If you’re dreaming of a Serengeti safari or an exotic Zanzibar retreat, you’re going to need a Tanzania visa to make your dreams a reality. But do you know how to get a Tanzania visa, or which one is right for your trip? Read on for our guide to how to get your visa the way that is right for you!
US citizens need visas for every trip to Tanzania. There are several different types of visas and different ways that you can get a visa.
Passport Requirements for Tanzania
In addition to your Tanzania visa, you’re going to need a valid passport! Your passport must have at least six months of validity past the end of your trip to Tanzania. You’re also going to need to have a blank page marked “Visas” for your visa and another blank page for your entry and exit stamps.
Types of Tanzania Visa
- Tourist Visa: If you’re going to be sightseeing, going on safari, or just enjoying leisure time in Tanzania, you’ll need a tourist visa.
- Business Visa: Business visas are issued to people who are going to Tanzania for business meetings, conferences, site visits, or other commercial purposes. Film crews and production staff who are going to Tanzania to film will also need business visas.
- “Other Business” Visas: These are issued to people whose purpose of journey isn’t for tourism or for commercial business travel. Humanitarians and missionaries are issued this type of visa.
Tanzania visas issued to US citizens are typically valid for one year with multiple entries allowed. If your passport has less than a year of validity left, you might be issued a shorter-duration visa.
Tanzania Visa on Arrival
Traveling to Tanzania as a tourist? You have two options: you can either get your visa in advance, or you can get a visa on arrival.
Visas on arrival are issued at the Tanzanian airport or border crossing. You’ll need to have:
- Your valid, signed passport with at least one blank page
- A $100 bill (US dollars)
- Proof of roundtrip ticket
- Proof you have sufficient funds for your stay
Visas on arrival are only for tourist visits. If the purpose of your trip is anything other than leisure or sightseeing, you must get a visa in advance of your trip.
Although tourist visas are available on arrival, the US Department of State recommends that you get your Tanzania visa before you travel. Having your visa before you travel will help prevent any delays when you arrive in Tanzania.
Consular Visas for Tanzania
The other way to get a Tanzania visa is to apply before your trip at the Embassy of Tanzania in Washington, DC, or the Permanent Mission of Tanzania in New York City. Tanzania does not enforce consular jurisdiction. You can apply for your visa at either location, regardless of where you live in the United States.
All types of visa are available through the Embassy and Permanent Mission of Tanzania. You can get a tourist, business, or “other business” visa stamped into your passport.
Visas for Volunteer Trips to Tanzania
Tanzania is extremely strict about not allowing travelers to do any volunteer activity on tourist visas. It doesn’t matter even if you’ve paid for the privilege of volunteering in Tanzania!
There are a number of tour companies that sell trips to Tanzania that combine sightseeing with volunteer activities like working with local schoolchildren or helping to build wells in isolated villages. Even though those trips are sold as tours, you can’t use a tourist visa for that kind of visit. Instead, you will need to get an “other business” visa for the trip. To get this visa, you will need to apply at the Embassy or Permanent Mission of Tanzania, and you’ll need to supply a tour itinerary that describes the volunteer activity.
Planning to do long-term volunteering in Tanzania? You’ll need a different type of visa entirely, a Class “C” residence permit. This must be arranged in Tanzania. The charity organization you are working with will help you get this permit.
East Africa Tourist Visas and Tanzania Travel
Several of Tanzania’s neighboring countries have banded together to create a common visa called the East Africa Tourist Visa. This visa allows multiple entries to Kenya, Rwanda, and Uganda during a 90 day period. This common visa makes it easy for travelers who will be crossing back and forth between countries on their African journey.
Although the government of Tanzania participated in talks about the common East Africa Tourist Visa scheme, they ultimately decided not to join the program. If you have an East Africa Tourist Visa, you cannot use it to enter Tanzania. You need to have a separate Tanzania visa. However, it’s still a great option if you are planning to hit up all of the safari hot spots in east Africa!
Do You Need Vaccinations to Get a Tanzania Visa?
Travelers often wonder if they need to get a Yellow Fever vaccination in order to get a Tanzania visa. Tanzania does not require that you get a Yellow Fever vaccination if you are flying directly in from the United States or Europe. However, if you’ll be arriving in Tanzania after traveling through areas that are prone to Yellow Fever, you may be asked to show your vaccination certificate when you arrive. For more information about vaccinations and other health concerns for Tanzania travelers, see the CDC’s Tanzania information page.