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Camping in Tanzania

Whether you are travelling Tanzania on a budget, love the outdoors, or want to stay flexible during your trip - camping and roadtripping with a 4x4 is a wonderful way to explore the country and experience a great sense of freedom. Check out our tips below to make the most out of your camping adventure in Tanzania!

What camp gear do I need in Tanzania?

When renting a car with Roadtrip Africa, we can outfit your vehicle with camp gear and all the essentials you need for a camping trip in Tanzania. 

Our Landcruisers can be equipped with a rooftop tent or ground tent. Our rooftop tents come in the following sizes: 

  1. Standard rooftop tent (€25,- | Sleeps 2)
  2. Family rooftop tent (€35,- | Sleeps 2 adults & 2 children)

Each Landcruiser can hold two standard rooftop tents or one family rooftop tent.

Our RAV4 can be equipped with a ground tent only and costs €5,- per person per day.

Both tents come with a full set of quality camp gear, consisting of: 

  • Folding foam mattress 
  • Sleeping bag with pillows and bed sheets
  • Chairs and small table
  • Storage box
  • 1 gas tank & 1 burner
  • Cups, plates & bowls
  • Coffee plunger
  • Pots, frying pans, cutlery set, knife, can opener, corkscrew
  • Cutting board
  • Dish towel, detergent, washing line & pegs
  • Solar table lamp

TIP: bring a headlight and an extra fleece blanket for chilling on the grass or to cover up during the chillier nights. The sleeping bags provided are thin.

We also provide the option of renting an electrical fridge (55L) for €5/day. Ideal for those who fancy a cold drink in the bush or plan to camp a lot (not possible to add to our RAVs). * 

Kindly note that Roadtrip Africa does not provide camp gear rental in Tanzania as a standalone service. 

*Unfortunately, we can't provide on-the-road fridge repairs or replacements due to sensitive wiring and piping. If your fridge malfunctions, notify us, and our Netherlands office will promptly refund your rental.

What camp gear do I need in Tanzania?

How to set up a roof top tent in Tanzania

Rooftop tents are quick and easy to set up. Just watch this step-by-step instruction video, made by Muhire and Jackson from the Roadtrip Uganda team.

Do I bring a ground tent or rooftop tent with me on safari?

For many people, sleeping in a rooftop tent depicts the ultimate camping safari experience.  However, a ground tent comes with its advantages too. There are a few factors that will determine whether a rooftop tent is the best choice for you: 

The pros & cons of sleeping in a rooftop tent
A rooftop tent is the easiest way to sleep off the ground. This is helpful when your campsite is uneven, or when the soil is wet or rocky. People tend to prefer rooftop tents over ground tents in wilderness areas, as it puts some distance between themselves and wild animals lurking around at night. However, this is a FALSE sense of security and you will be just as safe in a ground tent that is properly zipped up. Although we understand that perception of safety plays a role here as well….

Pros of camping in a rooftop tent:

  • You feel safer, which is an argument if you camp inside a game park. Yet, many beautiful campsites are privately owned sites nowadays and are located outside of the safari parks.
  • Rooftop tents are quick and easy to set up ( although the ground tents are also set up in the blink of an eye). 


  • You need to wrap up your rooftop tent every time you want to use your vehicle.
  • Hiring a rooftop tent is more expensive than a ground tent, and requires driving with a Landcruiser.
  • How is your mobility? For rather stiff people, getting up and down the stepladder of a rooftop tent can be uneasy.

Whether you choose a rooftop- or ground tent for camping in Tanzania, both guarantee an unforgettable experience!

Do I bring a ground tent or rooftop tent with me on safari?

Packing tips for Tanzania

Wondering what to pack for your camping trip to Tanzania? We advise you to keep the following in mind:

  • Bring insect repellent (best with DEET) and sunblock, as this is more expensive in Tanzania.
  • The highlands are cooler in the evenings, so bring a fleece vest or jumper.
  • Your rental car in Tanzania has a cigar lighter to power your devices, but you must bring your own audio and USB cables.
  • If you use Spotify, do not forget to download your favourite road trip songs so you can listen offline.
  • A power bank comes in handy when camping a lot. 
  • Audiobooks are also great fun to listen to during long drives, whilst sitting around a campfire, or lying in your tent (try a thriller!).
  • The Rough Guide Swahili Phrasebook is nice for learning a few words in Swahili, this will be greatly appreciated by the locals.

Forgotten something? Arusha and Dar es Salaam have many well-stocked supermarkets and pharmacies where you can buy almost anything you need. This is not the case for the provincial towns in Tanzania.

Packing tips for Tanzania

Are campsites widely available in Tanzania?

Lodges inside Tanzania's National Parks can be quite expensive. Camping, therefore, can be a great alternative for budget travellers and adventures alike.

There are numerous campsites available throughout the country, ranging from basic bush campsites inside the parks to private campsites owned by lodge operators. The latter option provides secured sites with good amenities, such as a communal fireplace, restaurant, and sometimes even a swimming pool. Additionally, camping in Tanzania is possible year-round due to its warm climate.

When looking for a campsite or budget guesthouse in Tanzania, we highly recommend using the free app iOverlander, where every campsite is plotted and reviewed. Furthermore, the Bradt Travel guide - which is included in Roadtrip Africa's car rental - lists many campsites throughout the country.

Are campsites widely available in Tanzania?

Booking a special campsite in Tanzania

The so-called 'special campsites' in Tanzania are largely reserved by private safari companies. They bid on these particular campsites, which allows them to set up their mobile tented camps. Not all of them will be taken though, and are therefore available to book by individual travellers. 

Securing your spot at a special campsite is not easy and will be slightly more expensive than normal. You will enjoy a true wilderness experience though, when camping in Tanzania at an isolated location.

Booking your special campsite in Tanzania should be done in advance, via the Tanapa website. You can make an account via this link. For any questions or help with the online reservation, you can contact support@tanzaniaparks.go.tz

If the reservation system is down (which is not unusual for Tanzania), you can also visit the Tanapa office in Arusha and check out what's available there. 

Do I need to book campsites in advance in Tanzania?

When camping in Tanzania, there is no need to reserve your camping spots in advance. Your camping permit is obtained at the gate on arrival. Each national park has several public campsites, and you will always be assigned one when arriving at the park entrance. 

Do you want to camp inside the Ngorongoro Conservation Area? Then you need to obtain a reservation quote first. 

Roadtrip Africa can help you organize your NCA reservation. Please select this option in our booking form when renting your car. We charge a handling fee of €25,- in total. The actual entrance and camping permit can be paid for by credit card at our office in Arusha.  

Any more questions about camping in Tanzania? Check out our rental car fleet or get in touch with us. Our team at Roadtrip Africa is happy to help you create the camping trip of a lifetime!