We love Africa – its animals, its nature and its people. That’s why we want to protect this wonderful continent by all means. At the same time we want as many people as possible to see the wonders of Tanzania with their own eyes. But let’s be clear: responsible tourism is very important to us. […]
Is Tanzania Safe For Solo Female Travelers? (A Guide)
For an amazing African destination that’s perfect for solo travelers, Tanzania has everything. However, like in all countries, there are always dangers, especially for solo female travelers.
This guide will help you stay safe on your upcoming trip to Tanzania, offering you the best safety tips and all the best tourist spots to visit during your solo adventure.
Is Tanzania Safe For Women?
So, is Tanzania safe for solo female travellers? The answer is yes!
Tanzania is among the safest African countries, especially for female tourists travelling alone. However, no country is completely safe.
Like with any solo trip, you should be cautious, regardless of gender. With a little forward-thinking and common sense, you should be completely safe in Tanzania and be able to enjoy everything the stunning country has to offer.
To help you prepare, we’ve put together some top safety tips that will keep you safer when exploring Tanzania as a solo female traveller, as well as some basic safety precautions that every tourist should take.
Top Tips For Staying Safe In Tanzania
Find A Reliable Safari Company
If you’re planning to take a safari when visiting Tanzania, then you should make sure you book with a reputable safari company that has good reviews from its client base.
You can find the best safari service with a sterling reputation by using our website, which evaluates various excursion and tour providers.
When you’re in the uncharted wilderness of Africa, it’s important to choose a safari guide you can entirely rely on. Make sure to read internet reviews to learn about the experiences of the company’s past clients.
The top safari excursions will provide you with all of your needs, including food, beverages, lodging, and transportation.
Get Travel Insurance
Getting travel insurance is important wherever you go, as there’s always the chance for something to go wrong. For emergencies, travel insurance can be a lifesaver, sometimes literally.
When you’re covered by travel insurance, you’re protected from the financial implications that come with travel risks and medical mishaps. This is especially important in Tanzania, as the country does have malaria.
You can get travel insurance for a low fee when booking your vacation, whether it’s online or with a travel agent.
Arranging transport to and from the airport is a good idea when you arrive.
It means that you won’t have to worry when landing in Tanzania, and it eliminates the risk of accidentally getting into an unlicensed taxi.
You can usually book transport with your tour company or hotel in advance. All you have to do is ask, and they will be happy to oblige.
Respect The Culture
Travellers should dress modestly as Tanzania has many different cultural traditions. Since most people on the islands and around the coast are Muslim, dressing conservatively will help you blend in.
Avoiding any unwanted attention is easier by wearing skirts or pants that fall below the knee and tops that conceal your shoulders and upper arms.
Wearing swimwear is allowed in touristy beach regions, but going topless is absolutely frowned upon.
It’s important to follow this advice to avoid insulting the natives in Zanzibar’s more conservative areas.
The streets in Tanzania are very safe to walk around during the day.
The only issues you might run into in tourist-dense areas are street hawkers trying to sell you their business.
This could be their merchandise, treatments, or even a seat in their restaurant.
While street hawkers might frustrate you, it’s important to treat them with respect, as they are just trying to make a living.
If you’re not interested in what they’re selling, a polite “no thank you,” or “hapana asante” in Swahili, will be enough for them to move on.
On the other hand, walking around and taking local transport during the night is not recommended. This goes for any kind of traveller, not just solo female tourists.
If you’re planning on visiting a bar or restaurant in the evening, make sure you find someone to go with.
You’ll find that many solo travellers are looking to make friends with other solo travellers, so buddy up and keep each other safe!
Your accommodation should be able to book you a trustworthy taxi driver to and from your destination.
This is the best course of action and is much safer than flagging down a taxi in the street.
Bring An Unlocked Phone
If you’re planning to stay a while in Tanzania, then it’s worth taking an unlocked phone and purchasing a local SIM when you arrive.
It’s a much more affordable way to keep in touch with your friends and family back home and any new friends you might make in Tanzania.
Using a cheap unlocked phone is also good if you’re unlucky enough to have it stolen.
It means you’ll still have your valuable mobile phone and will be able to contact help as soon as you get back to your accommodation.
Only high-end places in Tanzania have access to WiFi. You’ll likely be able to access the internet in your accommodation.
However, you’ll probably have to rely on 3G or 4G when out in public and using a SIM card that you can purchase locally.
It’s worth downloading any apps you might need, like WhatsApp or Skype, before you leave, as download speeds might not be as strong.
Don’t Be Flashy
If you decide to bring your phone or any other valuables out with you when visiting Tanzania, make sure you keep them out of sight from those who might want to steal them.
It’s recommended that you take minimal valuables out with you, but if you do, keep them in a fanny pack in front of you or in a backpack with a lock.
It is also not advised to wear expensive jewellery or designer clothes when out in public, as this can make you a target.
