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Arusha Travel Advice and Safety

Tanzania is a relatively safe country and visits are generally trouble-free. Most experts would consider Tanzania to be one of the safest destinations in Africa. But crime can happen anywhere in the world and there are always things that a visitor can do to help keep themselves safe during their trip. First of all, do not carry around large amounts of cash or valuables when you are out and about. There is no point in bringing an expensive diamond necklace or watch to Tanzania, but if you must, leave it in your hotel safe and get a receipt for it. 

Take a good look around before using an ATM: even better, make sure you have a companion with you when doing so. Do not wander around in unfamiliar parts of the cities, and don’t walk around after dark. Avoid very crowded areas where pickpockets might operate.If in doubt, take local advice from your guide or hotel staff as to where it is safe to walk. Trustworthy local knowledge is always the best.

Arusha Town on Map

Travel Advice and Health

Health Issues

Get comprehensive travel insurance before you leave. 

Your policy needs to cover all overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation. If you can’t afford travel insurance, you can’t afford to travel, No matter how healthy and fit you are. If you’re not insured, you may have to pay a lot of money up-front for medical care.


  • what activities and care your policy covers
  • that your insurance covers you for the whole time you’ll be away

Consider your physical and mental health before you travel, especially if you have an existing medical condition.

See your doctor or travel clinic to:

  • have a basic health check-up
  • ask if your travel plans may affect your health
  • plan any vaccinations you need

Do this at least 8 weeks before you leave.

Consider your physical and mental health before you travel, especially if you have an existing medical condition.

See your doctor or travel clinic to:

  • have a basic health check-up
  • ask if your travel plans may affect your health
  • plan any vaccinations you need

Do this at least 8 weeks before you leave.

Not all medication available over the counter or by prescription in Western Country is available in other countries. Some may even be considered illegal or a controlled substance, even if prescribed by an other doctors. If you plan to bring medication, check if it’s legal in Tanzania. Take enough legal medication for your trip.

Carry a copy of your prescription or a letter from your doctor stating:

  • what the medication is
  • how much you’ll take
  • that it’s for personal use

Medical facilities

There are limited medical facilities and medications are often not available, even in major cities.

If you have an accident or become ill, you may need to be evacuated by air to Kenya or another country. Medical evacuation can be very expensive.

Insect-borne diseases

Malaria is found throughout the year, except in areas above 1800 metres. Chloroquine-resistant strains of malaria have been reported.

Other insect-borne diseases occur. These include:

  • yellow fever
  • dengue
  • Zika virus
  • filariasis
  • human African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness)

The tsetse fly carries sleeping sickness. This is common to the northern safari area of Tanzania.

To protect yourself from disease:

  • use insect repellent
  • wear long, loose, light-coloured clothing
  • insect-proof your accommodation
  • consider taking medication to prevent malaria

Get medical advice if you have a fever, muscle pain, rash or severe headache.


HIV/AIDS is widespread. Take steps to reduce your risk of exposure to the virus.

Marburg Virus

On 21 March 2023, the Tanzanian Government confirmed an outbreak of Marburg virus in the Bukoba District in Kagera Region. The disease is spread through contact with infected bodily fluid from people and animals. Take steps to reduce your potential risk of exposure to the virus, including practising good hygiene and avoiding high-risk activities.

Altitude sickness

If you plan to climb Mt Kilimanjaro (5895m) make sure you’re physically fit and in good health. Be aware of altitude sickness.

If you rapidly climb to altitudes greater than 2500m, you can get altitude sickness. This can be life-threatening and affect anyone, even if you’re physically fit.

People who are more at risk of altitude sickness are those who:

  • have had altitude sickness before
  • exercise or drink alcohol before adjusting to the change in altitude
  • have health problems that affect breathing

If you’re planning to visit high altitudes areas, check with your doctor before you go.

Make sure your insurance policy covers you.


Local laws

You’re subject to all local laws and penalties, including those that may appear harsh by Australian standards. Research local laws before travelling.

If you’re arrested or jailed, Most Governments will do what it can to help you under our Consular Services Charter. But they can’t get you out of trouble or out of jail.


It’s illegal to possess pornographic material.

LGBTI laws

Same-sex activity is illegal. Authorities can jail you for up to 30 years. Authorities might subject you to an invasive examination.

In June 2017, the Tanzanian Government announced a crackdown on LGBTI rights advocates in Tanzania. They were threatened with arrest.

In September 2017, authorities arrested 20 people in Zanzibar while they were receiving training about HIV/AIDS prevention.

The Regional Commissioner of Dar es Salaam has formed a surveillance team to identify suspected LGBTI people.

There are regular cases of harassment and arrests by authorities, and intimidation by members of the public.

More information:

  • Advice for LGBTI travellers


Penalties for drug offences are severe. They can include long jail terms.

