Women wearing backpacks walking along the beach in Zanzibar

How safe is Tanzania? (2023 update)

May 9, 2024
Reading time: 8 minutes

Tanzania is a pretty safe country for visitors, which is one of the reasons we chose to develop trips there. We discuss with you the safety of Tanzania as a whole, malaria, and the safety of cities and towns, Zanzibar, Kilimanjaro and game parks.

We’re often asked about the safety of the countries where we host trips. Totally understandable!

We’re happy to assure you that we’re probably as concerned with your safety as you are. We work really hard to ensure that our local leaders and travellers are always safe and secure in every way imaginable. And we’re confident that Tanzania is a safe country – safe to live in, and safe to visit as a tourist. Which is why we organise trips there. 🙂

But to give you greater confidence to plan a trip to this gorgeous East African nation, let’s answer a few more questions you have, from general questions on safety in Tanzania to more specific ones like the safety of going on a safari ...

Leopard, Tanzania safety

The wild animals of Tanzania are definitely NOT safe, but so long as you're sensible and listen to your safari guide, you're 100% okay

Is Tanzania a safe country?

Yes, Tanzania is a reasonably safe country. In fact, as of 2022, it’s one of the safest African countries, both for locals and tourists.

According to the 2022 Global Peace Index, Tanzania is the sixth safest country in Africa.

Most tourism hotspots are extremely safe

As is the case in many countries, there are a few regions within Tanzania's borders that occasionally experience some trouble. These are best avoided to ensure you don't run into issues.

The good news is that tourist hotspots like Mt Kilimanjaro and the famous Northern Circuit game parks (which include Serengeti National Park) are extremely safe.

Hikers on Kilimanjaro

The Mt Kilimanjaro region is a wonderfully safe area

The Zanzibar Archipelago, off the east coast of the country, is a touch less safe. It's had some crime and terrorism incidents over the years, though not enough for us to consider it a no-go area.

The best thing here would be to stay at a good establishment and discuss each day's plans with the manager to ask for tips, advice and any relevant updates.

We provide more detail on the safety of each of these locations in just a minute.

Potentially unsafe regions we recommend avoiding

There are two places in Tanzania that we recommend avoiding as tourists.

Firstly, we don't recommend visiting the far south of the country along the Mozambican border. This is because there has been some cross-border terrorist activity there in recent years. Fortunately, the country's main tourism attractions are far, far north of this region, and so travellers needn't worry that such matters will affect them.

Maasai warriors

The Maasai are Tanzania's most famous people group

One other possible safety and security concern is the country's commercial capital, Dar es Salaam. A large city, the usual sorts of city-based crimes can be a problem here, like theft, assault and vandalism. But the good news is that most tourists have no need to travel through Dar es Salaam.

Case in point, you can fly to Zanzibar's Abeid Amani Karume International Airport or to the north's Kilimanjaro International Airport. The latter is the staging post for Northern Circuit safari trips as well as Kilimanjaro climbs. Skip Dar es Salaam altogether is our opinion.

Is it safe to travel to Tanzania?

Yes, it’s safe to travel to Tanzania in our opinion. We’ve never had any issues in terms of taking clients on safari and Kilimanjaro climbs there.

One of the reasons our trips have been hassle-free is that we work with amazing local leaders like Kazi, Robert and Chris, who are always looking after our travellers’ safety and security. 

Kazi and kids having fun in Tanzania,  Tanzania safety

Follow Alice local leader Kazi keeps you safe while on safari, and also ensures you're having fun!

At no point during your Tanzania trip with us are you alone, unless of course you choose to be. We fetch you from the airport and chauffeur you around during your stay, before driving you back to the airport. In this way you're always looked after by men and women who know the country intimately and so know how to keep you safe.

Common sense safety guidelines

Of course, no matter where you travel to you should always be sensible. We suggest following the same sorts of guidelines you’d follow anywhere else in the world, especially if travelling on your own (versus with a tour operator). For instance:

  • avoid deserted stretches of beach and other isolated places
  • take a taxi at night instead of walking
  • don’t show off your valuables or leave them in an empty vehicle.
Kazi and travellers by safari vehicle in Tanzania, Is Tanzanai safe?

Kazi also ensures you see lots of great wildlife!

Also, when on safari, don't try to cuddle a baboon, ride an ostrich, or feed the crocs grapes. (But seriously, no selfies with the wildlife.) Be sensible, stay inside the 4x4, and always, always listen to your safari guide's instructions and advice.

