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Tanzania Travel Tips

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Lone Elephant in TanzaniaPassports and Visas - In Tanzania, visas are required by most foreign nationals whether visiting for a holiday or to conduct business.

Tanzania does permit visa free travel for a period of up to three months to some foreign nationals, mainly those from African and Asian countries however in most cases, with the exceptions of Kenya and Uganda, these visitors will still to obtain entry permit clearance.

A Global Visas immigration will be able to advice you of the exact visa requirements for citizens of your country of residence travelling to Tanzania.

Visit our online Tanzania visa assessment form now to get started on your visa application. Our assessment form is quick and easy to complete, just answer a few simple questions and one of our immigration consultants will respond to your enquiry.

Tourist – Business - Research

For foreign nationals from countries who do not receive the three-month visa exemption it will be necessary to apply for a Tanzanian visa.

Tanzanian Tourist visa

In Tanzania, tourist visas may be issued as single or multiple entry permits and are valid for a maximum period of three or six months respectively. As with short-term visit visas and business visas is many destinations, these time limits are the maximum period for visas may be granted but do not necessarily reflect the grant that will be issued.

Requirements
  • Photocopy of round-trip, airline tickets or itinerary.
  • Photocopy of the statement showing sufficient funds for the trip.

Tanzanian Business visa

Tanzanian business visas are also issued for either a single entry of multiple entries and are granted a maximum duration of three of six months. As with short term business visit visas in most destinations a visa of this kind does not constitute a work permit or employment visa and does not entitle the holder to work in Tanzania whether in paid or unpaid employment.

Business visas are a temporary immigration solution designed to allow applicants to engage in a range of business related activities including attending meetings and business conferences and researching potential buyers or suppliers.

Requirements

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.

All Tanzanian visa applications must be accompanied by a valid passport form the applicant's country of origin. For candidates who are living in a country which is not their country of origin, proof of residence must also be supplied. In all cases, passports must be valid for a minimum of six months after the duration of the visa. Where candidates are applying for Tanzanian business visas, a letter from the business contact in Tanzania will be required. The letter must detail the proposed duration and purpose of the trip to Tanzania.

Short-term visit and business visas for Tanzania do not make specific provisions for family members of the main applicant to travel with them. Short-term visas do not lead to long term or permanent settlement and require their holders to return to their country of residence when their visa expires. If the spouse, common law partner, civil partner, or dependent children wish to travel to Tanzania with the main applicant, they will need to apply for a visa individually.

Visa fees and processing times are subject to change at short notice and both fees and processing times may vary according to the type of visa you require and your nationality. Your Global Visas consultant will be able to provide precise details of the visa fees and processing times involved for your specific application. At Global Visas, we provide visa and immigration services for a continually expanding range of destinations worldwide.

Our team of specialist immigration layers and migration experts will manage your visa application from beginning to end and will ensure that you embark upon the right visa service for your individual needs.

You can begin your application today by visiting the Global Visa online assessment area and completing our assessment form. It takes minutes to submit your enquiry and a Global Visa consultant will contact you.

Who Needs Visa To Tanzania

All nationals of the countries or territorial entities mentioned below.
Stateless and those holding non-national travel/refugee documents or passports issued by an authority not recognized by the United Republic of Tanzania, must obtain a valid visa on each occasion they need to enter Tanzania.

The countries whose nationals require visa for Tanzania are

Afghanistan; Albania; Algeria; Angola; Argentina; Armenia; Austria; Azerbaijan; Bahrain; Belarus; Belgium; Benin; Bhutan; Bolivia; Bosnia; Brazil; Bulgaria; Burkina Faso; Burma; Burundi; Cambodia; Canada; Cape Verde; Central African Republic; Chad; Chile; China (Peoples Republic of ); Colombia; Comoros; Congo; Congo (Democratic Republic of); Costa Rica; Cote D'Ivoire; Croatia; Cuba; Czech Republic; Denmark; Djibouti; Dominican Republic; Ecuador; Egypt; El-Salvador; Equatorial Guinea; Eritrea; Estonia; Fiji; Finland; France; Gabon; Georgia; Germany; Gibraltar; Greece; Guatemala; Guinea; Guinea-Bissau; Guyana; Haiti; Holland; Holy See; Honduras; Hungary; Iceland; Independent State of Samoa; India; Israel; Italy; Japan; Jordan; Kazakhstan; Korea (North & South); Kuwait; Kurdistan; Laos; Latvia; Liberia; Lithuania; Libya; Luxembourg; Macedonia; Malagasy; Maldives; Mauritania; Mauritius; Mexico; Moldova; Monaco; Mongolia; Morocco; Mozambique; Myanmar; Nepal; Netherlands; Niger; Norway; Oman; Panama; Papua New Guinea; Paraguay; Peru; Philippines; Poland; Republic of Ireland; Portugal; Qatar; Romania; Russia; Rwanda; Sao Tome & Principe; Saudi Arabia; Senegal; Slovak Republic; Slovenia; South Africa; Spain; Suriname; Sweden; Switzerland; Syria; Taiwan; Tajikistan; Thailand; Togo; Tunisia; Turkey; Turkmenistan; Ukraine; United Arab Emirates; United Kingdom; United States of America; Uruguay; Uzbekistan; Venezuela; Vietnam; Yemen; Yugoslavia (all travelling documents issued by former SFR of Yugoslavia or by present Yugoslav Authorities)

