Moving to Tanzania

Tanzania is a poor East African country. Although not a popular expat destination, the country is a growing tourist destination thanks to its vast natural reserves and wildlife, beautiful beaches and the highest mountain in Africa, Mount Kilimanjaro.

The country’s estimated 45 million people mostly live in the northern border and eastern coastal regions, with many congregating in the main cities of Dar es Salaam and Dodoma (the capital), leaving the country’s interior quite sparsely populated. Tanzania’s population is diverse, made up of around 125 ethnic groups. The majority of the population is of African descent, with minority groupings of people of Arab, European and Asian (mostly Chinese and Indian) descent making up the rest of the population.

The country is rich in natural resources and most expats in Tanzania are likely to find themselves employed in the mining industry.  Many also move to the country as part of humanitarian projects based there. Other sectors where expats may find work include tourism, agriculture and telecommunications. Construction is another sector that has seen strong growth in recent years and may present opportunities for those with the right skills.

Despite its wealth of natural resources, Tanzania is one of the poorest countries in the world and it is this poverty that may be a source of great culture shock for many expats arriving from more affluent countries. Tanzania’s infrastructure is severely underdeveloped, its healthcare facilities are sorely lacking in staff and equipment and the local education system will likely not meet the standards that many expats are used to.

Despite the challenges of living in this East African country, expats moving to Tanzania will likely be greeted with warmth by the local population and can look forward to a richly rewarding cultural experience.