Is Tanzania safe?

Tanzania – the land of green and peaceful promises. It is where the golden sun paints the vast savanna in warm hues. Spend an evening and you’ll witness the dusk casting long shadows of acacia trees across the dusty plains. 

Gentle breeze swaying over savannahs, melodic calls, long grasses, roars, thunders, mountains, beaches, craters, and safaris – Tanzania has it all. It is a land of untamed beauty enough to spell you into eternal bliss. But, to absorb the true Tanzanian essence and be a traveler, you must not only know things to do in Tanzania but also how to do them.

If you have your visas ready, or if you are planning to visit Tanzania, here is your only go-to guide that will tell you all from things to do in Tanzania to safety, laws, crimes, and other necessary things. Let’s start our adventure.

5 Unmissable Experiences in Tanzania

For those bitten by the travel bug, here’s a list of experiences that are as diverse as they are unforgettable. And of course, we’ll start our journey with the safari because, let’s face it, that’s the real showstopper!

Go Wild on a Serengeti Safari

The African Savannhas are never complete without adventure-sodden safaris. It is its lifeline and is one of the best things to do in Tanzania. 

Tanzania boasts an abundance of tough landscapes rich in wildlife whose depth you can only experience completely with safaris. You can spot the iconic “Big Five” (lion, leopard, elephant, rhino, and buffalo) in various national parks and reserves. The Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti National Park are particularly famous for their impressive wildlife populations. 

Imagine yourself witnessing millions of wildebeest, zebras, and other animals migrating across the plains. The dusty trail decorating the air with true wildness. It all creates a breathtaking spectacle. And trust us when we say that you might even see lions and tigers climbing the trees holding their prey in between their canines. 

That’s the Serengeti for you – raw, real, and as thrilling as it gets. It’s not just an animal sighting; it’s a moment that will roar in your memories forever. 

Always plan your safaris beforehand and book a reputed safari guide that knows the area, laws, and how to provide a lifelongn experience. 

Reach for the Sky atop Kilimanjaro

If you are looking for adventurous things to do in Tanzania, then Mount Kilimanjaro is another thing to keep on your bucket list along with a safari. Mount Kilimanjaro is the tallest peak in the whole African continent. And it isn’t just a mountain; it’s a journey through clouds and dreams. 

To summit this beast and cherish the breathtaking view of the African landscape from the top, there are several routes that you can trek. Some of the most common ones are:

  • Lemosho – This will take around 10 days and the view will offer diverse landscapes, including the Shira Plateau and Barranco Wall.
  • Machame – The Machame route will take around 7-8 days and is one of the most scenic. You see lush rainforests, moorlands, alpine deserts, and some moments when you’ll truly doubt the reality before you.
  • Marangu – If you are looking for an old and most established route, then Marangu is one. The climb usually takes 5 to 6 days. The highlights of these routes are Mandara and Horombo Huts, and Maundi Crater.
  • Rongai – This route approaches Kilimanjaro from the north and provides a unique perspective. It is less crowded and more peaceful. You might be spending some 6-7 days on the trek and will witness several beauties such as Mawenzi Tarn, the third cave camp, etc.
  • Northern Circuit – This is the longest route of all, because of which, you’ll have plenty of time for acclimatization. It might take you around 9-10 days to climb. 

Remember, each route offers a unique experience, and your choice depends on your preferences, fitness level, and desire for adventure. 

Ngorongoro Crater – Where Wildlife Lives in a Bowl

The Ngorongoro Crater is no ordinary volcanic caldera. It is one of the largest craters in Africa and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The reason you should see it? It hosts the densest populations of wildlife in Africa. You’ll find lion, leopard, rhino, wild buffaloes, zebra, wildebeest, gazelle, and many other animals. 

Ngorongoro Crater has some stunning scenic landscapes. It is a collapsed volcano forming a massive caldera that is almost 2,000 feet deep. The crater floor is a vast, grassy plain with a permanent freshwater lake in the middle. 

The best way to explore this part is through safari. You’ll truly feel like being a part of the wild there. You can simply lock eyes with a rhino and feel like having traveled back in time. 

