TanzaniaOfficial Name: United Republic of Tanzania
BLANK PASSPORT PAGES:
One page required for visa and entry stamp
TOURIST VISA REQUIRED:
Yellow fever required if traveling from a yellow fever endemic country
CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY:
CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT:
Embassies and Consulates
686 Old Bagamoyo Road,
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Telephone: +(255) 22-229-4122
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(255) 22-229-4000, dial '1' for an emergency operator
Fax: +(255) 22-229-4721
See the Department of State Fact Sheet on Tanzania for information on U.S. – Tanzania relations.
Entry, Exit & Visa Requirements
Visas for U.S. citizens traveling to Tanzania are mandatory. The U.S. Embassy recommends that U.S. citizens obtain visas before traveling Tanzania, but visas are also available at ports of entry upon arrival. A passport valid for a minimum of six months beyond visa issuance and/or date of entry, and at least one blank visa page is required. Visitors who enter on visas must present a roundtrip ticket and demonstrate they have sufficient funds for their stay. Be prepared to show your passport and explain your visa status when entering or departing Zanzibar or when traveling around the mainland.
Volunteer activity – even if the traveler is paying for the opportunity – is prohibited on a tourist visa. If you plan to engage in business or commercial transactions in Tanzania, please consult with the Embassy of Tanzania in Washington, D.C. before applying for a visa. Visit the Embassy of Tanzania website for the most current visa information. Read the page on visas and immigration to ensure you will have the correct status during your visit to Tanzania.
Yellow fever vaccination is required for all travelers arriving from, or having transited through, yellow fever endemic countries. Direct arrivals from non-endemic countries, including all countries in Europe and North America, are not required to show the certificate. Refer to the CDC website for yellow fever vaccination recommendations for Tanzania, and a list of yellow fever endemic countries.
If a public official attempts to solicit the payment of a fine from you, ask to travel to the nearest police station to file a report regarding the incident. Obtain a receipt and a written report of any such transactions. If your passport is seized, ask for a receipt, note the officer’s name, location, and contact details and report it immediately to the U.S. Embassy.
For information on obtaining a residence permit, please contact the Tanzanian Immigration Department's Ministry for Home Affairs website or by telephone.
Dar es Salaam: +255 (0) 22 2850575/6
Zanzibar: +255 (0) 24 223 9148
HIV/AIDS restrictions: The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of Tanzania.
Safety and Security
Terrorist incidents, including the 1998 bombing of the U.S. Embassies in Dar es Salaam and Nairobi more recent attacks on civilians in Arusha, highlight the threat posed by terrorism in East Africa and underscore the capacity of terrorist groups to carry out such attacks against Westerners.
Avoid political rallies and public gatherings in Tanzania. Peaceful demonstrations can turn violent with little or no warning. It is important for visitors and residents to be mindful of their safety, especially in public areas, and to review the Worldwide Caution.
U.S. citizens should take precaution when traveling between Julius Nyerere International Airport and Dar es Salaam. There have been incidents of robberies while cars are stopped at traffic lights. Drivers should lock their doors and keep windows up at all times
To stay connected:
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program so we can keep you up to date with important safety and security announcements.
- Follow the Bureau of Consular Affairs on Twitter and Facebook.
- Bookmark the Bureau of Consular Affairs website, which contains the current Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts as well as the Worldwide Caution.
- Follow the U.S. Embassy in Dar es Salaam on Twitter and visiting the Embassy’s website.
- In the event of an emergency, contact us at 1-888-407-4747 toll-free within the United States and Canada, or via a regular toll line, 1-202-501-4444, from other countries.
- Take some time before traveling to consider your personal security and checking for useful tips for traveling safely abroad.
Crime: We urge you to report any crimes to the closest police station and request a copy of the report to use for any insurance claims.
Muggings, Robberies, and Assaults:
- Do not accept candy, food or drinks from strangers on long-distance busses.
- Stay alert on when walking on beaches, footpaths, and roads, especially on Zanzibar, in Dar es Salaam, and Arusha.
- Avoid carrying a bag, wearing flashy jewelry, or using personal electronics while in public.
- If you must carry a bag, hold it by the handle loosely so you can let go quickly and not be injured if someone in a passing vehicle attempts to it.
- Do not put the strap across your chest as you can be dragged and badly injured. While on safari, visiting parks, hiking, or mountain climbing remain alert to your surroundings and report anything unusual to your tour guide, park ranger or the police.
- If you are in a dangerous situation, hand over all your valuables immediately, comply with the demands, and do not to make eye contact with the aggressors.
We have received reports of assaults originating at the Tazara train station, Ubungo bus station, Dar es Salaam airport, downtown ferry terminal area, and the Slipway on the Msasani Peninsula in Dar es Salaam. Please follow this link for more information on taxis.
ATM/Bank Fraud: To reduce your vulnerability:
- Minimize the amount of cash you carry.
- Avoid using stand-alone ATMs.
