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
Tanzania is a developing East African nation noted for its history of stability and astounding natural beauty. A robust tourism industry provides all levels of tourist amenities, although higher-end facilities are concentrated mainly in the cities and selected game parks. The United Republic of Tanzania was formed in 1964 with the union of the mainland country of Tanganyika and the Zanzibar archipelago, which includes the islands of Unguja and Pemba. Unguja is the much larger and populous of the two islands and is commonly referred to as Zanzibar. The main city of Zanzibar is known as Stone Town. Although part of the union government, Zanzibar has its own president, court system, and legislature, and exercises considerable autonomy. The U.S. Embassy is in Tanzania’s largest city, Dar es Salaam, the location of most government offices, all embassies, and the commercial center of the country. Read the Department of State Fact Sheet on Tanzania for additional information on U.S. – Tanzania relations.
Entry, Exit & Visa Requirements
Yellow fever vaccinations are required for all travelers from yellow fever endemic countries/regions. All individuals in transit for twelve (12) hours or more, and/or who leave the immediate airport vicinity, in a yellow fever endemic area are required to show proof of vaccination upon arrival in any port of debarkation in Tanzania. However, direct arrivals from non-endemic countries in Europe and North America are not required to show the certificate. We recommend you have yellow fever immunization and carry your WHO immunization card with you in case you have emergency travel to a country that requires proof of immunization, such as South Africa. Please refer to the CDC website for a list of yellow fever endemic countries.
A passport valid for a minimum of six months beyond the visa issuance and a valid visa are required for travel to Tanzania. Visitors who enter on visas must present a roundtrip ticket and demonstrate they have sufficient funds for their stay in Tanzania. Ensure you have at least one completely blank visa page prior to entering the country. U.S. citizens with valid passports may obtain a visa from the Embassy of Tanzania before arrival in Tanzania or at any port of entry staffed by immigration officials. The U.S. Embassy recommends that U.S. citizens obtain their visas before arriving in Tanzania to avoid potential delays at entry points. The current fee for a visa is US $100 for a 12-month multiple-entry tourist visa. Some border posts and embassies may make hand-written annotations on the computer printed visa due to technical difficulties. Be prepared to show your passport and explain your visa status when entering or departing Zanzibar or when traveling around the mainland.
Tanzanian law governing visa categories is very strict. Volunteer activity – even if the traveler is paying for the opportunity – is prohibited on a tourist visa. If you are traveling to Tanzania for short or long-term volunteer, study, and/or research projects, you should ensure you have the right type of visa before entering the country. If you plan to engage in business or commercial transactions in Tanzania, please consult with the Embassy of Tanzania in Washington, D.C. and/or an attorney before you apply for entry to Tanzania. Fines for having the wrong type of visa can be as high as US $600. Contact the Embassy of Tanzania in Washington, D.C. prior to departure to obtain 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.
Maintain control of your U.S. passport while in Tanzania. Keep a photocopy of your passport, visa, and/or residence permit in a separate location in case your passport is lost or stolen or if needed to prove your identity and U.S. citizenship. Travelers and U.S. citizens resident in Tanzania are strongly urged to maintain legal immigration status while in Tanzania to avoid difficulties with local immigration authorities. If you do not have the right type of visa and entry stamp when you leave Tanzania, you may need to visit the immigration office, incurring possible delays and financial obligations.
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.
Information about dual nationality or the prevention of international child abduction can be found on our website. For further information about customs regulations, please read our Customs Information page.
Safety and Security
Past terrorist incidents highlight the continued threat posed by terrorism in East Africa and underscore the capacity of terrorist groups to carry out such attacks against Westerners. Although the lethal 1998 terrorist bombing of the U.S. Embassies in Dar es Salaam and Nairobi may seem remote, U.S. citizens should be aware of the ongoing risk of indiscriminate attacks on civilian targets. Avoid political rallies and public gatherings throughout Tanzania. Peaceful demonstrations can turn violent with little or no warning, not only when riot police clash with demonstrators, but also when crowds gather.
