Tanzania Etiquette & Tipping


When travelling within Tanzania it is important to remember that over a third of the country is Muslim, and that their customs should be respected. It is offensive for ladies to walk around in public places displaying legs and shoulders, so please dress modestly. Avoid sexual displays of intimacy in Islamic areas and don't enter mosques without permission.

Please ask for permission before taking photographs of people and wanting to smoke in enclosed areas.

Knowing a few phrases of Kiswahili is important and people will value the effort.

While visiting towns, look out for 'flycatchers'. These are street people, who will latch onto you, offering anything you might want, from souvenirs and safaris to drugs and gemstones. Don't assume that what they are offering is in kindness, as there is always a fee involved. Visitors are strongly discouraged from using these people. If approached, and their services are not required, firmly decline and walk on.

Tanzanian people are generally kind and friendly people, so remembering to be polite and having a bit of patience, will go a long way to making your stay so much more enjoyable.


The majority of Tanzanians earn a minimum wage, so a tip is always appreciated. There is no recommended amount for tipping, but a general rule for restaurants is 10% of the bill.

When booking into a hotel, check with the reception desk as to what tips should be given to the staff. If there is not a tip box, where proceeds are shared evenly amongst all the staff, then the staff should be tipped directly.

Only tip if you are satisfied with the service and NOT because you feel sorry for the person!