Citizens of the following countries do not need a visa for stay up to 90 days:

Namibia, Romania, Rwanda, Hong Kong, Commonwealth states except UK, Canada, Nigeria, India, S. Africa.

Visa Application

Applicants for the entry visa to Tanzania must meet all the necessary requirements. These include the submission of the following:
  • Filled in Application Forms - download
  • Valid Passport (at least not less than six months from the date of entry)
  • Two Passport Size photographs
  • Supporting letter (for Business visas)
  • Special delivery – prepaid self-addressed envelope for return of the Passport (for postal application)
  • If applied by post please send the original receipt from bank or postal order.
NOTE

It takes three (3) working days to process a Visa in Personal Application category, but express service of 24 hours is available at extra charge.

Postal Application
  • Visa process takes 10 working days. Any failure to comply with the stated requirements may result in unnecessary delays or returning of unprocessed application to the sender.
  • Calls will not be entertained within the time mentioned above. Please do not call us about the development of your application.
  • For all Visas that will expire before being used, a fresh application has to be made, fulfilling all previous conditions without exceptions.

Visa Fee

  • The Fee for all the visas, Tourist, Holiday, Transit or Business depends on the country you’re applying
  • Once the Visa is issued the fee can not be refunded.
  • Visa Fee varies depend on the Nationality.

Cash

Local currency can be used for all transactions including port fees, airport tax, national monument fees, and hotel and restaurant bills. The local currency is the Tanzanian Shilling (TSh) and at the time this guide was printed the rate was at 680 per dollar but expected to settle to about 640. Credit cards are accepted at large hotels and restaurants only.

There are Visa/MasterCard Assistance Points, which allow for cash advances, at Mtoni Marine, the Mtoni Marine office next to the Serena Inn, and at Mbweni Ruins Hotel. Cash advances include a $5 service charge, are transacted at unfavorable rates, and may not be available if the power or the phones are down.

Travelers’ Cheques are accepted at large hotels and restaurants and can be exchanged for local currencies at Bureaux de Change as long as you have your passport with you and the Cheques are properly signed.

Medical

Check with your local physician about vaccinations before you leave. If possible, see an Infectious Disease or Tropical Disease specialist because they will have perishable vaccinations on hand and won't have to order them. They may also be more aware than your regular physician of the possible health threats in your destinations and can prescribe medications accordingly.

If you have special medical needs such as diabetes or a heart condition be sure to wear a medical bracelet or necklace and bring an extra supply of your medication carried separately from your primary supply, in case one gets lost or damaged. Bring an extra pair of glasses or contacts for the same reason. Women may consider packing tampons because they can be hard to find in Zanzibar although pads (sanitary napkins) are readily available.

What to Pack

Waterproof shoes such as rubber flip -flops are excellent for Stone Town because if it rains your feet will get drenched no matter what you're wearing. Flip-flops are also easy to remove and some restaurants are Arab-style and require shoes to be removed at the door. Almost all homes in Stone Town have a pile of shoes at the door. If you are invited into one and see this, remove your shoes before entering.

Shoes must be removed when entering mosques (this applies to men only as women are not permitted in Zanzibari mosques except for the old one in Kizimkazi). Take an umbrella or rain poncho if traveling from October to January or March to June. Flashlights (torches) and pocketknives come in handy for all kinds of situations from power outages to missing bottle openers. Clothes should be light and loose and washable.

When in town women and men should have their shoulders and knees covered. Bermuda shorts and a polo shirt are perfectly fine but halter-tops and miniskirts are insulting to the local population and could land you unwanted stares and comments (aside from the fact that it would be rude).