- Monitor your account balance regularly and immediately report unusual activity.
- Avoid using debit cards if possible.
- Have sufficient cash or traveler’s checks for your trip if you will be spending time outside of the large cities.
Reputable financial institutions will require the bearer of a traveler’s check to present the original receipt for the checks and proof of identity before completing a transaction.
Home Invasions: U.S. citizens residing in Arusha and Dar es Salaam report a steady increase in crimes targeting the homes of expatriates. These armed home invasions usually involve some violence and some victims have been seriously injured. If you live in Tanzania, ensure that your home has a safe haven, a secure area with reinforced barriers where you can retreat and remain safe if intruders enter. Residents in Arusha and Dar es Salaam strongly recommend retaining a professional security company with 24-hour guards and roving patrols. If you have access to a house alarm, use it.
Hotel Safety: Consider a hotel’s safety protocols when booking your stay:
- Is entry restricted to guests and staff?
- Are there gates?
- Can you lock the windows and doors?
- Do uniformed security guards patrol the grounds?
- If you use a hotel safe, ensure it is bolted and secured to the furniture.
- Drive with doors locked and windows rolled up.
- Do not to stop in unpopulated areas.
- Travel in convoys if possible.
- Be wary of drivers of stopped cars flagging motorists down for assistance.
Dar es Salaam: Be very careful in the Coco Beach area of Touré Drive on Msasani Peninsula, the scenic beachfront road leading from the Sea Cliff Hotel into town. The U.S. Embassy receives regular reports of muggings, pick-pockets, and thefts from cars. This road is a concern any time of day or night, whether you are on foot or in a vehicle. U.S. government personnel are cautioned against walking or running along Touré Drive and Haile Selassie Road on the Msasani Peninsula due to the prevalence of assaults. Avoid areas where there aren't houses or buildings on both sides of the road as assailants like to hide in areas covered by brush. Be cautious about walking on paths near the water, as serious erosion has degraded the soil.
Zanzibar: Beware of pickpockets, assaults, and bag snatching in Zanzibar. Wear modest dress and keep a low profile, especially on Friday afternoons, the traditional time to attend mosque.
Arusha: In Arusha, the high number of foreign tourists attracts pickpockets and bag snatchers. You are strongly discouraged from walking around at dusk or at night, and to avoid the section of Arusha on the far side of the Themi River at all times when on foot. Many muggings have occurred near the clock tower in the center of town.
In many countries around the world, counterfeit and pirated goods are widely available. Whether transactions involving such products are legal or illegal under local law, bringing them back to the United States may result in forfeitures and/or fines.
Victims of Crime:
U.S. citizen victims of sexual assault should report crimes to the local police at 111 and contact the U.S. Embassy at 255 22 229 4122 and at 255 22 229 4000, dial ‘1’ for an emergency operator.
Some police stations in Dar es Salaam (such as Oysterbay and Selander Bridge) offer a special desk for tourists to report crimes. However, they have limited daytime hours. In general, police stations may not have an English-speaker available or be staffed to make a written report even during opening hours.
Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting the crime.
See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.
- help you find appropriate medical care
- assist you in reporting a crime to the police
- contact relatives or friends with your written consent
- explain the local criminal justice process in general terms
- provide a list of local attorneys
- provide our information on victim’s compensation programs in the U.S.
- provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited medical support in cases of destitution
- help you find accommodation and arrange flights home
- replace a stolen or lost passport
Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence may contact the Embassy for assistance.
For further information:
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
- Call us in Washington at 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
- See the State Department's travel website for Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, and Travel Alerts.
- Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
- See traveling safely abroad for useful travel tips.
Local Laws & Special Circumstances
Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. Penalties for possession or sale of illegal drugs of any kind are severe in Tanzania, with a minimum of seven years for simple possession and 30 years to life for more serious charges.
The U.S. Embassy maintains a list of attorneys here.
Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately. Persons violating Tanzania's laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. See our webpage for further information.
Photography: Photographing military installations is forbidden. Individuals have been detained and/or had their cameras and film confiscated for taking pictures of hospitals, schools, bridges, industrial sites, and airports. Sites where photography is prohibited are not always marked.
Animal products: In Tanzania, it is illegal to:
- Export an animal or animal part (including live or dead animal parts, such as skins and bones, feathers, or shells), whether purchased or received as a gift, without export certification from the government.
- Gather, collect, or remove any flora or fauna, including seashells, from marine parks.
Penalties include a fine and/or imprisonment.
Special Circumstances: Every year, thousands of U.S. citizens enjoy the natural wonders of Tanzania. If you have chronic health problems, consider the risks before joining an extended trip in the African wilderness where emergency medical help is not readily available.
- Maintain a safe distance from animals
- Stay in the vehicle or protected enclosure when venturing into game parks.
- Know the signs of altitude sickness.
- Heed the advice of the professionals organizing the ascent .
- Don't try to save money by selecting a tour guide who offers a faster ascent - your body needs the extra day(s) to acclimate to the altitude.
