Tanzania Travel advice and Safary | Immigration and Visa | Health info for Tanzania 

For many, Tanzania may be the most well-known country in Africa. It is the country that has become synonymous with the Serengeti, Mount Kilimanjaro, and Zanzibar. People from all over the world flock to Tanzania to have a safari in some of the best national parks in the world.The country is staggeringly beautiful, populated by a warm Swahili culture, and home to some of the best wildlife on this planet. Here are our top Tanzania travel tips to know before you go.

“Tanzania – You can see a sunset and believe you have witnessed the Hand of God. You watch the slope lope of a lioness and forget to breathe. You marvel at the tripod of a giraffe bent to water. In Tanzania, there are iridescent blues on the wings of birds that you do not see anywhere else in nature. In Tanzania, in the midday heart, you can see blisters in the atmosphere. When you are in Tanzania, you feel primordial, rocked in the cradle of the world.”

Tanzania Travel Advice & Safety

Tanzania Visa and Immigration


A Valid Passport

All visitors to Tanzania planning to climb Kilimanjaro are required to carry and show a passport valid for at least six months beyond the date of entry into the country. Your passport should have at least one empty page for official stamps.

Check your passport well in advance of travel, in case you need to renew it.

Tanzania Visitor Visa

Most foreign visitors are required to obtain a visa for entry into Tanzania, there are some exceptions. The visa doesn’t always need to be obtained prior to arrival as they can be issued at the port of entry.

Generally, all visitors from non-Commonwealth countries need a visa for entry, unless your country has an agreement with Tanzania under which this requirement has been waived.

Visitors from some Commonwealth countries don’t need a visa for entry, but citizens of the UK, Australia, New Zealand, India, United States, Canada, and most EU countries are not exempt.

Some travelers prefer to arrange their visas in advance, and this can be done by contacting the Tanzanian embassy in your home country. They normally require you to send in your passport, an application form and passport photos for processing.

 

Tanzania Visa Types
  • Ordinary visa (single entry).
  • Multiple entry visa.
  • Business visa.
  • Transit visa.
  • Student visa.
  • Gratis visa.

Visa fee to all visitors coming for tourism purpose (Ordinary Visa) is 50 USD. However, American citizens are required to apply for a Multiple entry Visa in which they are charged a fee of 100 USD for twelve months for holiday/tourism purpose. If any applicant is given an invoice of Visa fee higher than 50 USD for Ordinary Visa, it directly means that, the applicant has applied through Visa agent or un-authorised Visa link.

VISA FEE CHART

SN

TYPE OF VISA

VISA FEE

1.

Ordinary Visa

50 USD

2.

Multiple Visa

100 USD

3.

Business Visa

250 USD

4.

Transit Visa

30 USD

5.

Gratis Visa

Gratis

6.

Student Visa

50 USD (single 3 months)

250 USD (Multiple 2 years)

300 USD (Research 6 months)

550 USD (PhD 2 years)

You can now apply for an Online Visa to visit the United Republic of Tanzania (both Tanzania Mainland and Zanzibar). You are required to fill in the online form, make payment, and submit your application online. Your form will be internally reviewed and processed.

Applicants will be notified through their e-mails whether their applications have been accepted or rejected. They may also TRACK their application statuses through the online system. Applicants may as well be required to visit the nearest Tanzanian Embassies or Consular Offices for interviews.

Please consider the following information beforehand.

  1. Types of Visa
  2. Required documents
  3. Countries whose citizens do not require visa on entry
  4. Countries whose citizens require approval by the Tanzania Commissioner General of Immigration

Visa For Tanzania is mandatory for some countries. Therefore you must be aware of the document requirements for the visa. Your Visa Requirements For Tanzania are as follows:

  • Photocopy of round-trip, airline tickets or itinerary.
  • Photocopy of the statement showing sufficient funds for the trip.
  • For Business Visa: A letter on company letterhead addressed to the Embassy of Tanzania, Visa Section, Tanzania High Commission / Embassy your applying, signed by the company executive, stating the nature of the business, duration of the trip, companies to be visited, guaranteeing sufficient funds.

