Local laws and customs


Tanzanians are welcoming and well disposed towards visitors, but you should be sensitive to local culture. Loud or aggressive behavior, drunkenness, foul language, and disrespect, especially towards older people, will cause offense.
Remember, the local laws apply to you as a visitor and it is your responsibility to follow them.

Be sensitive to local customs, traditions, and practices as your behavior may be seen as improper, hostile, or may even illegal.
Be conscious of your dress and behavior if you intend to visit places of worship and take care not to offend local culture or religious beliefs, especially during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan or other religious festivals.

During Ramadan, Muslims are not permitted to eat, drink or smoke during daylight hours. To avoid offense, you should not eat, drink or smoke in public during this time. Guide books, local hoteliers, and tour guides can be good sources of information on how to behave and dress respectfully.

Consider dressing modestly when in public. Women should avoid wearing shorts and sleeveless tops away from tourist resorts and in Stone Town in Zanzibar.

Zanzibar authorities may fine tourists, guides and tour operators for inappropriate clothing worn in public. Fines for tourists are a minimum of 700 USD, and tour operators face a minimum fine of 1000 USD.

Homosexual activity is illegal in Tanzania, including Zanzibar. Public displays of affection between persons of the same sex may be met with arrest, harassment, or violence.

Illegal drugs
Illegal drug use (no matter what the drug) carries stiff penalties, including fines and long prison terms.

Animal Products
There are criminal laws on the protection of wildlife and fauna in Tanzania. Avoid bringing wildlife products such as jewelry into Tanzania as you risk delay, questioning, or detention when trying to leave the country.

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. It is also illegal to gather, collect, or remove any flora or fauna, including seashells, from marine parks. Penalties include fines and/or imprisonment.

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