Hello, my dear fellow sisters (and brothers),
I want to share with you today my experience as
a solo female traveler in Tanzania. I am 25 years old and I was tired of being told that the world outside Europe was not safe enough for a single woman. I didn't want to postpone my plans just because I don't have a "man by my side" right now. Traveling is my life and I want to enjoy my life to the fullest.
So I decided to travel to Africa for at least one year after finishing university and started my adventure in Tanzania. In the meantime, I have been traveling in Tanzania for almost 7 months, and in between I was in Kenya for 1.5 months. And one thing in advance - I don't regret a single day of it.
Overall, I perceive Tanzania as a very safe country, even if you should not always walk recklessly through the streets. I always keep my valuables in a fanny pack in front of me so that I can keep an eye on them. During the day I have never had the feeling of being unsafe anywhere. On the contrary, most people here are super helpful, especially when you are friendly and open yourself. At night, I try to avoid walking alone in areas that are still unfamiliar to me.
However, you can always use the apps "Indrive" or "Bolt" to order a cab, bajaji (tuk-tuk), or boda-boda (motorcycle) to get from A to B safely.
The story of "Nakupenda"?
As a white person (muzungu) you are naturally more "eye-catching" in the streets of Africa. As a solo white woman, the attention can sometimes even be doubled depending on where you are traveling. Many African men and especially beach boys in Zanzibar have made it their main goal to get a "muzungu" girlfriend. Therefore, I would recommend you to be quite sure that he is not just after your wallet before you get involved with someone. Moreover, you should be aware that you will often hear sentences like "I love you" or "Do you want to marry me" - but most of the time a smile and a "Hapana Asante (No thank you)" does the job.
But on the other hand, I would still recommend staying open and not blocking everything directly because sometimes there can be really good friendships evolving.
What helped me a lot during my time here is Workaway (if you don't know what that is you can check out this blog post). It allows you to not only meet other travelers but also connect with locals while also saving money. Through Workaway, I've been able to meet so many wonderful people. Some even accompanied me during my travels and gave me new perspectives and ideas. I would definitely recommend you to give it a try, so far I have felt super comfortable and safe in every project where I have been. If Arusha is on your travel list, be sure to stop by and visit Martha and her wonderful family.
You can do that too!
In the end, I can only say "You can do it too". Don't let anything stop you from exploring the world. Tanzania is a breathtaking country with endless possibilities. The only risk - the danger of catching Africa-fever is real.