Tanzania - Consular Information Sheet
February 22, 2001
COUNTRY DESCRIPTION: Tanzania is a developing East African
nation. Tourist facilities are available in major cities and selected
game parks, but limited in other areas. The capital is Dar es
ENTRY REQUIREMENTS: A passport and visa are required for
travel to Tanzania. U.S. citizens with valid passports may obtain
a visa either before arriving in Tanzania, or at any port of entry
staffed by immigration officials. Also, foreigners should be prepared
to show their passports when entering or exiting the Islands of
Zanzibar and Pemba. Detailed entry information may be obtained
from the Tanzanian Embassy at 2139 R Street NW, Washington, DC
20008; telephone (202) 939-6125 or the Tanzanian Permanent Mission
to the United Nations at 205 East 42nd Street, 13th Floor, New
York, NY 10017; telephone (212) 972-9160. Overseas, inquiries
may be made at the nearest Tanzanian embassy or consulate.
Travelers are reminded to safeguard their U.S. passports while
in Tanzania. Passport loss can lead to delays in departing the
country and can cause disruption of travel. Tanzanian authorities
require that travelers, who are not in possession of the visa
and entry stamps obtained upon admission to Tanzania, visit the
immigration office prior to departure to regularize their status.
Persons attempting to depart the country without proper documentation
may be subject to fines or delays in departure.
SAFETY AND SECURITY: Political tension in Zanzibar is
extremely high. In the aftermath of the October 2000 presidential
elections, riot police have clashed violently with demonstrators
on several occasions, and a number of small explosions have occurred
on Pemba and Unguja islands. U.S. citizens should bear in mind
that violent demonstrations and explosions could reoccur with
little warning. Travelers should avoid political rallies and related
public gatherings both in Zanzibar and on the mainland because
of the potential for them to turn violent, and maintain a high
level of security vigilance at all times.
The area near Tanzania's borders with Rwanda and Burundi has
been the site of minor military clashes, and refugee flows across
the borders into Tanzania continue. There have been a number of
incidents of criminal and violent activity in the region. Travelers
to this area should exercise caution. Tanzania has not traditionally
been a venue for international terrorists. However, on August
7, 1998, terrorists bombed the U.S. Embassy in Dar es Salaam.
As a result, the U.S. Embassy has relocated to an interim facility
until construction of the new embassy compound is completed.
GAME PARKS: Tanzania offers unparalleled opportunities
for observation of wildlife in its natural habitat. Many tour
operators offer structured, safe excursions into parks and other
wildlife viewing areas for close observation of flora and fauna.
However, travelers should bear in mind that they, too, must play
a responsible role in maintaining safety. Tourists are mauled
or killed each year as a result of having relaxed their vigilance.
Tourists are reminded to maintain a safe distance from animals
and to remain in vehicles or other protected enclosures when venturing
into game parks.
CRIME: Crime is a serious problem in Tanzania, and visitors
should be alert and cautious. Street crime in Dar es Salaam is
common, and it includes mugging, vehicle theft, "smash and
grab" attacks on vehicles, armed robbery and burglary. Crime
involving firearms is becoming more common. Thieves and pickpockets
on buses and trains steal from inattentive passengers.
Pedestrians on beaches and footpaths, whether in isolated areas
or in popular tourist venues, are often targeted for robbery or
assault. This is especially true on Zanzibar and in Dar es Salaam
and its environs. Visitors should limit the amount of cash they
carry and leave valuables, such as passports, jewelry and airline
tickets, in a hotel safe or other secure place. Cameras are highly
coveted items by thieves. Because of the potential for fraud,
credit cards should only be used in reputable tourist hotels.
Carjackings have occurred in both rural and urban areas. Visitors
are advised to drive with doors locked and windows rolled up.
Travelers are urged not to stop between populated areas and to
travel in convoys if possible.
The Government of Tanzania has increased security in the National
Game Parks, but the risk of armed banditry remains high in and
around the parks and reserves. Again, visitors are advised to
drive with doors locked and windows rolled up for safety and security
MEDICAL FACILITIES: Medical facilities are limited, and
medicines are often unavailable.
MEDICAL INSURANCE: U.S. medical insurance is not always
valid outside the United States. U.S. Medicare and Medicaid programs
do not provide payment for medical services outside the United
States. Doctors and hospitals often expect immediate cash payment
for health services. Uninsured travelers who require medical care
overseas may face extreme difficulties.
Please check with your own insurance company to confirm whether
your policy applies overseas, including provision for medical
evacuation, and for adequacy of coverage. Serious medical problems
requiring hospitalization and/or medical evacuation to the United
States can cost tens of thousands of dollars. Please ascertain
whether payment will be made to the overseas hospital or doctor
or if you will be reimbursed later for expenses that you incur.
Some insurance policies also include coverage for psychiatric
treatment and for disposition of remains in the event of death.
Useful information on medical emergencies abroad, including overseas
insurance programs, is provided in the Department of State's Bureau
of Consular Affairs brochure, Medical
Information for Americans Traveling Abroad, available via
of Consular Affairs home page or autofax: (202) 647-3000.
OTHER HEALTH INFORMATION: Cholera is prevalent in many
areas of Tanzania, and several strains of malaria are endemic.
Malaria suppressants are advised. Visitors should consult their
physicians before traveling, to learn about prophylaxis and the
possible side effects of various available medications.
