Local Laws and Customs in Tanzania

local laws and customs in tanzania

To visit Tanzania is to experience Africa as you’ve dreamed of it: big game prowling the plains, tribespeople living as they have for millennia, and sweeping landscapes of acacia trees and palm-lined beaches.

Nationals of most countries will require a visa to travel Tanzania including citizens of Australia, Canada, the UK and the USA. The government has recently introduced an electronic visa for foreign nationals wishing to visit the country for tourism or travel. The Tanzanian eVisa is very simple to apply for. The e-Visa for Tanzania application form takes just minutes to fill in and you will receive a decision within a few days. All you will require to apply for your Tanzania eVisa is a passport that is valid for at least 6 months, an active email address and a credit or debit card to pay for it with.

In order to make the most of your stay in this wonderful country, take some time to read about local ways and customs in Tanzania.

Tanzanian People: Warm but Conservative

Tanzanians are warm and hospitable people but it is important to remember that it is also a conservative society and that a large part of the population is Muslim. You should try to always be respectful and dress modestly. Shouting in public places, showing too much skin or being overly affectionate with your partner will not be appreciated by locals. In the case of gay couples, exercise extreme caution and discretion as homosexuality is still illegal in Tanzania.

Also, be aware of considerable differences in body language. In Tanzania, it is customary to maintain arm’s length distance when speaking to people that you do not know well. Handshakes are a very important part of Tanzanian culture and you should shake hands with everyone you meet. Using the left hand to shake hands or to pass people things is viewed as taboo as this is the hand that people use to go to the bathroom. Also, be aware that it is seen as an insult to show the soles of your feet.

Local Laws: Do’s and Don’ts

Tanzania has strict laws on the use of drugs so be sure to avoid using, buying and especially selling drugs during your time in Tanzania (in the case of dealing this could land you with a prison sentence). Alcohol is legal but you should try to avoid being drunk in public as this will be frowned upon. Wildlife products are also strictly banned so avoid wearing any jewelry made from animal products such as ivory. Plastic bags have now been banned in an effort to reduce plastic waste, so you should refrain from bringing these too.

As previously mentioned, the Tanzanians are a warm and hospitable people. As long as you respect their conservative values and follow the Tanzanian local laws then you should have a wonderful stay in Tanzania.