Shopping in Tanzania

Most mainstream tourist destinations in Tanzania offer opportunities for souvenir shopping. Popular gifts to take back home include: Maasai tartan blankets and beadwork, Tanzanite jewellery, traditional woodcarvings and hand-printed batik fabrics. As a general rule, you’re much more likely to find a bargain at a local market as opposed to in a shopping centre or craft shop frequented by tourists.

A local market in Stone Town  I  Credit: Pinterest

The main shopping area of Dar es Salaam is to be found along Samora Machel Avenue. In and around this part of the city, visitors will find plenty of shops to peruse for some last-minute souvenirs, including printed cotton fabrics and local paintings. A cheaper option for souvenir searching is to visit one of Tanzania’s many indigenous markets. In Dar es Salaam, the largest local market is the vast Kariakoo Market, selling locally grown fresh produce (fruits and vegetables) and spices as well as some textiles and handcrafts. Although safe to explore, keep in mind that it can get very crowded. The colourful Arusha Central Market is another fascinating shopping experience and the local people are generally welcoming and friendly, although there are a number of young men who tend to stick to tourists like tsetse flies on a buffalo and if you are at the beginning of your excursion, it can severely detract from your overall market experience. When exploring these gigantic local markets, don’t expect too much in the way of tourist stuff to take home, mostly it will be memories and a dizzying array of smells that you will take away with you.

Buy traditional Tanazanian attire from local markets  I  Credit: Pinterest

Back in Dar, visitors can also pick up hand-carved souvenirs at the Mwenge Carvers’ Market, located opposite the Village Museum. The Msasani Slipway Weekend Craft Market is a more expensive option, although it’s a much quieter affair, making it easier to browse in relative peace. A trip to the Dar es Salaam Fish Market might not be an obvious shopping destination, but it’s definitely worth a visit simply to soak up the atmosphere when fishermen deliver their catch at dawn – an early start is recommended.


Our Recommended Itinerary

Tanzania couples safari

day 1

Welcome to Lake Manyara National Park
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day 2 to 3

Explore Serengeti wildebeest Migration
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day 4

Experience the wildlife of Ngorongoro Crater
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day 5

Visit Tarangire National Park
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day 6 to 12

Enjoy the paradise of the Indian Ocean
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day 13

Bon Voyage

View Full Itinerary

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Tanzania in April

If there is one month that is probably worth avoiding for a visit to Tanzania, then that would have to be the rain-soaked month of April. This is by far the wettest month of the year, as it falls in the midst of the long/heavy rains. While the rains predominantly come in the form of afternoon thunderstorms, it is not unusual to have big storms at night as well as some grey, drizzly days.…

Tanzania in February

The rains depends on your chosen location in Tanzania, while the northern parks are more likely to see dry spells, while the western parks remain rather wet throughout. February is definitely the best time of year to see wildebeest calves, with the migratory herds in full calving season. This usually happens in Ndutu in the southern part of the Serengeti where millions of wildebeest…

Dining in Tanzania

Tanzanian cuisine is both unique and incredibly varied with a strong Indian influence permeating many of the dishes. Along the coast and throughout the Zanzibar archipelago spicy foods are common with coconut being a leading ingredient. Regions of Tanzania’s mainland also have their own unique local foods. Some typical mainland Tanzanian foods include: wali (rice), ugali (maize porridge),…

Emergencies in Tanzania

In the unfortunate event you find yourself in need of urgent medical care, Arusha Medevac is the only air ambulance service based in Tanzania, providing reliable and professional air evacuation and specialised medical air transport service out of Arusha Airport. AMREF Flying Doctors is another long-standing and reliable medevac option operating out of Nairobi. The best bet would be to…

Lodges in Tanzania

The lodges in Tanzania, even the most opulent and luxurious, are fairly low key when it comes to rules and regulations, but it is definitely worth remembering the following do’s and don’ts: Do exercise good safari etiquette; being polite and courteous costs you nothing. Do keep the volume down and any unnecessary noise to a minimum. Do make use of the night guard to escort you…

A budget safari in Tanzania

Forget the swanky safari lodges and luxury tented camps, nothing beats pitching a tent and camping when it comes to saving money and sticking to a tight budget. Whether it’s a pop-tent out of your backpack or a rooftop tent on your self-drive safari vehicle, the rustic camping option takes you close to nature and stretches your money further. Self-catering, street food, eating in…

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