Tourism in Tanzania

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Tourists watching an elephant in the Ngorongoro Crater.

Tanzania is a country with many tourist attractions. Approximately 38 percent of Tanzania's land area is set aside in protected areas for conservation.[1] There are 17 national parks,[2] 29 game reserves, 40 controlled conservation areas (including the Ngorongoro Conservation Area) and marine parks. Tanzania is also home to Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest point in Africa.[3]

Travel and tourism contributed 17.5 percent of Tanzania's gross domestic product in 2016[4] and employed 11.0 percent of the country's labour force (1,189,300 jobs) in 2013.[5] The sector is growing rapidly, rising from US $1.74 billion in 2004 to US $4.48 billion in 2013.[5] In 2016, 1,284,279 tourists arrived at Tanzania's borders compared to 590,000 in 2005.[6]

Tourist attractions[edit]

National parks[edit]

Hippos in the Lake Manyara National Park in the year 2012.

Tanzania has almost 38% of its land reserved as protected areas, one of the world's highest percentage.[7] Tanzania boasts 16 national parks and is home to a large variety of animal life. Among the large mammals include the Big five, cheetahs, wildebeest, giraffes, hippopotamuses and various antelopes. Tanzania's most well known wildlife attractions are located in the northern part of the country and include the Serengeti National Park, Tarangire National Park and Lake Manyara National Park. The Serengeti National park encompasses the world-famous great migrations of animals.[8] The Serengeti National Park is the most popular park in the country and had the chance to host more than 330,000 visitors in 2012.[9]

In 2018, Serengeti National Park was voted the best African Safari Park following the depth study conducted by SafariBookings the largest online marketplace for African safaris. In their website, it reads, In total 2,530 reviews were examined from the SafariBookings website. The 1,670 user reviews were contributed by safari tourists from 72 countries. To complement these user reviews, reputable guidebook authors (working for Lonely Planet, Rough Guides, Frommer's, Bradt and Footprint) teamed up in the SafariBookings Expert Panel to write 860 expert reviews

The north is also home to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. The Ngorongoro Conservation Area includes the Ngorongoro Crater, which is an extinct volcanic caldera[10] with lions, hippopotamus, elephants, various types of antelope, the endangered black rhinoceros, and large herds of wildebeest and zebra.[11] Olduvai Gorge, considered to be the seat of humanity after the discovery of the earliest known specimens of the human genus, Homo habilis as well as early hominidae, such as Paranthropus boisei also lies within the conservation area.

The western part of Tanzania includes the Mahale, Katavi, and Gombe national parks, the latter of which is the site of Jane Goodall's ongoing study, begun in 1960, of chimpanzee behaviour.[12][13] The country is also particularly rich in plant diversity, the Tanzania National Parks Authority has an entire national park the Kitulo National Park dedicated to flowers. There is a wide variety of biomass across the nation.

The Mount Kilimanjaro[edit]

An aerial view of Mount Kilimanjaro in the year 2009.

Also known as the roof of Africa, Mount Kilimanjaro is a UNESCO World Heritage site and the highest peak in Africa. The mountain now a dormant volcano rises approximately 4,877 metres (16,001 ft) from its base to 5,895 metres (19,341 ft) above sea level. The mountain is located in the north of the country on the border with Kenya in the town of Moshi and is accessible via Kilimanjaro International Airport. The airport also provides a gateway for tourists to all northern safari circuits. The mountain is part of Kilimanjaro National Park and is the second most popular park in the country and roughly 20,000 visitors trek the mountain every year.[14] The mountain is one of the most accessible high peaks in the world and has an average success rate of around 65%.[15]


The Coastline of Zanzibar.

The Zanzibar Archipelago is a semi-autonomous region of Tanzania. Also nicknamed spice island, the archipelago is home to kilometres of white sand beaches and a cultural fusion of multiple cultures. The capital Zanzibar City still preserves the ancient city of Stone Town, the former capital of the Sultanate of Zanzibar. The town is home to numerous historical and cultural sites, some dating back to the 15th century. Zanzibari culture and architecture is built on a fusion of different cultures from Arabia, Persia, India and the coast of East Africa.[16][17]

