ecosystems in Africa. Often called the Galapagos of Africa, the range includes the Pare, Usambara, Nguru, Ukaguro, Ulyguru, Ribeho and Udzungwa Mountains.

Lake Eyasi

Home to the Hadzabe bushmen, some of the last remaining hunter-gathers in Africa, Lake Eyasai is a salt lake situated on the southern edge of the Ngorongoro Crater Conservation Area.


Lake Manyara

Situated in Lake Manyara National Park, this soda lake is home to huge pods of hippo; thousands of flamingo; and large numbers of other large waterbirds including pelicans, cormorants and storks.

Lake Natron

A soda lake, at the base of Ol Doinyo Lengai, some 200 km north-west of Arusha on the Kenya border. It is home to thousands of flamingo and the surrounding area, with its streams and waterfalls, is an ideal area for walking.

Lake Nyasa

Set against the stunning background of the Livingstone Mountains, and called the ‘Calendar Lake’ because it is 365 miles long and 52 miles wide, the lake shores form the border with Mozambique and Malawi where it is called Lake Malawi.

Lake Rukwa

In the south-west of the country this shallow, alkaline lake is Tanzania’s fourth largest. It is home to a large concentration of hippo and crocodile and to the rare shoebill stork.

Lake Tanganyika

The waters of Lake Tanganyika, the longest and, after Lake Baikal in Siberia, second deepest freshwater lake in the world, contains one of the richest concentrations of fish found anywhere. More than 300 different species live within it. Many are endemic to the lake but are more frequently seen, worldwide, in home aquariums. Gombe National Park and Mahale Mountains National Park both border the lake’s shores.

Lake Victoria

The source of the Nile eluded 19th century explorers but today’s tourists can easily view the waters that supply it. Lake Victoria is by far the largest lake in Africa and, the second largest freshwater lake in the world. Nearby attractions include the Bismark Rocks, Rubundo Island National Park and Saanane Island.

Livingstone Range

A range of low-lying mountains that rise precipitously from the shores of Lake Nyasa. Mount Jamimbi, the highest lakeside peak, rises to a height of 7,870 ft.

Mount Kilimanjaro

The crown of Tanzania, the ‘Roof of Africa’, and one of the seven natural wonders of the world. Read more…

Mount Meru

Located within Arusha National Park, and overlooking the ‘safari’ town of Arusha. At a height of 14,980 feet it is second to only Mount Kilimanjaro among Tanzania’s peaks. Its fertile lower slopes, covered in dense forest, support a diverse wildlife that include buffalo, black and white colobus monkey, nearly 400 species of bird and, supposedly, leopard.

Ol Doinyo Lengai

Situated at the southern end of Lake Natron and know as ‘Mountain of God’ to the Masai, Ol Doinyo Lengai rises to an elevation of 9,442 feet. It is the only active volcano in Tanzania and last erupted in 2007.


Located near the western edge of the Selous Game Reserve, close to Mikumi National Park. A small section of the mountains fall within the boundaries of the Udzungwa Mountains National Park where there are trails covering the forest and mountain peaks.


This little known mountain range is one of the gems of Tanzania. Located to the west of the coastal town of Tanga, and part of the Eastern Arc Mountains, the Usambaras offer incredible natural biodiversity and are a paradise for hikers and bird-watchers.