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Are Tanzanians Friendly? (A Tourist Guide)

You only need to take a look at a single photograph of Tanzania to see why so many people choose to take a vacation to this country.

Tanzania is packed with natural beauty, and it is filled with wildlife too.

This is a big part of why many people go on safari in Tanzania, however a lot of people also visit Tanzania for the locals.

Are Tanzanians Friendly (A Tourist Guide)

Tanzanian culture is a lot more friendly than Western culture, and this attracts a lot of people.

In this tourist guide, we’ll be taking a look at whether, or not, Tanzanians are friendly, and lots more. So, if you want to find out more, keep on reading!

Are Tanzanians Friendly?

So, let’s dive right in and take a look at whether, or not, Tanzanians are friendly. Of course, we can’t speak for everybody as everyone is different.

However, generally speaking, yes, Tanzanians are friendly.

On the whole, Tanzanians tend to welcome visitors with open arms, and will be very polite and helpful to tourists.

A big part of this is due to the huge sense of national pride that is felt across Tanzania.

It is also due to the huge mix of ethnic groups that reside in Tanzania.

With more than 120 different ethnic groups living alongside each other, it is understandable that many people will be welcoming to those visiting Tanzania from afar.

The majority of Tanzanians will be very friendly.

However, the best way to ensure a good reception from Tanzania natives is to brush up on your knowledge of their culture and traditions before you visit.

Many people who travel are guilty of ignoring cultural differences in other countries.

So, the best way to ensure that you will get on with Tanzanian people is to do your research before you go to ensure that you are respectful of their beliefs at all times.

Tanzania is a country that welcomes tourists with open arms. In Tanzania, welcoming strangers is a huge part of their culture as every stranger is a potential friend.

Shaking hands is a huge part of Tanzanian culture, so it will not be uncommon for a Tanzanian local to walk up to you and shake your hand while saying “jambo”.

This means “hello” in Tanzanian, so you should return the favor.

Friendliness is a huge part of the culture in Tanzania, so the best way to have a friendly welcome in this country is to be outgoing and friendly too.

Smile and make an effort with people and you will quickly be welcomed into the community where you are staying.

Is Tanzania a Safe Place to Visit?

Generally speaking, yes, Tanzania is a safe place to visit.

It is one of the safest African countries that you can travel to, and the only real risks associated with traveling in Tanzania are common when traveling across most countries.

We have written a complete guide to staying safe when traveling in Tanzania, so be sure to check that out before you book your Tanzania vacation.

However, let’s quickly cover some of the main points.

The most common crimes that put tourists at risk when traveling in Tanzania are scamming and pickpocketing.

Scams are often carried out on a small scale with gangs using children to distract tourists while the criminals steal their belongings.

Pickpocketing is even more common as opportunistic criminals will prey on tourists. It is most common in busy places and on public transport.

However, scamming and pickpocketing are some of the most common crimes in many popular tourist countries.

They are crimes that you can protect yourself from by taking precautions and remaining vigilant at all times. This aside, Tanzania is generally a safe place to visit.

Cultural Traditions to Be Aware Of Before You Visit

Cultural Traditions to Be Aware Of Before You Visit

As we mentioned earlier, the best way to ensure a warm reception from Tanzanians during your visit is to be aware of cultural traditions, and to respect them.

So, let’s take a look at some cultural traditions that you should be aware of.

Great People Individually

In most Western countries, it is fairly common to walk into a room full of people and greet everybody at once.

In fact, quite a lot of the time, it would be considered strange if you went around the room greeting everyone individually. However, this isn’t the case in Tanzania.

In Tanzania, it is the norm to greet everybody individually. So, when you are visiting Tanzania, always make the effort to greet people that you meet one by one.

This is simply what is seen as friendly and polite in Tanzania.

Always Use Your Right Hand

In Tanzania, the left hand is used for bathroom activities, so it is seen as dirty.

Due to this, you shouldn’t use your left hand to eat, greet people, or do anything other than wipe yourself after going to the toilet.

Extending your left hand in a greeting is a sure-fire way to offend natives. So to keep things friendly, use your right hand instead (even if your left hand is your dominant one).

Dos and Don’ts in Tanzania


  • Dress modestly
  • Respect cultural boundaries
  • Respect your elders
  • Greet people with your right hand
  • Greet people individually


  • Wear revealing clothes
  • Greet people with your left hand
  • Hold hands, kiss or hug in public

Summary: are Tanzanians friendly?

In short, yes, on a whole, Tanzanians are friendly. To ensure that you do not offend any Tanzanian people, do your research before and respect cultural boundaries.

But generally as long as you visit Tanzania being friendly and open to communication with native people, you will have a friendly greeting in return.

Thanks for reading!

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