Backpacking Tanzania. Cheap Accommodation

We went to Tanzania in February - March 2015,
during a complete trip (8 months), 
through Southern and Eastern Africa.

If you are planning a budget trip in Tanzania, the cheapest way to save money in accommodation is sleeping in local lodges or small hotels in the Tanzania towns.  
Here you can find useful information about prices, services, etc.

   CHEAP ACCOMODATION IN TANZANIA   

Each town has at least one lodge. So it´s really easy to find a basic room everywhere in Tanzania.
The relation quality / price for rooms in Tanzania is really fine, probably the best we had in Africa, great news for the low-cost travellers. 
For 10 $ and less you get a good double room in Tanzania!

Expect to pay a bit more in big cities like Dar, Arusha. 
And much more in Zanzibar, expensive place, where prices are usually in US$, starting around 40$/room, more than 3 times the price of mainland! But read our Zanzibar post... we found cheap rooms too (hard!).
Not too many “backpackers”and camps, with dormitories, huts, camping, etc. in Tanzania. Just a few places mostly around Arusha and Moshi and around the safaris areas, focused on foreign customers, famous for “overlanders” and safari tours. Usually not the cheapest accommodation of Tanzania, expect to pay around 10 $/pp for camping the cheapest option they will offer and much more for a room.


Accommodation - Camping in Game or National Parks in Tanzania

If visiting the game parks and national parks, camping is crazy expensive inside the Tanzania parks (this is not Southern Africa, with good and cheap camps; here, you are in the nature so you pay for it).

The price for "normal" camping is 30 $/pp and "special" is 50 $/pp (and "special" means usually that there´s only a hole-toilet in a remote place and nothing else!).
So imagine how much you will have to pay for a room inside the park (concessions)!!!

NOTE
“Hotel” is often a “restaurant” in Tanzania, so if looking for a room it´s a “lodge”, “inn”, “guesthouse”…

 Typical local accommodation in Tanzania: FINE!

Prices of rooms in Tanzania:

In a local lodge:
- Double room with shared bathroom: from 10.000 Sh.
- Double self-contained room: from 15.000 Sh (less than 10 $ for a room).
- Single rooms: if travelling alone, there are. Half price.
Usually no discount, prices are fixed. 

Rooms in a local lodge in Tanzania:

No frills rooms, basic but clean most of the times.
A few times, breakfast is included and even TV. Usually no wifi.
Sometimes, also hot shower (not always really needed). Towel, soap, toilet paper are usually provided

Even the basic rooms have always mosquito nets.
Many guesthouses have also a bar, so they can be noisy. Try to find one without if you want a quiet room.

   Couchsurfing in Tanzania  

The CS community looks big but in fact there are many young people who joined it just to approach  tourists, working for safari tours or travel agencies. So always double check in Tanzania! Specially in Zanzibar and Arusha.
Not so many active people in fact, most of them are foreigners.
The places where you can find a host are limited to Dar Es Salaam and Arusha mainly and just try the chance somewhere else.

With couchsurfing hosts in Tanzania, foreigners and locals.


We did couchsurfing in Dar Es Salaam, Iringa, Arusha and Mwanza.
We had a bad experience in Iringa staying with a guy from California and a local guy, as money was stolen there! Never let any valuables unlocked, just in case, please!

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