Several incidents posing safety and security risks have occurred in the past two years, including:
- incidents of looting and burning of churches in Dar es Salaam and Stone Town;
- demonstrations in Dar, Arusha, Stone Town, and Mtwara, some of which led to clashes between demonstrators and police, resulting in loss of property, injuries, and deaths;
- an acid attack against a Muslim imam in Zanzibar;
- two shootings that targeted Catholic priests in Stone Town, one of which resulted in a death;
- the killing of a priest in Geita, in northwestern Tanzania, during an altercation between Christians and Muslims regarding meat butchering
- an attack with an explosive device at a Catholic church opening in Arusha, resulting in four deaths and several injuries;
- demonstrations in Mtwara, resulting in loss of property, injuries, and deaths;
- an explosive device tossed into a crowd gathered for an opposition political rally in Arusha resulting in three deaths and several injuries;
- acid thrown from a motorcycle at a Tanzanian businessman in Dar es Salaam;
- a bomb threat at a Lutheran church in Dar es Salaam;
- incendiary devices thrown at a Lutheran church in Dar es Salaam resulting in property damage;
- an acid attack on two female foreign tourists in Stone Town;
- an acid attack on a Catholic priest in Stone Town;
- the daytime rape of a U.S. citizen walking from the beach to her hotel;
- Three small explosions in Stone Town and nearby communities (two churches and one restaurant/bar on the waterfront).
This list of serious security incidents underscores the importance for visitors and residents to be mindful of their safety, especially in public areas, and to review the Worldwide Caution.
The population in Zanzibar is 98 percent Muslim and generally holds traditional values. The U.S. Embassy has learned of women being harassed for dressing immodestly in public. U.S. citizens are advised to dress modestly (upper arms and legs covered, no exposed midriffs) outside of their hotel or resort and when arriving and departing the island, and to keep a low profile in public. The incidence of criminal and violent activity continues to rise. Travelers should exercise caution at all times. 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. Traveling alone, even during the day, may pose risks.
Near the Rwandan border on segments of the Rusomo-Kahama road, U.S. Embassy officials are required to request police escorts because of armed bandit attacks.
Inter-city transportation between major destinations, such as Arusha and Dar es Salaam, are serviced by a variety of carriers that offer differing levels of safety and comfort. U.S. citizens who travel by bus are urged to select carriers with modern equipment and avoid riding in vehicles that are in obvious disrepair. U. S. citizens report being robbed on long-distance buses in Tanzania after accepting apparently drug-laced food and drink offered to them from other passengers. Secure your belongings and passport if you disembark for a short break en route to your destination. Road travel in Tanzania is extremely dangerous, especially at night.
Travelers are strongly encouraged to use taxis or hire a driver from a reputable source for transportation. Do not ride in a taxi hailed for you by someone you do not know well. Ask the hotel or restaurant to recommend a driver. U.S. citizens have been victims of robberies when using taxis in Dar es Salaam. A common scenario involves the driver picking up another passenger who then threatens and robs the victim, forcing the person to make a series of ATM withdrawals until reaching the daily maximum limit. Do not ride in taxis which already carry a passenger. If a taxi stops to allow another person to enter, exit immediately. 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. If you are in a dangerous situation, your best strategy is to hand over all your valuables immediately, comply with the demands, and not to make eye contact with the aggressors. Victims who remain docile during such an ordeal have survived with minor injuries. Please follow this link for more information on taxis.
Travelers should also avoid using dala-dala microbuses and bajaji three-wheeled taxis which are poorly maintained and unsafe. When traveling in a car, lock your doors and hide your valuables from sight.
Ferries traveling between the mainland and Zanzibar have been known to capsize, resulting in drowning deaths and injuries. Storms can also cause rogue waves to break over the ship decks causing injuries and drowning. Marine rescue and emergency response capabilities are limited. If you travel by ferry to Zanzibar, opt for the high-speed ferry. Purchase your tickets only inside the ferry terminal, not from vendors outside. As you approach the terminal, you will be approached by aggressive salesmen. Do not hand them your bags nor accept any assistance from them. When you purchase a ticket, it 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. Some vessels are not maintained regularly and may lack basic safety and navigational aids. Beware of pickpockets aboard the ferry, and be wary even of uniformed personnel who seek to assist you.
