Tanzania Travel Guide

Continent: Africa
Region: East Africa
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Tanzania Travel Packages

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Tanzania Travel Essentials

Currency: Tanzanian Shilling (TZS)

Best Time: June - October, January - February Read More

Accommodation Cost (per night in USD):
Dorm bed: $10-20
Budget: $30-60
Mid-range: $80-120
Luxury: $150 and above

Budget for Food & Drinks (per day in USD):
Budget: $10-20
Mid-range: $30-50

Visa Policy for Indians:
Visa required

Visa Policy for Other Nationals:
Visa on Arrival or E-visa available for many countries

Getting In Tanzania:
Julius Nyerere International Airport (DAR) in Dar es Salaam, Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) near Arusha Read More

Getting Around Tanzania:
Buses, domestic flights, safari vehicles, ferries Read More

"The Canvas of Natural Beauty"

Tanzania Tourism

Tanzania, located in East Africa, is a country known as one of the premier safari destinations globally, offering travellers the opportunity to witness the famed "Big Five" and the annual spectacle of the Great Migration. Towering over the country, Mount Kilimanjaro stands as Africa's highest peak and invites adventure seekers from all corners of the globe.

Tanzania has more than 22 national parks and reserves and provides a laid-back atmosphere for wildlife adventures. The country boasts the highest concentration and variety of animals in Africa. While famous national parks in Tanzania like Serengeti National Park host the iconic Great Migration, making it a must-see for wildlife enthusiasts, southern and western national parks such as Gombe and Mahale provide more offbeat and unique experiences like encounters with chimpanzees.

Tanzania has diverse landscapes, like the Ngorongoro Crater, the biggest intact volcanic caldera, and the Rift Valley leading to peaceful Lake Manyara. Zanzibar, known as the "Spice Island," sits in the Indian Ocean and charms visitors with its stunning beaches, rich marine life, and cultural heritage. Stone Town, a UNESCO site, showcases its history and Swahili culture through its architecture, while smaller islands like Pemba and Mafia offer quiet getaways.

Experiencing Tanzanian culture means meeting tribes like the Maasai, known for their unique customs. The country's cuisine combines African, Arabic, and Indian influences, especially along the coast and in Zanzibar. Tanzania also offers various accommodations, from luxury lodges to budget-friendly campsites, to suit all travellers. Tanzania is loved for its mix of wildlife, landscapes, culture, and adventure, making it a top choice for travellers looking for unforgettable experiences in Africa.

Must Know Before You Travel to Tanzania

  • Visa and Passport: South Africans receive a 90-day visa on arrival in Tanzania, but passports must be valid for six months.
  • Drug Laws: All drugs are illegal in Tanzania, with fines for possession and severe penalties for trafficking.
  • Homosexuality: Homosexuality is illegal in Tanzania, and public displays can lead to arrest and imprisonment.
  • Plastic Bag Ban: Plastic bags are banned since June 2019, except for 'ziplock' bags for security.
  • Wildlife Protection: Don't take wildlife products without a certified export permit to avoid detention or fines.
  • Travel Insurance: Get travel insurance for theft and medical coverage, especially for adventurous activities.
  • Customs Regulations: Travelers over 17 years old can bring limited amounts of certain items into Tanzania, like 250g of tobacco, 1 liter of spirits or wine, and 500ml of perfume. 
  • Cost Considerations: Safari packages usually cover accommodation and meals, while city stays cost around $50-$100 per night for mid-range to higher-end options. Street food is cheap, ranging from cents to a few dollars, while sit-down meals can cost up to $10. Public transport is affordable, with long bus journeys priced at a few dollars.
  • Safety for Solo Female Travelers: Solo female travellers are advised to choose safari or tour packages instead of travelling independently for added safety and security. Read More
  • Cash Preferred: Carry ample cash as ATMs are limited, especially outside major towns. Withdrawal fees at ATMs are high (8000-15000 shillings).
  • Transport Options: Familiarize yourself with Tanzania's transportation systems: Dala-dala (minibus), Bajaji (3-wheel motorcycle), Boda Boda (motorcycle), and taxis. Note that public transport can be confusing due to informal stops and schedules.
  • Seasonal Planning: Plan your trip around desired experiences such as the Wildebeest Migration (July to September) or optimal beach weather in Zanzibar.
  • Early Booking: Reserve accommodations and safari tours well in advance, especially during high season, as popular spots fill up quickly.
  • Northern Circuit Transportation: For the Northern Circuit, consider renting or hiring a car to access remote areas like Tarangire, Serengeti, Ngorongoro, and Lake Manyara.
  • Airport Selection: Choose airports strategically based on your itinerary to save time and money. Options include Arusha, Kilimanjaro, and Serengeti.
  • Local SIM Card: Purchase a local SIM card (Vodacom, Airtel, or Tigo) to avoid extra charges and ensure better connectivity. Vodacom offers the best network but at a higher cost, while Airtel is budget-friendly with slightly weaker coverage. Tigo provides a good balance between cost and quality.

