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Tanzania

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Risk level(s)

TANZANIA - Exercise a high degree of caution

Exercise a high degree of caution in Tanzania due to crime levels and the threat of terrorism.

Border with Mozambique - Avoid non-essential travel

Avoid non-essential travel to within 20 km of the border with Mozambique, in the Mtwara Region, due to the threat of militant attacks, terrorism and kidnappings.

Safety and security situation

Border with Burundi and Democratic Republic of Congo (Kinshasa) - Avoid non-essential travel

Avoid non-essential travel to within 20 km of the border with Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo (Kinshasa), with the exceptions of the city of Kigoma itself as well as Gombe, Katavi and Mahale national parks, due to the presence of armed groups and traffickers, and the threat of kidnappings.

Safety and security situation

Safety and security

Border with Burundi and Democratic Republic of Congo (Kinshasa)

Travel near refugee camps in northwestern Tanzania, particularly in the region of Kigoma and to the west of Kagera bordering Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda, is dangerous due to banditry.

Demonstrations

Demonstrations may occur, particularly in Zanzibar and occasionally in Dar es Salaam, Arusha, Mwanza, Mbeya, Mtwara, and Stone Town. Demonstrations increase during flare-ups of political tension which can include election periods. Even peaceful demonstrations can turn violent at any time. They can also lead to disruptions to traffic and public transportation.

More about mass gatherings (large-scale events)

Crime

Petty crime

Petty crime, such as pickpocketing and purse snatching, occurs, particularly in public places and popular tourist areas in Dar es Salaam, Zanzibar and Arusha.

Exercise caution in and around:

In Dar es Salaam, exercise increased caution in and around:

In Zanzibar, exercise increased caution in and around Stone Town.

To mitigate the threat from theft:

Bag snatching from passing vehicles is very common.

Violent crime

Tourists have been victims of assaults, including sexual assaults, in Dar es Salaam, Zanzibar and Arusha.

If you are the victim of an armed robbery, do not resist. Attackers could assault you for failing to comply or not complying quickly enough.

Crimes against children and people with albinism, including murder, have occurred. Be particularly cautious. 

Organized crime

Organized crime associated with international drug trafficking occurs in Tanzania, as it is situated along a transit route used to transport drugs from Asia to Africa. Though tourists are rarely affected, exercise caution in large cities.

Kidnappings

Kidnapping-for-ransom does not pose significant risk in Tanzania, though armed groups from bordering countries are known to employ this tactic.

Exercise caution along border areas, namely:

Express kidnappings

Tourists have been taken to ATMs and forced to withdraw funds from their account after accepting a ride from a stranger, a local taxi, ride share companies or a recent acquaintance. These incidents have most often occurred near hotels and transportation hubs such as ferry, bus and train terminals in Dar es Salaam. To minimize the risk, do not accept unsolicited offers of assistance or rides from new acquaintances or strangers. Always book transportation from a reputable company or through your hotel.

Home invasions

Armed home robberies occur and foreigners’ homes have been targeted by criminals. Always lock your doors and windows and use reinforced barriers wherever possible. Do not rent temporary accommodations from new acquaintances. Be sure to go through a reputable agency if looking for long-term accommodations in Tanzania. 

LGBTQ2

LGBTQ2 persons have been subject to physical and verbal harassment by locals and authorities. The situation has become worse since 2016 under the new government.

On the road

While better in larger centres, road conditions and road safety are poor throughout the country.

Conditions

Road signs are often missing, and visibility is poor due to insufficient lighting. Poorly maintained cars, roaming wildlife, livestock, cyclists and pedestrians also increase the risk associated with driving. Outside major cities, four-wheel drive vehicles are highly recommended.

Tourist facilities are adequate in major cities but limited in remote areas, with the exception of principal game lodges and beach resorts.

Road safety

Drivers often drive at excessive speeds, and they can be aggressive or reckless. Accident causing fatalities are common.

Armed robberies, carjackings and attacks on moving vehicles have occurred in Arusha and Dar es Salaam, particularly on Toure Drive (Msasani Peninsula).

Crowds tend to form around accidents and foreigners are extorted for money or assaulted (even when they are not at fault).

National parks and nature reserves

Organized tours and independent travellers have been victims of armed robbery in parks and nature reserves.

Exercise caution in:

Avoid camping or travelling alone and hire a reputable tour guide. Hotels can make recommendations for reputable tour companies.