We really do advise travelling with a company that has locals serving as tour guides. Such men and women are invaluable in keeping you safe during your travels.

Follow Alice Tanzania team, Tanzania safety

The Tanzania Follow Alice team are a friendly and professional group of folks who look after you in every way during your time in Tanzania

Safety and security on safari

A safari is only dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing. And here we're talking about the wildlife, not people.  

Choose a reputable tour operator to ensure you have a well-experienced, safety-conscious safari guide looking after you at all times.

The best way to stay safe on a safari is to travel with a reputable tour operator like Follow Alice. In this way you have a tour guide with you at all times, advising you not to pet the lions or swim in croc-infested rivers. Your tour guide also has the right vehicle and knows how to avoid annoying muddy breakdowns. 

It really is wise to go on safari with a trained safari driver and guide, not only from a safety point of view, but also to better spot animals and learn about what you’re seeing. 

You might like to learn more on this topic in our Safari safety tips (not just for dummies).

Kazi and clients by safari vehicle

Everyone falls in love with Kazi, our local safari leader – you just can't help it 😉

Safety and security on Kilimanjaro

Climbing Kilimanjaro is a serious enterprise, and we take climber safety seriously. But there are no issues like crime and theft when it comes to climbing the mountain. You hike within the Kilimanjaro National Park, which is a safe and well-managed park. And the climbing community is not a thieving one, but rather a wonderfully friendly and supportive one!

Safety issues on the mountain are more to do with altitude sickness and having the correct clothing and gear to protect you against the elements. If you’d like to know more, please read Kilimanjaro safety or How we keep you safe on Kilimanjaro.

Trekkers with flags at the summit of Mt Kilimanjaro, Tanzania safety

Your lead guide and the rest of the mountain crew have your safety as their top priority when you climb Mt Kilimanjaro

At Follow Alice, our lead climb guides are highly experienced individuals with decades of Kilimanjaro climbing experience between them. You really don't have to worry about a thing when there's one of these guys looking after you!!

Safety and security in Zanzibar

Zanzibar is a decently safe place for tourists at present, though it's one of those regions where you should keep an eye on the news to see how things are developing.

Two things to note. Firstly, be aware of pickpockets in Stone Town. Secondly, we don’t recommend sailing too far from shore, as the waters of East Africa are troubled by pirates. Water sports close to shore, however, like kitesurfing, are perfectly fine. 

Your biggest danger in Zanzibar is probably neglecting to put on enough sunscreen, or forgetting to hydrate properly between all the beachside cocktails!

Couple lounging outside in Zanzibar, Tanzania safety

Zanzibar attracts visitors from around the world, making safety a big priority among its officials and businesses

Safety and security in cities and towns

The cities and towns of Tanzania are reasonably safe in our opinion, and don’t tend to suffer from violent or serious crime. This is especially true of the smaller cities and towns like Arusha and Moshi, our bases in the north for hosting Tanzania safaris and Kilimanjaro climbs. The bigger cities like Dar es Salaam require a little more vigilance.

Urban settlements around the world invite pickpockets and chancers. Tanzania is no different.

Here are some commonsensical tips for looking after your person and belongings in Tanzanian cities and towns:

  • Check with your hotel or tour guide before heading out if an area is safe for walking
  • Don’t wear or carry anything of great value like your grandmother’s pearl necklace
  • Don’t wave a fancy cellphone or camera around as an invitation to chancers to nab it
  • Avoid walking around alone at night. Rather take a taxi belonging to a reputable company.

It’s always best when travelling anywhere in the world to conceal your valuables, and keep your money and passport close to your person (like tucked in your undies or in a money pouch under your shirt). Crossbody bags aren't great as people have been known to fall or similar if the strap doesn't break when the bag is being snatched.

Arusha city in Tanzania, how safe is Tanzania?

Arusha is the small city that serves as the gateway to both the Northern Circuit game parks and Mt Kilimanjaro


Tanzania is in a malaria zone, so we recommend taking anti-malaria meds before travelling here.

Also be aware that the Government of Tanzania requires proof of yellow fever vaccination upon arrival if you are travelling from a country with risk of yellow fever. This also applies if you have a long layover (over 12 hours) in a country with a known yellow fever risk.

Hiker in snow on top of Mt Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

The good news is that most of Mt Kilimanjaro is too high and too cold for malaria-carrying mozzies

Aside from that, there are no specific vaccine requirements for entry into Tanzania.