To obtain a Visa for Tanzania you can go to the following:

  • In Dar Es Salaam: The Office of the Director of Immigration Services.
  • In Zanzibar: The Office of the Principal Immigration Officer
  • Abroad: Any Tanzanian Embassy or High Commission
  • There are few countries whose nationalists don’t require a Visa to enter Tanzania. If your country is on the list then you can also enjoy a visa-free holiday in Tanzania.

In order to avoid lost passports or delays in obtaining the visa, it’s often a good idea to simply purchase a visa on arrival. Depending on the time of year, the queues can be quite long for visa issuance, but often it’s quick and trouble-free.

So how do you get a Tanzania visa?

Visas can be obtained at the following entry points to the United Republic of Tanzania:

  • Dar Es Salaam International Airport
  • Zanzibar International Airport
  • Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO)
  • Namanga Entry Point (Tanzania-Kenya boarder point)
  • Tunduma
  • Sirari
  • Horohoro
  • Kigoma port
 

At the time of writing, the current Tanzania visa fees (purchased upon arrival) are:

  • US Citizens: $100 (Multiple entry) for one year
  • Non-US Citizens: $50 (Single entry) for six months
  • Non-US Citizens: $100 (Double entry) for six months
 

These fees will need to be paid in cash, and you’ll need a clean page in your passport for the stamp.

You can now apply for an Online Visa to visit the United Republic of Tanzania (both Tanzania Mainland and Zanzibar). You are required to fill in the online form, make payment, and submit your application online. Your form will be internally reviewed and processed.

Applicants will be notified through their e-mails whether their applications have been accepted or rejected. They may also TRACK their application statuses through the online system. Applicants may as well be required to visit the nearest Tanzanian Embassies or Consular Offices for interviews. Follow this link for online visa application : https://eservices.immigration.go.tz/visa

Keynote before you start your online visa Process.

Please consider the following information beforehand.

  • Types of Visa
  • Required documents
  • Countries whose citizens do not require visa on entry
  • Countries whose citizens require approval by the Tanzania Commissioner General of Immigration.

Yellow Fever Vaccination Card

If you are arriving from a country at risk of yellow fever (even if you’ve had a layover), you’ll need to show your Yellow Fever Vaccination card.

Proof of Return or Onward Journey
As a visitor you will likely be asked to show proof of your onward or return ticket out of Tanzania, so be sure to have that information handy (a printout is best) once you land.

Proof of Sufficient Funds

You will have to have sufficient funds to support yourself during your stay in Tanzania, and carry proof should you be asked. It’s not often that an immigration official asks for this, but it can happen.

We strongly recommend that you check your visa requirements well in advance of your trip to avoid unnecessary delays.

Don’t forget any visa requirements for other countries you are visiting or transiting through.

 

Health info for Tanzania/Risk


If you are travelling to Tanzania, vaccines are recommended. Your shots should be up to date before you go to Tanzania. Your healthcare adviser can tell you about shots that will prevent hepatitis A and typhoid, two nasty gastrointestinal illnesses caused by contaminated food and water. There have been outbreaks of cholera, another GI illness, on Zanzibar. Protect yourself by getting the cholera vaccine. You can further reduce the risk of “travellers’ diarrhea” by using only commercially bottled water for drinking and ice cubes. Don’t eat food that you have not peeled yourself or that has not been cooked or boiled.

Think about getting vaccinated against meningococcal meningitis as this is recommended to people going to Tanzania. Meningococcal meningitis is spread person-to-person like a flu or cold, so practise good cough and sneeze etiquette by washing your hands frequently and covering your mouth and nose with your arm when you cough or sneeze.

Do you need a yellow fever certificate in Tanzania? The answer is yes. Your certificate is proof of immunity and a shot should give you lifelong immunity. So long as you keep the certificate safe, you will never need to get another one.

Travellers who plan to visit Tanzania often or stay an extended period should get the hepatitis B shot. Spread by contact with blood or body fluids, hep B is also a risk for people who work in healthcare or dentistry in Tanzania, or for anyone who comes in contact with unsterilized needles or engages in unprotected sex. Children are also at risk of hepatitis B through cuts and scrapes.

Animals in Tanzania can carry rabies. If you might be around dogs or bats, or other animals, make sure you are vaccinated. Children are often more at risk of getting injured by an animal. Runners and cyclists are also common victims of animal bites. Always get prompt medical care if you have been bitten, or scratched by an animal in Tanzania, even if you’ve had your shot, as you may need post-exposure rabies prophylaxis.

