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Budgeting for a vacation in Tanzania.

Tanzania is one of the poorest countries in the world. Daily life is affordable and you can take a trip to Tanzania without breaking your purse strings. Sleeping, eating and getting around is cheap but costs will rocket the moment you go on safari or organize a Kilimanjaro climb.

Affordable living costs suited to all budgets

One thing's for sure, Tanzania is an impoverished country and not the cheapest in this part of Africa. By charging more for activities relating to its national parks, Tanzania is able to reinvest in mass tourism. So it does mean that going on safari in the Ngorongoro or Serengeti is more expensive than doing so in Kenya's Amboseli or Masai Mari National Parks. It's a decision that was taken by the Tanzanian government to ensure the upkeep of its savage paradise. Higher prices for fewer tourists

But outside of key tourist activities (for example the exhorbitant price charged for climbing Kilimanjaro), daily living costs are cheap and suited to all budgets. Transport, for example, costs peanuts. There are other options if you're looking for a certain comfort or if you have little time on your hands. From being crammed into a minibus to luxury coaches or flying, there's something for all budgets. Same for accommodation, whether it be sleeping in a cheap, grotty dorm or staying at a luxury safari lodge. Idem for eating out, which ranges from street stalls to the expensive restaurants favored by expats.

Once you're at its peak, you'll forget how much it cost

Some prices to help you plan your budget

Transport is cheap. Crossing a town will cost between 1€/USD to 3€/USD, depending on the distance. A bus ticket from Dar es Salaam to Arusha will cost between 10€/USD et 30€/USD, depending on the level of comfort you choose. The same trip by plane is not much more expensive. Local airlines sell plane tickets from 50€/USD upwards. The advantage of flying is you save a lot of time - definately worth checking out.

As for where to stay, the range of prices is wide. You can find double rooms from 7€/USD. At the other end of the scale, prices can rocket. To stay in some safari lodges, you'll need to be a millionaire.

As for eating out, you can pick up something from a sidewalk food stall for 2€/USD or opt for 'European' priced menus in chic restaurants.

Out of everything you do during your trip to Tanzania, going on safari will be the big expense. If you're offered a price less than 100€/USD per day per person, it's not a serious offer. It could even be a scam.

David Debrincat
459 contributions
Updated 28 May 2015
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