Good to know before visiting Tanzania

Good to know before visiting Tanzania

Tanzania caught me by surprise in many ways. And sure there are things that might happen and you won’t be ever ready. But in a lot of cases, you can prepare yourself at least a little bit. Here is my list of good things to know before visiting Tanzania.

Good to know before visiting Tanzania

Tanzania is safe to travel, but…

Hippos in Tanzania
Hippos are the most dangerous animals in Africa. Not the biggest danger that you might meet in Tanzania though

I mean it is still Africa. It is not like you are going to a country of cannibals or something like that. But there are still minor thefts, people will try to ask you for money. Generally, it is a very safe place to travel even as a solo female traveler. You will still need some basic precautions. For example, don’t travel in shiny things with your jewelry sticking up or your phone loosely coming from your pocket. That is just asking for trouble. Also, a good thing to know before visiting Tanzania – most crimes are happening in Dar Es Saalam.  I don’t know why, but there were reported some thefts, muffing and kidnapping of tourists – mainly for money. So no sexual attacks or anything worse. That is just a heads up.

It can get cold

Good to know before visiting Tanzania – you can get very cold during Safari.

Yep, I was surprised by that in Peru and now I got surprised by that again in the middle of Africa. It is not like it is cold everywhere, but more like if you go in higher places, so around mount Kilimanjaro or Ngorongoro crater. There it can get very cold. Overall, when we were camping in Ngorongoro, I was freezing. So it is necessary to take some jacket and maybe some warmer clothes.

Malaria and other sicknesses are a real thing here

Malaria map
credits to

It is very important that you get vaccinated before coming to Tanzania. The country requires that every visitor have yellow fever and hepatitis vaccination, but there is more that you can do for your health. Unless you will stay just at Zanzibar resorts, definitely get anti-malaria pills. I know that a lot of travelers are saying that it is not necessary, but it takes only one mosquito to get that disease. Also, get some good repellent, so you can feel safer against things that don’t have vaccines just yet. Like dengue fever.

Good to know before visiting Tanzania – clothes matter

I was surprised as well, but it does make a big difference in the thing that you are wearing. And now I’m not mentioning whether it is hot or cold. The thing here is, that if you wear bright colors or something very dark, flies will take you as a target first. Which is why it is good to find something that they won’t care too much about. Generally wearing something rather white, beige, khaki or green helps a lot. So it is better to take these clothes rather than get bitten by tsetse flies.

You will get lost in Stone town

Stone town as a unique thing to do in Tanzania
The stone town should be on a list of unique things to do in Tanzania

I guess there is no way around it. I wish it was, but there are just so many streets that looks exactly the same. Everyone gets lost here. So if you need to go down to the harbor to find your tour, well, take some extra time. It will be a rough ride.

It is important that you tip your guide or driver

Safari driver
Our driver was fantastic and certainly deserved it!

And there is a good reason for this. When you go to safari, or actually any tour, your guide would spend with you the whole day, or sometimes even several days. As far as I know, they don’t get paid. If they do, it is not a lot. And it is a seasonal job for them so it is important that you give them something extra. Overall, they learn a lot about how to spot these animals and that takes effort.

Good to know before visiting Tanzania – there are several airports

Zanzibar airport
View from a coffee shop on Zanzibar airport

I mean it is not a big secret. But it is something nice to know. The biggest airport is in Dar es Saalam, but there are more international airports. Very often there are direct flights to Mount Kilimanjaro or to Zanzibar. Tanzania has some great airlines. They might not be cheap but they are reliable and it is great to travel with them inland.

Ask for a good car

Car crash
I mean, it happens. But it is good to know before visiting Tanzania, that better car is a must

That is mainly if you are going to a tour of the middle of nowhere. Like if you want to hike to waterfalls or to the hot springs. The thing is, there are good roads when it comes to cities. But there are almost no roads when it comes to villages. So, if you feel like you want to explore some hot springs or waterfalls, and you want to go there with a tour, ask for a big proper car.

Some people might not like mzungus

Mzungu is a foreigner. White foreigner. And even though a lot of people would try to use you or be extra friendly because sometimes they see you as a white wallet, there is a lot of people who won’t like you. For example, once I thought I will go and eat in a very small and local place in Zanzibar. Well, I was wrong. I was told that they won’t serve white people.

Good to know before visiting Tanzania – Conclusion

Unique things to do in Tanzania

Tanzania is nice and fine to travel around. I would really recommend it. But it is necessary that you would be prepared for it. There is something that you can have in your mindset when you are already there, but there are also some things you need to know before. Like the vaccination.

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Good to know before visiting Tanzania

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8 Replies to “Good to know before visiting Tanzania”

  1. These are some great tips for someone’s first time visiting Tanzania. I’m looking to expand my African travels and will keep this location in mind for sure. Thanks for sharing all of this.

  2. I found this very informative. A safari in Africa is on my bucketlist but as a solo female I would likely go with a tour group. But I never would have thought of so many of these things. The colour of clothing never mind clothing to keep you warm. It’s also good to have a heads up about them not always liking white people. Thanks for all of these tips!

  3. You’re right, its always sensible to stay a little safe in terms of not wearing shiny jewellry, swanky clothes or showing off assets such as phones and tablets, and my experience in Tanzania was the same – I felt safe overall as long as was a little vigilant in these matters. I didn’t visit a place where it was cold, but its good to know that its a possibility in certain areas.

  4. That tip about bright and dark colors being attractive to flies is so useful especially since I am from South Africa! I will remember to carry only beige and grey clothes next time I go there.

  5. Great I have came through this post! Your tips are almost valid everywhere in Africa! I love “Black Africa” and I have been travelling a lot along many off the beaten path countries in Africa!
    Tanzania is in my list too!

  6. Great post! One of my friends lives in Tanzania for a bit, and I am still really sad I didn’t visit her while she was there (we made it to Kenya, but not to Tanzania.) It’s great that you included info about the less glamorous side of travel. It’s important, but I rarely see it in people’s travel blogs.

  7. Awesome tips! There’s so much that travel guides and common sense can tell you -for everything else there’s always amazing travel bloggers! I’ll pin it for when I get to go 🙂

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