While camps and lodges are generally guarded, potentially dangerous wild animals often venture within the boundaries of the camp.

Mountaineering

If you are considering climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, carefully consider the inherent risks involved. People are seriously injured or killed on the mountain every year, and emergency assistance is severely limited. If you intend to climb:

Terrorism

There is a threat of terrorism, particularly in Dar es Salaam, Zanzibar, Arusha and border areas. Terrorist attacks could occur at any time. Targets could include:

Stay at hotels that have robust security measures.

Always be aware of your surroundings when in public places.

Fraud

Credit card and ATM fraud occurs. Be cautious when using your credit or debit card at ATMs, and:

Foreigners have been victims of scams relating to volunteer work visas and safaris.

Spiked food and drinks

Never leave food or drinks unattended or in the care of strangers. Be wary of accepting snacks, beverages, gum or cigarettes from new acquaintances. These items may contain drugs that could put you at risk of sexual assault and robbery.

Corruption

Some officials solicit bribes as you go through customs at airports. In a common scheme, an official will ask the visitor to produce a certificate of proof of inoculation against yellow fever, even in cases where you do not need one.

Police officers may approach you requesting money for alleged offences.

If you think you are dealing with a corrupt official, you may inform them you will contact the High Commission for advice. This tends to dissuade them from soliciting bribes. Report all such incidents to the High Commission of Canada in Dar es Salaam.

Public transportation

Busses

You should avoid travelling by bus (dala dala), as public busses are often overcrowded, poorly maintained and driven in a reckless manner. Public busses are frequently involved in accidents which have resulted in fatalities. There have been reports of sexual assault on busses.

Intercity busses are typically more safe and meet higher maintenance standards.

Rail

Rail service is limited and maintenance standards are low. There have been reports of theft on crowded trains, particularly overnight trains.

Taxis

A licensed taxi is a white car with a white (never yellow) licence plate, a coloured stripe running laterally on the side panels of the vehicle, a number located inside a circle on the passenger doors and visible insurance and registration numbers located on the windshield.

Maritime transportation

There are regular ferries travelling between Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar. Tanzanian ports are often frequented by persuasive ticket scalpers.

Vessels travelling between the following ports are less reliable and often overcrowded:

Ferry accidents occur due to the overloading and poor maintenance of some vessels.

Do not board vessels that appear overloaded or unseaworthy.

Piracy

Pirate attacks and armed robbery against ships occur in coastal waters, particularly in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean. Mariners should take appropriate precautions.

Live piracy report - International Maritime Bureau’s Piracy Reporting Centre

Air travel

We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.

General information about foreign domestic airlines

Power Outages

Due to power shortages, outages may occur on a daily basis. Expect occasional disruptions in power, as not all businesses are equipped with a generator.

 

Entry/exit requirements

Novel coronavirus

In an attempt to limit the spread of a novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), which originated in China, some governments have implemented special entry restrictions for their territory. Before travelling, verify if your destination’s local authorities have implemented any specific entry and exit restrictions related to this situation.

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Outbreak update – Public Health Agency of Canada

Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders. The Government of Canada cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet your destination’s entry or exit requirements.

We have obtained the information on this page from the Tanzanian authorities. It can, however, change at any time.

Verify this information with foreign diplomatic missions and consulates in Canada.

Passport

Entry requirements vary depending on the type of passport you use for travel.

Before you travel, check with your transportation company about passport requirements. Its rules on passport validity may be more stringent than the country’s entry rules.

Regular Canadian passport

Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months beyond the date you expect to leave Tanzania.

Passport for official travel

Different entry rules may apply.

Official travel

Other travel documents

Different entry rules may apply when travelling with a temporary passport or an emergency travel document. Before you leave, check with the closest diplomatic mission for your destination.

Useful links

Visas

Tourist visa: required
Business visa: required
Student visa: required
Work/volunteer visa: required

Canadians need a visa to visit Tanzania. At main ports of entry, you can get a visa on arrival for a maximum of 3 months. When you arrive, ensure that immigration officials validate your visa by stamping your passport or writing any required information in it. Some visas are valid for a period shorter than three months. If you are a frequent visitor or business traveller, apply for a multiple-entry visa before the start of your trip.