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 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: Crime is a serious problem in Tanzania, and visitors should be alert and cautious. Street crime in Dar es Salaam is common and includes mugging, bag snatching, vehicle theft, "smash and grab" attacks on vehicles, armed robbery, burglary, and home invasions. Thieves and pickpockets steal from pedestrians and passengers on public transportation. Prowlers enter occupied and unoccupied houses and commercial establishments, looking for open windows and doors to gain access to dwellings (and hotel rooms) to steal electronics, jewelry, and money. If you use a hotel safe, ensure it is bolted and secured to the furniture. 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.
Firearm-related crimes are becoming more common, although criminals often use machetes and sticks. A series of robberies involving increasing levels of violence has occurred along the coast and on Zanzibar. In 2008 - 2009, we received reports of robbers holding tour buses and dive boats at gunpoint as well as a series of armed robberies in hotels along the east coast of Unguja (the main island) in Zanzibar. In 2013 and 2014 we have received reports of armed robberies at small hotels, lodges, and private residences in northern and eastern Zanzibar.
Muggings, Robberies, and Assaults: Pedestrians on deserted or crowded beaches, footpaths, and roads are often targeted by criminals. This is especially true on Zanzibar, in Dar es Salaam, and Arusha. Although group travel does not guarantee your safety, you should not travel alone. Avoid carrying a bag, wearing flashy jewelry, or using or displaying electronics while walking 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 snatch your bag. Do not put the strap across your chest as you can be dragged and badly injured. Limit the amount of cash you carry to what is needed for that specific activity. Secure valuables, such as passports, jewelry, and airline tickets, in a hotel safe or other secure location. Carefully guard your camera and phone. Credit cards should only be used in reputable tourist hotels. Whereas long-term residents used to note a seasonal spike in crime (December - January), reports of robbery and violent assault now occur year-round. Crime is not limited to urban areas. You are still at risk for being robbed and/or assaulted while on safari, visiting parks, hiking, or mountain climbing. Minimize the amount of cash you carry. Be discreet with your personal items. Remain alert to your surroundings and report anything unusual to your tour guide, park ranger, or police.
Sexual assaults involving tourists are also a concern. 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. Travel with others when possible. 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. Please see the Department of State’s travel tips for women travelers.
ATM/Bank Fraud: Tanzania is primarily a cash economy. Some major hotels accept credit cards, but this is uncommon even in larger urban areas. Using a credit or debit card can make you vulnerable to fraud. There have been numerous recent reports of U.S. citizens becoming victims of fraud through use of debit or credit cards. Exercise caution when using ATM, debit, and credit cards in Tanzania and leave the area if you believe you are being watched. Avoid using standalone ATMs; use only ATMs that are attached to a bank. Monitor your account balance regularly and immediately report unusual activity. Debit cards should be avoided if possible, as your account can be emptied overnight and you have no recourse to dispute the transaction as is possible with credit cards. There have been reports of ATMs retaining cards and accounts being emptied in addition to the apparent use of skimming devices on ATMs targeting U.S. dollar denominated bank accounts. You should bring 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. U.S. citizens should ensure that homes have a safe haven, a secure area with reinforced barriers where inhabitants can retreat and remain safe if intruders enter the home. 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. Routinely check your doors and windows to ensure they are locked and the grills are intact.
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? Some bandits invaded the guest house of a convent in Arusha last year, breaking down the doors with machetes and rocks and robbing the guests of their cash, electronics, and personal possessions. Assailants also robbed a lodge in Zanzibar this past year, injuring the owner and stealing cash and laptops.
Carjackings have occurred in both rural and urban areas. Visitors are advised to drive with doors locked and windows rolled up. Travelers are urged not to stop in unpopulated areas and to travel in convoys if possible. Be wary of drivers of stopped cars flagging motorists down for assistance, as it might be a ploy to rob travelers.
Business Scams: There have been several recent cases of U.S. businesspersons who have fallen victim to scams involving the sale of gold, diamonds, gemstones, minerals, and other resources. Potential buyers are urged to be very cautious of seemingly lucrative business opportunities offered by agents based in or with ties to Tanzania and neighboring countries. Many U.S. citizens have reportedly lost sizable amounts of money on such deals, valued up to a few million U.S. dollars.
Visa and Safari Scams: We have received reports of persons offering to arrange volunteer visas for a fee, then absconding with the money without providing the visa. The same is true for persons advertising safari excursions, who collect half the fee up front, but then do not pick up the travelers for the safari. Complete a thorough review of anyone offering to provide you a service and check references carefully.
