Travel to Tanzania
All international passengers to mainland Tanzania must complete an online Health Survey before arrival.
A separate Health Survey is required for Zanzibar which is available here. Fully vaccinated passengers are exempt from pre-departure testing requirements. Passengers will be required to present a valid vaccination certificate with a QR code for verification upon arrival. The EU Digital COVID Certificate is accepted and travelers are advised to carry a printed copy. The only acceptable vaccines are those approved by the Ministry of Health of Tanzania and the WHO.
Passengers who are not fully vaccinated, or unvaccinated and those not eligible for vaccination, will be required to present a negative COVID-19 RT PCR (Real Time Polymerase Chain Reaction) or NAATs (Nucleic Acid Amplification Tests) certificate with a QR code obtained within 72 hours before departure.
Passengers arriving from certain countries experiencing variants of interest and high COVID-19 case numbers are obliged to take a rapid antigen test on arrival in Tanzania, at their own expense (USD 10 for Tanzania Mainland). If found positive, they will be tested with RT PCR for confirmation and will be required to self-isolate.
The list of countries for which rapid antigen testing applies is maintained by the Tanzanian Ministry for Health and available on their website here.
Passengers who are not fully vaccinated or unvaccinated who arrive in Tanzania with no negative COVID-19 RT PCR certificate are treated as follows:
- Air transport and international marine vessels will be tested for COVID-19 using an RT PCR test at a cost of USD100 for Tanzania Mainland.
- International regional and inland vessels, will be tested using a rapid antigen test at a cost of USD 10. If found positive, a further RT PCR test will be administered at a cost of USD 50.
- For ground crossing, they will be tested by rapid antigen test at a cost of USD 10 and if found positive will be handled according to bilateral and joint border agreements.
- Children aged 5 years and below will be exempted from both RT PCR and Rapid Antigen Tests requirements.
Transit passengers are exempt from both vaccination certificates and COVID-19 testing requirements unless stated otherwise by their travel operator or by the authorities in the country of their final destination.
General Travel Advice
In weighing up the decision to travel to Tanzania at this time, Irish citizens should take into consideration the risk of restrictions being introduced during their travel and, also, the impact which responding to COVID-19 may have on local healthcare systems over the course of their proposed visit.
You should monitor developments regularly and follow the advice of local authorities.
Private healthcare facilities with the capability to respond to COVID-19 cases exist, but their capacity
is limited. You should be aware that in the event of a significant COVID-19 outbreak in Tanzania, the ability to access treatment for other ailments is likely to be limited.
Safety and Security Terrorism and Political Unrest.
The political situation in Tanzania is reasonably stable but terrorist incidents, including the 1998 bombing of the U.S. Embassies in Dar es Salaam and Nairobi, as well as occasional attacks by extremists on police stations and mosques, among other targets, highlight the threat posed by terrorism in East Africa and underscore the capacity of terrorist groups to carry out such attacks against foreign nationals.
Extremists linked to the Islamic terrorist group Al-Shabaab based in Somalia pose a threat across the east African region and are thought to be active in Tanzania.
However, many security incidents in Tanzania are of unclear origin and may be conducted by criminal gangs. Most attacks of this nature target the local security forces, although attacks against foreign nationals cannot be ruled out.
Be vigilant at all times, especially in crowded areas and public places like transport hubs, hotels, restaurants, and bars, and during major gatherings like sporting or religious events, as attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places visited by foreign nationals.
Demonstrations and political rallies happen occasionally across Tanzania (including on the islands of Unguja (Zanzibar) and Pemba). Some have turned violent and resulted in fatalities.
Police may use tear gas and/or live ammunition for crowd control. Keep up to date with local and international events and avoid all demonstrations and large gatherings. If you become aware of any nearby protests, leave the area immediately and monitor our travel advice, Twitter and local media for up-to-date information.
Most visits to Tanzania are trouble-free but armed crime is increasing so you should take sensible precautions, and exercise caution, especially in popular tourist areas in Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar:
- Don’t carry your credit card, travel tickets, and money together.
- Don’t make yourself an obvious target for muggers and pickpockets – leave spare cash and expensive-looking jewelry or watches in a safe place.
- Don’t carry your passport unless absolutely necessary, rather carry a copy for ID purposes, and leave a copy of your passport (and travel and insurance documents) with family or friends at home.
- Don’t use ATMs after dark, especially if you are alone. Check no one has followed you after conducting your business.