More information:

  • Carrying or using drugs

Other laws

It’s illegal to photograph military zones, weapons or personnel.

Serious crimes, such as treason and murder, carry the death penalty.

There’s corporal punishment for some crimes. This includes rape or robbery with violence.

Be aware of how you use social media, and what you post online. You need to comply with cybercrime laws.

Dress and behaviour standards are conservative in Tanzania, especially in Zanzibar. Take care not to offend.

If you’re a woman, don’t wear shorts or sleeveless tops outside tourist resorts.

  • Advice for female travellers

Avoid public displays of affection 

Tanzania doesn’t recognise dual nationality.

This limits the consular services you can get if you’re arrested or detained.

Always travel on your passport.


Every country or territory decides who can enter or leave through its borders. For specific information about the evidence you’ll need to enter a foreign destination, check with the nearest embassy, consulate or immigration department of the destination you’re entering. 


You need a visa to enter Tanzania. Tanzania has introduced an online visa application form that must be submitted and approved online ahead of travel.

It is also possible to get some single-entry visas on arrival in Tanzania at the main points of entry if you meet all the requirements for entry. You may also be asked to provide proof of your return journey. For further information about visas visit the Tanzanian immigration website.

Entry and exit conditions can change at short notice. Contact an embassy or consulate of Tanzania for details about visas, currency, customs and quarantine rules and the online visa application form.

Yellow fever vaccination

Proof of yellow fever vaccination may be required for entry to Tanzania if arriving from or transiting through a yellow fever risk country. Some airlines may want to see one when you leave.

Find out about returning to Australia after exposure to yellow fever.

More information:

Border measures

If you intend to travel to Tanzania, confirm entry requirements with Tanzanian authorities prior to making any travel arrangements. Refer to the latest requirements on the Ministry of Health’s website.

Staying in Tanzania

The Tanzanian government advises international travellers to follow infection prevention and control measures such as hand hygiene, mask wearing and physical distancing.

In case of any medical emergency while in Tanzania you can call the toll-free Health Emergency Number: 199. 

Monitor the media for latest information on COVID-19 and follow the advice of local authorities.

If you’re staying in Tanzania:

  • take care to protect yourself from exposure to COVID-19
  • ensure you have arrangements in place for an extended stay
  • keep in touch with family and friends. 


Some countries won’t let you enter unless your passport is valid for 6 months after you plan to leave that country. This can apply even if you’re just transiting or stopping over.

Some foreign governments and airlines apply the rule inconsistently. Travellers can receive conflicting advice from different sources.

You can end up stranded if your passport is not valid for more than 6 months. Check your passport’s expiry date before you travel. If you’re not sure it’ll be valid for long enough, consider getting a new passport.

Lost or stolen passport

Your passport is a valuable document. It’s attractive to people who may try to use your identity to commit crimes. Some people may try to trick you into giving them your passport. Always keep it in a safe place. If your passport is lost or stolen, tell your  Government as soon as possible

There is a ban on single-use plastic bags, including in travellers’ luggage.

The Tanzanian currency is the Tanzanian Shiling (TZS).Credit card fraud happens in Tanzania. Always keep your credit card in sight during transactions. Don’t use ATMs on the street. Use ATMs in banks, shops, hotels and shopping centres.

Road travel

Driving can be hazardous, especially at night. Most roads and vehicles are in poor condition. High speeds, poor driving and bad lighting are all road risks. Accidents are common and deaths happen. You’re more likely to be killed in a car accident in Tanzania than your home country.

Other transport

Use only well-maintained public transport and taxis. This includes long-distance buses. Ferries can be overloaded or unseaworthy. There have been 2 major incidents in recent years with many deaths.

Don’t board any vessel that’s overloaded or in bad condition.

Depending on what you need, contact your:

  • family and friends
  • travel agent
  • insurance provider
  • employer
  • airline

Fire and rescue services

Call 112.

Medical emergencies

Call 199 or go to the hospital.


Call 112 or contact the local police. 

Always get a police report when you report a crime.

Your insurer should have a 24-hour emergency number.

What to Expect in Arusha

Arusha is not a place most people know and, if we’re being honest, most people will never go there. But they should. Arusha is a frontier city, it’s a place of excitement, it’s a place of opportunity. It’s from this unlikely place that people from every corner of the planet converge, all there to partake in travel experiences so amazing and so unique that they truly live up to the moniker of once-in-a-lifetime.

What to Expect when Visiting

Overall though, Arusha is a great place to do very little. Whether you’re fresh off a flight, at the end of your safari or dirty and exhausted from Mt. Kilimanjaro, you will undoubtedly be in need of some down time. Both before and after our safari Arusha was our home base and I personally came to regard it affectionately.