Often the trip to Zanzibar is the end of a tourist's adventure into Tanzania after either a safari expedition in the north of the mainland or after a trek to the peak of Kilimanjaro. There are hundreds of kilometres of beach as well as coral and limestone scarps along the coast allowing safe and significant amounts of diving and snorkeling. Apart from the beaches the island has the Jozani Chwaka Bay National Park which is a mangrove swamp and is the home for the red colobus monkey and home to 40 species of bird and 50 species of butterfly. Zanzibar is accessible by air through Abeid Amani Karume International Airport and by ferry from Dar es Salaam.[18][19]

UNESCO World Heritage Sites[edit]

Tanzania is home to seven UNESCO World Heritage sites with 6 of them on the mainland and 1 in Zanzibar. Currently there are 5 more sites viable to be nominated such as the Gombe National Park and the East African slave trade route.[20]

Tourism in Tanzania is located in Tanzania
Serengeti National Park
Serengeti National Park
Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Mount Kilimanjaro
Mount Kilimanjaro
Ruins of Kilwa and Songo Mnara
Ruins of Kilwa and Songo Mnara
Kondoa Rock Art Site
Kondoa Rock Art Site
Selous Game Reserve
Selous Game Reserve
Stone Town
Stone Town
Location of World Heritage Sites within Tanzania

Visa policy[edit]

The Visa policy of Tanzania

Most visitors to Tanzania must obtain a visa from one of the Tanzanian diplomatic missions. However, a majority of nations can obtain a visitor visa at any port of entry land or air. Most SADC citizens or East African Community citizens do not need a visa for tourism purposes. 3 month tourist visas are available for $US 50 at all ports of entry (except US citizens must buy $US 100 1 year multiple entry visas). Tanzania does not fall under the East African Tourist Visa regime and a separate visa is required to enter Tanzania.[21] All visitors must hold a passport valid for 6 months (according to the Tanzanian immigration department) or a month beyond the period of intended stay (according to IATA).[22]


The Kilimanjaro International Airport: The largest airport in the north to access the northern national parks.

In 2014 a total of 1,093,000 tourists visited Tanzania continuing the year on year growth of visitors. Compared to the size and potential Tanzania has the second lowest number of tourists only above Burundi. Almost 50% of tourists into were from Africa and the number has been rising due to the increase in regional integration and improved flight connectivity. Though the industry has been continually growing the recent recession and the 2014 Ebola scare has hurt the industry heavily.[23]

Tourist arrivals by year[edit]

Foreign traveller arrivals (2000-2016)[24][25]
Year Foreign arrivals Year Foreign arrivals
2000 501,669 2009 714,367
2001 525,122 2010 754,000
2002 575,296 2011 843,000
2003 576,198 2012 1,043,000
2004 582,807 2013 1,063,000
2005 612,754 2014 1,093,000
2006 644,124 2015 1,137,182
2007 719,031 2016 1,284,279
2008 770,376 2017 1,327,143

Arrivals by country[edit]

Most visitors arriving to Tanzania were from the following countries of nationality:[26]

Country/Territory 2017[27] 2016[28] 2015[29] 2014 2013
 Kenya 230,922 233,730 197,562 188,214 193,078
 United States 82,283 86,860 66,394 80,489 69,671
 Burundi 66,357 63,530 48,210 51,553 34,873
 United Kingdom 61,048 67,742 54,599 70,379 59,279
 Germany 58,394 57,643 52,236 47,262 53,951
 Italy 51,758 50,715 53,742 49,518 57,372
 Rwanda 50,431 47,056 45,216 50,038 46,637
 South Africa 47,777 43,468 30,288 26,614 31,144
 India 38,487 69,876 32,608 27,327 27,334
 Uganda 37,160 37,870 37,253 36,420 39,488
 Israel 37,160 22,967 14,754 7,403 N/A
 France 34,505 24,611 28,683 33,585 33,335
 China 29,197 34,472 25,444 21,246 N/A
 Malawi 29,197 N/A N/A N/A N/A
 Netherlands 26,542 24,197 20,150 23,710 20,633
 Zambia N/A 28,836 32,694 36,679 64,825
 Zimbabwe N/A 22,148 30,533 36,497 30,765
Total 1,327,143 1,284,279 1,137,182 1,140,156 1,095,885