Outside major Cities, Dar-es-salaam, Arusha, Mwanza, Kilimanjaro, Dodoma, Mbeya and Tanga there are limited medical facilities. You should ensure you have good travel insurance and also available funds to pay for any treatment or evacuation you may need. It is highly recommended that you purchase travel health insurance before you leave Canada because provincial or territorial health plans may not cover medical costs while outside the country. Contact your provincial or territorial health authority for more information.

Tropical diseases such as Rift Valley fever and sleeping sickness can be contracted in Tanzania: look out for local advice about protecting yourself from these debilitating illnesses.

In Dar Es Salaam during the dry season, daytime temperatures can soar, so seek shade in the middle of the day.

It is possible to contract several mosquito-borne illnesses in Tanzania, including malaria, yellow fever and dengue fever, so it is a very good idea to avoid bites wherever possible. You should wear clothing with good limb coverage and use a reliable insect repellent. Sleep under nets wherever possible. And if a vaccine or prophylaxis is available, make use of it.

Parts of Tanzania are higher than 2,400m, and travellers planning to spend time at a high altitude should take steps to protect themselves against the potentially life-threatening acute mountain sickness. Your healthcare provider can help with this.

There have been cases of the mosquito-borne virus dengue fever in Tanzania. Dengue fever is also known as breakbone fever because of the severe bone, joint and muscular pains it causes, in addition to flu-like fever and headache. There is no vaccine for dengue fever. Avoid mosquito bites by using insect repellents (50% DEET) and by wearing protective clothing. Sleeping with mosquito nets is also recommended.

Malaria prophylaxis will be required for some parts of Tanzania at certain times of year. There is no malaria vaccine, but there are anti-malaria drugs that should be taken before, during and after travelling to certain at-risk countries. Speak with your healthcare provider six weeks before your trip, as not all prophylaxis regimes are appropriate for all regions and all individuals.

The schistosomiasis parasite enters humans through the skin during contact with fresh water. To prevent infection, avoid swimming or paddling in lakes and streams in Tanzania. This condition is also known as bilharzia.

Map of Tanzania Cities

10 Helpful Tanzania Travel Tips – Traveller’s Angle.


The fuel, food, and camping costs are less than many other African nations we have traveled. However, where you save on those costs, you’ll slowly lose money to the Tanzanian park fees. Tanzanian Parks charge foreigners an arm and nearly a leg to enter their parks.

I’m all for paying for the conservation of a natural environment; however when the price is fifty times more than the local price I feel that I am just getting had. The Serengeti, for instance, costs a whopping $76 to enter, the Ngorongoro Crater Conservation will run you $76, and to actually drive any vehicle into the crater it will set you back $297 (a day). Make sure to have your credit card handy because this is the only method of payment accepted at the gate.

This Tanzania travel tip really applies to self-drivers, but the Tanzanian police are littered across the roads of the country just waiting to hand out “tickets.” You will be able to see them from afar in their all white police uniforms sticking a hand out telling you to stop in the middle of the road.

Be sure to stick to the speed limits and only overtake other cars when it’s safe. Self-drivers should also equip their car with a fire extinguisher, wear shoes, safety vest, and red triangles or a bribe may be brewing up. Most fines are 30,000 shillings and the police will attempt to get you to pay on the spot.

If you suspect you are getting bribed insist on an official receipt from the police or tell them you will pay at the next police station. If you really weren’t breaking any rules this should get them off you back, it has gotten us out of many “tickets.”

Throughout our six weeks in Tanzanian, I can’t even count on my hands and toes the number of times we were pulled over. We probably got asked for a bribe five of those times and only ended up paying 30,000 Tanzanian shillings in two instances. One when we were going 11km over the limit and one when we were going 3 km over the speed limit. Yes. 3 km’s.

When dealing with police my best Tanzania travel tip is to remain calm, patient, and polite. Kill ’em with kindness.

Tanzania travel has so much to offer tourists it’s overwhelming. Tanzania has beautiful turquoise beaches in Zanzibar, lush mountain vistas in the Usumbara mountains, the tallest peak in Africa, wild jungles in the Mahale Mountains, and endless plains in the Serengeti. With a country that’s rich in wildlife and culture, it’s hard to get bored.