 I got to know the hotel, the staff and where to find a quiet corner to read a book and decompress. There’s plenty of nightlife all around town if that’s your thing and if you find yourself staying for a few days in Arusha, there are some amazing national parks nearby. If you’re willing to sacrifice a full day to the experience, there’s nothing better than trekking out to Tarangire National Park, famous for its elephants. 

If you don’t have that much time there is also Arusha National Park, although I’m told that the wildlife experiences there pale in comparison to not only Tarangire, but all of the other amazing national parks throughout Tanzania.

One popular must-visit in Arusha is the 137km² Arusha National Park just north of town. The park offers great safari experiences and features habitats ranging from open savannah to acacia scrublands, rainforest to alpine vegetation and also the golden Mount Meru. The wildlife in Arusha National Park is also incredibly diverse, with leopards and hyenas being the major predators in the area. Bird twitchers will also not get disappointed as the park is home to a world-class avifauna of 400 bird species.
Aside from the taste of authentic safari within the outskirts of town, Arusha also provides ample opportunities for cultural immersion, local villages tour, farms, markets and so much more!
When it comes to receiving an influx of tourists, Arusha holds a large influx every year. It has a domestic airport which provides direct flight link to Dar es Salaam and it is also very near Kilimanjaro International Airport, where most safari-bound travelers arrive.

But, even though a lot of tourists often find themselves with a day or two to spare, Arusha always have something in store for them.

The Cultural Heritage Centre is the perfect place to begin your history expedition in Arusha. The building itself is a spectacle of beauty that beckons to be photographed. It is structured as a sword and shield. It serves as a symbol of the Masai people’s heritage. 

Inside the centre, you will find artwork, statutes, and artifacts representing the past and present of over 120 tribes in Tanzania. You can explore gemstones, traditional dresses, carvings, masks, sculptures, and much more to learn about the way of the tribes. 

The Arusha Declaration Monument is a landmark that represents the Arusha Declaration. The monument was constructed in 1977 (ten years after the declaration) when Chama Cha Mapinduzi was the ruler. The declaration represents African Socialism, known as Ujamaa. The towering structure is beautiful to capture, especially when the lighting and timing are proper. 

Arusha is a captivating place for its location and historical significance in Tanzania. It represents the Tanzanian culture and the values of the 120+ Tanzanian tribes. Keep your camera gear ready to capture memorable shots.

Mount Meru (4,566 m) is an active stratovolcano and forms the centrepiece of Arusha National Park in Tanzania. The mountain is often referred to as Mt Kilimanjaro’s ‘little brother’. Although the mountain is not as high as Kilimanjaro, it is just as challenging. Known for its huge cliffs, beautiful green surroundings and abundant wildlife, Mount Meru is the sixth highest mountain in Africa and the second highest in Tanzania!

Climbing Mount Meru requires more technical climbing skills than the routes on Kilimanjaro. What Mount Meru ‘lacks’ in height, it makes up for in difficulty. Therefore, it is important to have some climbing experience.

Still, Mount Meru is sometimes used as warm-up for climbing Kilimanjaro, especially to acclimate the body to greater heights. If you have the time and budget to climb Meru, it is definitely worth it. The mountain isn’t climbed as often and it provides a truly unique experience. 

Since Meru lies in Arusha National Park, there’s a great chance of seeing various animals while trekking. You’re likely to encounter giraffes, buffalos, antelopes and baboons.

The 5 Arusha must do’s

Looking for gifts or fabrics for family and friends? Arusha is a great place to start. Spend a morning at either the Central Market or the Maasai Market for some world-class bargaining. The farmer’s markets are amazing, too.

This is by far the best museum in the city. If no travel is complete without a museum visit, look no further. The Natural History Center boasts an excellent exhibit on human evolution, among other things. Tanzania is the geographic center of the human story, so this is pretty powerful!

No place in Arusha warms your heart like Shanga, a nonprofit employing over 70 Tanzanians with disabilities. Each worker performs tasks such as glassblowing, weaving, and textiles. Come meet the talented folks who work here and leave with some memories.

Legend has it, one day a local Masaai saw a bolt lightning strike and turn some nearby stones a magnificent blue, and now we have this: Tanzanite, a blue gemstone “a thousand times rarer than diamonds. Though the more scientific reason has to do more with tectonics and continental uplift than lightning, this much is true: you won’t find Tanzanite native to anywhere else on the planet so you better seek it out while in Tanzania. This ultra-rare (ultra-expensive) gemstone can be found at jewelers and stores in Arusha. The Tanzanite Experience offers the best tour in town. 

Bird and boat lovers take note! Located only 10 miles from Arusha, this lake is set to a gorgeous backdrop of forest and volcanoes. Witness dozens of bird and reptile species, from lounging monitor lizards to nose-diving kingfishers. Renting a canoe is highly recommended.


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