Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Expat Tells About Cost of Living in Tanzania

Aidan and his wife have lived in Dar El Salaam in Tanzania for the last three years. Originally from Johannesburg, South Africa this is there first experience as expats and their overall impression of Dar Es Salaam was that of a third world country.

international cost of living
Dar Es Salaam

These are some of his experiences and thoughts:

What do you like the most about where you are living now? 
Relaxed, close to the Ocean

What do you like the least about where you are living now? 
3rd World,  poverty, Very Hot, Limited FDI, hence limited work opportunities

What do you do for fun in each place? 
Beach, Game parks, meeting friends

What is the funniest / strangest cultural experience you have had? 
Can take 10 minutes to greet somebody. When greeting an elder, one calls him “Shikamoo” which means, “may I kiss your feet” and his response is, “yes a thousand times” (cannot recall the Swahili word for it.

How did you find the cost of living compared to your home in each of the places you have lived in? More or less expensive? Why? 
More expensive due to the fact most items are imported

Did the company help with your move? How? 
Yes, they paid for it and guaranteed jobs

Does your company pay for any of the following -
Basket Group

Communication (e.g. Internet; Telephone)

Education (e.g. Children’s School Fees)

Furniture & Appliances (e.g. Semi-Furnished Housing)


Healthcare (e.g. Medical Insurance; Medical Facilities)

Household Accommodation (e.g. Housing or Housing Allowance)

Personal Care (not sure what meant by this???)

Recreation and Culture (e.g. Fitness Club Fees)

Restaurants, Meals Out and Hotels

Transport (e.g. Company Vehicle or Transport Allowance)

Air Fare Home each year

What does your company not pay for that you feel it should pay for? 
Nothing, I feel we get a fair deal. Some people feel they should pay for your home staff, but I disagree with this.

Did you do research before your move on what you needed to earn to maintain or increase your standard of living? 

If so, what research did you do?  
Basic cost of living, but more along the lines of life-style, as our move was less about the money and more about a life experience.

What do you find expensive in your Host city?
Local travel and accommodation, eating out

Do you have any advice for readers on becoming an expat and the type of research to do before hand? 
Treat the experience as a life journey and not a means to earn additional money. Research on the cost of living and fellow expat community you have around you. Investigate the potential for violent religious fanatics in the area, i.e. safety concerns. If you are happy with all the above, then go for it and get involved with the culture of the country. Try not be too solely involved in the expat community.

Dar Es Salaam expat cost of living provides up-to-date cost of living data for over 700 locations worldwide, employers and employees can calculate how much is needed to earn in another location to have a similar spending power. Steven McManus is a Remuneration and Benefits Consultant and founder of

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