Benefit-sharing has been instrumental in empowering local communities living on the edge of protected areas to engage in natural resource management and enhance biodiversity conservation outcomes. Tanzania has various categories of protected area managed by six main conservation institutions, each with different types of benefit-sharing mechanisms. To investigate the acceptability of these mechanisms among local communities living in proximity to protected areas and their effectiveness at delivering benefits, we undertook a systematic review of > 1000 peer-reviewed articles related to the topic published between January 1990 and February 2021. The 71 publications that met our selection criteria covered all the main categories of protected area in Tanzania. Benefit-sharing mechanisms took three forms: i. social services provision; ii. livelihood provision; and iii. employment for local people. About half the studies (48%) indicated that local people accepted or strongly accepted the benefits provided by conservation institutions in Tanzania with the level of community acceptance linked strongly with the history of engagement between communities and the conservation institutions while 40% of the reviewed studies indicated the negative views. We recommend that future research explores the values and demand for benefits among local people living close to protected areas, particularly in disaffected communities, to ensure benefit-sharing mechanisms deliver desirable socio-economic outcomes for local communities as well as conservation outcomes.