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Tanzania Travel Guide

If you’re looking for an adventure to excite you, make your jaw-drop and possibly change the way you travel forever, Tanzania ticks all the boxes. Filled with panoramic national parks, world-class wildlife encounters, unique local experiences and the Zanzibar archipelago are just a few of the many reasons to scrap your existing travel plans this year (unless they already include Tanzania). 

The Highlights

  • Zanzibar

    Once a hub for spice merchants, trading activity and adventurers alike, this archipelago is where you will find a tangle of streets in Stone Town, opulent Omani forts and richly-adorned houses that show traces of cultures that ruled the area from years past. As you travel along the eastern and northern shores, you will find flawless beaches and calm azure waters where you can simply chill.

  • Mount Kilimanjaro

    How you envision your first encounter with Mount Kilimanjaro is completely up to you. You could prepare for months and train for the gruelling trek to the summit and, of course, be rewarded with stunning views.  Maybe you could walk around the base and visit the scenic Kinukamori Waterfall. Or, you can set up camp at Moshi and unzip your tent and enjoy views from a distance. 

  • Ngorongoro Crater

    Existing as the largest volcanic caldera in the world, Ngorongoro Crater is flooded with thousands of animals that call the verdant crater home and is a quintessential stop on your East African escapade. If the view from the rim takes your breath away, just imagine how spectacular the views from the cater floor will be. Keep a sharp eye out for the usual suspects along with plenty of flamingos. 

  • Serengeti National Park

    Giraffes gently move across the land and gazelles bounce alongside the dirt trails. Lions fight to keep their pride safe. Zebras zig zag to escape their predators. Rhinos hide behind the shrubs. Elephants wade through watering holes. The Serengeti National Park is where all of the above (and more) can be viewed from the comfort of a safari vehicle or within close distance from your campsite.

  • Tarangire National Park

    The dry savannah of Tarangire stretches for miles and most certainly deserves your attention. Many travellers make the mistake of skipping Tarangire in favour of other national parks, but that would be a grave mistake. Teeming with majestic creatures and brittle acacia trees, you’ll cross paths with zebras, elephants and lions – but without as many safari trucks compared to other national parks. 

  • Ruaha National Park

    Beautiful vistas are abundant in Ruaha National Park where Tanzania’s largest elephant population can be found along with kudus, buffaloes, ostriches and cheetahs. Known to be one of Tanzania’s best-kept game viewing secrets, it’s limited accessibility significantly reduces the masses of safari-goers and accompanying vehicles that travel through national parks elsewhere in the country.

The Basics

When to Visit

when to visit
  1. Peak Season

    June to September

    The peak travel months in Tanzania are known to be from June through September where the temperatures are pleasant, the skies are blue and the rain is unlikely to interrupt your adventure. The wildebeest migrate between April to August and form thousand-strong herds searching for food, so if this is a show that you don’t want to miss, be sure to book your travels to Tanzania during this time. Across the peak season is the ideal time for wildlife-spotting as the vegetation is sparse, and animals congregate around popular watering holes which makes for almost guaranteed sightings.   

  2. Low Season

    March to may

    March through May will bring rain to most regions in Tanzania, which in turn, may cause for some roads to be closed, but it is also a great time to take advantage of lower prices for accommodation. Although wildlife is easier to spot in June through September, you’ll still encounter plenty of furry creatures in the northern national parks. Most of the larger wildlife species will have migrated out of Ruaha National Park and Tarangire National Park down south, so best to take caution when planning your travels during this time to suit your wildlife spotting preferences.

Tanzania Tours

  • Visit Responsibly

    Travelling responsibly means respecting the communities, culture and environment of the places you visit. Keep these tips in mind when travelling to Tanzania:

    Go green. Be environmentally conscious on the road by taking short showers; turning off the lights in your hotel room when you leave; and resisting the urge to collect any plants, seashells, or other natural flora.

    Respect cultural differences. Before travelling, read about the local culture and customs – even just knowing the dress code and a few basic phrases in the local language will go a long way.

    Support local businesses. Enjoy a more authentic experience and directly support the local economy by travelling with a local guide, eating in local restaurants, buying from local artisans, and staying in locally-owned and operated accommodations.

    Wherever possible, avoid single-use plastics. Pack reusable items such as your own shopping bags, utensils, a water bottle, and a straw. These items are typically lightweight and compact, and will greatly reduce your consumption of plastics.

    Be conscious of overtourism. Opt to visit the lesser-known regions of Tanzania or travel outside the peak season – you'll likely even get a better deal and won't have all the crowds!
  • Sustainable Tourism in Tanzania

    Eco-Friendly Camps
    Many camps in Tanzania have earned an eco-rating for their implementation of environmentally friendly measures. Some of these measures include utilizing solar power to generate electricity and hot water; employing local people in the camps to help with cooking, guiding, and management of the camps; and using wood from trees that were knocked down by elephants to create their accommodations.

    The Multi-Environmental Society (MESO)
    The Multi-Environmental Society (MESO) is an NGO that focuses on cultural development and environmental conservation in Tanzania. As an alternative to traditional safaris, MESO offers eco-cultural tours around Karatu that promote environmental and social responsibility while providing guests with authentic experiences.

    The Jane Goodall Institute
    Founded in 1977, the Jane Goodall Institute supports the continuation of Dr. Jane Goodall’s groundbreaking research in Gombe and helps protect chimpanzees in their natural habitats. In addition, this incredible institute supports the local economy of Tanzania by providing ecotourism opportunities around Gombe National Park.

FAQs about Tanzania

  • Do you tip in Tanzania?

    Tipping is expected while on safari or treks and it is customary to tip drivers or guides. In smaller, rural restaurants, tipping is not customary, but a few shillings is perfectly reasonable. In larger cities, it is expected to tip. Either rounding up the bill or adding about 10%–15% is standard. 
  • What is the internet access like?

    In Tanzania, connection speed varies greatly and a speedy connection is rare. Most high-end hotels have wireless access points and they will vary in cost. Some will be free, some will be quite expensive. 
  • Is the tap water safe to drink?

    No. Buy bottled water, or you can boil the tap water or use water purification pills.
  • Can I use my credit cards?

    Yes, credit cards are widely accepted throughout Tanzania. Visa is the most widely accepted card, however, MasterCard is also fine. Please check with your bank about any foreign transaction charges.
  • What are the public holidays?

    Along with common public holidays such as New Year’s Day, Christmas and Good Friday, some of the popular public holidays in Tanzania include Zanzibar Revolutionary Day on January 12, Karume Day on April 7 and Labour Day on May 1.
  • Is it safe to visit Tanzania?

    In general, Tanzania is a safe, problem-free country however you will need to take some precautions to avoid isolated areas and walking along solo at night. Keep an eye on government advisories before you travel.