Cost of living in Tanzania in 2024

Hello everyone,

As every year, we invite you to share your experience regarding the cost of living in Tanzania, and if possible, in the specific region or city where you live. This will help members who are planning to relocate in Tanzania.

Here are some points to guide you; the idea is to provide average prices for each category:

When it comes to housing, what is the cost of renting or buying an apartment or house in Tanzania?

How much do you pay for public transports such as buses, subways, trains, trams, or taxis?

Could you share the average monthly cost of your grocery shopping?

What is the cost of health insurance? How much does a medical consultation cost in Tanzania?

What are the tuition fees for children?

What are the average monthly costs for electricity, gas, water, internet, and phone plans?

For leisure activities, how much does it cost monthly?

If there are other expenses you find relevant, please feel free to share them!

Thank you for your contribution.

Expat.com Team

@Cheryl

I'd be happy to share my insights on the cost of living in Tanzania, specifically in Moshi Kilimanjaro area. Here's a breakdown of the average prices for various categories:


Housing:


Renting: The average cost of renting a one-bedroom apartment in Kilimanjaro is approximately US $150 Per month

Buying: For those interested in purchasing a property, the average cost per square meter for real estate is around $20


Public Transport:


Public buses and minibusses are commonly used in Kilimanjaro and Tanzania as a whole. We have Bajaj and Boda boda for easy way to navigate through some places at very affordable fees.  Navigating withing same town (i.e Moshi) you can be charged 1000TZS to 2000TZS which is also written Tshs or Tanzania shillings which is equivalent to 0.5 USD - 1USD, and the average bus fare (public Transport) is around 20USD for a 7 hour travel. Taxis are also available, with an average starting fare of 2USD


Grocery Shopping:


Monthly grocery expenses for a typical household in Tanzania are approximately 50USD


Healthcare:


Health insurance costs vary, but the average monthly premium for a standard plan is 30USD

The cost of a medical consultation in Tanzania ranges from 7USD


Education:


Tuition fees for children attending international schools in Tanzania are around 14000USD


Utilities:


Electricity, gas, and water bills for a standard household in Tanzania mount to 15USD

Monthly internet and phone plans cost approximately 20USD


Leisure Activities:


Leisure expenses, including dining out, entertainment, Day trip tour and other recreational activities, can average around 300USD per month.


Other Relevant Expenses:


In Tanzania, people lives in communites where as you get involved in religious events, burial events  and similar events. These may cost around 10USD per month.

I hope this information proves helpful for individuals considering relocating to Tanzania. If you have any further questions or need additional details, please feel free to ask.


Thank you,

Oserok Trips

Hello Oseroktrips,


Thanks for sharing this information with us.


I do have a question regarding the pricing: Do locals and expatriates pay the same fees for school or insurance? Are there any additional charges for expats for certain services such as the ones I mentioned earlier?


We are also interested in hearing from expatriates to get their perspective on this matter.


Cheers,


Cheryl

Expat.com team

Most locals here don't send their children to International schools.

We bring children to government schools which is almost free. And few people (middle class people) bring children to English Medium schools which range their fees from 1000USD to 2000USD.

Schools tuition fees in most schools don't differ; whether you are resident or citizen, you will pay the same.

Many official charges in Tanzania are not categorized of whether you are citizen or resident. They are all the same except issues like National Park entry fees will require to pay different entry fee.

This is according to my knowledge.

Any other local Tanzanian can elaborate more.


Thank you


Oserok Trips

@Cheryl

Hi there, please could you clarify what costs you are referring to? The answers below are irrelevant for expats living in a city, shopping at a supermarket and living in an expat area. If you want a realistic idea of what it would cost an expat to live the kind of lifestyle they are used to in a "Western" way then the costs below are way out.


Please could you clarify what you are looking for?

Hello Pippa Dones,


Thank you for responding.


We are interested in learning about the day-to-day expenses of expatriates living in Tanzania.


This thread is intended to compile information to help future expats planning to move to Tanzania understand the financial aspects they can expect.


Any accurate information you can provide would be greatly appreciated.


Asante 1f601.svg


Cheryl

@Cheryl Thanks for the clarity.


I can weigh in on life in Dar.


ACCOMMODATION: (What also needs to be said is rentals are paid in 3, 6, or 12-month payments and often a one-month deposit too)


The most expensive area is Oyster Bay which is on the Penisula and has most of the diplomats, embassies etc mostly tarred roads have the upmarket stand-alone houses and villas which have security, generators (for the regular power outages) and often a gym and swimming pool. Pricing will be from $2500 up for a 3 - 4 bedroom villa. But at the moment there is a short supply so a 4-bedroom villa in a complex can be up to $4000.


Then there are areas bordering Oyster Bay like, Masaki, Msasani, and Mickocheni that have more apartments, and often untarred roads. You can get a 2-bedroom apartment for $1500+ a month. You might find an older property for less. Sea-facing apartment blocks in Masaki are more expensive.


All these areas are close to the supermarkets and restaurants.


There is a slightly less expensive area Upanga where you can get a 2-bedroom apartment for +$800 but it might not have a back-up generator or a lift.