- If you experience altitude sickness, descend immediately and seek medical help.
What to Wear: While visiting Tanzania, you should dress modestly (upper arms and legs covered and no exposed midriffs) outside of the hotel or resort and when arriving and departing the island.
Ramadan: During the holy month of Ramadan, when Muslims fast during daylight hours, avoid eating, drinking, smoking, or chewing gum in public except in hotels or restaurants.
Scams: U.S. businesspersons have been victims of scams involving the alleged sale of gold, diamonds, gemstones, minerals, and other natural resources. You should be very cautious of seemingly lucrative business opportunities offered by agents based in, or with ties to, Tanzania and neighboring countries.
There are also scams involving offers to arrange volunteer visas and safari excursions. Vet anyone offering to provide you such a service and check their references carefully. Remember, if a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Faith-Based Travelers: See the Department of State’s International Religious Freedom Report.
LGBT Rights: Public displays of affection between persons of the opposite gender garner serious disapproval; those between persons of the same gender risk provoking violent reactions. Consensual same-sex activity is illegal on the mainland and in Zanzibar.
Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance: While in Tanzania, individuals with disabilities may find accessibility and accommodation very different from the United States. Sidewalks are nearly non-existent and there are frequent power outages. The Tanzanian constitution prohibits discrimination against persons with disabilities.
Women Travelers should hire only legitimate tour guides, preferably arranged by a known travel agency or hotel. Be wary of offers of sightseeing from new contacts and avoid being alone with strangers who propose special, customized sightseeing trips. Practice common sense and remain vigilant regarding your surroundings. If a situation does not seem right, follow your instincts and leave the scene immediately. If you are the victim of sexual assault, see your doctor immediately to ask about the availability of post-exposure HIV prophylaxis or seek medical care outside of Tanzania if needed. See our travel tips for Women Travelers.
We do not pay medical bills. Be aware that U.S. Medicare does not apply overseas.
Click here to access the list of medical facilities in Tanzania from the Embassy website.
Medical Insurance: Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. Most care providers overseas only accept cash payments. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage.
We strongly recommend supplemental insurance (our webpage) to cover medical evacuation.
Carry prescription medication in original packaging, along with your doctor’s prescription.
The following diseases are prevalent:
Vaccinations: Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Further health information:
Travel & Transportation
Road Conditions and Safety: Road travel in Tanzania can be extremely dangerous, especially at night. Traffic in Tanzania moves on the left. Drivers and pedestrians alike must maintain vigilance. Although a number of inter-city highways are periodically repaved and maintained, maintenance schedules are erratic and even good roads may deteriorate precipitously in periods of inclement weather. During the rainy seasons (late March to mid-June and mid-November to mid-December), many roads in Tanzania, both urban and rural, are passable only with four-wheel-drive vehicles.
Traffic Laws: Tanzanian law requires all motor vehicle operators to be in possession of a valid driver’s license. Persons staying in Tanzania for six months or less may use a valid U.S. driver’s license after validation by local traffic authorities, or an international driver’s license. Persons intending to remain in Tanzania for more than six months are required to obtain a Tanzanian driver’s license. All vehicles are required to carry third-party liability insurance and to post the decal in the front window.
Public Transportation: Use taxis or hire a driver from a reputable source. When traveling by taxi:
- Do not ride in a taxi hailed by someone you do not know.
- Ask the hotel or restaurant to recommend a driver. Before entering the vehicle, ask the driver to see their credentials, take a picture of the taxi license plates, and send the photo to a friend.
- Make sure the child locks are not engaged and the door can be opened from the inside.
- After entering, lock the doors and roll up the windows. If the driver unlocks the doors or rolls down the windows, exit immediately.
- Do not ride in taxis already carrying a passenger. If a taxi stops to allow another person to enter, exit immediately.
Inter-city transportation between major destinations, such as Arusha and Dar es Salaam, are serviced by a variety of carriers. You should select carriers with modern equipment.
Travelers should also avoid using dala-dala microbuses and bajaji, three-wheeled taxis.
Ferries traveling between the mainland and Zanzibar may be unsafe. When traveling by ferry:
- Travel on a high-speed ferry.
- Purchase your tickets inside the ferry terminal, not from vendors outside.
- Tickets should include your name, date of travel, and class of travel.
- Travel during daylight with good visibility, fair weather, and calm water.
- Avoid overcrowded vessels or those which lack sufficient life vests, easy access to exits, and a functioning communications system.
- Become familiar with emergency procedures on board, especially the locations of life jackets and emergency exits.
- Beware of pickpockets aboard the ferry, and be wary even of uniformed personnel who seek to assist you.
See our Road Safety page for more information.
Aviation Safety Oversight: As there is no direct commercial air service to the United States by carriers registered in Tanzania, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed the government of Tanzania's Civil Aviation Authority for compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards. Further information may be found on the FAA's safety assessment page.