IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO OBTAIN THE NECESSARY VISAS FOR YOUR TRIP
The information provided here is for EU and US citizens – for other nationalities please contact your nearest High Commission. This information is correct at the time of writing and is subject to change.
SEYCHELLES AND KENYA
EU and US citizens can obtain visas for Seychelles and Kenya on arrival in each country, however, your passport must be valid for at least 6 months after your departure from Africa and must have at least 2 unused consecutive blank pages per country to be visited. In any event, passengers with tight onward connections (e.g. flying between Kilimanjaro and Wilson, or connecting to the Selous or Ruaha) are strongly advised to obtain their visas in advance of travel as the queues on arrival can be lengthy and the flights will not wait.
APPLYING FOR YOUR TANZANIA VISA
There are three ways for you to apply for your tourist visa. While two of these have been around for a while, there is a new online form you can use. We’ll go over the traditional ways first.
For those who live everywhere else, you’ll find it’s more convenient to apply for your visa online. Simply go to the Tanzanian Embassy’s Visa Information page. This is where you’ll find the visa application. Download, print, and fill out the application. Don’t forget to sign at the bottom! Once you’ve filled out the application, you’ll need to mail it to the same Embassy we mentioned above for processing. Their address is 1232 22nd St. NW, Washington D.C 20037. There are a few items you’ll need to send along with the application including:
There are some requirements for the photographs you send as well. First, they can’t be more than 3 months old. They must be printed in high-quality photo paper and have an all white background.
Make sure you center your face and refrain from smiling. Exclude any eyeglasses or other headgear unless for religious purposes.
If there are any minors (under 18 years of age) traveling without parents/guardians, they’ll need to provide parental authorization from someone who isn’t accompanying them on the trip.
If you live in Washington D.C. you can apply for it in person at the Embassy of the United Republic of Tanzania. While you don’t need an appointment to apply in-person, we don’t expect you to travel to D.C. if you don’t already live there. You’ll still need to provide the above information if you’re applying in-person, so make sure you don’t leave anything at home.
ELECTRONIC VISA SYSTEM
The Tanzania government has recently introduced a new electronic Visa system which allows US citizens to apply for a tourist visa online. This saves many people both time and money! Begin by visiting the Immigration E-service visa application website. From here you can choose to start a new application, continue an application, or check you’re visa status. You’ll want to apply for a new visa. The webpage will redirect you to a new page where you can begin to create an application ID. You’ll need to enter basic information such as an email address, a security question, and an answer to your security question. Once you’ve entered this information, click “start new application”. From here, fill out all the required information. Don’t forget to attach specific documents, too.
No matter how you decide to apply for your Tanzania tourist visa, you’ll need to pay an application fee. For US citizens, this will cost you approximately $100. Depending on how you pay for your application, you might owe extra fees for certain forms of payments. While you can pay with money orders, company or organization checks, and credit or debit cards, you can’t pay with cash or personal checks. You’ll need to download and fill out a credit card authorization form if you choose to pay by debit or credit card. Make sure to enclose this with your application form if you’re sending it by mail.
Once you complete your application, it becomes a waiting game. Although your application won’t get processed instantaneously, it should only take about five business days. Keep in mind, some applications may take longer. If your trip to Tanzania is spontaneous and you need a quickly processed application, you can pay an extra to expedite it. This should only take about three business days. There is another option for next-day processing, but you can expect to pay extra costs for this as well. Don’t forget to wait for the return of your passport if you applied via mail. This can also take a few days or up to a few weeks. If you opted for a tracking number, you’ll be able to track its whereabouts until it arrives home.
Other Important Steps
While you wait for Tanzania tourist visa application to process there are a few other things you can do to prepare for your abroad trip. Some countries suggest getting certain vaccinations before traveling to and leaving the country. When traveling to Tanzania it’s a good idea to get a Yellow Fever vaccination.
The good news is that all safari lodges and camps offer a (usually complimentary) laundry service so you don’t need to take too many clothes with you. Underwear is usually not accepted, although washing powder is often provided in your room/tent. Bear in mind that this is the African bush so the service will be fairly basic - your items won’t be neatly ironed or packed in tissue paper, and you might prefer not to submit anything in any way delicate!
On safari casual and comfortable dress is appropriate. Days are often hot, and early mornings and evenings are often cold, especially at the Ngorongoro Crater and in Ruaha due to the altitude. Several lightweight layers plus a warm fleece and jacket work well so you can adapt to changing conditions as the day goes on. Long-sleeved shirts can also be useful to protect you from both the sun and mosquitoes. Neutral colors are best - khaki, green, beige – not white (which won’t stay white for long!), nor camouflage which is associated with the military and might inadvertently provoke a negative reaction.
Most lodges do not have a formal dress code and there is absolutely no need to change for dinner, although some people like to freshen up a little after the evening game drive. Baraza on Zanzibar, the one exception to the general rule, requires long trousers for gentlemen at dinner.
All travelers arriving into Tanzania, Kenya, and Mozambique from any Yellow Fever infected country (such as Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Uganda, etc) must carry a valid Yellow Fever certificate which you will be asked to show on arrival even if you have just transited through the airport of an infected country. Entry may be denied if you do not have the necessary certificate. You do NOT need a Yellow Fever certificate if arriving from Europe or the US, or if you are flying into Zanzibar from mainland Tanzania (or vice versa). However, since these rules are subject to change overnight, and also to misinterpretation from overzealous immigration officials, we strongly recommend that you travel with a Yellow Fever certificate or exemption certificate. Please also note that the Yellow Fever vaccination only becomes effective 10 days after vaccination.
Malaria is endemic throughout East Africa. Seek the advice of your doctor before you travel as to which prophylactics are currently recommended. If you feel unwell and feverish at any time while traveling or within a year of your return, seek medical advice as soon as possible and tell your doctor that you have been in a malarial zone.
It is not unusual to suffer a mild stomach upset in the first few days of your trip due to a change in the food and water. You may wish to carry some Imodium and rehydration salts with you in case of this eventuality.
It is normally recommended that travelers to East Africa should be inoculated against typhoid and hepatitis. Consult your doctor before you travel about these and any other recommended inoculations. The BA Travel Clinic (020 7439 9584) or Trailfinders (020 7938 3999) can also advise.
Remember to take with you sufficient supplies of any personal medications to last the duration of your trip. It is also a good idea to carry a copy of your doctor’s prescription in the event of any issues arising at customs. Essential medications are best carried in hand luggage in case hold luggage should go astray.
For keen photographers, we advise a minimum zoom of 300mm, a 70-300mm lens is recommended. Binoculars are also very useful on safari, especially for keen birders; a specification of 10 x 40 would be ideal. It is possible to rent a pair from The Safari Store.
The mains electricity supply is 240 volts, 50 cycles, and uses UK-style plugs. On safari, many lodges and tented camps operate their own generators which offer intermittent electricity. Short power cuts may be expected – rather than being a cause of frustration this should be seen as part of the charm of the safari experience! We recommend taking a small flashlight. It is possible to charge cameras, phones, and tablets in all camps at some point during your stay. Hairdryers requiring extra power cannot be used in some camps and lodges.