Safety in Tanzania: Travel Tips and Guidelines

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Tanzania, a top safari destination, is considered one of Africa's safest nations. In 2022, it saw a 64% increase in visitors, with 1.5 million tourists. While on safari, you're mostly in national parks, far from urban areas. When staying in cities like Dar es Salaam or Arusha, exercising precautions like using your room's safe and avoiding late-night walks is advisable. Like any unfamiliar place, it's wise to be cautious and informed about Tanzania's current situation before planning your trip. You can always seek advice from an Africa Safari Expert for added peace of mind.

This guide provides essential insights and tips that can help travellers ensure their safety in Tanzania travel:


It is important to consider safety from petty crime.
  • Major cities like Dar es Salaam and Arusha can have pickpocketing issues in crowded places.
  • Keep valuable items, flashy jewellery, and excess cash at your accommodation. Use a concealed money belt or secure bag.
  • Avoid going out alone at night, especially in unfamiliar areas. Stick to well-lit and populated places.
  • Beware of bag snatchers from moving vehicles and avoid resisting. Stay away from the roadside when walking near busy streets, stay alert, and protect your belongings.
  • While on a safari adventure, crime is typically less of a concern, and tourists are generally treated with respect.
  • Make copies of your travel documents and keep the originals safely stored.

Terrorism in Border Areas

Mozambique border
Terrorism in Tanzania is mainly limited to the far southern region near the Mozambican border. Fortunately, tourist destinations are far from this area, reducing the risk. The Tanzanian military monitors and controls access to the border region.

There is a terrorism and kidnapping threat in the southern Mtwara region, located within 10 kilometres of the Mozambique border. Additionally, travelling near refugee camps in northwestern Tanzania, specifically in the Kigoma area and the western border with Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Rwanda, can be risky due to banditry.

Travellers must remain vigilant, pay close attention to their surroundings, and stay at secure hotels. Being aware of your surroundings in public places is crucial to staying safe.


  • Be cautious on the roads as signs may be missing, and visibility can be poor.
  • For short journeys in towns and cities, use reputable taxis and avoid unlicensed or unofficial transportation.
  • In national parks and reserves, rely on game vehicles and pre-arranged transfers. It often requires a 4x4 vehicle.
  • Avoid driving at night and be extra cautious during the rainy season.
  • Stay vigilant and secure your vehicle, especially at night.
  • Verify the identification of authorities at police roadblocks.
  • Avoid local public transport, which may not meet safety standards and can be accident-prone. Watch for pickpockets on crowded local buses.
  • While incidents like carjacking and robbery are rare, keep windows up and doors locked to minimize risks.


Tanzania's wildlife is a highlight, but it's crucial to follow the rules and heed guides' advice.
  • Choose a reputable and licensed tour company for your safari to ensure well-trained guides and safety measures.
  • Listen to advice from locals, such as park rangers and campsite staff, and follow their safety recommendations.
  • Keep a safe distance from animals, use trusted guides, and adhere to park rules.
  • Avoid swimming in lakes and rivers to prevent encounters with wildlife and waterborne diseases.
  • When camping, use official sites, come prepared, and get local advice for remote areas.
  • When travelling with children, closely supervise them, educate them on wildlife safety, and inquire about child-friendly activities and facilities.
  • Getting close to wildlife can be risky, so follow park regulations and obtain the necessary permits.


check up
  • Before travelling to Tanzania, ensure you have comprehensive travel insurance covering overseas medical costs, including evacuation.
  • Plan your physical and mental health, visit a doctor or travel clinic for a health check-up and vaccinations at least 8 weeks before your trip.
  • Carry a copy of your prescription if bringing medication.
  • Be aware that medical facilities are limited, and evacuation can be expensive.
  • Protect yourself from insect-borne diseases like malaria and Zika, and take precautions against HIV/AIDS.
  • Note the outbreak of the Marburg virus in certain regions.
  • Beware of waterborne and foodborne diseases like cholera and hepatitis.
  • When climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, be mindful of altitude sickness, especially if you have risk factors.

Local Laws

  • The use or possession of illegal drugs is heavily penalized, with severe consequences including long prison sentences. Possession of pornographic material is also illegal.
  • Plastic bags are banned in Tanzania.
  • Same-sex relations are illegal and can result in up to 30 years in jail. Authorities have targeted LGBTQ++ rights activists.
  • It's illegal to photograph military zones, weapons, or personnel.
  • Dress and behaviour standards are conservative in Tanzania, especially in Zanzibar. For female travellers, it's recommended not to wear shorts or sleeveless tops outside of resorts.

Is Tanzania Safe for Solo & Female Tourists?

female traveller
Tanzania is safe for female travellers, especially in national parks and private reserves, known for their secure and respectful atmosphere. Tanzania is a top safari destination, welcoming women travelling solo or in all-female groups. While Tanzania's safaris are generally safe for female travellers, it's still advisable to take certain precautions.
  • Book tours with well-established tour operators who prioritize guest safety.
  • Carrying personal safety items such as pepper spray or personal alarms can serve as precautionary measures, although incidents are rare.
  • It's advisable to avoid going out alone at night, a general safety practice worldwide.
  • Opt for group activities or staying within well-lit and populated areas.
  • Share your location and plans with trusted individuals and inform your accommodation when heading out for added support and local advice.
  • Be cautious with food and drinks to prevent tampering or spiking.
While the risk of such incidents is low, it's always prudent to be cautious.

General Tips to Stay Safe in Tanzania:

In addition to the ones mentioned above, here are a few more generic tips to ensure safety and a great trip in Tanzania:
  • Respect Local Customs: Familiarize yourself with Tanzanian customs and traditions to avoid misunderstandings or unintentional offence.
  • Emergency Numbers: Save important numbers like local police, ambulance services, and your embassy's contact information for emergencies.
  • Share Itinerary: Inform trusted friends or family about your travel plans and any changes to your schedule.
  • Choose Reputable Tour Operators: When booking tours, opt for established and ethical companies, especially for safaris and excursions.
  • Stay Vigilant: Remain aware of your surroundings, especially in crowded or unfamiliar places. Trust your instincts and use caution with strangers.
  • Ferry Travel: If travelling to Zanzibar by ferry, select a reputable company and avoid overcrowded vessels.
  • First Aid Kit: Carry a basic travel first aid kit with essentials and anti-gastro and anti-nausea medication.
  • Prescription Medication: Check the legality of your prescription medication in Tanzania and bring a doctor's letter if needed.
  • Malaria Prevention: Get a prescription for anti-malaria pills before your trip due to the risk of contracting the disease.
  • Insect Repellent: Pack ample insect repellent for added protection.
Tanzania offers travellers a diverse and captivating experience, from its stunning wildlife to its rich cultural heritage. While the country is generally safe for visitors, it's essential to be well-prepared and exercise caution, as with any international travel. By staying informed, respecting local customs, and taking necessary safety measures, you can explore Tanzania confidently and create lasting memories of this extraordinary destination.

This post was published by Varsha Alva

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