Last updated on August 17th, 2021 at 11:05 am
Looking for the best hostels, guesthouses and camps in Tanzania? Then you’ve come to the right place!
Here are my favourites to help you plan your trip backpacking or overlanding trip through Tanzania.
I’ll keep adding to this list as I discover more places, so don’t forget to bookmark this post!
Other Tanzania posts you might enjoy…
Table of Contents
- 22 Awesome Things To Do in Arusha, Tanzania
- 24 Fun Things To Do in Moshi, Tanzania
- How to Find a Serengeti & Ngorongoro Crater Safari (to suit your budget)
- How to Get Around Tanzania By Public Transport
- Climbing Kilimanjaro: How to Prepare & My Tips for Reaching the Top
- The Ultimate Kilimanjaro Packing List – Clothing, Shoes & Equipment
- What to Wear in Zanzibar & Other Cultural Considerations
- Backpacking Zanzibar on a Budget: Everything You Need to Know
- The Best Things To Do in Stone Town, Zanzibar
- The Ultimate Tanzania Itinerary (Plus Things To See & Do)
- A Guide to Taking the Dar es Salaam to Zanzibar Ferry
- The Perfect 2-Week Kenya & Tanzania Itinerary
- The Most Useful English to Swahili Words & Phrases for Travel in East Africa
- How to Get Your Tanzania Visa & Entry Requirements
- How Much Does it Cost to Travel in Tanzania? How to Budget for Your Trip
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The Best Hostels, Guesthouses & Campsites in Tanzania
- Waka Waka Hostel: Friendly hostel, owned by my friend David. It’s a great place to meet people and they can arrange volunteering and activities.
- The White House of Tanzania: Popular hostel owned by Junior and his family. Again, a great place for meeting people and they can arrange tours and activities.
- Banana Farm Eco Hostel: This is a cute and cheap place to stay, slightly out of town, but with a great atmosphere and hosts.
- Mambo Arusha Hostel: Cute hostel, just outside the town centre. Great breakfast, friendly staff and nice rooms.
- Arusha Backpackers: In the centre of town, a good place to meet people but can be a little noisy in the mornings when the local buses start honking their horns so you may want to bring ear plugs.
- Nyumbani Hostel: Nice hostel with a friendly atmosphere and good for meeting other travellers.
- The Greenhouse Hostel: Run by the non-profit organisation The Green Living Planet that provides short and long term volunteering opportunities.
- Meserani Snake Park: Popular with the overlanders. This is one of the bigger campsites in Arusha, with plenty of space for overland trucks and cars. They have a snake and reptile park and a bar that can get lively. It’s a little bit outside of town, towards the Serengeti.
- Masai Camp: If the overlanders aren’t at Snake Park, you’ll find them at Masai Camp. As you would imagine, there’s space for camping and a few rooms. They also have a bar that gets busy when the big overland trucks are in town. I’ve had a few good nights here.
- Rafiki Backpackers: Moshi’s main backpacking hostel, is a great place to meet fellow travellers with which to share the costs for safaris or Kilimanjaro treks. They can arrange a whole host of activities for you.
- More Than a Drop: One of my favourite places to stay in Africa. This is a guesthouse and women’s vocational training centre. The rooms are very nice, the food is amazing (they have a vegetarian restaurant) and you can see Kilimanjaro from the terrace). It’s a good place to meet people and is very popular with groups.
- The Secret Garden: This place is similar in feel to More than a Drop. They have a lovely upstairs bar and restaurant with and terrace with views of Kilimanjaro. I prefer the rooms inside the house to the ones in the garden.
- Climbers Home: Popular hotel, centrally located. Nice rooms including dorms. They can arrange activities and have a nice rooftop terrace with views of Kilimanjaro.
- Mountain Bike House: Lovely but simple place to stay, sociable atmosphere and friendly staff and owners.
- Hostel Hoff: Popular hostel specialising in volunteering. A good place to make new friends.
- Nicas Education & Technology Centre: This is a social enterprise and volunteering centre run by local guy Nicas.
- We Travel Hostel: In the centre of town, so great if you want to be in the action, but can be a little noisy. They have a rooftop bar and restaurant.
