How to Apply for a Visa for Tanzania
You have planned your safari, your flights are booked and now there is one more stumbling block before you can set off for your Tanzanian safari… a visa. Citizens of most countries need a visa to visit Tanzania. However, citizens of a few countries, including Kenya, Uganda, and Rwanda, are exempt from visa requirements. Continue reading to find out exactly how to apply for a visa to Tanzania.
There are two ways to apply for a visa to Tanzania:
- Apply online through the Tanzanian Immigration Services website.
- Apply on arrival.
To apply for a visa online, you will need to create an account on the Tanzanian Immigration Services website and fill out the online visa application form. You will need to provide your passport information, contact information, and travel dates. You will also need to pay a visa fee of $100 for U.S. citizens for a multiple-entry visa and $50 for most other countries.
Once you have submitted your application, you can check the status of your visa on this website (click on ‘check visa status’) and you will receive an email confirmation with your visa application number. You will need to print out this confirmation and bring it with you when you travel to Tanzania.
The processing time for a visa application can vary, but it typically takes 2-3 business days but may take longer on peak travel days. It is safer to apply as soon as you have your flight information and dates secured. Give yourself a minimum of 2 weeks to obtain a visa.
Applying on arrival
If you prefer to apply for a visa when you arrive in Tanzania you can do it at the border or the airport. You will need to provide the same documentation as if you were applying online, but you will also need to pay a visa application fee in cash, bring the correct money as they are unlikely to have change. Notes also need to be dated later than 2009 and in good condition.
While obtaining a visa on arrival is possible it can be time-consuming so make sure you have at least 2 hours available and are not in a rush to get anywhere.
In addition to a visa, you will also need to have a valid passport that is at least six months old. You will also need to have two blank visa pages in your passport.
Only use the official website to apply for your visa. There many sites out there that offer to do the process for you. These are not worth the extra money. Just use the official website found below:
To apply for a Tanzania visa, you’ll need to provide the following information:
- Your passport number
- Your passport expiration date
- Your full name
- Your date of birth
- Your nationality
- Your current address
- Your reason for visiting Tanzania
- A recent passport-style photo (smaller than 300KB
- A visa application fee
- flight ticket Jpeg or PDF
Here are some additional tips for applying for a Tanzania visa:
- Make sure your passport is valid for at least six months after your planned departure from Tanzania.
- Have a recent passport-style photo ready.
- Be sure to pay the visa application fee in full.
- Allow plenty of time for your visa to be processed.
Step-by-step process for how to apply for a visa to Tanzania
1. Use the official website
Follow the link to the official Tanzanian visa website – click on ‘Apply for a new visa’
2. Fill in page one
Remember to keep a note of your security question and answer as well as your application ID which you will be given once you have filled out this first page. You will need these to check the status of the application at a later date.
3. Fill in your personal information
Fill in your name, date of birth, gender, nationality, etc. Make sure all the information is correct according to your passport.
Fill in the Travel Details and Visa Details page
This is where it starts to get interesting.
The fun begins when it asks for your nearest embassy but you can’t find it on the list.. if this is the case just click anyone that is in your country at least.
The next tricky question is the Type of Visa. Here if you are traveling for a safari you will put ‘ordinary’ if the ordinary option isn’t there then you will put ‘multiple entry visa’
For the ‘Purpose of your visit’ select ‘Leisure and holiday’. If you have been to Tanzania before fill out the dates of your trip and the previous visa number.
Fill in your travel plans including
- destination (Tanzania, Zanzibar, or both)
- port type
- onward country
- port of entry
- port of departure
- date of arrival
- stay duration (maximum 90 days)
Fill in your local host information
You will probably be coming with a company or organisation. In which case you will need their information to put here.
You will need to local address and their local phone number. Under relationship select ‘Tour operator’
Fill in your accommodation
for this you will need the hotel/lodge information for your first night.
Fill in who is accompanying you
Here you will be asked ‘Are you traveling as part of a group/organisation’ to which you will answer yes
The next question is ‘ Are you being accompanied by minors’ If you answer yes then proceed to fill out the additional information.
Here you will need to upload your documents. You will need
- A passport photo (jpeg or png less than 300kb size)
- passport bio-data page (jpeg or png less than 300kb size)
- return ticket (PDF 1MB max size)
- if you are asked for an invitation letter then your booking information or contract from your safari company will work.
*Top tip use a free photo compressor app to reduce the size of your photos.
Check all the details are correct and pay
Make sure all the details are correct as you will not be able to change them once you submit the application. Read the terms and conditions click agree and then make the payment ($50/$100 USD). Take note of your application number if you didn’t earlier and your invoice number. And now you wait!
Check the status of your application
once you have applied you should receive an email notification to inform you when your visa has been approved. However, you can also check the status of your application by going back to the Tanzania Immigration page and clicking on ‘check visa status’ in the bottom right corner.
You will need your application ID, email, and security question and answer to log back in.
Print out your visa
Once you have your visa you will need to print it out in colour and put it with the rest of your documents so you remember to take it with you, yes, even if you have it on your phone. Tanzania is old school and needs a paper copy.
Not sure what to pack? Download this free Pre safari packing list to ensure you don’t forget anything.
It is also a good idea to purchase travel insurance before you travel to Tanzania. Travel insurance will cover you in case of medical emergencies, lost luggage, and other travel-related mishaps. This is sometimes a requirement of travel companies.
Planning Your Safari
Still in the planning phase of your safari? There are many different safaris to choose from, so you can find one that fits your budget and interests.
When planning your safari, be sure to consider the following factors:
- The time of year: The ‘best’ time to go on safari is during the dry season, which is from June to October.
- The type of safari: Are you looking for a whistle-stop tour of one country, a slow traverse, an adrenalin adventure, or a multi-country epic adventure, either way, a custom safari can be created for you.
- The length of your safari: Safaris can range from a few days to a few weeks. The length of your safari will depend on your budget and how much time you have available.
- Your budget: Safaris can be expensive, so it is important to set a budget before you start planning.
Once you have considered all of these factors, you can start planning your safari. If you are unsure how to start why not answer a few simple questions in the quiz below to start your safari planning. For more information about safari planning, you can also read this blog post: How to plan an African Safari.