Tanzania Safari Necessities
Tanzania Visas information
All travelers who are not East African residents, are required to obtain a visa for Tanzania. Fortunately, the process is a simple convention.
If you opt to fly to Nairobi rather than direct to JRO you’ll need to take the Riverside Shuttle bus from Nairobi to Arusha. Passing through Kenya in this way you’ll require a Kenyan tourist visa which can be purchased at the airport when you land. A tourist visa for traveling to Kenya from Tanzania if opting to fly out from Nairobi, can be purchased at the Namanga border which you are required to cross, however if you entered Tanzania from Kenya on your way to Kilimanjaro then your original Kenyan visa will probably still be valid as nowadays Kenyan tourist visas are issued on multiple-entry basis.
If flying direct to Tanzania however, although it is possible to purchase your visa on arrival at the kiosk on the right hand side of the arrivals foyer at Kilimanjaro International Airport, the Tanzanian High Commission advises visitors to apply for this in advance as they reserve the right to deny you a visa on arrival.
Travelers are advised to apply in person by visiting the Tanzanian Embassy with their passports and payment in cash. Those willing to take the risk involved with trying to obtain a visa at the border (we have only ever heard of a small handful of persons who had problems) should have USD 50 in cash if flying on a British passport, or USD 100 in cash if flying on a US passport. Those of other nationalities are advised to have USD 100 in cash ready, though in most cases the cost will be only USD 50.
Visitors to Tanzania must get a visa from one of the Tanzanian diplomatic missions unless they come from one of the visa exempt countries or countries whose citizens can obtain a visa on arrival. All visitors must hold a passport valid for 6 months (according to the Tanzanian immigration department) or a month beyond the period of intended stay (according to IATA)
Most visitors to Tanzania must obtain a visa from one of the Tanzanian diplomatic missions. However, a majority of nations can obtain a visitor visa at any port of entry land or air. Most SADC citizens or East African Community citizens do not need a visa for tourism purposes. 3-month tourist visas are available for $US 50 at all ports of entry (except US citizens must buy $US 100 1-year multiple entry visas). Tanzania does not fall under the East African Tourist Visa regime and a separate visa is required to enter Tanzania. All visitors must hold a passport valid for 6 months (according to the Tanzanian immigration department) or a month beyond the period of intended stay (according to IATA). Holders of diplomatic or service/official/special passports issued to nationals of China, India and Turkey do not require a visa for Tanzania.
Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda have an agreement that you can cross into each and back again without purchasing a new visa, as long as each visa is within its 3-month validity. For example, you can go from Kenya to Uganda, to see the mountain gorillas, and return to Kenya on the visa you acquired on first entry to the country.
Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months from date of entry to Tanzania and with sufficient blank pages for any visa stamps. If your passport does not meet the requirements, you must renew your passport or obtain a new one prior to obtaining the visa.
General Packing List
- In general, pack casually as you leave room for gifts and souvenirs. Soft sided luggage packs more easily into the safari vehicle.
- Always carry passport, airline tickets and money on your person. A fanny pack or moneybag that hangs around the neck works well.
- In case luggage doesn’t arrive the same day you do, put enough clothing and supplies for the first day in your carryon luggage.
- If taking a domestic flight luggage weight restrictions range between 15-20 kgs (33-44 lbs.) total per person.
- If climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro or Mt. Meru, additional supplies will be needed. Please refer to the Kilimanjaro Packing List.
- Well-made, comfortable shoes, preferably waterproof because they will get dirty.
- Tennis shoes or sandals for lounging in the evening
- Comfortable, breathable socks
- Shorts, mid-thigh or longer (not advisable for village visits
- Lightweight, breathable pants
- Short-sleeved shirts, cool and breathable (neutral colors are best, avoid black, dark blue and bright red)
- Bathing suit if staying at a lodge with a swimming pool or if visiting Zanzibar
- Long-sleeved fleece or sweater for evenings and/or early mornings
- Rain jacket or rain poncho
- Sun hat
- Maps, guidebooks
- Scarf (for dust and/or sun)
- Binoculars (2 pair are standard in each vehicle – Nikon Monarch 8×36 or similar)
Money (small Tanzanian bills and/or small US bills for small purchases and tips. Larger US bills and/or travelers checks for bigger purchases)
- Electricity adapter
- Camera, memory cards, minitripod
- Video camera
- Passport (with visa stamp or completed visa application with $50 or $100 US cash, exact change)
- Yellow fever certificate (REQUIRED if traveling from or through an endemic zone – refer to Medical Tips)
- Medical and Travel Insurance
- First Aid
- Anti-malaria pills
- Prescription drugs
For any emergencies while in Tanzania, in case of fire outbreak contact 114, and security ways contact police 112 or 999 and in scenarios of sickness call ambulance 115 from any mobile phone.
Consultation should be done ahead of any trip to Africa. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC; www.cdc.gov/travel) has details of required and recommended immunizations for international travelers as compiled by the World Health Organization. The CDC also frequently updates its website with news of outbreaks that upset specific areas and destinations. It’s worth checking out their travel advisory and following up by consulting your doctor. You will surely need to take some medication against malaria, and there are other immunizations that are highly recommended.
Tanzania is endemic for contracting yellow fever, so it is crucial you have a yellow fever vaccination or else you may be denied entry without one. We also highly recommend immunizing yourself against typhoid, hepatitis A and B, meningitis, rabies and if you’re going to be in East Africa for an extended period. Booster shots, although not compulsory, are suggested for tetanus-diphtheria, measles-mumps-rubella, polio, and varicella.
Certain immunizations must be administered over a period of time, while others cannot be given at the same time. Consult your doctor at least 4 to 6 weeks prior to your trip, especially since some vaccines require time to take effect. Vaccinations should be recorded and stamped in a yellow international immunization card, which you will be given when your first shots are administered take this with you whenever you go for booster shots or new immunizations