Travel to Tanzania: Safety and Security Advice

safety in tanzania

In general, Tanzania is one of the safer African countries for international visitors. Every year millions of tourists travel to the nation to experience its vast wilderness areas such as the Kilimanjaro, home to Africa’s highest mountain, and Serengeti National Park.

Although Tanzania is a relatively safe and hassle-free destination, there are still some general precautions that visitors should take to ensure a smooth and trouble-free trip.

Tourist Security Upon Arrival to Tanzania

The majority of foreign citizens visiting Tanzania for tourism are required to carry a valid Tanzanian visa in order to enter the country through border entry points.

Travelers also have the option to wait in long lines at the border crossing points for a visa on arrival. They would then have to fill out a form, produce all the required entry documents and pay for the application fees (which vary between $50 and $100 per traveler) in cash.

That is why many savvy travelers choose to apply for the eVisa for Tanzania online before their departure. The electronic visa allows foreigners to fill out a simple online form from the comfort of their home or office, in just a few minutes.

Therefore, the first thing travelers should do when planning to visit the country is check if they are eligible to apply online for a Tanzania e-Visa.

Obtaining the eVisa beforehand by filling out a quick online request helps travelers avoid possible risks and scams associated with waiting in long lines at the Tanzanian border for a visa on arrival.

For the majority of foreign citizens, the Tanzania eVisa is available as a single entry visa which allows a maximum stay of 90 consecutive days in the country. A Tanzania multiple entry visa with a total validity of 12 months is available for citizens of the United States only.

In order to apply, it is first necessary to meet the Tanzania eVisa requirements, which involve having a passport from an eligible country valid for at least 6 months from the date of application.

Eligible citizens are able to apply through the simple Tanzania eVisa application form, which takes just minutes to fill in with some personal and passport information. Applicants are also required to provide a current email address at which to receive a copy of the eVisa, which they can then print to present on arrival at the Tanzanian border.

Is it Safe to Travel in Tanzania Alone?

Most foreign visitors to Tanzania come to the country as part of a group, in order to participate in activities such as a safari or mountain climbing. However, those who wish to travel to Tanzania alone should not face any particular issues as long as they exercise caution.

It is perfectly safe for travelers to walk around the major towns and cities alone during the day, although it’s advised to stick to a group, use taxis and extra caution if venturing out at night. Travelers should also avoid traveling to isolated locations alone, no matter the time of day.

Safety tips for Tanzania

In order to guarantee a smooth trip to Tanzania, there are certain safety tips that travelers should be aware of. Those traveling to Tanzania should:

  • Follow travel health advice – Tanzania is a country where tropical diseases are present, so it’s a good idea to get the recommended vaccinations for Tanzania before traveling, as well as to ask your doctor for advice on taking anti-malarial drugs.
  • Be wary of being approached by strangers – Avoid accepting food or drink from someone you don’t know. Be skeptical of anyone who claims to recognize you, or approaches you to ask for ‘donations’ or offer special deals on safaris or other tourist activities. Touts can be very pushy in the main tourist areas, so it’s a good idea to walk with purpose and avoid engaging to avoid giving the impression that you have recently arrived.
  • Be vigilant of your belongings – Just like you would in any major city around the world, keep a close eye on luggage at airports and bus stations, and try to get a taxi to your onward destination as soon as you arrive. Try not to walk around town with your luggage: leave it with a friend or at a reliable hotel if you need to go out. Valuables such as your passport and money should be kept in a zip-locked bag close to your body and well-hidden under clothing, or left in a safe in a reliable hotel.
  • Be aware transportation accidents are a problem – Travelers are advised to exercise caution if using long-distance buses in the country, as they can be involved in accidents. Travelers wishing to take a boat ride are advised to be vigilant and refuse a ride on a ferry if they perceive it to be overcrowded or unseaworthy.
  • Exercise caution if self-driving in Tanzania – Travelers should be very careful on the roads in general to minimize the chances of an accident. Drive-by robberies can also be a problem, so keep all vehicle side windows up when stopped in traffic and keep bags and valuables out of sight.
  • Check local updates before traveling to western Tanzania – This area, especially along the border with Burundi, can be prone to outbursts of banditry and political unrest. Get a local update before making any plans to visit the region.

Those traveling with the Tanzania tourist visa who follow these safety tips will be able to enjoy a comfortable, hassle-free trip to the country, and concentrate on taking in all the inspiring natural wonders that Tanzania has to offer.