If you make the effort to travel to Tanzania we would recommend experiencing several different climates. The most popular route for many is to finish a safari or Kilimanjaro climb with some much-needed relaxation on one of the best hotels on Zanzibar. 

 

One of the most important things to know before traveling Tanzania is about the currency. The national currency of Tanzania is the Tanzanian Shilling. At the time of writing the exchange rate is around 2200 shillings to $1 USD. We found ATMs in most major town; however, almost all ATMs have a high withdrawal fee (8000-15000 shilling).

USD is accepted at many tourist hotspots in Tanzania, but it is common to receive a bad exchange rate. You may as well leave your credit cards tucked away since they are rarely accepted outside of tourist hotspots and hotels. 

“I’m sure you won’t find the Tanzanians very friendly,” someone had told us just a few months earlier. We were very much anticipating arriving in Tanzania, but more than a few people had described the locals as unwelcoming, cold, and just overall rude. Hearing this about Tanzanians certainly was not inviting; however, from the second we crossed the border we were blown away by how friendly everyone was.

Not one day passed in the country without hearing children shout “Jambo,” or “hello”. Or meeting adults who would say “Karibu sana” or “welcome” and asking us “habari” or “how are you.” They smiled, they waved, and they welcomed us into their country. It melts my heart thinking about the kindness of the Tanzanians. 

I was surprised to learn how many people don’t know Mt. Kilimanjaro is in Tanzania. The town of Moshi, at the base of Kilimanjaro, is where many adventurers come to start their trek to the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro.

Kilimanjaro is the highest point in Africa at 5895 meters. It’s one of the biggest tourist attractions in Tanzania, but it will set you back about $1500-$3000 to climb it on the cheap end.  If you want the views without the climb I recommend heading to Moshi anyway and trying to get up into the mountains or hike to base camp. Don’t forget the Kilimanjaro beer that is one of the national beers of Tanzania and is readily available at any bar – sweat and hike not included.

It is best not to drink the water in Tanzania. We’ve been getting around most of Africa without having to produce unnecessary waste and save money with our Lifestraw Go; however, in Tanzania, we aren’t even using that.

Bottled water is cheap and readily available here and you can expect to pay anywhere from 1000-2000 shilling per 1.5 liters.  I still recommend purchasing the Lifestraw Go for other points in Africa and for those times when you are in desperate need of filtered water.

Surprisingly enough, the internet actually works quite well in Tanzania (writing this from the back of a taxi right now). Yes, it’s true the internet connection around Africa is generally very poor; however, the 3G connection in Tanzania is spot on. We have been able to get a secure and stable 3G connection from in the middle of the Usambara mountains to the base of Kilimanjaro.

The next best part? The data in Tanzania is very affordable. We decided to get a sim card with Vodacom as soon as we entered the country. The sim card itself cost us 1000 Tanzania shilling, while the actual data cost us 12,000 shilling for 10 GB valid for seven days.  No more completely wireless nights here!

Recommended duration for a safari in Tanzania is:

3 to 5 days for a quick taste of wildlife safari, covering a couple of national parks or. 6 to 8 days for visiting the top parks including Serengeti, Ngororongoro, Tarangire. 9 to 11 days for covering the top parks with a relaxed schedule.

Tanzania is not a cheap travel destination and the most expensive of all countries where we operate. The park entrance fees are quite steep, so going on safari is expensive, especially in the Serengeti and Ngorongoro crater. However, it is definitely possible to enjoy Tanzania with a smaller budget.

Tanzania Safari Travel Advice


  1. Plan your timing carefully: if you want to see the Wildebeest Migration on your safari or enjoy the best beach weather in Zanzibar, make sure your itinerary matches your travel wishes.
  2. Book early for high season: Tanzania’s sought-after safari destinations and well-located camps at Wildebeest Migration hotspots get booked out early, often a year in advance.
  3. Choose your activities: morning and afternoon game drives are standard safari activities, but excursions like night game drives, guided bush walks and hot-air balloon safaris are only allowed in certain areas or camps.
  4. Expect other visitors in high season: Tanzania’s heavyweight national parks like the Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, Lake Manyara and Tarangire can attract a lot of visitors from about June to October. Consider visiting during low or Green Season (about November to March) if you want to escape the crowds and still enjoy great game viewing.
  5. Go private: if it’s exclusivity you want, then head for one of Tanzania’s private reserves. The accommodation is superb, game viewing is as good as the main parks, and extra safari activities (see number 3) are occasionally offered.

