Tanzania Travel Advice
Security travel advice for Tanzania
Threat level: High
The travel advice for Tanzania is to remain cautious during travel in the country. There is a general threat of terrorism in the country, western travellers in particular are thought to be the main targets of terror attacks so remain vigilant at all times. Crime rates are relatively low in Tanzania but do peak in certain areas of the country. Tourist heavy areas have high rates of pick pocketing and other petty crimes.
Recent Security Risk Events
In December 2016, a European family were robbed at gun point at their campsite at south Beach, 20km southeast of Dar es Salaam, one person was killed.
The political situation in Tanzania is currently unstable. Violent political demonstrations are common around the country and can form without warning. Police have used tear gas during these demonstrations for crowd control purposes. Monitor local media and avoid large gatherings when possible.
In Zanzibar in 2013, two foreign tourists were the victims of an acid attack in Stone Town. This is one of a few isolated attacks targeted against tourists in Tanzania.
The justice minister of Tanzania controversially announced plans to crack down on the country's LGBT community in August 2016. This including actions such as suspending the registration of NGOs/charities that support homosexuality clearly sending a message to the LGBT community. This came as a surprise to many in the country as Tanzania has traditionally been a very accepting country compared with many of its neighbours. A regional commissioner for one of the cities announced that social media would be used to identify and arrest gay people. It is strongly advised to act discretely when visiting the country.
Travel to the areas of Tanzania bordering Burundi and Kigoma region are highly advised against. Armed robberies and banditry in this area have significantly increased in recent years. If you go against advice and do decide to travel to these areas be sure to only drive in daylight hours and with a Close Protection Officer if possible.
Tanzania has strong diplomatic ties with the United States, the USA continues to provide assistance to Tanzania in support of the areas of health, environment, democracy, and development. The country enjoys strong relations with its African neighbours and in recent years has been an active participant in efforts to promote the peaceful resolution of disputes.
Road conditions are generally poor and many drivers on the road do not take into consideration the safety of other drivers. It is advised to travel with doors locked and windows up while travelling inside of Tanzania due to the risk of hijackings.
You can drive in Tanzania with most foreign driving licences. The licensing policy is very relaxed in Tanzania, and many drivers drive without a licence.
You must carry with you your identification papers such as your passport and visa/permit at all times, to present them upon government officials' request.
In recent years, there have been several ferry disasters, resulting in hundreds of people losing their lives. You can travel locally by ferry but ensure that you are using a reputable ferry company. Check emergency procedures on board but do not board a ferry that seems overloaded or unsafe.
Recent piracy attacks occur in coastal waters in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean, so the threat of piracy attacks and armed robbery is significant.
Religion: Christianity and Islam
Currency: Tanzanian shilling
Time now in Dodoma:
Most foreign travellers to Tanzania require a valid visa each time they enter the country. It is possible to get a tourist or business visa for a single entry on arrival at main ports of entry to Tanzania, however this is subject to the fulfilment of all immigration requirements.
It is advised that visitors to the Tanzania are up-to-date with primary boosters such as MMR. You should ensure that you have been further vaccinated against diseases such as Tetanus, which is usually administered when you are a young baby. You may also want to consider Typhoid and Hepatitis A vaccinations.
Although there is no direct risk of Yellow Fever in Tanzania, if you have been in a country where there is a risk of the disease or transiting for more than 12 hours in an at risk country, you will be required to provide a vaccination certificate. Check with your local health professional prior to travel if you are unsure.
Other health risks
The medical facilities in the country are very basic and care outside of Dar es Salaam is almost non-existent. It is highly advised that you purchase adequate travel and health insurance that will cover you for all medical treatments abroad, including evacuation to a better equipped country as this may be necessary in more serious case.
Malaria and dengue fever are common in Tanzania and prevention medication is highly advised. Both diseases are transmitted to humans by infected mosquitoes and although there is no vaccine at present, taking precautions against bites can prevent contraction in the first place. For more information on Dengue fever, see: Dengue Fever facts
Cholera is also common in Tanzania, so personal hygiene must be paramount, the local water supply avoided at all costs and bottled water inspected prior to consumption.
U.S. Embassy Tanzania
686 Old Bagamoyo Road,
P.O. Box 9123,
Dar es Salaam
Telephone: +255 22 229 4000
British High Commission Tanzania
P.O. Box 9200,
Dar es Salaam,
Telephone: +255 22 229 0000
Other useful info
Police emergency: 112
Medical emergency: 112
Fire emergency: 112