Tanzania is a beautiful country that attracts millions of tourists every year with its stunning landscapes, diverse wildlife, and rich cultural heritage. Going on a safari requires sufficient planning, and part of that is answering the question about whether Tanzania is safe to visit.
Generally, Tanzania is very safe to visit. Tanzania has the best record of political stability in the whole East African region and you should feel safe to visit there.
However, as with any place, it’s important to take certain safety precautions to ensure that you have a safe and enjoyable trip. We’ll cover some general safety guidelines for traveling to Tanzania below.
Personal safety is important when traveling in Tanzania, especially in urban areas.
Here are some personal safety guidelines to follow:
- Be aware of your surroundings: Be aware of your surroundings at all times, especially in crowded areas. Avoid walking alone in isolated areas or after dark.
- Avoid wearing expensive jewelry or carrying large amounts of cash: Avoid wearing expensive jewelry or carrying large amounts of cash, as this can make you a target for theft. Use a money belt or pouch to keep your valuables safe.
- Keep your valuables safe: Keep your valuables, such as your passport and wallet, in a secure place. Use the hotel safe to store important documents and valuables.
- Be cautious when using ATMs: Be cautious when using ATMs, especially at night or in isolated areas. Use ATMs that are located inside a bank or shopping center.
- Be cautious when using your phone: Be cautious when using your phone in public places. Keep your phone out of sight and avoid using it in crowded areas. Consider purchasing a local SIM card to avoid expensive roaming charges.
- Learn basic Swahili phrases: Learn basic Swahili phrases to communicate with locals. This can help you in case of an emergency or if you need assistance.
- Follow local customs and laws: Be respectful of local customs and laws. Dress modestly, especially in rural areas and religious sites. Do not take photographs of military or government buildings without permission.
- Use a reputable tour operator: If you’re going on a safari or other tour, use a reputable tour operator. Check reviews online before booking a tour to ensure that they have a good reputation and adhere to safety guidelines.
- Dress modestly: As in many African countries, Tanzania has conservative cultural norms when it comes to dress. It is important to dress modestly, especially in rural areas and religious sites. This means covering your shoulders, legs, and chest.
- Remove shoes: It is customary to remove shoes when entering someone’s home, a mosque or other religious site.
- Greetings: In Tanzania, it is important to greet people properly. This includes shaking hands and asking about their well-being. You should also greet elders and those in positions of authority first.
- Food and drink: Tanzania has a rich culinary culture, and it’s worth trying the local dishes. However, it’s important to be cautious about what you eat and drink to avoid getting sick. Only drink bottled water and avoid street food, especially in rural areas.
Transportation safety is important when traveling in Tanzania. Here are some transportation safety guidelines to follow:
- Use reputable taxi services: If you need to use a taxi, use reputable taxi services, such as Uber or Bolt. You can also ask your hotel to arrange for a reliable taxi service.
- Be cautious when using public transportation: If you’re using public transportation, such as buses or minivans, be cautious of pickpockets and keep your belongings close to you. Try to avoid using overcrowded public transport.
- Wear seatbelts: Always wear seatbelts when traveling in a car or a bus. Make sure the driver is not over-speeding and is following the traffic rules.
- Check for safety features: When traveling by bus, make sure that the bus has basic safety features such as emergency exits, functioning seatbelts, and fire extinguishers. Always sit near an exit in case of an emergency.
- Avoid driving at night: Avoid driving at night, especially on rural roads. There may be poor lighting on the roads, and some animals may be active at night, which can increase the risk of accidents.
Tanzania is a tropical country, and certain health precautions should be taken to prevent illness. Here are some health guidelines to follow:
- Get vaccinated: Before traveling to Tanzania, make sure that you’re up-to-date with your vaccinations. Recommended vaccinations include yellow fever, hepatitis A and B, and typhoid. If you are traveling from a country with a high risk of yellow fever, you may need to show proof of vaccination to enter Tanzania.
- Use insect repellent: Use insect repellent to prevent mosquito bites, as mosquitoes can transmit diseases such as malaria and dengue fever. Use mosquito nets while sleeping, especially if you are staying in a rural area.
- Drink bottled water: Drink bottled water to prevent waterborne illnesses such as cholera and typhoid. Avoid using tap water for drinking, brushing teeth, or making ice.
- Avoid street food: Avoid eating street food to prevent foodborne illnesses. Choose restaurants that are clean and have good hygiene practices.
- Pack a first aid kit: Pack a first aid kit with basic medical supplies such as band-aids, antiseptic, and pain relievers. If you have any pre-existing medical conditions, bring enough medication to last the duration of your trip.
- Keep important documents safe: Keep important documents such as your passport and visa in a secure location. Consider making copies and keeping them in separate locations in case of loss or theft.
- Know the location of your embassy: Find out where your embassy is located and keep their contact information on hand in case of an emergency.
- Purchase travel insurance: Consider purchasing travel insurance to cover any unforeseen medical expenses or emergencies.
Tanzania is a beautiful and culturally rich country to visit. While Tanzania is generally a safe destination, it’s important to take certain precautions to ensure your safety.
Additionally, it’s important to be aware of cultural norms such as dressing modestly and removing shoes in certain situations.
In case of an emergency, it’s important to have important documents safe and easily accessible, know the location of your embassy, and purchase travel insurance. By taking these precautions, you can have a safe and enjoyable trip to Tanzania.