The Rough Guide to Tanzania & How It Can Help You Plan Better Tanzania Trips

The Rough Guide Tanzania Cover

As a frequent traveler to places that often don’t have a lot of online information about them, I am a huge fan of well-written informative guide books.

My go-to brand for these is The Rough Guide Series.

Let me tell you about some of the Rough Guides that I depend on heavily when I am travelling in East Africa.

Rough Guide Tanzania/Tanzania Rough Guide

The Rough Guide to Tanzania is one Rough Guide that I keep in soft copy on my phone, just because I refer to it so much.

I fell in love with the Rough Guide to Tanzania, when one day while driving through Arusha on my way to Dar es Salaam, I was able to find a Standard Chartered Bank ATM that I desperately needed when I had no internet connectivity and couldn’t really stop to ask for directions.

It’s also what I really on heavily when planning trips like this one that take me all over the country.

READ ALSO: Travel Tanzania: The Serengeti & Beyond

The Rough Guide to Kenya

The rest of this post is about how I first discovered the Rough Guide brand of travel guides with the discovery of the very useful Rough Guide to Kenya.

Hi, everyone. How are you today? I hope all is well in your respective corners of the world.

For me, all is good, though I need to rave about a book, or should I say a series of books, that never fails to come in handy especially when I’m traveling. Allow me to start at the beginning.

READ ALSO: Information about Travelling Around Tanzania

Planning a Budget Trip to Kenya’s Coast

Three years ago, I wanted to take my then-boyfriend traveling for his birthday.

See also  5 Best Beaches in East Africa

He was turning 27 and, believe it or not, had never seen the ocean.

He was Ugandan, born and raised, and had never been outside Uganda.

My birthday present to him that year, I decided, would simply be: a visit to the ocean.

Sometimes, I have grand ideas without necessarily having the cash to fund them.

This was one of those times. 🙂

Still, not to be discouraged, I decided to take him on a surprise (therefore all expenses paid) trip to our very own coast, here in Kenya.

We’d have to be doing some budget traveling because on top of the visit to the ocean, I had a number of other serious financial commitments to honor that same month.

As a first step towards planning our trip, I began to ask everyone I knew about how to make a budget trip to the coast.

I am not sure if it’s just that I have super posh friends or that Africans don’t do budget holidays, but whatever the case, I didn’t get much help from people around me.

Stacks of Rough Guide Travel Guides

Discovering the Rough Guide Series

One day, I walked into a colleague’s office only to find her on the phone.

Not in a great rush, but really needing to speak to her, I decided to wait for her to finish her call.

The phone call took quite some time, so in the meanwhile, I began to thumb through a copy of The Rough Guide to Kenya that a friend had just returned to her.

Since I would be traveling soon, I immediately asked to borrow it.

This book seemed to have just the kind of information I needed to plan my surprise trip.

See also  Stonehaven Restaurant, Holy Crêpe, Kampala, and Saba at Onomo

That was my first experience with a book from the Rough Guide series.

Let me just say, I’ve never looked back!

READ ALSO: 100 Most Influential Young Kenyans

The Rough Guide Kenya Helps Me Plan the Perfect Trip

The Rough Guide to Kenya helped me plan a fabulous budget getaway that included a night on Mombasa‘s south coast, and two nights in the enchanting town of Malindi.

Other highlights of this trip included a wonderful first-class train ride to the coast and a drive through the town of Kilifi.

Furthermore, this cost me no more than what a serious weekend of hanging out in Nairobi would have.

The Rough Guide to Kenya had detailed information about accommodation, transportation, and entertainment for travelers of all kinds. I loved that the information was so detailed that we managed to get from the railway station to our hotel on the south coast almost entirely using über-cheap public transportation.

READ ALSO: Tanie Loty Kenia

I hate to admit that I never did return The Rough Guide to Kenya to my colleague. (Sorry L.O., if ever you read this post.) I became just too attached to it.

I’ve used it while traveling many times since and even sometimes use it to get information for Nairobi, a city that I have lived in for many years and that I know pretty well.

Purple Sunset on Hills

Rough Guide East Africa

There is no Rough Guide covering East Africa as a region.

Rough Guide Zanzibar

There is a Rough Guide to Zanzibar that was published in 2010, but though this would still be useful to navigate Zanzibar today, it’s a little outdated.

See also  10 Best Experiences to Have in South Africa

The 2015 Rough Guide to Tanzania has a significant section on Zanzibar, so I would recommend that over the 2010 fully dedicated Rough Guide to Zanzibar.

Rough Guide Rwanda

There is no Rough Guide to Rwanda.

Traveling Locally and Beyond

If ever you feel like traveling and do not necessarily know where to go (especially if you are looking for a place close to you), just buy a Rough Guide to your country or city, pick a place, and start planning.

If on the other hand, you’ve recently moved to a new city and want to know it more intimately, a Rough Guide can help there too.

Basically, whenever you are faced with a new locale and want to know the ins and outs of it in a short time, The Rough Guide Series is definitely the way to go.

I wish you great discovery with The Rough Guide Series.


P.S. To be sure not to miss future posts on ChickAboutTown, sign up to receive posts directly by email.

Photo Credits: Amazon UK,;;


  1. Hi Biche, thanks for the great recommendation. We’re updating the Rough Guide to Kenya for its ninth edition over the next few months (hard to believe the first edition was researched in 1985!), so all feedback on great places to visit and new things to do, plus the latest developments in Kenya’s social and political scene are greatly appreciated. Do check out the blog at and I’ll add a link for

    Safari njema

  2. Hi Richard,

    Welcome to ChickAboutTown! It’s a pleasure to see you here.

    Thanks for writing a great book! I don’t know how you did it, but The Rough Guide to Kenya is exactly what anyone travelling through or living in Kenya needs. I look forward to reading the ninth edition.

    Thanks for the link to ChickAboutTown on your blog. I’ll put a link to your blog in my blogroll too.

    I wish you luck with the update for the ninth edition.


  3. Very interesting website . . . I have found your timely and interesting information very helpful for my travels to Kenya as well as everyday life (dare I say which article . . . wink!). . . anyway keep them coming gal we love to visit and yes you deserve credit for ‘marketing’ for businesses and services like you do. Get paid lady!

  4. Hi Roro,

    Welcome to ChickAboutTown! Thanks a lot for your positive words. I am glad that you find my information timely, interesting, and useful – especially the article that you dare not mention. 😉

    I would love to actually earn money for the marketing that I do for businesses and services here though I can’t quite think of how to structure that (especially without comprimising the impartiality of my reviews). If you have any ideas, I’d love to hear about them. Feel free to send me email at [email protected].

    I hope to see more of you around in the comment sections of this blog.


  5. I get the latest edition of Rough Guide when I am going home, just in case there are places I don’t know about that I want to discover.

    I have found it useful, and a number of my Kenyan friends never return it, when they have a look,lol.

    Lonely Planet is as good as well.

    1. Lol,

      So I guess I am like your friends who never return your copy of this book. Hehehe…on their behalf, I apologize. It’s beyond us, the book is just so good! 😉

      How often do you return to Kenya to visit?


      1. Yes Biche,

        I was ROFLMAO when I read about you not returning the book. I try and go home every year, but have not been back for a few years now. But will do soon, I hope.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.

Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap