Cost of living in Tanzania – 2015

Hi all,

We invite you to talk about the cost of living in Tanzania in 2015, with an updated price listing.

Don't forget to mention in which city of Tanzania you are living in.

How much does it cost to live in Tanzania?

> accommodation prices

> public transportation fares (tube, bus etc.)

> food prices (your monthly budget)

> health prices (for those who need medical insurance)

> education prices (if you need to pay)

> energy prices (oil, electricity)

> common bills (Internet, television, telephone, mobile phone)

> price for a good menu in a traditional restaurant

> price for a coffee or a drink

> price for cinema tickets

Do not hesitate to add items to this list! ;)

Thank you in advance for your participation.

I'm living in Arusha. I'm living more or a local life then I am enjoying western comforts making my time in Tanzania considerably cheaper.

I'm living with a friend in a moderate three bed house at a cost of $450 per month. Although cheap we have beautiful gardens, garage and is located within a short walking distance to Tarmac.

Being so close to Tarmac means we can easily hop on a dala dala to work, which although we do have a car, is our preferred mode of transport during the day at a cost of 400tsh. The pricing of a car in Arusha is reasonable we have a small suzi 4x4 costing us $900 to buy and and a cheap 50,000 to fill up on gas. Taxi around Arusha rarely go Above a mere 10,000.

We're pretty awful at doing good shops and regulary eat out of dinner a local pubs costing us no more than 10,000 for the two of us but can cost us as little as 3,000 depending on what we're eating. However we shop at the market and a weekly shop of water, drinks, veg, fruit and veg never goes over 50,000 which feeds the two of us plus guest which we have quite often. However going back to eating out it can cost all different amount depending on where and what your eating. Western food/restaurant will cost you a minimum for 15,000 for a main course, local you can get a burger fries and drink for 5,000 (at wraps) and at pubs it can cost 700 for a soda, 500 for a mishkaki stick, 1,000 for fries, chicken half is around 5,000, plate of meet no more than 8,000. Going out for coffee is something we don't usually do but when we do it cost a mere 4,000 to have one at a western cafe where wifi is freely available and as little as 200 shillings if you go super local. Alcohol is also very available and is again cheap if you go local and more expensive if you go western. Local beer (Kilimanjaro, Safari, tusker etc.) being around 1,700-2,000 imported beer 3,000-5,000. A bottle of wine from the shop is never really cheaper than 20,000 and western spirits being about the 40,000 mark for a large bottle. Of our tipple is the local Tanzanian spirit of konyagi which can be as little as 5,000.

Touch wood I havent had any major medical needs that have needed to be attended to. I have however had a malaria check, which came back negative, so I can only say that the cost of the test itself was only 3,000 with health insurance.

Bills are left with my house mate to deal with however I can ensure you they are very small as i rarely give her loads of money to deal with it (unless she's been paying for them). Mobile phone are dead cheap to run. I myself have a rubbish phone that I use on a daily basis and the phone itself cost me 35,000, sim cost 1,000 and I pay 2,000 a week with Vodacom for a Cheka bombastic bundle giving me 30 minutes to call, 500 texts and 100gb of Internet.

@ Beatrice-jenks > Thank you for this sharing of information !  :top:

Hi, I live in Dodoma with my wife and four children.

> We spend Tsh 750,000 per month on a big house (5 bedrooms)

> We run two cars. Servicing is cheap, but fuel is expensive. Typically 10-15% more than Australia.

> Local produce is cheap, but buying foods not consumed by locals can be expensive. Dodoma doesn't have the options that Dar or Arusha have.

> Using the local hospital is cheap. A visit to the doctor and a prescription costs about US$20.

> Our kids go to a private international school. The fees are Tsh 3 million per child per year.

> electricity keeps getting more expensive. It is equivalent to western pricing. Use a solar system to heat your water.

> Internet and phone are cheap. I use a phone package with Voda that gives me all the bandwidth, texts and calls that I need every month for $8. We pay about $17 a month for 6 Gig of internet usage. DSTV is expensive. Almost $100 a month if you want the premium channels. We don't bother - there's never much on anyway.