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. We receive 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 walking on paths near the water because of serious erosion which 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.
Mtwara: This area is the center of Tanzania’s nascent oil and gas industry. There have been numerous demonstrations and gatherings by local residents concerning economic issues. Avoid crowds; even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn violent.
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: If you or someone you know becomes the victim of a crime abroad, you should contact the local police and the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. We can:
- Replace a stolen passport;
- Help you find appropriate medical care if you are the victim of violent crimes such as assault or rape;
- Put you in contact with the appropriate police authorities, and if you want us to, we can contact family members or friends;
- Help you understand the local criminal justice process and direct you to local attorneys, although it is important to remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting the crime.
The local equivalent to the “911” emergency telephone number in Tanzania is “111.”
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.
Please see our information on Victims of Crime, including possible victim compensation programs in the United States.
Local Laws & Special Circumstances
CRIMINAL PENALTIES: While you are traveling in Tanzania, you are subject to its laws. Foreign laws and legal systems can be vastly different than our own. If you break local laws in Tanzania, your U.S. passport won’t help you avoid arrest or prosecution. It’s very important to know what’s legal and what’s not wherever you go.
Persons violating Tanzania's laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. Keep a photocopy of your U.S. passport on you at all times. If you are detained, immediately contact the U.S. Embassy. Photography of 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. Installations that are prohibited from being photographed are not always marked.
According to the Wildlife Conservation Act of 2009, you cannot export an animal or animal part (including live or dead animal parts, such as skins and bones, feathers, or shells) without export certification from the government. Nor can you export any such products received as a gift or exchange without the correct documentation issued by the government. Although this law is selectively enforced, the penalties can range from a fine and/or two to five years imprisonment. Be aware that The Marine Parks and Reserves Act of 1994 declares it is illegal to gather, collect, or remove any flora or fauna, including seashells, from marine parks. Penalties include a fine and/or imprisonment of up to two years.
There are also some things that might be legal in the country you visit, but still illegal in the United States. You can be prosecuted in the United States for engaging in sexual conduct with children or for using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country regardless of the legality of these activities under that country’s laws. Counterfeit and pirated goods are illegal in the United States and if you purchase them in a foreign country, you may be breaking local law as well.
Arrest notifications in host country: While some countries will automatically notify the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate if a U.S. citizen is detained or arrested in that country, others may not. Tanzanian officials rarely automatically notify the U.S. Embassy when a U.S. citizen is detained for questioning, arrested, or even charged. To ensure that the United States is aware of your circumstances, request that the police and prison officials notify the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate as soon as you are arrested or detained overseas. If possible, also ask a contact in Tanzania or the United States to notify the Embassy if you are detained.
The U.S. Embassy maintains a list of attorneys here.
SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES: Every year, many thousands of U.S. citizens enjoy the natural wonders of Tanzania. However, these activities do have inherent risks. U.S. citizens have died while on safari from accidents, including fatal encounters with wildlife, or from natural causes related to the exertion of the trip or other environmental factors such as rock slides or succumbing to altitude sickness or hypothermia. Safaris and mountain expeditions in general require sustained physical exertion and can aggravate existing chronic health problems. Most tour operators offer structured, safe excursions into parks, the mountains, and other wildlife areas. You are responsible for your own safety. Maintain a safe distance from animals; stay in the vehicle or protected enclosure when venturing into game parks. Persons with chronic health problems should weigh the risks before joining an extended trip in the African wilderness. Climbers should familiarize themselves with the signs of altitude sickness and heed the advice of the professionals organizing the ascents. Don't try to save money by selecting a tour guide who offers a faster ascent of Mt. Kilimanjaro (19,341 feet above sea level) or Mt. Meru (14,977 feet). Your body needs the extra day(s) to acclimate to the altitude. If you experience altitude sickness, descend the mountain immediately and seek medical help. Have a complete physical before attempting exercise at high altitude. Tanzania’s emergency response capabilities are extremely limited and medical care falls short of U.S. standards.
