The Department of Foreign Affairs strongly recommends that you obtain comprehensive travel insurance which will cover all overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation, before travelling to Tanzania. You should check any exclusions, and that your policy covers you for the activities you want to undertake. Irish citizens should note that the Irish Government does not provide funds for emergency medical repatriation or for repatriation of remains.
The current visa charge for Irish citizens entering Tanzania on a
tourist visa is 50 US$. For business /volunteer/working
visas contact the nearest Tanzanian Embassy or High
It is advisable to take a number of photocopies of your passport with you.
Safety and Security
On Sunday 5th May 2013 an explosive device was thrown into the grounds of a crowded Catholic church on the outskirts of Arusha, in northern Tanzania, resulting in two deaths and with many more seriously injured. The police are investigating the attack. In late 2012 and the first few months of 2013 there have been a number of attacks on religious leaders.
Irish citizens visiting Tanzania and Zanzibar are advised to be vigilant if visiting religious establishments and in crowded areas.
Most visits to Tanzania are trouble-free, but armed crime is increasing. Muggings, bag grabs from passing cars, and robberies including forced ATM withdrawals, sometimes accompanied by violence or the threat of violence, have increased throughout Tanzania and Zanzibar - especially in areas frequented by backpackers and expatriates. It is recommended that when booking a taxi you should, if possible, do so through your hotel reception desk, or if arriving at your destination late at night pre arrange transportation in advance. Do not hail taxis in the street or use un-licensed taxis. We also advise that even if a taxi appears to be licensed to exercise caution, and under no circumstances get into a taxi if there is anybody other than the driver in the vehicle.
There is a potential for terrorist activity and civil unrest in East African including on Tanzania mainland and the Zanzibar islands. During May and July 2012 localised rioting occurred in and around Stone Town on the Island of Zanzibar following political unrest. Further incidents occurred in October 2012 in Dar es Salaam and Stone Town and more demonstrations are possible and can turn violent without warning. While violent protest has not been aimed at tourists large gatherings of people and political demonstrations should be avoided both on Zanzibar and the mainland. If you become aware of any nearby violence you should avoid the area and monitor this site and local media for updated information.
In recent years there have been a number of very serious but isolated incidents involving expatriates. The incidents occurred on both the mainland and the islands. You should avoid walking alone, especially in isolated areas and on beaches. There have been reports of increasing violent crime in the Kigamboni of Dar es Salaam, extra caution should be taken in this area, and it should be avoided completely after dark.
Avoid walking after dark. Do not make yourself an obvious target for muggers and pickpockets. Do not carry large sums of cash or wear expensive-looking jewelry or watches. Be alert to the risk of thefts of personal property from cars and taxis stationary in traffic.
Credit card fraud is increasing. Theft of credit cards and isolated incidents of cloning (also called 'skimming') do occur. When paying by credit card, do not let it out of your sight. Keep your cards safe, and do not let anyone know your PIN numbers.
Local Laws and Customs
Tanzanians are welcoming and well disposed towards visitors. But you should be sensitive to local culture. Loud or aggressive behavior, drunkenness, foul language and disrespect, especially towards older people, will cause offence.
There is a high proportion of Muslims in Tanzania, especially along the coast and on Zanzibar and Pemba. You should dress modestly. Women should avoid wearing shorts and sleeveless tops away from tourist resorts and in Stone Town.
Homosexuality is illegal in Tanzania (including Zanzibar).
Natural Disasters and Climate
As Tanzania lies on a fault line(Rift Valley fault) earthquakes can occur. In the areas bordering the Indian Ocean there is a risk of tsunamis but these usually occur in deep sea waters and warnings are usually issued in advance. In the slum districts of the larger cities there is a risk of severe flooding in low lying areas during the rainy season. Tanzania has a tropical climate.
Additional Country Info
Local Travel in Country
If travelling by passenger ferry either between Dar es Salaam and the islands of Zanzibar, or on one of Tanzania’s lakes, citizens should ensure they only use reputable ferry companies. If you have any concerns regarding the seaworthiness of the vessel or concerns that the vessel may be overloaded, do not travel and disembark immediately. There have been two passenger-ferry disasters off the coast of Zanzibar, in September 2011 and July 2012, both resulting in large loss of life, including foreign tourists. In both cases it has been reported that these ferries were seriously overloaded.
Tanzania’s national parks are popular destinations for tourists. When camping, use official sites only. Ensure that you are properly equipped and seek local advice when entering isolated areas. Information about travel away from areas regularly frequented by foreigners can be patchy. You are advised to invest in an up-to-date travel guide and use only the services of reliable tour companies.
DIPLOMATIC AND CONSULAR MISSIONS IN TANZANIATop