Areas further out like Kigamboni (south of Dar but you need to either use the ferry or a long loop road to get to Dar), Mbezi Beach, Kundunchi, Barhari Beach (all north of Dar) have much cheaper options with houses starting at $500 a month.


Consideration needs to be where the "breadwinner" is working, and where children need to school. Traffic in and around Dar is a nightmare. If you work in the city centre or towards the airport it will take at least 60 - 90 mins to travel during rush hour to the less expensive areas, if not longer.


GROCERIES:

The supermarkets stock local and imported products so costs will depend on whether you want your creature comforts you are used to in your own country. Things like breakfast cereal, anything made with fresh milk, crisps, chocolates etc are pretty pricy. Tanzania doesn't manufacture a large variety of food products but things like nuts, flour, sugar (only brown), palm oil, pili pili sauces etc are affordable.

So it all depends on your lifestyle is for what groceries will cost. If you are looking at a ballpark figure, a family of 2 adults and 2 small children who don't buy too many imports could pay around $100 a week without protein. Your almond or oat milk, fancy chocs, fresh cream, cheese etc will take it over that. ($6 for a block of 200g Mature Cheddar!)


Local fruit and vegetables are very cheap and super delicious, but there is local producers of "exotic" veggies like, cherry tomatoes, tiny corn, snap peas, and lettuce and they are not cheap. A pack of 200g of button mushrooms is over $4. Fruit like grapes, apples, peaches, plums etc are imported from South Africa and are also costly. But pineapples, mangoes, papaya, avocado, sweet potatoes, purple onions, cassava and local limes and lemons are very cheap and available from stalls on the side of the road.


Pet food is also imported so it's not so cheap but there are cheaper brands from Kenya.


Meat and chicken is available from local butchers everywhere but if you are the kind of person that cannot walk into a butchery with the carcasses hanging at the window and often no AC you will be buying your meat at the supermarket. A pack of minced beef or a pack of 4 chicken breasts will be +$4. A whole chicken (albeit small) is around $5. Fresh fish is around the same price, a bit cheaper at the fish market but you will be advised to take a local with you to bargain.


Beans and legumes can be bought per kilo and are very affordable.


You also need to budget for bottled water as the majority of expats don't drink from the tap. A 500ml bottle is around 0,25 cents. Obviously, the bigger bottles are cheaper. Restaurants are charging 0,80 cents a bottle!


So if you're happy to drink your coconut water out of the coconut from a guy who cuts the top off the coconut and sells it from a bicycle in the street (0,40 cents) and not by your tetra pack imported version and drink UTH milk instead of almond or oat milk, you'll be alright. If not make sure you are earning mega $$$'s.


But saying all that, local produced ice cream is cheap and super delicious, so maybe you can live on ice cream here. Lol,


EATING OUT:

Roadside eateries are affordable and offer Swahili food, Indian food and a mix of both and start at around $1 a portion if you look around. At an informal eaterie a burger and chips, a curry and chapati or a pillau could start at $4. A sit-down "western" style restaurant would usually be around $10 a main course. Milkshakes are around $3,50 and cheesecake is around $4,75 so eating out will depend on what you like to eat. A three-course meal plus drinks at a good restaurant will be from $20 a head. The further away you go from the penisula the cheaper the food.


TRANSPORT:

For shorter trips, the Bajaji (tuk-tuk) is cheap and easy to use and can take 2 - 3 people with some shopping parcels. If you live in the expat areas and need to get to the supermarket, school, bank or gym a trip will be around $1. If you are brave and on your own, a boda boda (motorbike) is cheaper at around 0,75 cents. Be advised to use Bolt or Uber to book them (or a car) until you are used to what the price should be. But both the Bajaji and boda boda are much quicker to get around as they don't adhere to road rules, traffic lights etc and weave through the traffic jams. Petrol is around $1,20 a litre.


HEALTH:

Just as an idea of pricing, a dentist visit with a filling costs $16 from a local dentist. If you go the top hospital in Dar a consultation with a specialist would be around $27. A consult and MRI scan is around $300 at the same facility. Medication is very reasonable and there are pharmacies everywhere. Most of the supplies are from India, the UK or UAE.


Health insurance. The breadwinner can get NSSF health insurance which is 6% of their salary but it is limited to certain health providers etc. If you want complete cover and want to go to one of the internally run hospitals you would need one of the international companies that offer expat cover and you are looking at over $500 a couple.


OTHER:

The international school would be from $24000 - $34000 a year.

Electricity (when it's on) is expensive and if you are not used to the heat the AC will be on all the time which whacks the price up. Depending on the size of your house and how often you use the AC you are looking at $80+ a month for a 2-bedroom apartment. Villas have their own pricing and charge more per unit and added to that charge for the diesel for the generator. Villa with 4 bedrooms with AC on at night only and diesel cost can be over $400 a month.

Excursions: If you have a residence card you will pay "local" fees for trips to Zanzibar or some of the game watching but if you don't you will pay the $ price. eg. Adult economy ticket on the ferry from Dar to Zanzibar for residents is $12 and for non-residents is $35.


Tanzania is a wonderful country, Tanzanians are warm and friendly and super inviting and the local fresh produce is beyond awesome. So Karibu Sana!


I hope this helps and if there is anything I've left out, please let me know.