LGBT RIGHTS: Tanzania is a conservative society. 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. On the mainland acts of “gross indecency” between persons of the same sex are punishable by up to five years in prison. Same-sex intercourse carries a prison sentence of 30 years to life. The law in Zanzibar establishes a penalty of up to 14 years’ imprisonment for men who engage in same-sex sexual activity and five years for women. Since the burden of proof in such cases is significant, the law is rarely applied. In the past, individuals suspected of being gay or lesbian have instead been charged with loitering or prostitution. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons face societal discrimination that restricts their access to health care, housing, and employment. There is no openly gay community in Tanzania; discretion will greatly reduce the chance of any problems. For more detailed information about LGBT rights in Tanzania you may review the State Department’s annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices. For further information on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) travel, please read our LGBT Travel Information page.
ACCESSIBILITY: While in Tanzania, individuals with disabilities may find accessibility and accommodation very different from the United States. The Tanzanian constitution prohibits discrimination against persons with disabilities. In 2010, the Government of Tanzania passed the Persons with Disability Act to address the overall protection of disabled persons. Although the government mandates access to public buildings, transportation, and government services for persons with disabilities, few accommodations exist. Sidewalks are nearly non-existent and there are frequent power outages.
Please make sure that you have the correct immunizations before travelling to Tanzania. You may wish to consult your physician or travel clinic for detailed explanations of required and recommended immunizations.
Medical facilities are limited and medicines are sometimes unavailable, even in Dar es Salaam. There are hospitals and clinics on Zanzibar capable of treating minor ailments. Serious ailments require returning to Dar es Salaam or travel to Nairobi or South Africa for treatment. If you are climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, the Tanzanian capacity for emergency medical response is extremely limited and you may need to descend the mountain on your own to get help. For any significant medical problem in Dar es Salaam, travelers should travel to Nairobi or South Africa where more advanced medical care is available. U.S. citizens are advised to travel with a sufficient supply of prescription medication to last for the duration of the trip. Pharmacies (known as "duka la dawa") may carry recognizable brands, but the supply and quality are inconsistent.
Dengue and malaria are mosquito borne illnesses that are present in Tanzania and Zanzibar.
Travelers should carry and use CDC recommended insect repellents containing either 20 percent DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR3535. Treating clothing and tents with permethrin and sleeping in screened or air conditioned rooms under insecticide-impregnated mosquito nets will help diminish bites from mosquitoes as well as ticks, fleas, and chiggers.
Malaria is a serious and sometimes fatal disease that is highly prevalent throughout Tanzania in all seasons but especially during the rainy season from November through May. Before traveling you should discuss with your doctor which is the best medication for you to avoid malaria. Atovaquone-proguanil (Malarone), doxycycline, or mefloquine (Lariam) are appropriate antimalarials for this region. For information that can help you and your doctor decide which of these drugs would be best for you, please see the CDC’s “Choosing a Drug to Prevent Malaria.” If you become ill with a fever or flu-like illness while traveling in Tanzania, or for up to one year after returning home, you should seek prompt medical attention and tell the physician your travel history and what antimalarials you have been taking.
Dengue is a virus spread by day biting mosquitoes (in contrast to the night biting malaria carrying mosquitoes). Like malaria, preventing mosquito biting is the most effective way to avoid dengue.
Diarrheal illness is very common among travelers in Tanzania, even in large cities and luxury accommodations. Travelers can diminish diarrhea risk through scrupulous washing of hands and use of hand sanitizers, especially before food preparation and eating. The greatest risk of traveler’s diarrhea is from contaminated food. Choose foods and beverages carefully to lower your risk (see Food & Water Safety). Eat only food that is cooked and served hot; avoid food that has been sitting on a buffet. Eat raw fruits and vegetables only if you have washed them in clean water or peeled them. Drink only beverages from factory-sealed containers, and avoid ice (because it may have been made from unclean water). Talk to your doctor about short course antibiotics and loperamide to take with you in case of diarrhea while traveling.
All routinely recommended immunizations for the United States should be up to date. Measles, mumps, rubella, tetanus, pertussis and chickenpox are much more common than in the United States, especially among children. Additionally, hepatitis A and typhoid immunization is recommended for all travelers. Hepatitis B vaccine is recommended for all those who may have sexual contacts, tattoos, or require medical treatment while in Tanzania.
