Backpacking Tanzania. Our route.

We went to Tanzania in February - March 2015 
during a complete trip (8 months) around southern and eastern Africa 

We travelled in Tranzania during 1.5 month, in public transport, doing couchsurfing and sleeping in small hotels or local lodges, eating in local restaurants.
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Tanzania is a famous destination in Africa, at least some places: the northern safari circuit with  super popular parks like Serengeti and Ngorongoro; Kilimanjaro mountain and Zanzibar island. 
As tourist destinations, all these places are expensive for independent tourists, so, for low-cost travellers plans are really limited.

Keep in mind that to visit game parks or mountain areas, remote areas often, transport will be sparse and most of the times you have to join an organized tour and it´s expensive. And that in Tanzania if there´s any interest, like a forest, a volcanoe, a waterfall, any animal, a simple picture, something, you will have to pay a fee in most of the cases, specially around tourist spots.

If just travelling across Tanzania without activities or parks as we did, it can be a bit disappointing.
Fortunatly there´s at least Zanzibar, with its tropical feeling and where you can still find a few cheap rooms (just a very few nowdays... read our Zanzibar post for the tips). Enjoy the sea and the beach at the moment is still free. That´s why we stayed there 3 weeks as do many backpackers.

Travelling in Tanzania is safe, public transport goes to all the main towns and it´s cheap. You will find cheap basic accommodation around the bus stations and towns. Food is cheap. And then it´s the expensive tourist galaxy!

As we visited Tanzania in a complete southern and eastern Africa trip, we first reached Dar Es Salaam and Zanzibar coming from the Southern Highlands and Malawi. And then did a route up north on the way to Lake Victoria and Rwanda. 

 We didn´t do any safari in Tanzania. After having seen a lot of animals and done amazing self-drive safaries in southern Africa for affordable price, we didn´t want to pay 4 or 5 times the price for a similar  experience in Tanzania.

This was our route:

Route in Tanzania: from February 4 th til 17th march 2015
( 42 days/ 41  nights).

From Songwe (Malawi) to Rusumo (Rwanda):

-         Mbeya (1 night)
-         Iringa ( 1 night, couchsurfing)
-         Morogoro (1 night)
-         Dar Es Salaam (4 nights, couchsurfing)
-         Stone Town- Zanzibar (3 nights)
-         Paje- Zanzibar ( 6 nights)
-         Nungwi- Zanzibar ( 9 nights)
-         Ferry Zanzibar- Dar (1 night)
-         Dar Es Salaam (2 nights, couchsurfing)
-         Lushoto (3 nights)
-         Moshi (2 nights)
-         Arusha (3 nights, couchsurfing)
-         Babati (1 night)
-          Singida (1 night)
-          Mwanza (3 nights, 2 couchsurfing+1 room)

We stayed in hotels (rooms), except mencionned (couchsurfing).

Total: around 3.500 km (tarred roads).

Will I see many tourist in Tanzania?
Only in Zanzibar, Arusha and surrounding parks, you will see them, big tourist spots. Just a few in Lushoto and Dar. And not many or none in other places.
There are a few expats around, in Dar, Arusha and Moshi mainly.