Best time to visit Tanzania

The best time to visit Tanzania is during the dry season from late June to October and January and February. It's perfect for wildlife viewing, climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, and enjoying coastal destinations like Zanzibar.

The Great Wildebeest Migration happens in the Serengeti from June to July.

Avoid visiting during the rainy season from March to May when wildlife sightings are scarce, roads are muddy and inaccessible, and outdoor activities are challenging.

Peak Season (June to October):
  • Dry weather ideal for safaris and outdoor activities.
  • Abundant wildlife sightings, including the Great Wildebeest Migration.
  • Higher prices and larger crowds.
  • Perfect conditions for climbing Mount Kilimanjaro and exploring coastal areas like Zanzibar.
  • Clear skies and vibrant landscapes for photography.
Shoulder Months (October to February):
  • Mild weather with occasional rainfall.
  • Fewer crowds, allowing for a more relaxed experience.
  • Diverse wildlife sightings, including migratory birds and calving season.
  • Good value for money with lower prices compared to the peak season.
Off-Season (March to May):
  • Rainy weather but lush landscapes.
  • Fewer tourists for a quieter experience.
  • Lower prices and budget-friendly options.
  • Wildlife sightings may be less frequent.
  • Limited accessibility to some areas due to muddy roads.

Holidify's opinion on Travel to Tanzania

What's Great about Travelling to Tanzania?

Safaris. National Parks.Beaches.Trekking. Scuba Diving. Stone age sites.

What's Not So Great about Travelling to Tanzania?

Sanitation. Mosquitos.

Who should Travel to Tanzania?

Adventure lovers. People who love natural beauty.

Read More on Tanzania Travel

Festivals of Tanzania

Tanzania hosts diverse festivals showcasing its vibrant culture throughout the year. Here are some most popular ones:
  1. Zanzibar International Film Festival (ZIFF): Held every July in Zanzibar, ZIFF is the biggest film, music, and arts festival in East Africa. It shows lots of films from Africa and around the world and has music concerts, workshops, and cultural events.
  2. Sauti za Busara Music Festival: This festival happens every February in Stone Town, Zanzibar. It celebrates African music with live performances by musicians from all over Africa.
  3. Kilimanjaro Marathon: Taking place in late February or early March in Moshi, this marathon attracts runners from everywhere to race near Mount Kilimanjaro.
  4. Bagamoyo Arts Festival: Held in September in Bagamoyo, this festival showcases Tanzanian arts and culture through music, dance, and art exhibitions.
  5. Serengeti Cultural Festival: The Serengeti Cultural Festival in Tanzania happens every October and highlights the traditional music, dance, food, and art of local tribes like the Maasai and Sukuma.
  6. Zanzibar Beach & Watersports Festival: The Zanzibar Beach & Watersports Festival in December offers beach fun with activities like volleyball, kayaking, and snorkelling, along with live music, beach parties, and delicious seafood.

