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What to do in Tanzania on a Budget

what to do in tanzania on a budget
Written by Teresa Mwangi

Does the thought of what to do in Tanzania on a budget ever cross your mind toying with the idea of a vacation?

It is undeniably true that the cost of a vacation boldly informs your final decision of either going or not. A lot of potential travelers hold back on their wanderlust spirit due to prohibitive costs which do not suit their budgets. However, this is not such a huge hurdle that should hold you back from exploring beautiful Tanzania. This article gives you real-life hacks on how to travel even on a shoestring budget.

Is Tanzania Budget Friendly?

The truth is that Tanzania is a budget-friendly and expensive too. It all depends on where, when, and how you travel. You can get everything, from food to transport to accommodation for a reasonable amount. Unbelievably, you can get a safe, and clean guesthouse for as little as $10.

What to do in Tanzania on a Budget

Tanzania, a treasure trove of cultural diversity and natural wonders, is worth every safari thought that crosses your mind. While it offers the best safari experience in the world, learning what to do in Tanzania on a budget is crucial. Here are 10 destinations to head out to without breaking the bank.

1. Explore Stone Town

Meander through the labyrinthine streets of Stone Town in Zanzibar, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Marvel at the fusion of African, Arabian, and European architecture. Forodhani Gardens, a bustling hub, offers affordable local cuisine and a vibrant cultural tapestry.

what to do in tanzania on a budget

Stone Town [Photo by civitatis]

2. Serengeti Safari on a Budget

Witness the spectacle of the Great Migration in Serengeti National Park without breaking the bank. Opt for shared or group safaris to mitigate costs while still enjoying the breathtaking expanse of wildebeest, zebra, and other wildlife crossing the plains. Serengeti safari will always complete your hacks on what to do in Tanzania on a budget.

3. Hike to Materuni Waterfall

Embark on a guided hike through the Usambara Mountains to the Materuni Waterfall. Refresh in the cool waters, surrounded by lush greenery, all without denting your budget.

4. Enjoy Nungwi Beach Bliss

Savor the sun-drenched white sands of Nungwi Beach – an idyllic spot for budget-friendly sunbathing, swimming, and snorkeling. Immerse in the lively beachfront atmosphere and relish local seafood delights at pocket-friendly prices.

5. Cultural Villages Immersion

Step into the rich tapestry of Tanzania’s diverse ethnic groups by visiting authentic cultural villages. Gain insights into customs, handicrafts, and traditional lifestyles, all on a budget.

6. Explore Dar es Salaam

Discover the vibrant capital, Dar es Salaam, without breaking the bank. Explore local markets, historical landmarks, and the lively waterfront to soak in the city’s spirit on a budget.

7. Kizimkazi Mnemba Marine Reserve

Dive into the underwater wonders of Kizimkazi Mnemba Marine Reserve, a haven for snorkeling and diving enthusiasts. Explore colorful coral reefs and diverse marine life without overspending.

8. Kilimanjaro Ascent

Embark on the ultimate adventure by climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest peak. Opt for longer routes to spread out costs over more days, making this iconic trek accessible for budget-conscious adventurers.

9. Traverse Lake Manyara National Park

Discover the enchanting Lake Manyara National Park, known for tree-climbing lions and abundant birdlife. Opt for self-drive or guided safaris, tailoring the experience to your budget.

10. Embrace Local Transportation

what to do in tanzania on a budget

Local transport buses in Tanzania. Photo/YouTube/Traveller

Immerse yourself in Tanzanian life by hopping on a dala dala, the widely used minibús. Experience authentic travel and save on transportation costs while connecting with the local rhythm of life. Tanzania’s charm extends beyond high-end safaris and luxury resorts.

What is the Cheapest Way to Travel in Tanzania?

Commuter buses are the cheapest way to travel in Tanzania. The public transport sector here is changing gradually and these buses have a touch of style, class, luxury and comfort. Their drivers, women included, are cheerful, friendly and courteous. They leave a mark of happiness for their clients. Additionally, motorcycles are a cheaper way to move to shorter distances in and out of the city compared to hiring cabs.

Is Kenya or Tanzania Cheaper?

While East Africa boasts a more advanced transportation infrastructure, Kenya stands out as the preferred choice for budget-conscious travelers. Not that it negates what to do in Tanzania on a budget but economies of scale are widely at play in Kenya than in Tanzania. With a greater number of flights, hotels, and safari camps, Kenya fosters robust competition, leading to reduced prices for travelers.

Still, Tanzania has lower rates of travel compared to Kenya in some aspects and it depends on preferences. Overall, Kenya and Tanzania are amazing safari destinations with diversity.


Knowing what to do in Tanzania on a budget is the beginning of a memorable vacation.  Simplicity is key and you enjoy the width and breadth of Tanzania.

About the author

Teresa Mwangi

Teresa is a journalist with years of experience in creating web content. She is a wanderlust at heart, loves travelling and telling stories about tour and travel in Africa by every angle.

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