Mto Wa Mbu/Lake Manyara
- Migombani Camp: Beautiful camp overlooking Lake Manyara. They offer camping and static tents. They also have a beautiful pool where you can cool off after a hard day on safari!
- Panorama Safari Camp: This is a unique place to stay. You can set up your own tent, rent one of theirs or stay in one of their African Igloos. They have an on-site restaurant.
Serengeti & Ngorongoro Crater
- Public Campsites: There aren’t many great places in the Serengeti or Ngorongoro Crater that are great for solo travellers. Most backpackers join a group (there’s no public transport in the parks) and stay at the public campsites around Seronera in the Serengeti and at Simba Camp on the Ngorongoro Crater rim. If you happen to be driving yourself, you need to bring your own tents and there are no restaurants or shops at the campsite so you need to bring everything with you. All campsites have a kitchen space (with no equipment) and bathrooms. Most groups tend to keep to themselves as there aren’t any real communal areas.
- Tindiga Tented Camp: Very nice, rustic camp just 1.5km from Lake Eyasi. They have comfortable tented rooms and a communal dining area and bar.
- Lengai Safari Lodge & Campsite: They have both rooms and a campsite. The lodge has solar power, charging stations in the main building, a restaurant and a pool.
- Lake Natron Tented Camp: They have comfortable safari tents that sleep between 2 and 4 people. Each tent is comprised of a porch area, main bedroom and en suite bathroom with a shower and eco-toilet. A private path leads from each tent to the natural swimming pool. They have a communal dining area with a bar, fridge, Wi-Fi and charging point. There’s also a fire pit where you can hang out with other travellers and share safari stories.
- Maasai Giraffe Eco Lodge: They offer a mix of rooms and glamping bell tents. You can also stay in your own tent. Giraffes and zebras pass through the lodge frequently as they head to the lake for water. They have a swimming pool and restaurant.
- The Tides Lodge: A barefoot chic, beach retreat on idyllic and palm-fringed Ushongo Beach. They have a selection of lovely beachfront bungalows, a pool and a restaurant. They also own the Mawimbi Villa, a private 6-bedroom beachfront oasis.
- Ushongo Beach Bandas: Simple accommodation, popular with backpackers. They have a bar and restaurant where you can make some new friends.
- The Beach Crab Resort: A laid-back lodge, right on Ushongo Beach, offering budget accommodation and camping. The breakfasts are great.
- Peponi Holiday Resort: Nice lodge on the beach, overlooking the Indian Ocean in between Pangani and Tanga. You can stay in one of their lovely bandas or pitch your own tent. The campsite is often described as one of the best in Africa due to its beachfront location. They have a bar, restaurant (with fresh seafood) and plenty of hammocks to relax in.
- Capricorn Beach Cottages: Located in Pangani, they have light and airy beach bungalows, each with a kitchenette. The resort is on the beach. They are known for their great pizzas. As well as pizza, the restaurant serves BBQ, as well as international and local dishes. They also have a cool bar and a spa.
- Irente Farm Lodge: This is a lovely place to stay, near to the Irente Viewpoint which is an amazing place to visit. They also make delicious cheeses and jams. Rooms, self-catering apartment and camping available. Located in Lushoto in the south.
- Mambo View Lodge: Perched on the edge of a cliff in the far north of the Usambaras, this is the place to go if you want some peace and quiet. It’s a bit of a trek as you must go through Lushoto and then drive through the mountains, but the views are worth it! You can also hike from Lushoto to Mambo over a few days. Rooms and camping spots are available. Located in Mambo.
- Firefly Bagamoyo: This is one of my favourite places in Africa, a mix between a hostel and a boutique lodge. Super-friendly staff and owners, beautiful Swahili-style decoration and great food. They make my favourite breakfast I’ve ever had in Africa, shakshuka with balsamic reduction, which I know isn’t very Tanzanian (it’s Tunisian), but it’s so delicious.
Dar es Salaam
- The Slow Leopard: This is a small, but perfectly formed hostel in a suburb of Dar es Salaam. They have a nice bar area and serve fantastic burgers. They have a couple of dorms and a couple of private rooms.