Verify that you abide by the terms and expiry date indicated on your visa. You could receive a substantial fine if you overstay the period allowed by your visitor visa or residence permit.

More information about entry visas, including fees – Ministry of Home Affairs, Tanzania

Other requirements

You must be able to show proof of return or onward ticket. You could be refused entry if you fail to show it upon request.

Working and volunteering in Tanzania

You cannot perform any type of work, including volunteer work, on a tourist visa. When planning to travel to Tanzania to do volunteer work, contact the High Commission for the United Republic of Tanzania for information on specific requirements.

Work permits must be verified by Tanzanian immigration officials within 30 days of issuance. You can get this done at any Tanzanian Immigration office or online the Immigration Department’s online verification system. 

Immigration Service Department’s verification system – Ministry of Home Affairs, Tanzania

List of foreign diplomatic missions and consulates in Canada.

Health screening

Due to the ongoing outbreak of Ebola virus disease in neighboring countries you may be subject to a quick thermal scanner screening and/or a health questionnaire at the airports upon boarding or disembarking a plane.

Children and travel

Learn about travel with children.

Yellow fever

Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).

Health

Related Travel Health Notices
Consult a health care professional or visit a travel health clinic preferably six weeks before you travel.
Vaccines

Routine Vaccines

Be sure that your routine vaccines, as per your province or territory, are up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.

Some of these vaccines include: measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, varicella (chickenpox), influenza and others.

Vaccines to Consider

You may be at risk for these vaccine-preventable diseases while travelling in this country. Talk to your travel health professional about which ones are right for you.

Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A is a disease of the liver spread through contaminated food and water or contact with an infected person. All those travelling to regions with a risk of hepatitis A infection should get vaccinated.

Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is a disease of the liver spread through blood or other bodily fluids. Travellers who may be exposed (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) should get vaccinated.

Influenza

Seasonal influenza occurs worldwide. The flu season usually runs from November to April in the northern hemisphere, between April and October in the southern hemisphere and year round in the tropics. Influenza (flu) is caused by a virus spread from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Get the flu shot.

Measles

Measles is a highly contagious viral disease. It can spread quickly from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.

Anyone who is not protected against measles is at risk of being infected with it when travelling internationally.

Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are fully protected against measles.

Meningococcal disease

This country is in the African Meningitis Belt, an area where there are many cases of meningococcal disease. Meningococcal disease is a serious and sometimes fatal infection. Travellers who may be at high risk should consider getting vaccinated. High-risk travellers include those living or working with the local population (e.g., health care workers) or those travelling to crowded areas or taking part in large gatherings.

Rabies

Rabies is a deadly illness spread to humans through a bite, scratch or lick from an infected animal. Vaccination should be considered for travellers going to areas where rabies exists and who have a high risk of exposure (e.g., are children, have an occupational risk, or in close contact with animals, including free roaming dogs in communities).

Yellow Fever - Country Entry Requirements

Yellow fever is a disease caused by a flavivirus from the bite of an infected mosquito.

Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.

Risk

  • There is low potential for yellow fever exposure in this country.

Country Entry Requirement*

  • Proof of vaccination is required if you are coming from or have transited through an airport of a country where yellow fever occurs.

Recommendation

  • Vaccination may be recommended depending on your itinerary.
  • There is currently a shortage of the yellow fever vaccine in Canada. It is important for travellers to contact a designated Yellow Fever Vaccination Centre well in advance of their trip to ensure that the vaccine is available.
  • Discuss travel plans, activities, and destinations with a health care professional.
  • Protect yourself from mosquito bites.

About Yellow Fever
Yellow Fever Vaccination Centres in Canada
* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.

Food/Water

Food and Water-borne Diseases

Travellers to any destination in the world can develop travellers' diarrhea from consuming contaminated water or food.

In some areas in East Africa, food and water can also carry diseases like cholera, hepatitis A, schistosomiasis and typhoid. Practise safe food and water precautions while travelling in East Africa. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!

Cholera

Risk

Cholera is a risk in parts of this country.  Most travellers are at very low risk.

To protect against cholera, all travellers should practise safe food and water precautions.

Travellers at higher risk of getting cholera include those:

  • visiting, working or living in areas with limited access to safe food, water and proper sanitation
  • visiting areas where outbreaks are occurring

Vaccination may be recommended for high-risk travellers, and should be discussed with a health care professional.

