Many people are not aware of the level of danger that they are exposed to when travelling to Tanzania. This largely comes down to a lack of information, especially on sites such as TripAdvisor and Yelp that are frequented by solo travellers, budget-conscious travellers, and even some couples on honeymoon. The purpose of this article is to help shed some light on the safety aspects of travelling to Tanzania and offer some insight regarding what solo travellers can expect.
Threats To Safety
Threats to safety in Tanzania start from the very beginning of your travel experience. Due to limited infrastructure and a lack of safety measures in place, it is essential that you take the necessary precautions to stay safe. A good place to start is by researching the local laws and customs as they pertain to women travelling on their own. It is also essential that you research any dangerous animals that you might be likely to encounter while in Tanzania. In some parts of the country, such as the Northern Frontier District, leopards are considered sacred and it is taboo to kill them. Protect yourself from these creatures by making sure that you always wear boots when walking through jungles and avoid walking alone or at night. It is also advisable to avoid certain areas of the country where banditry is considered part of the culture, especially in the Northern region.
Tanzania Is Safe
Tanzania is classified as a safe country to visit, though it’s always good to be aware of the risks that you might encounter while travelling there. From a solo traveller’s perspective, there are a variety of risks that you need to be aware of, but thanks to improved security measures and the country’s effective wildlife conservation efforts, it is now considered a relatively safe place to travel. According to the 2017 Travel Index Report by the Worldwide Fund for Nature, Tanzania is one of the safest countries in Africa and 17th safest country in the world. The country scored 7.7 out of 10 for its safety rating. Similarly, the 2019 edition of the survey has also ranked Tanzania as one of the safest countries in Africa.
Tanzania is often referred to as the land of a thousand lakes because it is situated between the two great lakes, Lake Victoria and Lake Tanganyika. The country is therefore blessed with magnificent vistas, spectacular wildlife, and bustling towns and cities. While solo travel to Tanzania is not overtly dangerous, it is always good to be aware of the risks that you might encounter.
How To Stay Safe
Due to the risks that you might encounter while travelling to and in Tanzania, it is important that you take the necessary precautions to ensure your safety. These include avoiding isolated places and travelling only in groups or with a reputable company. When in doubt, contact the nearest embassy or consulate and seek their advice. They will be able to provide you with the current information regarding what to do and how to stay safe in your region. It is also advisable to get a visa for Tanzania well in advance of your travel date.
As for groups, it is generally not a good idea to go against the grain. For example, if you are a solo traveller and you decide to travel to Tanzania by bus, this might be a risky move. You could potentially attract the wrong kind of attention from the driver or the people around you. On the other hand, a group of four might seem safer since there are more pairs of eyes to keep you company. This could be an opportunity for someone to sneak up behind you and rob you. In general, try to stay within a group or with a company that you know and trust.
Even when you are in a safe country, it is still not safe to travel to certain areas or do certain things because these can put you in danger. For instance, if you are in Zanzibar and you want to visit the island of Pemba, it might be a good idea to wait until there is a group of people going or the season is over. This is because travel to the island is potentially more dangerous than the rest of the island due to the risk of conflict between locals and foreigners. If you want to avoid this, it might be best to stay away from places and activities where there is a risk of confrontation. It is also important to avoid areas where there has been a rise in violent crime since these are more likely to encounter incidents of banditry. Traveling to these places might also put you in the wrong mindset and lead you to engage in risky behavior. Do not believe the hype and empty promises of ‘tourists traps’ who try to lure you to certain locations and make you spend money on drinks they call ‘baksheesh’. Instead, keep your eyes open and use your wits to stay safe.
It is vital that you follow the advice of the authorities regarding what is safe and what is not in your destination. If you do not want to put yourself in harm’s way, it is ultimately up to you to be aware of your surroundings, exercise caution when traveling, and return home safely.