- Hunch Backpackers: Just down the road from The Slow Leopard, this friendly hostel has a mix of rooms and a pool.
- Mikadi Beach Camp & Backpackers: Gorgeous backpackers, right on the beach but on the ‘other’ side of Dar es Salaam from the Zanzibar ferry terminal. They have rooms and camping, as well as a beach bar, restaurant and pool.
- Kipepeo Beach & Village: Located in the south of the city, on a white sandy beach, but quite far from the airport. Choose from beach bandas, chalets and camping. They have a restaurant and bar.
Udzungwa Mountains National Park/Mikumi National Park
- Udzungwa Forest Camp: This is a great camp, near to both national parks, offering furnished safari tents, traditional bandas and camping. Facilities include well-maintained showers with solar-heated water, western-style toilets, access to the lodge bar and restaurant, a simple self-catering cooking area, a fire pit with comfortable natural seating for evening relaxation, and a comfortable seating/dining area.
- Tan-Swiss Lodge: The lodge lies on the outskirts of Mikumi National Park and has 3 person bungalows, 2 person rooms and camping facilities. They also have a pool, bar and restaurant.
- Simbamwenni Lodge & Campsite: Located just outside Morogoro, this is a very nice, owner-managed lodge, surrounded by tropical gardens. The have chalets, furnished tents and a campsite. They do not have a restaurant for dinner but they do have a small kitchen where you can order meals in advance. There is just one choice of evening meal, plus a veggie option.
- Neema Crafts Guesthouse: Neema Crafts is a social enterprise and the guesthouse provides training and employment for deaf and disabled trainees. Profits are put towards the running costs of the Neema Therapy Centre for Disabled Children. The guesthouse has 10 en suite rooms with beautiful views over the surrounding hills. You can purchase the locally made crafts in their onsite shop.
Selous Game Reserve
- Selous River Camp: Magical camp with views over the river. You can stay in one of their famous mud huts or in one of their static tents. They have a wonderful lounge, bar and restaurant, a fire pit area and a swimming pool, all overlooking the river.
- Z Life Hostel: Centrally located, they have a mix of rooms and dorms.
- Ten to Ten: Great backpacker hostel, clean, close to the beach, shops and restaurants.
- Kendwa Rocks: More of a hotel resort, however, they do have a dorm or at least they used to. They don’t advertise it, but I’ve seen it with my own eyes. It’s pricey, sleeps about 20 people, but it’s there – or at least it was. They hold monthly full-moon parties, have a great restaurant and bar area, a fantastic swimming pool and it’s right on the beach.
- Makofi Guesthouse: This is a lovely and sociable hostel/guesthouse in Nungwi, close to all the action and the beach. The rooms are stylish and comfortable and the staff are super friendly.
- Drifters: This is a popular backpacker haunt, located on the beach. There’s always someone to hang out with at the bar.
- Hakuna Matata Villa: This is a great place to stay, just set back off the beach. They also have a pool.
- Ebb & Flow Apartments: Next door to Hakuna Matata Villas, close to the village centre. They have a mix of apartments and dorms, all with kitchenettes. They also have a pool.
- New Teddy’s on the Beach: A Zanzibar legend, New Teddy’s is a great place to meet some pals to party with. They have a mix of bungalows and dorms.
- Red Monkey Lodge: More of a hotel, than a backpackers, but they host the weekly Red Monkey Jam on a Monday which attracts both locals and travellers, so you’re bound to make some friends.
- Kae Funk: Great place for sunset if you are staying on the east side of the island. They have 9 cosy bungalows with open air showers. They also include breakfast, plus there a great bar and restaurant right on the beach.
- Butiama Beach Lodge: Situated on beautiful Mafia Island, known for being one of the best places to dive and swim with whale sharks in Africa. They have gorgeous bungalows, a restaurant, pool, a beach & pool bar, a yoga studio, spa and shop. They also own the Butiama Bustani Hotel and the Butiama Marine Camp (budget option).
Enjoy your time in Tanzania! Let me know if you stay in any of the places mentioned and tell them Helen in Wonderlust says hi!
Join one of my Tanzania & Zanzibar group tours or buy my Backpacking Africa e-book!