Tanzania’s unit of currency is the Tanzanian Shilling, but our advice is to use US Dollars only – and in cash: credit cards and traveller’s cheques (although accepted in most establishments) incur transaction fees. ATMs are found throughout the major towns and cities in Tanzania, but not in the national parks and game reserves.

Note: US Dollar bills printed before 2006 are not accepted in Tanzania.

Tipping lodge staff and drivers/guides is customary for good service on a Tanzania safari, but check first to see whether a service charge has been added to your bill. Tipping is always in addition to the price quoted by your operator and the amount varies depending on the size of your group, the level of luxury of the safari and whether you thought an exceptionally good job was done. When travelling in the major Tanzania cities, a 10% tip is customary in restaurants and bars when a service charge is not included.

When packing for your Tanzania safari, light casual clothing in practical, neutral colours and a warm jacket for evening game drives are a safe bet throughout the year. 

When visiting Zanzibar, it’s important for women to dress modestly in main towns out of respect for Muslim cultural beliefs. T-shirts that cover the shoulders, long skirts and capri pants are generally better options than tank tops and shorts. Beach wear and bathing costumes are acceptable on the beaches and in resorts.

Religious belief is strong in Tanzania, with Christianity and Islam dominating. Most Muslims live on the coast and in Zanzibar; visitors should be aware of the conservative nature of these destinations – especially Stone Town – and dress and behave accordingly.

Tanzanians are renowned for being friendly and harmonious people, however, it is courteous to ask permission before photographing people.

Main International Airports

Kilimanjaro International Airport – Tanzania’s second international airport – serves the Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, Tarangire and Lake Manyara. However, you need to transfer to nearby Arusha Airport for charter flights to these safari destinations. International flights often arrive at Kilimanjaro Airport late in the day, so an overnight stay in Arusha is usually necessary.

Dar-es-Salaam International Airport – Tanzania’s main airport – is the gateway to the Indian Ocean coast and Zanzibar, as well as Nyerere National Park (previously Selous) and Ruaha National Park.

Regional Airports

Arusha Airport – the gateway to northern Tanzania’s safari airstrips – is located about 30 kilometres (18.5 miles) from Kilimanjaro International Airport.

Safari Vehicles

Guided road transfers and game drives in Tanzania are conducted in closed 4x4s with big windows and pop-up roofs, although visitors to destinations like Mahale will enjoy a boat transfer across Lake Tanganyika. Most safari destinations have extensive road networks and closed vehicles are therefore the norm when doing long-distance road transfers between airstrips, camps and lodges in Tanzania. A closed 4×4 game drive vehicle generally has three rows of seating and features a pop-up roof hatch that can be raised for game viewing and taking photographs.

In many ways, Tanzanian history is the history of humankind. Fossils found at Olduvai Gorge, one of the world’s premier archaeological sites, suggest that Tanzania has been settled by hominids for over 2 million years. Iron Age migrations from West Africa were followed by European and Arabian merchants, missionaries and slavers, and by the mid-1800s Zanzibar had become the centre of the East African slave trade. Colonised first by the Germans and then the British, independence came peacefully to mainland Tanganyika in 1961. The addition of Zanzibar in 1964 created the modern state of Tanzania.

Rich in mineral wealth and natural gas, Tanzania’s economy is nevertheless dominated by agriculture, which employs 75% of the workforce and accounts for half the country’s GDP. Tanzania’s main exports include gold, coffee, tea and cotton. But it’s tourism, increasing in importance year after year, that is the country’s biggest foreign exchange earner.

Some of Tanzania’s 120 ethnic groups make up the African population, with a significant numbers of Asians, Arabs and Europeans too. Even with this mix of identities, Tanzania has long promoted a harmonious national culture, one that is based on a subtle but strong social code of courtesy and respect. English and Swahili are the official languages.

Depending on the hotel you are staying at, you may have access to a professional guide throughout your stay. If not, it is worth going to an information center to secure one. With a professional guide, you’ll be able to find the hotspots for rare wildlife, and will have access to the more secure areas.

Without a professional guide, you may miss out on the details and hard-to-find animals on the safaris.

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