What to Wear in Tanzania

Local boat transport, in April

Local boat transport, in April

Local market, in October

Local market, in October

Paintings at the market, October

Paintings at the market, October

A Message From Helen



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to help you pack with confidence and stay safe, secure and comfortable.

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General Style Tips

  • Casual, comfortable clothes are the key when traveling in Tanzania.
  • During the day it is hot so our advice is to pack lightweight layers in natural fabrics such as linen, bamboo and cotton that will keep you cool and are easier to wash and dry.
  • For safari we suggest keeping to light colors, but not white - it will get dirty and dusty very quickly.
  • It is very important to note that camouflage or military clothing is not permitted.
  • Avoid blue or black clothing too - the tsetse flies are drawn to these colors, and their bite can give you African Sleeping Sickness.
  • If you are on safari, the idea is to relax and enjoy your time under the African sky, and listen to the calls of the wild all around you! Dinner dress is therefore casual and comfortable.
  • Nighttime and early morning game drives can be cold, so pack a warm hat, scarf, gloves and a fleece or jacket.
  • Don't forget a safari hat to protect you from the sun. Wear plenty of sunscreen (we love the Riemann P20 range for 10 hour protection) and sunglasses, and remember your insect/mosquito repellent.

What Shoes To Pack

  • Comfortable walking shoes are important as the roads are dusty and uneven. We love Hotter shoes, for total comfort along with style.
  • We like Thorlos hiking socks too, they keep your feet dry and comfortable in all climates.
  • Avoid going barefoot on beaches; chigoe fleas can dig into your feet and cause boils and sores. You may like to wear dive shoes to protect your feet.

Clothing Tips for Women

  • Avoid wearing very short skirts or shorts as this will cause offence, and strappy tops can also be frowned upon. Our advice is to wear pants or a knee-length or longer skirt, and tops which cover your shoulders. These will protect you from the sun too.
  • If you are visiting the beaches pack your swimwear but keep it strictly to the beach or pool area, otherwise cover up with a kaftan or sarong. You'll cause offence otherwise.
  • Leave your valuables and expensive jewelry at home, you really won't need them.
  • If you're dressing for dinner in the beach resorts, a few simple pieces of costume jewelry will dress up an outfit.
  • A pashmina or sarong is a versatile item that you can use for sun protection or to 'glam' up the simplest of outfits if you feel like a change.
  • If visiting towns and villages, the local women wear an array of colors so add your pashmina or a wrap to brighten up your outfit.

Clothing Tips for Men

  • Long pants are a good idea - they protect against the sun by day, mosquitoes by night, and are more culturally acceptable in non-tourist areas.
  • But if you are heading to the beaches, try the Madda Fella range of shirts, shorts, polos and swimwear.
  • For great versatile travel jackets with multiple pockets including RFID security options, we love the SCOTTeVEST range.

Pack for the Weather

  • If you plan to visit between November and December, prepare for afternoon rainstorms by taking a light raincoat.
  • April and May being the rainy season are best avoided all together.
  • It does cool off at night - especially in July and August - so pack a pashmina or sweater.
  • We love the Weather+ app - it gives an accurate 6 day forecast for day and night, which when you're planning from home is really helpful. You can keep all the places you've been to too - a nice way to remember your trip :) Download for iPad/iPhone or Android

Regions of Tanzania

  • The mountains will be cooler because of the altitude so pack warmer layers and a waterproof jacket for this terrain. light wool is a good choice to wear against your skin as it naturally helps to regulate your body temperature. It keeps you warm in the cold, wicks away moisture when it's hot, and doesn't retain odours - even after prolonged wear.

Other Things To Pack

  • A soft-sided rucksack is more practical than a hard suitcase for safari vacations - it's easier to fit into the small planes or transfer vehicles. Using packing cubes can help to keep your belongings tidy whilst compressing the volume too.
  • Internal flights (including transfers to Zanzibar) often have much lower baggage limits than your international carrier. Use an accurate luggage scale to ensure you keep within the weight allowance.
  • Combine your rucksack with a sling bag or lightweight day sack for sightseeing trips and game drives.
  • Look after your mobile phone with a phone bunjee - it protects against loss, theft and damage. You may like to carry a solar powered charger too, to boost your battery when out and about - you don't want to miss that great photo opportunity!
  • To use electrical gadgets you may need a travel adapter plug, and also a step down voltage converter if your devices are not designed for the local voltage (230V).
  • Don’t drink or even brush your teeth in tap water. Consider taking a Water-to-Go Filtration Water Bottle.
  • And don't forget to leave room for souvenirs on the way home! Look out for handicrafts made from wood and stone, and brightly colored textiles.

Last updated 16 December 2016.

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Pack Light

  • Less luggage to carry
  • Save time packing and unpacking
  • Save money on baggage fees

Pack Right

  • Respect local cultures
  • Feel comfortable and confident
  • Suitable outfits for all occasions

A Message From Helen



I want you to have an amazing vacation. That's why I started WhatToWearOnVacation.com,
to help you pack with confidence and stay safe, secure and comfortable.