> You can eat in a Tanzanian restaurant for Tsh 3,000 - Tsh 5,000 which will give you a plate of usually good food with a soda.

> Tanzania grows some of the best coffee beans in the world, but forget trying to get a good coffee here. Actually Wamama Kahawa in Mbezi Beach, Dar es Salaam, make a really good coffee. A beer is about Tsh 2,500 in a pub or Tsh 1800 per beer if you buy it in a crate.

> No cinema in Dodoma - in Dar it is about $7 to go to the movies.

The southern Game Parks, Mikumi and Ruaha, are great value. 1/2 the price of the northern parks and you will see more animals and less other tourists. $30 for a non-resident. $15 fr a resident one day pass.

Hello Jonesy2,

Thank you for sharing this information. :)

Shaazia Team

Is there anyone that has this price list for people going to live in Dar es Salaam? I will be moving there and I want to know the cost of living and how much one can save on a $2000 monthly salary in this city.


ajes wrote:

Is there anyone that has this price list for people going to live in Dar es Salaam? I will be moving there and I want to know the cost of living and how much one can save on a $2000 monthly salary in this city.


In the forum category list, right hand side of this page you will see a section cost of living. Click on this and read the threads there. You can also do some research yourself on this website

I rent a very well-built and modern home in Arusha, very close to the tarmac road, for $600 USD per month. It is 3 bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths, sitting/living room, dining room and huge kitchen. It is unfurnished and I had to buy a small refrigerator and 2 burner cooktop that runs on gas. Unattached to the main house, it also has an askari hut, staff apartment, and a large room that can be used as an office, plus an enclosed garage. It is more money than I wanted to pay, and much larger than I need, but the closeness to the paved road makes it worth the money, and there is a fully stocked (expensive!) supermarket within close walking distance. I have looked at a ton of houses in Arusha and they were all too far from the paved road for someone without a car. I can be on a dala dala in minutes.

When I am there full time, it costs me about 100,000 tsh per month for electricity.
I use Vodacom for my phone and buy a Cheka bundle that runs me about 4,000 tsh per week. I use my phone from the USA, but phones can be purchased there for very little depending on the manufacturer and model.
Because I use a lot of internet, I supplement that with a SMILE internet bundle (5 GB of data) for 42,500 per 30 days.

Eating out depends on where you eat. I can get a plate of chipsi mayai for 2,000 tsh, or spend a lot more if I eat in more "western" establishments. Coffee in western coffee shops is about 4,000-5,000 per cup.

Dala dala fare is 400 tsh per ride.

I find because my Swahili is not good yet, and I am horrible at bargaining, that I get "ripped off" in prices a lot, so I let my Tanzanian friends do the negotiating and shopping for me when possible.

I pay someone (who lives on the compound), to do all the interior cleaning and exterior maintenance (yard work, etc), laundry, errands - cost is 200,000 per month. This person lives there 24/7 in the staff apartment and does everything for me, and will even cook for me if I ask. Speaks excellent English too!

Petrol is expensive, and traffic is horrible, so I sold my car. The most expensive taxi fare I have paid is 10,000 tsh and that is to go completely across town. Average taxi fare is about 5,000 or less.

I have a DSTV satelitte dish, which was cheap to buy and cheaper still to install, but the monthly service to get all the channels I wanted to watch was about 140,000 a month. I don't use it often (I also do not live there full time, still going back and forth to USA every 4 months).

My rental house was just hooked up to "city water" and so I am getting used to monthly water bills, so don't really have an idea of what the average monthly cost is yet, but it is pretty low, unless I am watering the gardens during the really dry seasons.

I have had to get  medical care while in Arusha. The cost was unbelievably cheap, with NO insurance. I had an abdominal ultrasound for 100,000 tsh (about $75). Lab work one time when I had malaria cost me about 20,000 tsh.

The exchange rate for TZ shillings to USD ranges about 1650 - 1790 TSH per $1 USD.

Hope this helps someone.