Remember that Tanzania is a developing country, and some locals might see you as an opportunity.
Listen To Locals
The majority of the time, Tanzania’s locals are some of the most friendly and hospitable people you’ll ever come across.
Don’t be afraid to ask people for advice or help when you need it. Most people are looking out for your well-being, so head to a local bar and get talking!
It’s best to do this during the day, as more undesirable people are likely to prey on solo travellers during the night.
Be Aware Of The Attitude Towards Female Travelers
Attitudes towards women are mostly open-minded and forward-thinking in the main towns and cities.
However, in East African cultures and places that are less popular with tourists, women tend not to travel alone. Seeing you might spark some curiosity.
This is usually harmless intrigue, but some men have a different concept of boundaries and what is deemed appropriate in Western countries.
These men might see their advances as flattering, but to a solo female tourist, this is more annoying and even unsettling.
Respectfully asking them to leave you alone will usually do the trick, but if they are persistent, don’t be afraid to be more firm.
The majority of the time, people in Tanzania are incredibly respectful towards women, but if you do feel threatened, head towards a populated area, like a bar or beach, and don’t be afraid to ask for help from locals or fellow travellers.
You can even ask a trusted male to pretend to be your boyfriend to ward off any pushy Tanzanian men.
Basic Safety Tips
Now that we’ve gone through the top tips for staying safe as a solo female traveller in Tanzania, here are some basic safety tips that can benefit any traveller on their trip:
- Keep your passport, visa, and other important documents in a secure place at your accommodation.
- It’s also recommended that you keep copies with you, either physical or digital. If you do need to carry documentation, keep it close to you.
- Be wary of anyone who approaches you on the street. Not everyone has good intentions.
- Avoid isolated areas, especially at night. You should always keep a close eye on your surroundings.
- Avoid public displays of affection, especially with someone of the same sex. Cultural differences mean that not all locals are as tolerant of what is normal to Westerners.
- Do not use unlicensed taxis. You should only take taxis from a taxi rank or through your accommodation.
- Never leave your food or drinks unattended.
- Looking like a tourist in less populated areas might make you a target. Try to walk with purpose and avoid looking at maps in public.
- Avoid carrying too much cash on you or any other valuables, like watches.
Best Tourist Spots For Solo Travelers
Is Tanzania safe for solo female travellers? Absolutely! And with our safety tips, you’ll be able to enjoy every second of your Tanzania vacation. Here are some of the best places to visit during your trip, so you can really make the most of it.
Mount Kilimanjaro is a dormant volcano and the world’s tallest freestanding mountain. It stands at nearly 6,000 feet tall and is popular among tourists looking for adventure.
If you’re looking for the hike of a lifetime, then you should definitely make the ascent! It is a challenging climb, so make sure you prepare yourself well for this journey.
Kikuletwa Hot Springs
Moshi is also close to the Kikuletwa Hot Springs. It’s located 1.5 hours away from the main town and is considered to be one of Tanzania’s hidden gems.
The stunning oasis has incredible natural hot springs for you to soak away your troubles. The serene pool is surrounded by large fig trees and is perfect for those looking to decompress.
The Materuni Waterfalls are a short distance from the center of Moshi.
A day tour will start with a little climb to a waterfall where you can splash around in Kilimanjaro’s mountain water and take in the breathtaking views of the surrounding valleys.
On the way back, you’ll stop at a traditional farm to learn how coffee is made, from selecting the bean to roasting, and then enjoy a delicious cup yourself!
Along the route, you’ll also get to experience the Chagga people’s way of life.
Moshi is only 1.5 hours away from Lake Chala, which is situated on the Kenyan and Tanzanian border.
This serene area is a wonderful illustration of how much natural beauty this nation has to offer.
The crater lake, known as Lake Chala, was created by a volcanic eruption more than three million years ago.
It is home to a wide variety of plant and animal species, thanks to its beautiful blue waters and lush green forest.
The best spot to experience culture is Marangu Village.
Many members of the Chagga tribe reside in this area. You can learn about the significance of this location in Tanzania’s history thanks to the nearby museum and several historic caves.
You will undoubtedly meet nice locals while you are here, so don’t be afraid to enjoy the cuisine they offer you!
Mount Meru is a less expensive option than Mount Kilimanjaro.
The second-highest peak in Tanzania, Mount Meru, which is located in Arusha, is 4,566 meters high.
Some mountain climbers even think it’s a more scenic hike than Mount Kilimanjaro.
This hike is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to observe some magnificent natural beauty courtesy of the mountain’s abundant and diversified flora and fauna.
The National History Museum
The National History Museum is another destination in Arusha.
The museum, often called the Old Boma museum, is where a collection of historical items is kept.
For those interested in Tanzania’s rich history and culture, it’s a terrific place to start.
Arusha National Park
Amazing species like zebras, elephants, hippos, buffalos, hyenas, and giraffes may be found in Arusha National Park.
