Do I need a visa to go to Tanzania?

There are countless reasons to visit Tanzania on the east coast of Africa. Wildlife-filled safaris, sandy beaches and Africa’s tallest mountain are just a few of the reasons why Tanzania should be on everyone’s bucket list.

In the northern part of the country, you will see a different wild animal everywhere you look in the endless plains of the Serengeti. It is said that during the great migration from June to September, you can see up to 30,000 animals on a single game drive.

Not far away stands Africa’s highest peak, Kilimanjaro at 5895m (19,340ft), a mountaineer’s dream. Other mountains call for adventurers – the six-hour hike to the edge of 3188m (10,459ft) Ol Doinyo Lengai (Mountain of God) offers views rivaling Kilimanjaro. Then there are the beach-strewn islands off the east coast of Tanzania.

But that’s just the beginning – there’s something to see in every part of the country, and there are few obstacles to overcome when entering Tanzania. Here is our guide to visa requirements for the United Republic of Tanzania.

Who needs a tourist visa to visit Tanzania?

Citizens of most countries – including European Union countries and the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand, the United States and Canada and citizens of many other Latin American countries and Asia (except Hong Kong and Singapore) – must apply for a visa before travelling. in Tanzania, but getting one is straightforward for most nationalities.

Visitors entering the country for tourism must apply for what is known as an Ordinary Visa, which grants single entry into Tanzania for a stay of up to three months. This is also the type of visa to apply for if you are attending a conference or participating in humanitarian and charitable events. A regular visa costs US$50, but US citizens must apply for a more expensive multiple-entry visa.

Note that visas are valid for three months from the date of issue, so you must enter before that date. Your passport must be valid for six months from the date you enter Tanzania, and you may need to show proof of a return ticket and funds on arrival.

Citizens of Brazil, China, India or Turkey traveling on diplomatic passports or other special passports can enter Tanzania without a visa.

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Multiple entry visas for Tanzania

US citizens (and anyone else planning to enter Tanzania more than once while traveling in East Africa) must obtain a multiple-entry visa. Costing USD 100, this visa class allows multiple entries into Tanzania over a 12-month period, for stays of up to three months per entry. If you are not from the United States, you must justify why you need a multiple-entry visa (for example, to travel overland to Kenya or other neighboring countries) as part of your application .

To be eligible for a multiple entry visa, your passport must be valid for at least six months from the date of entry, and you will need to provide photo ID and proof of a return ticket to Tanzania. You may also be required to provide a deposit and other supporting documents – contact your local Tanzanian embassy or consulate for details.

A safari is almost mandatory on any trip to Tanzania © Sanit Fuangnakhon / Shutterstock

Apply for a Tanzania visa

Tanzania introduced electronic visas, with an easy online application process. When applying through the website, you must provide your passport details and a scanned copy of your passport identity pages, along with a clear photo of yourself and proof of payment. Applications are also possible in some Tanzanian countries embassies and consulates abroadbut not in all countries.

Visas on arrival in Tanzania

In addition to applying for a visa in advance, you can also obtain a visa upon arrival in Tanzania (regardless of your origin). To avoid any headaches, check the latest information on entry requirements from the Tanzania Department of Immigration Services. website before booking your trip.

Visas on arrival are available at Dar es Salaam, Kilimanjaro and Zanzibar international airports, Namanga border post between Tanzania and Kenya and Tunduma border post between Tanzania and Zambia.

Don’t worry when the authorities direct you to the emergency visa on arrival checkpoint – this is where visa on arrival applications are made. Queues can be long and you may be asked for proof of travel and proof of funds.

Two women hiking Mount Kilimanjaro via the Marangu route
Hiking to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro is another iconic Tanzanian experience © thinair28 / Getty Images

Yellow fever vaccination requirements

At the time of writing this report, it was not mandatory for all travelers to produce a yellow vaccination certificate to enter Tanzania. However, if you have traveled to a country where yellow fever is endemic (including many Central African countries) within 21 days of arriving in Tanzania, you will need to produce a vaccination certificate.

Who needs a sponsorship visa for Tanzania?

Citizens of 28 countries in Central Asia and Africa need special permission from the Commissioner General for Immigration to travel to Tanzania. A full list is available on the Department of Immigration Services website e-visa portal.

If you are traveling from one of the countries listed, you will need to apply for your visa at least two months before the proposed travel date. Approval is not guaranteed, so avoid booking flights or making accommodation reservations until you get approval from the Tanzanian authorities.

Outrigger sailboat off Zanzibar
The sunny coast of Zanzibar is tropical perfection © Hugh Sitton / Stocksy United

Transit visas for Tanzania

If you are only entering Tanzania for a few days before traveling to a neighboring country, such as Kenya or Rwanda, a transit visa may suffice. This special class of visa costs only 30 US dollars, but you cannot stay in the republic for more than seven days. You may need to present proof of a visa or travel document for the country you are traveling to.

Business and student visas for Tanzania

While many countries have introduced remote working visas, Tanzania does not currently have such a system in place. If you come to the country for business, you will need to apply for a business visa, which is valid for 90 days. The fee is US$250 and you may need supporting documents from the organization hosting you in Tanzania.

People traveling to Tanzania for research, internships, volunteering or university studies can apply for a student visa. For study periods of less than three months, the fee is 50 USD and can reach 250 USD for longer stays. Note that language students can only obtain a three-month visa and the maximum period for which a student visa can be issued is two years. Exchange students do not have to pay administration fees.

A herd of elephants in front of Mount Kilimanjaro
A family of African elephants gather in the shadow of Mount Kilimanjaro © Ian Lenehan / 500px

Extend a Tanzania visa

Tanzania allows a three-month stay for most visitors, and if you overstay, you can be detained, fined and deported. However, it is possible to extend a three-month visa for an additional three months at the immigration office in Dar es Salaam (and offices in some other major Tanzanian cities).

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