Communications

Telephones are hard to come by (there are a few pay phones at the post offices) and they are very expensive. Some offices allow callback service (you call home, give the number where you are and someone from home calls you back) but this is frowned upon by the local phone company so we don't name names. Ask around and you'll find the offices that allow callback.

To make an international call at the Tanzanian Telephone Company Ltd. (TTCL)/Post Office is very expensive and you're required to fill out a long boring form before they'll dial. Non-TTCL phone offices are more convenient to use. There's one in the same building as TTCL in Stone Town; it's called ASKO and it's on the left hand side of the building. ASKO, Next Step, and Modern Computer Centre all offer email service which, at about TSh 1,000 per message, is much cheaper than the telephone. Modern Computer Centre will also let you access the World Wide Web for a fee.

Keep in mind that Zanzibar had only one local ISP when this book went to print and phone connections are pricey, so email and access to the net aren't as cheap here as they are in America or Europe.

Electricity

The local electricity is the same as England at 220/230 but it is unreliable and inconsistent. To extend their lives, appliances should not be left plugged in when not in use and computers should not be used without an Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS) box.

Laptops don't need the UPS box because their batteries absorb the overages and make up for it when the currency is too low but it's best to unplug them when not in use to save them getting strained from surges. Visitors from America will need an adapter and a transformer to use American appliances in Zanzibar. A working knowledge of kerosene lamps is handy and one might consider carrying a lighter or box of matches in the event of an unexpected black-out.

Cops & Robbers

Crime is on the rise in Zanzibar. Drug-related assaults and thieving are a reality of Stone Town. As in any city, don't advertise valuables (better yet, leave valuables at home), don't walk alone at night, and don't resist a group of people demanding your belongings. Watch your possessions and be aware of the people around you.

No one will try to rip you off in a crowded market or square unless you make it easy for them by putting your camera or bag down unattended. The local response to thieving is amazing to an outsider. When thieves are caught citizens sometimes stone them to death before the police arrive. If you are robbed, report it to the nearest police station.

If you stick to the main roads, take a guide at night and leave the diamond-studded Rolex at home, you'll be unlikely and very unlucky to get robbed.

Driving

If you rent a car or Vespa, be sure to have a valid driver's license because chances are it will be checked. You are required to stop at police roadblocks (often set up along the road to Nungwi or the road to Paje but nothing to be concerned about) and sometimes you will be asked to show your license.

If you do not have a Zanzibari driver's license, you are obliged to purchase a TSh 3,000 police permit to drive, good for one day only. You may not be asked for it, but it's better to have it than get hassled and/or fined. Be sure to locate the spare tyre, jack, and other essentials before setting off to Nungwi or Paje where roads can be in poor condition. Let someone know where you've gone and when you plan on returning.

Media

Zanzibar is home to East Africa's first color television station, TVZ. This station broadcasts local news and political commentary as well as the occasional western movie. Some places in Stone Town are set up for viewing, and as you walk through town on certain nights you'll see a courtyard filled with blue faces, lit by nothing but the light of a solitary TV screen as they watch a TVZ broadcast.

Radio One is the radio station of choice, available from Dar-es- Salaam on the MW Band at about 148. They play a mixture of pop from around the world with special times for Zairian dance music, R&B, and even Country music from America on some afternoons. The news, commentaries, and ads are all in Swahili. Radio Zanzibar reports local news stories and plays local Taarab music and some pop.

For the news in English you can get CNN at the following hotel bars, Tembo (no alcohol served), Chavda, and Shangani. Local newspapers are available in English and Swahili but all the English papers are from the mainland and are not solely dedicated to Zanzibar news. There is a glossy tourist magazine called Swahili Coast (www.swahilicoast.com) that will provide up-to-the-minute information about restaurants, hotels, cultural events, and points of interest in Zanzibar and coastal Tanzania.

Etiquette

Sadly this is frequently overlooked. Visitors should act less like they're walking through a human zoo and more as if they are guests in a foreign land. The Muslim population expects and appreciates men and women alike to keep their knees and shoulders covered while in the streets.

Once in a restaurant it is okay to show shoulders, but consider a shawl or button-up shirt to cover up with while on the streets. T-shirt and shorts may be comfortable but notice how the local people tend to wear well-cared-for clothes, unlike a number of tourists.
 

Feedback From Clients

Sharon Darwin


Hello Sam Davies!!! Just want to let you know that the trip you arranged for us in the delta at Camp Okavango and Moremi was wonderful. All logistics worked perfectly, including the gun storage in Maun. Your local agents are very efficient. We enjoyed both camps very much—the same excellent service and friendly staff but quite a contrast in environment between the two places. Thank so much for helping to make this a memorable trip for us.

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