Wander Through Time in Stone Town

Now, after leaving the lap of the wild African spans, it is time you taste its cultural aspect too. This is what Stone Town is all about. And know what? It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

Also known as Mji Mkongwe, it is the historical lens of Zanzibar city. This town is sure to offer you a beautiful blend of architectural marvels, vibrant markets, and rich Swahili heritage. Its architecture reflects a fusion of African, Arabic, Indian, and European influences. If you are into colorful textiles, handcrafted souvenirs, fragrant spices, and numerous other things huge sensory overload that captures the essence of Zanzibar.

The heart of Stone Town consists of a maze of narrow alleys lined with houses, shops, bazaars, and mosques. Just walk through these and you’ll see the true cultural African hues. 

Here are a few things to do here in this Tanzania region:

  • Narrow streets
  • House of Wonders
  • Old Fort
  • Sultan’s Place Museum
  • Local cuisine, souvenir shops, etc.

And don’t forget to admire the intricate wooden gates. 

Zanzibar’s Beaches – Where the Sands Sing

Africa and beaches? Yes! The wild wild Africa has a blue and wavy side too. And the beaches of Zanzibar prove it well. They are a true tropical paradise and offer one a blend of bliss and relaxation. And this is why we’ve included this in our list of things to do in Tanzania. 

These fine white sand beaches will surely offer you true tropical turquoise waters that will tempt you to stay there forever. Arabic dhows, coconut palms, breeze, birds, and whatnot relaxing, these beaches have it all. 

Here are some famous Zanzibar beaches that you must explore:

  • Paje: If you are into kitesurfing, Paje is for you.
  • Matemwe: This beach has a more chilled vibe with powdery sands and glimpses of village life.
  • Nungwi: This beach is painted in a mix of traditional and contemporary life here. Fishing boats launch from the beach, and dhow builders ply their ancient craft amidst Western-style hotels. It also has life for party lovers.
  • Kendwa: This beach has a more spread-out beach that’s swimmable around the clock.
  • Quiet Pongwe: Love silence? Then Quite Pongwe is there to lull you into its Isolated and perfect quiet. This will help you get away from the crowds.
  • Jambiani: This beach will offer you impossibly turquoise waters and sun-bleached coral-rag houses.

Also, don’t miss diving and snorkeling there along the eastern coastline. 

Hot Air Balloon 

A hot air balloon safari will bring a perfect endnote to an epic Tanzanian symphony. Surely, the Tanzania beauty must be explored by being on the land, by being in between the wild, but the aerial view of the savannahs is something you should not miss.

The vastness of the Serengeti plains, the lush forests, the Indian Ocean coastline, all these look exception from a bird’s-eye view. You feel like flying. And if you are lucky enough, you might even see a flock cheering you up in the sky. 

Imagine spotting herds of wildebeest, giraffes, elephants, and other wildlife from the serene vantage point of a hot air balloon. The Serengeti, which inspired “The Lion King,” homes an incredible biodiversity. During your flight, you might even witness the famous ‘Great Migration’ where massive herds of wildebeest and zebras move across the plains in search of fresh grazing grounds.

These were some of the things to do in Tanzania that are sure to soak you in the rich Tanzanian history, its wild essence, and its therapeutic wavy vibes. 

But, before you visit Tanzania, there are things that you must know regarding your safety, laws, crime, politics, etc. All these things will arm you with the right knowledge and make you a wise traveler. 

Is Tanzania Safe?

In terms of tourism, Tanzania is generally considered safe for tourists. In fact, it is one of the safest countries in Africa. However, as is the case with tourism in any nation, it is always necessary to take proper precautions despite of wherever you go.  While petty theft and occasional road safety concerns exist, serious crime is uncommon.  

For the most up-to-date information, refer to your government’s travel advisories.  Also, when planning your safari, choose reputable tour operators. With them, you can always stay safe and avoid high-threat areas because of their local know-how. 

By following these recommendations, you can maximize your safety and ensure a stress-free adventure in Tanzania.

Brief about Tanzania 

Tanzania is a true treasure in terms of tourism. It lies in the South-East part of the giant African continent and is sure to offer you a blend of geography and culture. 

Speaking about its wild side, Tanzania proudly towers Mount Kilimanjaro over its landscape, which is the highest peak in the whole African continent. Also, vast savannas, teeming with wildlife, sprawl across the country, while ancient Rift Valley lakes shimmer in the distance. People from across the world come for safaris to explore this wild yet spiritual treasure. 

