Since I came back home I’ve heard this question countless of times and each time I’m not sure if I can give the right answer. Some people ask how much I spent and that’s a much easier question as I know exactly what my bank account looks like (although sometimes I’d rather not say).

The price of holidays in Tanzania depends on:

– how long you’re going to stay there
– how many attractions you want to pack into your itinerary
– how many people you travel with
– what is the standard you expect

What were my costs?

Safari: 44,13% Accommodatoin: 14,79 (all the month excluding three nights in safari camps) Diving: 12,95% Attractions: 7,27% Food: 6,79% Transport: 4,36% Other costs: 9,7%

The lenght of stay

Usually, the longer we stay somewhere, the lower the cost (average a day), in Tanzania it is not necessarily true. Most tourists visit Tanzania for three reasons: – Zanzibar (beach or water activities) – safari – trekking to Kilimanjaro These three things are also the most expensive ones and therefore two intensive weeks where you decide on the above attraction might differ very little from a month spent on slow travel.

Zanzibar – safari – reszta podróży | Create infographics

As you can see in the graph above a four-day safari was 44% of the total costs, two-day diving in Zanzibar almost 13% of costs. If I’d decided on Kilimanjaro trek I would have spent even more than I spent on safari, and if I had wanted to meet chimpanzees in Mahale National Park in the west of the country the cost would have been even higher (to tell you the truth, I really wanted that but it was way beyond my budget!).

As you can see in the graph above:
four days/ three night safari: 44,13% of costs
6 days in Zanzibar: 26,14% of costs (half of it spent on two-day diving)
the rest of travelling (19 days): 29,73% of costs

Attractions

Attractions are really expensive – the more you want to experience, the more you need to be prepared to pay.
Well, you don’t really need to dive, go snorkelling, experience African safari; you migh skip the museum or UNESCO sights and forget about the treks – you might do all that, but let’s be honest – most people travel to Tanzania to have all those experience and if their holiday is short well, their make their experience extremally intensive, thus the high costs.

How many people you travel with

I love travelling on my own – I can do everything at my own pace and I’m never afraid or lonely. However, deciding on an African trip again I looked for the company and I needed to company really badly to be able to share the cost. Africa (in general) is much less touristy than for example South-East Asia and it is little popular with backpacker who would be willing to share the costs – all this means that finding the company might be difficult and if you can’t find a person to share a taxi or a trip with you might need to pay for everything on your own.
However, if you are not interested in the top attractions and you just want to move slowly enjoying the road, you won’t pay much and you don’t really need the company.

Expected standard of travelling

When we compare our financial possibilities with how much other people have spent we often forget that we expect (and are able to accept) different standards of accommodation, transport of holiday.
When I look for accommodation what’s important it is clean bed and a bathroom – I don’t need any luxuries. If you want to ALL of my accommodation in Tanzania (with prices and pictures) go to following post. If I compare myself to other travel bloggers I see that some of them spend on a week long accommodation what I spent in the whole month explaining that it is the only safe way, others are on such a tight budget that what I like and want might seem unnecessary luxury for them – it is all the matter of expectations, needs and financial possibilities.

Instead of taking a ferry to Zanzibar or making a ten hours’ trip to Arusha you can quickly get to both places by plane – simply expect to pay more. The question is always: what do you want to save on? Time or money?

Is food expensive? Well, are you a foodie or you don’t care what you eat as long as your stomach is full?
I ate dinner at a local market stall for less than a dollar, in a cheap eatery for about 3 dollars or in a beach restaurant for 12 dollars (that lobster was definitely worth the price!). Is $12 a lot if you can eat for $3? It definitely is. But then, is $12 a lot for a lobster? It’s probably just a fraction of what you would pay at home.

The best food I ate in Tanzania? Grilled octopus bought at many street stalls  (200 Tanzania shillings a piece, each piece was around 1,5cm long). When travelling along the coast usually my perfect dinner consists of a fresh fish, chips and a bottle of beer (I can eat that every day and I don’t get bored) which cost around 5-7 dollars.
You might avoid local markets and stalls and then you’ll find it extremally difficult to save money.
You might love rice (which I hate) and then your life will be easier than mine because rice with something is a really popular and cheap dish.

Summing up

I don’t know how expensive your holidays in Tanzania are going to be, I don’t know what you want to save on, and what to splurge on.
When I prepared myself for this trip I first calculated the safari, then I added the expected cost of diving. Then I thought carefully how much money I have and how much I can spend on average each day – I assumed that I would spend double in Zanzibar comparing to the land.
I was pretty correct in my assumptions. If I’d had less money I would have slept in cheaper hotels with shared bathrooms and I’d have eaten cheaper food. If I’d had more money I’d have gone on a longer safari, I’d have dived for more days and I’d have gone to Mahale to see the chimpanzees.

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The cost of holidays in Tanzania: safari, diving and cultural sightseeing.
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The cost of holidays in Tanzania: safari, diving and cultural sightseeing.
  • Traveling to places in Africa are always going to be expensive – its just trade off as to where you want to spend or splurge. You sound like you had an amazing time though and fitting in a safari and diving in the space of a couple of weeks would have been a wonderful contrast.

  • $12 for a lobster. Remarkable. I bet that is a lasting memory. I am surprised, but not really, to see that safaris ate up so much of your budget.

  • Would love to visit Tanzania and can imagine the safaris are very expensive! Would still love to do one when we make it there. Octopus, lobster all sound great, I love rice so that would probably make things bit cheaper for me :-)

  • Good tip about traveling in a group to split the cost. If you can take a cab with someone, or maybe get a room and split the cost that should lower the cost somewhat. I bet the safari was fun, but in addition to paying for that experience, one still has to pay for the flights, which probably would be the biggest cost. Still, I bet it was unforgettable. Lucky you!

  • And in the end how much did you spend per day at your trip? How many percent it can be cheaper and how is tre trip if you spend double? We wish to know this to estimate our next trip. Thanks.

  • It is definitely a splurge and well worth it too I’m sure. It’s a good post to start the planning with what you must do, and then add in the other items based on splurges versus experience. I think street food is both… just not an expensive splurge!

  • It’s a very interesting percentage but I am wondering how much did you spend in the end? I would love to go to Tanzania but I don’t know how much it would cost, that information would be very useful.

  • I like the breakdown here. it helps a lot knowing where you spend the most money. Especially people that are planning trips to the same area. it helps to have a heads up!

  • What do you think the high cost of spending holidays in Tanzania stem from? Is it more due to the fact that the attractions you listed are so popular or it’s because it’s just expensive to e.g. organise equipment for the Kili trekking or it takes a lot of driving, guiding to do the safari? Would you say the attractions are worth their price or are overpriced?