Rabies immunization is recommended for all travelers who will stay for more than four weeks, travel in rural areas, or expect animal exposure. Even in urban areas, dogs may have rabies. Bites and scratches from dogs, bats, or other mammals should be immediately cleaned with soap and water and medical evaluation sought to determine if additional rabies immunization is warranted.
Schistosomiasis is caused by a parasitic worm that is spread by fresh water snails. The larval stage of the worm can burrow through your skin when in contact with contaminated fresh water. Avoid wading, swimming, bathing, or drinking from bodies of fresh water such as canals, lakes, rivers, streams, or springs. Significant risk exists throughout the country. Highest risk exists in Lake Victoria, Lake Malawi, and surrounding regions. Travelers should avoid freshwater exposure.
Tuberculosis is an increasingly serious health concern in Tanzania. For further information, please consult the CDC's information on TB.
The HIV infection rate in the general population is 5.1 percent. The infection rate is considerably higher among sex workers and their clients, intravenous drug users, and men who have sex with men. Data indicates that injection drug use, specifically heroin, is on the rise in urban areas of Tanzania and Zanzibar. Studies carried out in Dar es Salaam indicate that HIV prevalence is 42 percent among people who inject drugs (2007) and 31.4 percent among sex workers (2010). Unpublished data for men who have sex with men in Dar es Salaam indicates a prevalence of over 30 percent (2012). Travelers should be aware of the related health and legal risks associated with the commercial sex industry.
East African Trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness) is carried by the tse-tse fly, which is endemic to the northern safari circuit of Tanzania. The disease itself is very rare but present. Travelers are advised to use normal precautions to avoid insect bites. Avoid wearing dark colors which attract the insect. Prompt diagnosis and treatment are essential if there is an infection. If symptoms appear, even months later, health care practitioners should be told of the visit to East Africa and the possibility of exposure. For more information, visit the following CDC link on African sleeping sickness.
We strongly urge you to purchase full medical evacuation insurance for your stay in Tanzania due to poor infrastructure, very limited emergency response capabilities, and the remoteness of tourist destinations. Please see the State Department’s brochure on Air Ambulance/MedEvac/Medical Escort Providers.
Click here to access the list of medical facilities in Tanzania from the Embassy website.
You can find detailed information on vaccinations and other health precautions on the CDC website. For information about outbreaks of infectious diseases abroad, consult the World Health Organization (WHO) website. The WHO website also contains additional health information for travelers, including detailed country-specific health information.
Travel & Transportation
TRAFFIC SAFETY AND ROAD CONDITIONS: While in Tanzania, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. The information below concerning Tanzania is provided for general reference only, and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.
Road and traffic conditions in Tanzania differ markedly from those found in the United States and present hazards that require drivers to exercise continual alertness and caution. Traffic in Tanzania moves on the left. Drivers and pedestrians alike must maintain vigilance, looking both ways before turning or crossing a road.
Drivers are advised against nighttime travel. Roadways are often not marked and many lack both streetlights and shoulders. Pedestrians, cyclists, and animals are often encountered on unlit roads after dark, as are slow-moving trucks and cars traveling without lights. Carjacking and other related crimes are more common during the nighttime hours. Traveling in rural areas after dark is strongly discouraged. Remain cautious and alert when stopping for red lights at night, but be very careful proceeding through intersections as other cars may also be reluctant to stop. Always keep your doors and windows locked and valuables stored out of sight.
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 season (late March to mid-June), many roads in Tanzania, both urban and rural, are passable only with four-wheel-drive vehicles.
In urban areas, it is common to find main arterial roads paved and maintained, while secondary streets are severely rutted and passable only with high-clearance vehicles. Traffic lights are often out of order, and care should be exercised at any traffic intersection, whether controlled or not, as many drivers disregard signals. Excessive speed, unpredictable driving habits, and the lack of basic safety equipment on many vehicles pose serious traffic hazards.
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.
Driving under the influence is against the law. A maximum blood-alcohol content of 0.08 percent is permitted. Law enforcement is becoming more sensitive to this issue due to the high rate of motor vehicle accidents. Possession of marijuana carries a penalty of a five-year sentence with additional fines. Penalties for possessing, using, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Tanzania are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines. Using a cell phone while driving is not against the law, but ill-advised.
Please refer to 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.