Schistosomiasis

Schistosomiasis can be spread to humans through freshwater sources contaminated by blood flukes (tiny worms). The eggs of the worms can cause stomach illnesses like diarrhea and cramps or urinary problems. Risk is generally low for most travellers. Avoid swimming in freshwater sources (lakes, rivers, ponds). There is no vaccine available for schistosomiasis.

Travellers' diarrhea
  • Travellers' diarrhea is the most common illness affecting travellers. It is spread from eating or drinking contaminated food or water.
  • Risk of developing travellers' diarrhea increases when travelling in regions with poor standards of hygiene and sanitation. Practise safe food and water precautions.
  • The most important treatment for travellers' diarrhea is rehydration (drinking lots of fluids). Carry oral rehydration salts when travelling.
Typhoid

Typhoid is a bacterial infection spread by contaminated food or water. Risk is higher among children, travellers going to rural areas, travellers visiting friends and relatives or those travelling for a long period of time.

Travellers visiting regions with a risk typhoid, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation should speak to a health care professional about vaccination.


Insects

Insects and Illness

In some areas in East Africa, certain insects carry and spread diseases like African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness), chikungunya, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, dengue fever, leishmaniasis, lymphatic filariasis, malaria, onchocerciasis (river blindness), Rift Valley feverWest Nile virus and yellow fever.

Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.

Chikungunya

There is currently a risk of chikungunya in this country. Chikungunya is a virus spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. Chikungunya can cause a viral disease that typically causes fever and pain in the joints. In some cases, the joint pain can be severe and last for months or years.

Protect yourself from mosquito bites at all times. There is no vaccine available for chikungunya.

Dengue
  • In this country, dengue fever is a risk to travellers year-round.  It is a viral disease spread to humans by mosquito bites.
  • Dengue fever can cause severe flu-like symptoms. In some cases, it can lead to dengue haemorrhagic fever, which can be fatal.
  • The level of risk of dengue fever changes seasonally, and varies from year to year. After a decline in reported dengue cases worldwide in 2017 and 2018, global numbers have been steeply rising again.
  • Mosquitoes carrying dengue typically bite during the daytime, particularly around sunrise and sunset.
  • Protect yourself from mosquito bites. There is no vaccine or medication that protects against dengue fever.
Lymphatic filariasis

Lymphatic filariasis, also known as elephantiasis, is caused by filariae (tiny worms) spread to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. It can cause a range of illnesses. Risk is generally low for most travellers. Protect yourself from mosquito bites. There is no vaccine available for lymphatic filariasis although drug treatments exist.

Onchoceriasis

Onchocerciasis (river blindness) is an eye and skin disease caused by a parasite spread through the bite of an infected female blackfly.  Onchocerciasis often leads to blindness if left untreated. Risk is generally low for most travellers. Protect yourself from blackfly bites, which are most common close to fast-flowing rivers and streams. There is no vaccine available for onchocerciasis although drug treatments exist.


Malaria

Malaria


Animals

Animals and Illness

Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, monkeys, snakes, rodents, and bats. Certain infections found in some areas in East Africa, like avian influenza, Ebola, and rabies, can be shared between humans and animals.


Person-to-Person

Person-to-Person Infections

Crowded conditions can increase your risk of certain illnesses. Remember to wash your hands often and practise proper cough and sneeze etiquette to avoid colds, the flu and other illnesses.

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV are spread through blood and bodily fluids; practise safer sex.

HIV

HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is a virus that attacks and impairs the immune system, resulting in a chronic, progressive illness known as AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome). 

High risk activities include anything which puts you in contact with blood or body fluids, such as unprotected sex and exposure to unsterilized needles for medications or other substances (for example, steroids and drugs), tattooing, body-piercing or acupuncture.

Tuberculosis

Tuberculosis is an infection caused by bacteria and usually affects the lungs.

For most travellers the risk of tuberculosis is low.

Travellers who may be at high risk while travelling in regions with risk of tuberculosis should discuss pre- and post-travel options with a health care professional.

High-risk travellers include those visiting or working in prisons, refugee camps, homeless shelters, or hospitals, or travellers visiting friends and relatives.


Medical services and facilities

Medical facilities are limited and medicines are often unavailable, even in Dar es Salaam.

Medical evacuation, which can be very expensive, may be necessary in the event of serious illness or injury.