Information on vaccinations and other health precautions may
be obtained from the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's international
traveler's hotline at telephone: 1-877-FYI-TRIP (1-877-394-8747);
fax: 1-888-CDC-FAXX (1-888-232-3299), or by visiting the CDC's
Internet home page at http://www.cdc.gov/.
TRAFFIC SAFETY AND ROAD CONDITIONS: While in a foreign
country, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ
significantly from those in the United States. The information
below concerning Tanzania is provided for general reference only,
and it may not be totally accurate in a particular location or
Safety of Public Transportation: Poor
Rural Road Conditions/Maintenance: Variable
Urban Road Conditions/Maintenance: Variable
Availability of Roadside Assistance: Poor/Limited.
Road and traffic conditions in Tanzania differ markedly from
those found in the United States and present hazards that require
drivers to exercise continual alertness and caution. In Tanzania,
one drives on the left side of the street.
Drivers are advised against nighttime travel, particularly in
more rural areas. Roadways are often not marked and many lack
both streetlights and shoulders. Pedestrians, cyclists and animals
are often encountered on unlit roads after dark, as are slow-moving
trucks and cars traveling without lights. Car jacking and other
related crimes are more common during the nighttime hours. Traveling
in rural areas after dark is strongly discouraged.
Although a number of intercity highways are periodically repaved
and maintained, maintenance schedules are erratic and even good
roads may deteriorate precipitously in periods of inclement weather.
During the rainy season, many roads in Tanzania, both urban and
rural, are passable only with four-wheel drive vehicles.
In-town transportation is best accomplished using taxis or hired
drivers from a reputable source. Travelers should be wary of using
the ubiquitous, crowded microbuses (dala dalas), which are frequently
overcrowded, operated unsafely, poorly maintained, and a common
site of petty theft.
For additional general information
about road safety, including links to foreign government sites,
please see the Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs
home page at http://travel.state.gov/road_safety.html.
AVIATION SAFETY: As there is no direct commercial air
service at present, nor economic authority to operate such service
between the U.S. and Tanzania, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration
(FAA) has not assessed the Tanzanian civil aviation authority
for compliance with international aviation safety standards. For
further information, travelers may contact the Department of Transportation
within the United States at telephone 1-800-322-7873, or visit
Internet home page at http://www.faa.gov/avr/iasa/. The U.S.
Department of Defense (DOD) separately assesses some foreign air
carriers for suitability as official providers of air services.
For information regarding the DOD policy on specific carriers,
travelers may contact the DOD at telephone 618-229-4801.
Anecdotal reports of poor equipment maintenance, pilot error
and other problems have raised concern over the reliability of
local air carriers. Travelers may wish to take this information
into consideration when making air travel arrangements within
Tanzania, particularly on flights to small airstrips in the interior.
Security at Tanzanian airports is lax, particularly in Zanzibar.
CRIMINAL PENALTIES: While in a foreign country, a U.S.
citizen is subject to that country's laws and regulations, which
sometimes differ significantly from those in the United States
and may not afford the protections available to the individual
under U.S. law. Penalties for breaking the law can be more severe
than in the United States for similar offenses. Persons violating
Tanzanian laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested or
imprisoned. Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal
drugs in Tanzania are strict, and convicted offenders can expect
jail sentences and heavy fines.
CONSULAR ACCESS: Tanzanian police and prison officials,
especially in rural areas, have consistently failed to inform
the U.S. Embassy of the arrest or detention of U.S. citizens.
U.S. citizens are encouraged to carry a copy of their U.S. passports
with them at all times, so that, if questioned by local officials,
proof of identity and U.S. citizenship are readily available.
Travelers and U.S. citizens resident in Tanzania are strongly
urged to maintain legal immigration status while in Tanzania to
avoid difficulties with local immigration authorities. U.S. citizens
who are arrested or detained have the right, under the Vienna
Convention on Consular Relations, to have the U.S. Embassy notified
of their situation and should request that notification be made
if it is not done.
CURRENCY ISSUES: Credit cards are increasingly accepted
at major hotels, but advances in the form of U.S. travelers checks
or cash (in Tanzanian shillings) are available from just two sources
in Dar es Salaam and two branch offices in Zanzibar. Visitors
should bring sufficient cash or travelers checks for their trip.
PHOTOGRAPHY RESTRICTIONS: Photography of military installations
is forbidden. Individuals have been detained and/or had their
cameras and film confiscated for taking pictures of hospitals,
schools, bridges, industrial sites, and airports.
CHILDREN'S ISSUES: For
information on international adoption of children and international
parental child abduction, please refer to our Internet site
at http://travel.state.gov/children's_issues.html or telephone
REGISTRATION/EMBASSY LOCATION: U.S. Citizens are encouraged
to register with the U.S. Embassy and to obtain updated information
on travel and security in Tanzania. The U.S. Embassy is located
at 140 Msese Road, Kinondoni District Street, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
The mailing address is Post Office Box 9123, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania;
telephone (255) 266-6010 through 5, and fax (255) 266-7285.
Office hours are 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Travelers
may also contact the U.S. Embassy in Tanzania via e-mail at
email@example.com. American citizen travelers who are unable
to personally visit the Embassy for formal registration are still
encouraged to provide information about their planned stay in