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The Impact of Dominant Environmental Policies on Indigenous Peoples in Africa", authored by Soyata Tegegn, in Indigenous People in Africa: Contestations, Empowerment and Group Rights, edited by Ridwan Laher and Korir SingíOei, Africa Institute of South Africa, 2014, page 57, accessed 16 October 2014
  2. ^ "Home". Tanzania National Parks. Archived from the original on 10 August 2006. Retrieved 16 October 2014.
  3. ^ Wamboye, Evelyn F.; Nyaronga, Peter John; Sergi, Bruno S. (March 2020). "What are the determinant of international tourism in Tanzania?". World Development Perspectives. 17: 100175. doi:10.1016/j.wdp.2020.100175. ISSN 2452-2929.
  4. ^ "Tanzania Tourist Arrivals Increase by 12.9% in 2016 to Reach 1,28 M - TanzaniaInvest". TanzaniaInvest. 26 May 2017. Retrieved 12 August 2017.
  5. ^ a b World Tourism and Travel Council Data, 2013, accessed 28 October 2014
  6. ^ United Republic of Tanzania, UNData, Statistics Division, United Nations, accessed 22 October 2014 Archived 8 October 2014 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ "Protected area highlights for Tanzania". EoEartth. Retrieved 24 December 2015.
  8. ^ "Serengeti". Tanzania Tourist Board. Retrieved 11 November 2012.
  9. ^ "Tanzania national parks - Corporate Information". Tanzania Parks. TANAPA. Archived from the original on 18 March 2012. Retrieved 24 December 2015.
  10. ^ Boniface, Brain G.; Cooper, Christopher P. (2001). Worldwide Destinations: The Geography of Travel and Tourism. Butterworth-Heinemann. p. 247. ISBN 0-7506-4231-9.
  11. ^ "Ngorongoro Conservation Area". Tanzania Tourist Board. Retrieved 11 November 2012.
  12. ^ "Gombe Stream National Park". Tanzania National Parks. Archived from the original on 15 September 2012. Retrieved 16 October 2014.
  13. ^ Nature's Strongholds: The World's Great Wildlife Reserves, authored by Laura Riley and William Riley, Princeton University Press, 2005, page 138, accessed 16 October 2014
  14. ^ "Press Statement: Number of Mount Kilimanjaro Climbers Not a Threat", Tanzania National Parks, 5 March 2014, accessed 31 July 2015 Archived 24 September 2015 at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ "Climb Kilimanjaro Guide". Kilimanjaro Success Rate – How Many People Reach the Summit. Retrieved 25 December 2015.
  16. ^ ZanzibarTourism - Historical Sites
  17. ^
  18. ^ Zanzibar Commission for Tourism | Travel to Zanzibar | By Air
  19. ^ Zanzibar Commission for Tourism | Travel to Zanzibar | By Sea
  20. ^ "United Republic of Tanzania - Properties inscribed on the World Heritage List". UNESCO. United Nations. Retrieved 24 December 2015.
  21. ^ "East Africa Tourist Visa". Magical Kenya. Kenya Tourism Board. Retrieved 24 December 2015.
  22. ^ List of Countries and Specific Visa Eligibility Archived 30 September 2014 at the Wayback Machine, Immigration Services Department of Tanzania
  23. ^ Okello, Moses M.; Novelli, Marina (January–April 2014). "Tourism in the East African Community (EAC): Challenges, opportunities, and ways forward". Tourism and Hospitality Research. 14. doi:10.1177/1467358414529580.
  24. ^ "Tanzania Visitors exit survey 2013" (PDF). National Bureau of Statistics. Government of Tanzania. Retrieved 25 December 2015.
  25. ^ "The 2009 Tourism Statistical Bulletin" (PDF). Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism Tourism Division. Retrieved 25 December 2015.
  26. ^ Tanzania National Bureau of Statistics. Publications. Hotel and Tourism Statistics
  27. ^ "Tanzania Tourist Board Visitors Exit Survey 2017" (PDF). Bank of Tanzania. NBS Tanzania.
  28. ^ "The 2016 International Visitors' Exit Survey Report. International Tourist Arrivals. p. 73-77" (PDF). NBS Tanzania. Retrieved 18 December 2017.
  29. ^ "The 2015 International visitors' Exit Survey Report. International Tourist Arrivals. p.63-68" (PDF). NBS Tanzania. Retrieved 18 December 2017.

External links[edit]

Government ministries and agencies