Tanzania Movies

Before I go on a trip, I like to indulge in the culture any way I can. Here is a list of twelve movies to watch before heading to Tanzania.


1. A Lot Like You

An American filmmaker travels to to East Africa to gather some insight on her Tanzanian roots and discovers much more than she bargained for.

2. The African Queen

This film, starring Humphrey Bogart and Katherine Hepburn, was filmed on location in Uganda and the Congo. However, much of the movie takes place on the Ulanga River, which runs through modern day Tanzania.

3. Darwin’s Nightmare

An Oscar winning documentary about the unfortunate effects of introducing the Nile Perch into Lake Victoria in Tanzania.

4. Tanzania Transit

This simple documentary gives us a glimpse into four very different lives as they ride a Tanzanian sleeper train.

5. Snows of Kilimanjaro

Based on the short story by Ernest Hemingway, this film follows a man who reminisces his past while suffering from a severely infected wound.

6. Kilimanjaro: To the Roof of Africa

Follow a group of trekkers, aged 12-64, as they climb to the top of Africa’s highest peak, Mount Kilimanjaro.

7. Hatari!

John Wayne and some insane wild animal footage make Hatari! an absolute must-see, even if it isn’t exactly PC.

8. The Serengeti Rules

This beautifully shot documentary highlights five scientists from the 1960s who set out to discover the rules of nature.

9. The Crimson Wing

Flamingos may not be the first animal you think of when you picture Tanzania, but they are everywhere and they are amazing.

10. Road to Zanzibar

Bing Crosby stars in this goofy slapstick spoof of old jungle action films.

11. West of Zanzibar (1954)

A game warden puts on his detective pants and heads to Zanzibar to find the ring leader of a group of ivory smugglers.

*There is also a silent film of the same title from 1928 that’s also worth watching.

12.Bohemian Rhapsody

Freddie Mercury, born on the island of Zanzibar, is easily the most famous person to hail from Tanzania, so enjoy this biopic before you check out the “Mercury House” in Stone Town.

Are there any other Tanzania movies you would put on this list? Let me know in the comments!

Next, read about my own trip to Tanzania in my blog post, My Kilimanjournal.

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