Make sure you get travel insurance that includes coverage for medical evacuation and hospital stays.

Travel health and safety

Keep in Mind...

The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.

Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a travel health kit, especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.

Laws and culture

You must abide by local laws.

Learn about what you should do and how we can help if you are arrested or detained abroad.

Plastic bag ban

The use, manufacture or importation of plastic bags is illegal since June 1, 2019. Convicted offenders, including tourists, can face very heavy fines, imprisonment for up to 7 days, or both.

Learn more about the plastic bag ban.

Identification

You must carry photo identification, such as a passport, and be ready to present it to authorities upon request. Keep a photocopy of your passport in a safe place in case it’s lost or confiscated.

Photography

Photography of military installations is forbidden. Individuals have been detained and/or had their cameras and film confiscated for taking pictures of public structures and buildings, including:

Always ask permission before photographing individuals.

Pornography

Possession of pornographic material is illegal.

Drugs

Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are severe. Convicted offenders can expect lengthy jail sentences.

Alcohol is not sold in some parts of Zanzibar. Avoid consuming alcohol in those areas.

Flora and fauna

Collecting and removing any flora or fauna from its natural habitat is illegal. This includes removing seashells from marine parks.

Tanzanian law strictly regulates the sale, possession or removal from the country of animal or animal parts, including jewellery and hunting trophies. Certain items are exempt; however, you need a special permit from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism before attempting to leave the country with these items.

Information about trophy dealing licences – Tanzania’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism

Ramadan 

During the lunar month of Ramadan (the ninth month of the Muslim calendar), use discretion when drinking, eating, and smoking in public between sunrise and sunset. In 2020, Ramadan is expected to begin on or around April 23.

Dress and Behaviour

In Zanzibar, Islamic practices and beliefs are particularly influential.

To avoid offending local sensitivities:

Women should cover their shoulders and refrain from wearing shorts.

LGBTQ2 

Tanzanian law prohibits sexual acts between individuals of the same sex. Those convicted face up to life imprisonment and possibly a fine.

LGBTQ2 travellers should carefully consider the risks of travelling to Tanzania.

General information and advice for LGBTQ2 travellers abroad

Dual citizenship

Tanzania doesn’t legally recognize dual citizenship.

If local authorities consider you a citizen of Tanzania, they may refuse to grant you access to Canadian consular services. This will prevent us from providing you with those services.

General information for travellers with dual citizenship

Driving

You must carry an international driving permit alongside your Canadian driver’s licence.

Traffic drives on the left.

Police roadblocks are common.

More about the International Driving Permit

Money

The currency is the Tanzanian shilling (TZS).

Credit cards are generally accepted at larger hotels, European carriers and other businesses that cater to international clientele, but are rarely accepted elsewhere. Outside of Dar es Salaam and at smaller establishments, cash in either Tanzanian shillings or U.S. dollars are the preferred method of payment, particularly for hotel bills, domestic airline tickets and entry to national parks.

ATMs are available in main cities, and some can be used to access Canadian bank accounts; however, they are subject to breakdowns. You should carry a small supply of cash in U.S. dollars for use in airports and at borders. 

Natural disasters and climate

Seasonal risks

On the mainland, the rainy season extends from March to May and then again from November to December. Seasonal flooding can hamper overland travel and reduce the provision of essential services, particularly in the summer months. Roads may become impassable and bridges damaged.

More about hurricanes, typhoons, cyclones and monsoons

Seismic activity

Tanzania is located in an active seismic zone.

Assistance

Local services

Emergency services

Dial 112 for emergency assistance.

Consular assistance

Dar Es Salaam - High Commission of Canada
Street Address38 Mirambo street / Garden Avenue, Dar es Salaam, TanzaniaPostal AddressP.O. Box 1022, Dar es Salaam, TanzaniaTelephone255 (22) 216-3300Fax255 (22) 211-6897Emaildslam@international.gc.caInternetwww.tanzania.gc.caServicesPassport Services AvailableFacebookHigh Commission of Canada in TanzaniaTwitter@CanadaTanzania

For emergency consular assistance, call the High Commission of Canada in Dar Es Salam and follow the instructions. At any time, you may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.


The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. The Government of Canada takes the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provides credible and timely information in its Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad. In the event of a large-scale emergency, every effort will be made to provide assistance. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.

See Large-scale emergencies abroad for more information.

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