- Avoid walking alone, especially in isolated areas and on beaches, and particularly after dark.
- Walk as far from the roadside as possible to avoid bag snatching. and If you need to walk alongside the road, walk toward the traffic.
- Keep a close eye on your personal belongings and hold onto them in public places such as internet cafes, and train and bus stations.
- If carrying a bag when walking it is safer to hold it loosely by the handle or hanging off your shoulder rather than by securing the strap across your chest.
- Avoid dark and unlit streets and stairways, and arrange to be picked up or dropped off as close to your hotel or apartment entrance as possible.
- Be alert to the risk of thefts of personal property from cars and taxis stationary in traffic.
- If you are attacked or if someone grabs your bag, don’t resist
Petty and violent crimes Muggings, bag grabs from passing cars, and robberies including forced ATM withdrawals, sometimes accompanied by violence or the threat of violence, have increased throughout
Tanzania and Zanzibar, especially in areas frequented by backpackers and expatriates.
Book taxis if possible through your hotel reception desk, or arrange transport in advance if you’re going to arrive at your destination late at night. Always ask to see the driver’s ID.
Don’t hail taxis in the street, use unlicensed taxis, or accept lifts from strangers. Even if a taxi appears to be licensed you should be cautious, and under no circumstances get into a taxi if there is anybody other than the driver in the vehicle.
Credit card fraud
Credit card fraud is increasing. Theft of credit cards and isolated incidents of cloning (also called skimming) do occur. When paying by credit card, don’t let it out of your sight. Keep your cards
safe, and do not let anyone know your PIN numbers.
Reporting a crime
If you’re a victim of a crime while in Tanzania, report it to the local police immediately. And you can contact us at the Irish Embassy if you need help.
If you’re planning to drive in Tanzania, you should be extremely careful. Road safety standards are low, particularly outside towns and cities. Accidents are frequent and are often caused by poor driving, badly maintained vehicles and inadequate lighting. 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.
If you want to drive:
- Bring your international driving license and make sure you have adequate and appropriate insurance.
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is against the law and you risk being detained, fined, or banned from driving if caught.
- Keep your vehicle doors locked, windows up, and your bags kept out of sight to prevent opportunistic bag-snatching if you’re stopped at traffic lights.
- Avoid driving out of town at night.
- If you’re stopped by the police, ask to see identification before making any payments for traffic violations.
- If you’re involved in a road accident, cooperate with the local police. Hiring a vehicle If you’re hiring a vehicle, we advise you not to hand over your passport as a form of security. If you’re allowing your passport to be photocopied, keep it in your sight at all times.
Check that you have adequate insurance and read the small print of the vehicle hire contract (particularly any waiver that will come into effect if the vehicle is damaged).
The Department of Foreign Affairs strongly advises all citizens to exercise caution when traveling by sea ferries to offshore isles as overloading of ferries both with passengers and cargo is very common.
If traveling by passenger ferry either between Dar es Salaam and the islands of Zanzibar or on one of Tanzania’s lakes, only use reputable ferry companies. Purchase your tickets inside the ferry terminal, not from vendors outside. If you have any concerns about the seaworthiness of the vessel or feel that it’s overloaded, get off immediately. Once aboard, familiarise yourself with emergency procedures, especially the locations of life jackets and emergency exits.
There have been three passenger-ferry disasters involving ferries traveling between Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar and between the islands of Zanzibar resulting in large loss of life, including foreign tourists. Reports indicated that these ferries were seriously overloaded.
National Parks Tanzania’s national parks are popular destinations for tourists. Careful planning is important to get the best out of your safari. There are risks associated with viewing wildlife, particularly on foot or at close range. Always follow park regulations and wardens’ advice, and make sure you have the correct documentation or permit before entering a national park.
Information about travel away from areas regularly frequented by foreigners can be patchy. Be aware that some parks are also extremely remote, and emergency access and evacuation can be difficult. We advise you to invest in an up-to-date travel guide and use only the services of reliable tour companies.
When camping, use official sites only. Make sure you’re properly equipped and seek local advice when entering isolated areas.
If you are trekking or climbing, only use a reputable travel company, stick to established routes, and always walk in groups. Make sure you are well prepared and equipped to cope with the terrain and low temperatures. Heed the advice of the professionals organizing the ascent. The
extreme altitude on Mount Kilimanjaro can cause altitude sickness. If you experience altitude sickness, descend immediately and seek medical help.