Home to some of the most iconic scenery in all of sub-Saharan Africa, Tanzania’s popularity as a tourist destination is growing. From the snow-capped peaks of Kilimanjaro and Mount Kenya to the sweeping grassland of the Serengeti; the bustling metropolis of Dar Es Salaam to the Arabic architecture of Zanzibar, Tanzania is a country of contrasts. On the whole, Tanzania is a safe country to visit, although it’s advisable to keep your wits about you, just as you would in any non-familiar country.
Tanzania’s cities are generally safe, but visitors should try to stick to the main highways and thoroughfares and avoid exploring on foot after dark. Both sexes should dress conservatively, although this especially applies to females, and visitors should keep an eye on their valuables at all times, particularly after a few konyagis; a very strong white rum popular with locals. Journeys out into the bush or savannah should not be made without the accompaniment of an expert tour guide or bushman.
The people of Tanzania are incredibly well-mannered and greet one another with a handshake. While English is spoken widely throughout the country, the Swahili greeting of ‘Jambo’ is sure to ingratiate you with the locals. While incidents of police corruption are rare, tourists have reported being approached and asked politely to pay a “fee” or “fine”. The natural politeness of the Tanzanians will help you if this occurs; Tanzanians do not consider it appropriate to ask direct questions, so speaking in English and maintaining that you do not understand will usually make the officer desist. Engaging the individual in Swahili will give the game away that you understand what is going on and will make the situation more difficult. It should be noted that such occurrences are rare.
Weather and Climate
Those heading to Tanzania usually choose to do so between July and October when the weather is dry and cool. Between October and December the rainy season makes travel within the country difficult. January and February are characterised by dry weather and soaring temperatures so be advised. If you are visiting the Serengeti national park, April is your best time to travel; this is when wildebeest migrate across the plains in their droves, creating a captivating backdrop for your African adventure.