Despite being smaller than Tanzania’s other national parks, it contains a vast array of habitats that are home to a wide variety of species that you can see.
Animal lovers should visit this place without a doubt.
Dar Es Salaam
Both locals and visitors enjoy Kigamboni Beach for a quieter experience away from the hustle and bustle.
It’s undoubtedly a must-see location, with beautiful white sands and stunning turquoise waters.
Islands like Bongoyo or Mbudya are also excellent locations to unwind.
They are much quieter and have stunning beaches, pristine waters, and delicious seafood since they are off the coast of Dar Es Salaam.
From several locations along the harbor in Dar es Salaam, you can take a short boat ride to get here.
The Village Museum
The Village Museum is a reconstruction of numerous pre-colonial Tanzanian homes from several of the nation’s 120 different ethnic groups.
You can visit the residences as well as the many informational kiosks that discuss the various ethnic groups, their customs, crafts, and everyday household items.
Ngoma, tribal dances, and other traditional events are also performed at the museum.
Bagamoyo city, a former fishing community, is located a little further from the capital.
Throughout its lengthy history, the region has hosted traders from India and the Middle East, German colonial authorities, and Christian missionaries.
As a historical hub for Arab and European missionaries, explorers, and traders in East Africa, it has played a significant role in world history.
Bagamoyo, Tanzania, once had a robust slave trade and is now the location of a historic church, a German cemetery, a history museum, and a booming sailboat industry.
The Woodcarver’s Market
The Woodcarver’s Market is one of the additional attractions in Dar es Salaam.
Tanzanians have a tradition of carving wood, so this is an excellent spot to buy souvenirs. Although it produces a wide range of goods, its sculptures and wood carvings are its specialty.
Make sure to look around before making a purchase so that you are aware of your possibilities, and don’t be afraid to haggle.
The most populated area of the island is Stone Town, which features distinctive buildings with Arabic architectural influences.
In Stone Town, you can thoroughly immerse yourself in the local culture.
There is a lot for visitors to do in Tanzania in this lively town. Along with many eateries and bars, there are also some amazing sights to admire.
Prison Island, which is around 30 minutes away from Stone Town, is one of the best places to visit in Zanzibar.
This island was once used as a prison for slaves who had rebelled, which is how it got its name.
It is a popular tourist destination, and its giant tortoises are one of its main charms. The island has been home to these fascinating species for almost 200 years!
Zanzibar is a popular tourist destination known for its beaches.
Zanzibar’s beaches are exceptional, featuring pristine blue waters and exotic fruits.
Beaches like Jambiani, Matemwe, and Bwejuu truly have everything a traveller seeking relaxation could want.
If you want to have the ideal beach vacation, you can get a room at a beach hotel.
The Jozani Forest is another fantastic location for those who adore animals.
It is ideal for witnessing views you won’t get back home as it’s full of amazing species and bursting with lush plant life.
Visit this forest to see some incredible wildlife up close, such as the rare red colobus monkey.
The Palace Museum
The Palace Museum is one of the additional attractions in Zanzibar.
The Palace Museum, sometimes referred to as the Sultan’s Palace, is arguably the oldest structure in Stone Town.
It was constructed in the 19th century and is currently home to artifacts from the former Sultan family, providing a glimpse into royal life.
Frequently Asked Questions
When Is The Best Time To Visit Tanzania?
Tanzania has a generally pleasant climate all year long, although the dry season, between June and October, is the ideal time to visit.
During these months, the nation experiences some of its best weather and the Great Serengeti Migration takes place.
Additionally, the ideal time to attempt to climb Mount Kilimanjaro is during the drier season.
How Long Should I Stay In Tanzania?
There is so much to see and do in Tanzania that it might require multiple trips!
Depending on your plans, 2 to 3 weeks is usually a good amount of time if you only have excursions on your itinerary.
This gives you 4 to 5 days per excursion, and 3 days to explore the city you’re staying in. You should also leave days for travel, rest, and day tours.
Where Should I Stay In Tanzania?
Over recent years, tourism has risen significantly in Tanzania. There are plenty of accommodation options for you, from cheap hostels to luxury hotels.
It depends on your preferences and your budget.
Tanzania is also a great destination for eco-tourism.
The country cares greatly about the environment and has many eco-friendly lodges that you can stay in during your visit.
If you plan on booking a safari, it’s likely that you’ll be offered one of them to stay in during your excursion. You should definitely take them up on it!
The Bottom Line
When travelling to a different country alone, you need to do everything you can to keep yourself safe, especially as a solo female traveller.
With this guide, you’ll be prepared for your upcoming trip to Tanzania and be able to take every precaution so you can enjoy your once-in-a-lifetime vacation.
In case you need any assistance with your solo trip to Tanzania – let us know! We’ll help you make the most out of your adventure, making it as safe as possible.