The Ultimate Tanzania Packing List

Planning a trip to Tanzania? Time to start getting ready!  One of the most important things is to determine what you'll be taking with you for your journey. We've put together a clear and comprehensive packing list for you. This way, you'll be well-prepared and won't forget anything.

Climate and Travel Seasons

Tanzania lies just below the equator, resulting in consistently warm temperatures throughout the year. The temperatures average between 23 and 32 degrees Celsius (73-90°F). Tanzania experiences an official rainy season from March to May, with short rain showers also occurring in October and November.

In Tanzania, there are significant differences in altitude. The northern region sits at an average of 1500 meters (4921 feet) above sea level. As a result, places like the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Crater tend to be cooler compared to the coastal areas and the southern part of Tanzania. Moreover, Tanzania includes mountainous areas like Mount Kilimanjaro or Mount Meru, where temperatures can be even cooler. The temperature variance depends on whether you are at the base or the summit; the higher you climb, the cooler it gets.

During a trip to Tanzania, you'll undoubtedly encounter rain and altitude variations. Therefore, bringing rain gear and layered clothing is highly recommended for your journey.

Traveling with a suitcase or backpack

The first choice you have to make when traveling is whether to opt for a suitcase or a backpack. Both have their advantages, and the best choice depends on your travel route, the activities you plan to engage in, but mainly on your personal preference.

The main advantage of a backpack over a suitcase is its portability on your back. In Tanzania, where paved roads are not always available, especially when traveling to more remote areas outside major cities, a backpack could be the more practical choice. Conversely, traveling with a suitcase offers more comfort as it's easier to pack and allows you to carry more. On unpaved roads in Tanzania, you can almost always find a taxi or bajaji (tuk-tuk) to take you to your accommodation. Even if you have to walk a bit, you'll often find someone willing to assist by carrying your suitcase on their head to your accommodation. This assistance is often extended even when the roads are paved, and you could easily roll your suitcase.

A backpack provides greater flexibility, but in most places, traveling with a suitcase is feasible. It might be challenging only in areas where taxis or bajajis are unavailable. So, consider your route carefully and choose what suits you best!

We often travel with our Eastpak travel bags. These have all the benefits of a suitcase, but they are essentially wheeled bags. This results in a lower weight than a suitcase, allowing you to bring more.

Tips for Your Packing List

  • Take enough but not too much clothing with you. In Tanzania, some accommodations offer laundry services, and if not, you can usually find laundry facilities in the city. Most people don't have washing machines, so clothes are often hand-washed. You can also bring along some handwashing detergent and wash your clothes yourself, which is useful when traveling to more remote areas.
  • Avoid bringing thick sweaters or jackets, but pack clothing that can be layered for higher-altitude places where it can get cooler in the evenings.
  • Think carefully about whether you really need everything. For example, we recommend not bringing expensive watches or jewelry to Tanzania.


  • Passport + copies
  • Visa
  • Credit card(s) (with sufficient monthly limit)
  • Debit card (worldwide)
  • Cash
  • Medical passport
  • Vaccination passport
  • Copies of important documents such as health insurance, travel insurance, emergency numbers, contact information for family/friends
  • Passport photos
  • Boarding pass
  • Backpack/Daypack
  • Rain cover (for backpack/daypack)

Tip: Withdrawing cash abroad using your local bank card or credit card can be expensive. When withdrawing in a different currency, you often face unfavorable exchange rates and additional transaction fees. Our solution is Wise. For a one-time fee of $9 USD, you can open an account and receive a VISA debit card. You can hold and convert money in more than 50 currencies, always at a favorable rate. Additionally, you can spend money in over 170 countries without any extra charges.




Useful extras for volunteer work

  • Notebook for notes
  • Sufficient pens
  • Fanny pack
  • Travel journal
  • Games to play with children
  • Inflatable ball
  • Gift for your host family
  • Your local food to let others taste

Do you want to read more about Tanzania

See all our articles with the best tips to discover all beautiful places in Tanzania.

Do you want to read more about Tanzania

See all our articles with the best tips to discover all beautiful places in Tanzania.

About the authors

How nice that you are on our website and that you have read this article! We are Mirte and Matthew, two Dutch adventurers with a passion for traveling, discovering cultures, and gaining new experiences. We've translated our love for the world into this website. We hope our articles inspire you to go on adventures! You can learn more about us through the button below.
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