Apart from being an untamed natural beauty, Tanzania is a cultural mosaic as well. Here, you’ll find vibrant traditions thriving alongside modern life.  From the Maasai people, renowned for their distinctive red shukas and rich cultural heritage, to the welcoming smiles of locals in bustling markets, Tanzania offers a glimpse into a fascinating world.

Is Tanzania safe for Americans and other Nationalities

Tanzania welcomes visitors from all backgrounds, including Americans and other nationalities. While petty theft and uneven road conditions are potential concerns, serious crime is uncommon. Here’s a quick breakdown:

General Safety: Tanzania is generally safe, but exercising caution in crowded areas and after dark is wise.

For Americans: The U.S. Department of State offers travel advisories specific to Tanzania and asks people to reconsider their travel to Mtwara Region in southern Tanzania. Also, people from the LGBTI community might face issues. It is always best to hire a travel guide or safari.

For All Travelers: Regardless of nationality, travelers should be responsible and practice taking help from reputable tour operators. Remember

  • Stay informed about local customs to enhance your safety
  • Don’t travel to remote areas alone
  • Don’t travel after dark

By following these tips and staying informed, you can experience the wonders of Tanzania with peace of mind.

Is Tanzania safe for Female travelers?

If you are a female traveler, Tanzania will be pretty safe for you. However, whenever traveling to any new country, it is always necessary to take certain precautionary measures. 

Apart from the travel advisory released by your country, remember to avoid traveling in remote areas, after dark, and try hiring a reputed travel guide to ensure your safety and enhance your traveling experience.

What are the risks of traveling to Tanzania?  

Tanzania has a moderate crime rate and stands at the 40th position, with 1 being the country with the highest crime rate. Some common risks that travelers might face are

  • Theft
  • Assault
  • Armed robbery 

However, the chances of their occurrence rise only if you travel alone, in remote areas, or in the dark. To ensure your safety, hire a reputed travel guide or safari.  

Terrorist Attacks 

In the past few years, there have not been any major terrorist attacks except a few in the year 2021 done by international ISIS groups. These attacks are a concern across East Africa, and Tanzania faces potential threats from groups like Al-Shabaab and ISIS-Mozambique operating in neighboring countries. 

However, it’s important to note that significant terrorist attacks haven’t been a recent occurrence in Tanzania.  The Tanzanian government actively works to counter-terrorism, and the likelihood of an attack specifically targeting tourists remains very low.

Political Unrest 

Political unrest is a potential concern in any travel destination. While Tanzania generally experiences stable political conditions, it’s wise to stay informed about current events. Large demonstrations or protests can occasionally occur, but these are rarely targeted towards tourists.

Here’s how to stay informed:

  • Travel Advisories
  • News Sources

The likelihood of political unrest significantly impacting your safari adventure is extremely low. 

Violent Crimes

According to reports, the crime rate has actually declined over the years. However, it is still important to be aware of violent crimes such as

  • Mugging
  • Assault
  • Kidnapping, etc.

Remember to stay in groups and with your safari/travel guide.

Harassment 

While Tanzania is a welcoming country, unwanted advances or harassment can unfortunately occur, in most countries.  Here’s a breakdown of what to expect and how to navigate these situations:

  • Verbal harassment, catcalling, or unwanted physical contact can be encountered, particularly in crowded areas.

Sometimes, misunderstandings can also occur due to cultural differences as Tanzanian culture can be more direct or expressive. Knowing this will be helpful.

Here is how to have safe interactions:

  • Project confidence and walk confidently. Don’t appear lost or unsure
  • Dress modestly to avoid unwanted attention
  • Be assertive and politely decline any advances if you want
  • Seek help from local authorities 

Religious Unrest 

Tanzania prides itself on its religious tolerance, with a peaceful coexistence between Islam and Christianity, the two dominant faiths. However, isolated incidents of religious tension have occurred in the past, especially on the island of Zanzibar.

It is best to be updated regarding the latest unrest in the area you are traveling to.

Petty crimes 

Petty theft is the most common security concern for tourists in Tanzania.  While it doesn’t involve violence, it can certainly disrupt your trip.

