How to Get Tanzania and Zanzibar Visas (Guide)

One of the less interesting things about visiting Tanzania and Zanzibar is organizing the visas.

However, in order to ensure there are no unfortunate hiccups during your trip, it is definitely not something to overlook while planning your dream getaway to Tanzania and Zanzibar.

Zanzibar is an island part of the United Republic of Tanzania.The same tourist visa for Tanzania you can use it in Zanzibar without any problem.

For some nationalities, they can get a visa on arrival at either Dar es Salaam, Kilimanjaro or Zanzibar airports.

Zanzibar Tourist Visa on arrival

Whether only entering Zanzibar or visiting as part of wider travels in Tanzania, you may wonder if you need a separate visa.

While technically you do not need a separate visa for Zanzibar if you already have one for Tanzania, you will need to bring your passport to be checked upon arrival.

If arriving by ferry, it will likely be stamped, although you do not need to pay any further fee.

Travellers appear to have mixed reports when it comes to arriving by air as to whether the passport is stamped. At any rate, it is definitely necessary to bring it with you.

If you are arriving on Zanzibar without crossing into mainland Tanzania first, you will need to apply for a Tanzanian visa upon arrival. This is the same process as outlined below.

Tanzanian Tourist Visa on arrival

For most nationalities, obtaining a tourist visa to Tanzania is pretty simple. It can be purchased at the border, including airports such as Dar Es Salaam and Kilimanjaro, as well as land borders such as Namanga,Arusha if travelling overland from bordering countries.

Alternatively, you can send your passport in advance to your local Tanzanian embassy to apply for the visa ahead of time. However, given that visas are readily available at the border, it is likely easier than sending away your passport and hoping that it will return safely.

Therefore, unless your country is one that is ineligible for a visa at the border (including Morocco, Sri Lanka, and Lebanon), I would recommend obtaining a visa on arrival.

Cost of Tanzanian tourist visa

For most nationalities including the UK and Australia, the single-entry visa is $50USD. For citizens of the USA, it is $100USD – so double check before arriving. A double entry visa is more expensive but allows you to re-enter the country.

If you will be leaving Tanzania and then re-entering, it is recommended to purchase this visa as it will save you money in the long run.

Duration of Tanzanian tourist visa

Single entry visas are valid for 3 months, whereas double entry visas are valid for up to 6 months.

Entering Tanzania without a Visa Eligible Countries

entering Tanzania without Visa eligible countries

In addition, a small number of countries (mainly African) are eligible to enter Tanzania even without a visa. Hong Kong is another country who’s citizens are able to enter without a visa, along with a select list of other Asian countries. You can find a full list available at the Kilimanjaro airport website.

Tanzanian tourist Visa Requirements

Visa payment currency

If applying at the border, be aware that Tanzania (like many African countries) can be very picky about accepting currency, so make sure you have crisp, clean, new notes (no tears or stains) to give at the border. Notes printed prior to 2006 will not be accepted at the border, or really anywhere in Tanzania.

No employment if you have tourist visa

Another thing to remember is that all tourist visas are stamped with ‘no employment’. Although most travellers are unlikely to be engaging in paid work in Tanzania, volunteer work also counts.

In order to avoid any potential legal problems, if you are planning on volunteering in Tanzania (for example at a school or health clinic), you must not enter on a tourist visa and must instead apply for a temporary residence permit.

6 months validity on your passport

In addition, when applying for a visa, you must have at least 6 months validity on your passport. If your passport is nearly expired, you must get it extended before trying to enter Tanzania, or you will be refused entry.

Sufficient funds

Other requirements for a visa include proof of onward travel and sufficient funds to support yourself during your stay.

Yellow fever vaccination proof

If coming from a yellow fever affected country (or visiting Zanzibar), you will need proof of having been vaccinated against yellow fever.

Passport photographs

You must also bring 2 recent passport photographs of yourself. If travelling by land, especially, it is also recommended to bring a healthy dose of patience – the lines can move slowly, and hold ups are common!

Conclusion

So, whilst obtaining a visa to Tanzania may at first seem a bit overwhelming, it is very simple. Thousands of travellers from all over the world visit Tanzania every year, so do not be concerned – it’s the first step to having an enjoyable trip to this great country!