Customs of Tanzania

  • Elders are highly respected and greeted with "shikamo," responding with "marahaba."
  • Avoid using the left hand for eating or handing items.
  • Never point the bottom of your foot or shoe at someone, and avoid propping feet on chairs or tables.
  • Always ask before taking someone's photo and refrain from sniffing food unless suspecting a problem.
  • It's impolite to refuse food offered and to display public affection.
  • Dress modestly, covering the chest, midriff, and thighs; women typically wear long skirts, while visitors can choose non-form-fitting trousers or jeans.

Food of Tanzania

In Tanzanian cuisine, staples like rice and ugali, a thick cornmeal paste, are common. They're often served with stew or meat dishes. Chapatis, beans, and mchicha (like spinach) are also popular. Meat dishes, like grilled chicken and nyama choma (roasted beef or goat), are common inland. On the coast, seafood dishes, like octopus in coconut curry, are popular. Snacks include samosas and roasted corn with lemon and chilli salt. Chai tea and local beers like Safari, Kilimanjaro, or Castle are popular drinks. Read More

Travel Tips for Tanzania

  1. Safety: While Tanzania is generally safe for tourists, it's important to remain vigilant of your surroundings and avoid displaying valuable items.
  2. Health Precautions: Consult a doctor for vaccinations and consider taking anti-malarial medication if advised.
  3. Packing Tip: Pack suitable clothing for diverse climates, as temperatures can vary between warm days and cooler nights.
  4. Currency: The Tanzanian Shilling (TZS) is used for smaller expenses; major establishments usually accept credit cards.
  5. Cultural Etiquette: Dress modestly, especially when visiting religious sites or rural areas. Always seek permission before photographing people, as some may prefer not to be photographed.
  6. Plug Points: Tanzania follows a standard voltage of 230V and uses the Type D and Type G plug types.
  7. Language: Swahili and English are the official languages in Tanzania. While English is widely spoken, especially in tourist areas, a Swahili greeting like "Jambo" is appreciated.
  8. Smoking: Tanzania enforces strict anti-smoking regulations. Smoking is prohibited in public places, including indoor spaces, restaurants, and bars. Designated smoking areas might be available.
  9. Tap Water: It's recommended to drink bottled or filtered water in Tanzania. Check the seals on bottled water before consuming.
  10. Scams: Although Tanzania is generally safe, remain cautious of potential scams. Be wary of individuals claiming to be "tourist police" or officials asking to inspect your identification or travel documents. Verify the authenticity of tour operators before booking any activities by researching reviews and considering reputable travel agencies.
  11. Pollution: In areas with heavy traffic, such as Dar es Salaam, air pollution can be significant. Check air quality indices if needed.
  12. Travel Insurance: Make sure to have comprehensive travel insurance, particularly covering adventure activities and safaris.
  13. Bargaining: Bargaining is common in markets; remember to negotiate prices respectfully.
  14. Tipping: Tipping around 10% for good service is customary in hotels, restaurants, and for guides in Tanzania.

Getting Around in Tanzania

Getting around Tanzania can be challenging for tourists. Internal flights are the best option for visiting multiple destinations, even though they're expensive. Precision Air and Air Tanzania are reliable airlines to consider.
The railway and bus systems in Tanzania are slow and unpredictable.

For short trips within cities, taxis are the way to go. Alternatively, you can use the Bolt app to book taxis or tuk-tuks (but avoid motorcycle rides for safety reasons). Bolt is easy to use and offers lower prices compared to street-hailed rides. You can pay with cash or credit card through the app. For example, a 15-minute ride might cost around 5,500 Tanzanian Shillings, which is about $2.10. Just enter your start and end points in the app, and a trustworthy driver will pick you up. Bolt drivers are known for their reliability and professionalism, ensuring a safe journey.

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FAQs on Tanzania

How to reach Tanzania from India?

Ocean freighters, passenger liners, ferries and steamers connect the port city of Dar es Salaam and the island of Zanzibar to other destinations in and around the region.The MS Sepideh runs services between Tanzania and Mombasa. Regular ferry services run on Lake Tanganyika, connecting Bujumbura, Kigoma, and Mpulungu.


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