  • Be extra vigilant in crowded places like markets, bus stations, and tourist attractions.
  • Pickpocketing, bag snatching, and scams targeting distracted travelers are common.

Try carrying only essential items and avoid valuables. Use a crossbody bag with a slash-proof strap and keep it zipped closed in front of you, minimize cash, and ‘BE WARY OF DISTRACTIONS’. If someone comes to ask you for something, ensure your valuables before responding. 

Road safety 

Road safety is a major concern in Tanzania. The country has a high rate of traffic accidents. This has resulted in fatalities, injuries, and significant social and economic costs. However, there has been a 92% decline in such cases since 2012. 

The Tanzanian government is aware of the problem and has implemented various initiatives to improve road safety.

Climate risks and frequency of natural disasters

The Tanzanian landscapes, although beautiful, are facing climate-related risks due to global warming. Its rising temperatures might be an issue for some. However, if you are acclimatized to a temperature of around 30°C, then you don’t have to worry. The average temperature here is 27°C.

Also, changing rainfall patterns and extreme weather events are prevalent. As a traveler, you must always be prepared for these. Natural disasters, including droughts and floods, impact agriculture, food security, and health. 

As a traveler, you should be aware of these challenges while exploring the country. Your safari or tour guide will help you with this. 

Laws for Tourists 

Certainly! When traveling to Tanzania, it’s essential to be aware of the local laws and regulations. Here are some key points for tourists:

  1. Visa Requirements:
    • Most foreign travelers need a valid visa to enter Tanzania.
    • Citizens of some African countries (such as Rwanda, Kenya, and Uganda) can travel visa-free for up to three months
  2. Drug Offenses and Pornography:
    • Avoid using or carrying illegal drugs. The penalties are severe.
    • Possessing pornographic material is also illegal.
  3. Plastic Bag Ban:
    • Plastic bags are banned in Tanzania. Make sure not to carry any plastic bags during your visit.
  4. Same-Sex Relations:
    • Same-sex relations are illegal in Tanzania and can result in up to 30 years in jail.

Remember to respect local customs and laws while enjoying your trip to this beautiful country!

Local laws

When traveling to Tanzania, it’s essential to be aware of the local laws and regulations. Here are some key points for tourists:

  1. Declare Large Amounts of Currency: If you’re carrying over $10,000, declare it to immigration.
  2. Visa Requirements: Most foreign travelers need a valid visa.
  3. Visa-Free Travel: Some African citizens can travel visa-free for up to three months.
  4. Avoid Prohibited Items: Don’t bring drugs, firearms, or pornography.
  5. Limits on Alcohol and Tobacco: Be aware of limits on alcohol and tobacco.
  6. No Wildlife Product Export: You can’t export animal skins or elephant tusks.
  7. Respect Photography Etiquette: Always ask permission before taking photos, especially of Indigenous groups like the Maasai. Some believe it steals their soul.

Remember to respect local customs and laws while enjoying your trip to this beautiful country!

Medical Aid

Surely, your safari or tour guide is going to take care of it when needed, but it is better you stay aware of it yourself as well. When it comes to medical aid in Tanzania, here are some important points to consider:

  • Healthcare Infrastructure: Tanzania’s healthcare system faces limitations, especially in rural areas.
  • International Medical Aid (IMA): IMA provides mobile clinics and collaborates with local leaders.
  • Health Challenges: Communicable diseases like HIV and malaria are prevalent.
  • Emergency Contacts: Dial 114 / 112 for medical emergencies. Stay informed and seek help if needed during your Tanzanian travels.

Key Takeaways

Tanzania is a land of untamed beauty that should be on the list of every explorer. It is a land of untamed beauty that must be explored through breathtaking safaris. 

From the vast savannas teeming with wildlife to the majestic peak of Mount Kilimanjaro. Here, you can witness the Great Migration, explore the historic Stone Town, or relax on pristine beaches. And don’t forget to keep the hot air balloon safari in your things to do in Tanzania list. Everything, from a blade of grass to the mighty mountain peak, will stay in your memory for life. 

While Tanzania is generally safe, petty theft and road safety are concerns. Be aware of local laws and customs, and take precautions like not carrying valuables in crowded areas. With its stunning scenery, rich culture, and exciting adventures, Tanzania is a true traveler’s paradise.

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