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Getting a Tourist Visa for Tanzania

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Tourist Visa for Tanzania

Most foreign nationals need a visa to enter Tanzania. Previously, tourists had two options to obtain a tourist visa: to get a visa upon arrival or apply in advance through their nation’s Tanzanian consulate, which required sending their passport away in the mail and waiting for it to be returned. The latter being less-than-ideal, time-consuming and somewhat risky if you’ve ever experienced the postal system losing your passport.

Thankfully, the process has gotten easier and now tourists can apply for an Electronic Visa to enter Tanzania as a tourist. Don’t let the prospect of a visa deter you, it is a very simple step that nearly every nation in the world requests for travelers.

The cost of a Tanzanian tourist visa is $50 USD for most travelers, $100 USD for American citizens. Citizens of some countries (such as several neighboring African countries) are allowed to enter Tanzania for free, without a visa.

To see if you are from a country that is exempt from a tourist visa, please check out Tanzania’s official visa exemption list, here.

Getting visa online

For convenience and peace-of-mind, we recommend applying for a tourist visa in advance through the Tanzania Immigration website.

Visit the official Tanzania Immigration Department website to complete and pay for your application online.

Official online visa guidelines may be found here.

NOTE FOR US CITIZENS: select “Multiple Entry Visa” when completing your application. This is the required option for US citizens wishing to enter Tanzania as tourists, then choose “Holiday and Leisure” as the purpose for travel

Other nationals may consider if a single entry tourist visa or multiple entry visa is right for their travel plans.


It may take up to 10 days to process your application, so ensure to give yourself sufficient time to complete the application and receive your visa. If you are short on time, or booked a last-minute Tanzania adventure, you should obtain your visa upon arrival at the airport.

Alternatively, the tourist visa should not be completed more than 3 months prior to your scheduled travel dates. Don’t apply for your E-Visa too early!

Print all confirmation pages and keep them in a secure location. When you arrive in Tanzania (usually at Kilimanjaro International Airport or Julius Nyerere International Airport), you will still get an official sticker in your passport as proof of your tourist visa.

Completing online application form

Only complete the e-visa from the official Tanzania Immigration website. Do not share your passport number or other important information with any other site offering visas. The only authentic E-Visa is found here.

The online application form is very simple and your answers should be clear.

  • Make sure to save your application number. Either take a photo, save a screenshot or write the number down for future reference.
  • If you start the application but aren’t able to finish completing all the questions at once, you can simply access the application again based on your email address and application number, provided on the first page.

When you return to complete the application, you will select “Continue Application”.

  • You can check the status of your visa at the “Visa Status” page, which will let you know if your visa has been received, if it is in process or if you have been approved.
  • If you have different spellings of your name, or use a different last name (such as a maiden name), the information provided here must match your official passport.
  • Spelling matters, so double-check before completing the page.
  • Don’t worry if you don’t have a passport photo ready to scan for this last step, you can always save your application and complete it at a later date.
  • You should select “Holiday and Leisure” as the purpose of your visit if you are coming as a tourist.

Tips for “Travel Information” section:

This is generally where clients have the most questions because you should provide a physical address in Tanzania and names of your host.

  • Unless you personally know a Tanzanian national and will be staying at their place of residence, then you should not select “Tanzanian Citizen”. In most cases, you should state that you are staying in a “Hotel”. Even if you will be spending the majority of your time camping as you climb Mt. Kilimanjaro or at various lodges throughout your safari, this is the most applicable response.
  • Use the itinerary provided by Altezza Travel to include the name and address of your first hotel for this section. For example, “Aishi Machame, Moshi, Tanzania” if you are staying a night in our Aishi Machame Hotel before starting your Kilimanjaro climb.
  • Altezza Clients, please use Altezza Travel and our included contact information as your “Reference” in Tanzania.
  • Under the section Local Host, make sure to select “Company/Organization” and list Altezza Travel. Your relationship to Altezza in this instance will be “Tour Operator”.

Tips for “Travel Companions” section:

  • This is most important if you are traveling with a minor (such as your child). Make sure to fill this section out to the best of your ability.
  • If you are traveling with a group (such as a climbing team) then you may select “Group or Organization”. However, if you don’t know all the members of your team, or are meeting up in Tanzania instead of departing from the same location, for all ‘travel purposes’ you are traveling as a single adult.
  • Don’t worry about companions for group situations that include individual travel where you meet up in Tanzania after arrival.

What is the difference between a visa on arrival and an e-visa?

If you find the e-visa process to be too complicated or are having technical issues, don’t worry! You can still obtain a visa on-arrival in Tanzania for the same cost, given that you are from a country that does not need a referred visa (more about that below). Nationals from many countries are eligible to receive a visa on arrival.

The difference, if you have completed the e-visa, is that you will save time when you arrive in Tanzania. Those who have their e-visas may que in the “Visa Holder '' line at immigration. They will pass quickly through and receive a sticker in their passport without needing to do any other paperwork or payments.

The alternative is a significantly longer process which requires you to complete paperwork and answer questions to determine that you are coming for tourism purposes. Once you complete this step, you must then get into another line to obtain an official payment control number, and then a third line to finally pay in cash for your visa. If you are part of a very full flight arriving in Tanzania, this line can be long and the wait very time-consuming.

If you decide to get a visa upon arrival in Tanzania, you must have $50 USD prepared in cash (other forms of payment are not accepted). US citizens must have $100 USD in cash for a tourist visa. It is also a good idea to have your tour operator’s contact details available and the name of the hotel where you will be staying, to provide to immigration, also.

Referral visa

Citizens of some countries may require a referred visa in order to come to Tanzania, even as a tourist. In these cases, the application form is not as straightforward and cannot be completed upon arrival. Citizens of the following countries must apply in advance for a referred visa:

Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Chad, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Equatorial Guinea, Iran, Iraq, Kazakhstan Republic, Kyrgyzstan Republic, Lebanon, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Palestine, Senegal, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Somali land, Sierra Leone, Syria, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Yemen and Stateless persons or persons with refugee status

If you are a citizen of one of these listed countries, you must apply for a referral visa. Please note, processing time for this application can take over 60 days, so it is important to apply well in advance. Tanzania Immigration recommends not booking flights until your referral visa has been approved.

Altezza Travel can help our clients complete their application for a referral visa, and we have experience in helping guests successfully travel to Tanzania as tourists under such a visa. In case you have any difficulties with getting your visa, feel free to contact us - we are happy to assist.

Passport validity

Your passport should be valid for six months after your departure from Tanzania.

For example, if your passport expires November 2022, your departure date should be no later than May 2022.

If the expiration date for your passport is close to six months, consider renewing your passport before completing your e-visa, as your passport number may change and make your Tanzania visa invalild.

If you have any further questions regarding a visitor visa to Tanzania, please contact us.

Published on 14 November 2023 Revised on 31 May 2024
About this article
Marvin Derichs
Expert Articles: 13
Written byMarvin Derichs
Travel Expert Tanzania
Climbing Climbing
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Tanzania Tanzania

Marvin Derichs, a Germany-based travel consultant for Altezza Travel, spent seven years living in Tanzania before returning to snowy Schleswig. Drawing from his rich experience, he now advises prospective travelers on exciting adventures in Tanzania. Marvin possesses extensive knowledge about Tanzania's mountains and popular safari parks and shares his insights with our readers.

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