Planning for a Tanzania safari requires an interdisciplinary approach. Consequently, getting a Tanzania Visa should be among your top priorities in planning for a safari.
Generally, if you wish to visit any foreign country, you would need two important documents. One is passport and second is Visa. And this is no different in Tanzania.
Usually Visa is issued by the Immigration Bureau of the visiting country and different Visa categories are made for respective purposes. So then, here are some of the Visas in Tanzania
Types of Tanzania Visas
In Tanzania, we have about 7 visas categories but if you are looking to visit the country for the tourism purposes, ordinary Visa should be the type of Visa you’ll be required to possess.
1: Ordinary Visa
Also known as a single entry visa, this is granted for the purposes of Visit, Tourism, Leisure, Holiday, Attending conferences, Humanitarian and charity activities, family visit, health treatment or any other purposes that may be decided by the authority.
The validity of this Visa is 90 days of a single entry. This is actually the visa that is widely used for tourism purposes.
2: Business Visa
Business Visa is issued for a period not exceeding 90 days to foreign nationals who intends to enter the country for the purposes like;
- Conducting special assignments like fixing machines, for a short training.
- For a short term professional tasks like accounts auditing etc
- To conduct any other short term lawful business-related task recognized by the laws of Tanzania.
3: Multiple-entry Visa
This is the best visa for foreign nationals who visit the country regularly. A good example is directors of companies registered in Tanzania, but they do not reside in the country.
For Americans who want to visit Tanzania for holiday, this is the type of Visa they are needed to select when applying for a visa online.
This visa allows the applicant to stay in the country for up to 12 months. However, it is not permitted to stay in the country for the consecutive 12 months. A holder of a multiple entry visa is required to leave Tanzania nothing but after every 3 months.
4: Transit Visa
As its name suggests, this is used for the travellers whose purpose is to pass through Tanzania to another destination.
In addition to that, you better not confuse this for an ordinary visa and think that you are good to use it for tourism purposes. It isn’t.
5: Gratis Visa
Gratis comes from the Latin words of gratia and gratis. Nevertheless, the word means a favor.
Having said so, gratis Visa may be issued for single or multiple entries and it is usually for the holders of diplomatic, services or official passport or travel document by the recognized international organization who is on official duty.
Furthermore, this type of Visa can be issued to a holder of an ordinary passport.
6: Student Visa
While this type of Visa is granted to students, it should not exceed two years. The group of students that falls under this category is;
- Research students
- EAC students (free of charge)
- Exchange students (free of charge)
- Prospective students admitted in the recognized and legally registered institutions.
7: Referral Visas
There are about 25 countries which their nationals require special clearance from the commissioner-general of the Immigration prior to issuance of Visa.
Those countries fall under the referral visas category.
As a result, if you’re coming from any of those countries (Don’t worry, no need to scratch your head, I will mention them below) you better not book flights or things like accommodation reservations in Tanzania before you have your visa approved.
Lastly, apply for this visa at least two months prior to your visit to Tanzania.
These countries fall under the referral visas category;
|• Somali land
|• Kazakhstan Republic
|• Sierra Leone
|• Kyigten Republic
|• Sri Lanka
|• Equatorial Guinea
|• Persons with refugee status.
|• Stateless persons
Again, this group of people is required to obtain a referral visa prior to their visit to Tanzania. As a rule, they should hold Vienna convention documents.
8: Visa-less Countries
There are countries whose nationals do not require a visa, here is the list of the 68 countries that falls under this category.
9: Tanzania Visa Fees
10: Documents You Need For a Tanzania Visa
11: Refund Upon Visa Rejection
This is something that you’re not going to like about Tanzania Visa application!
Well, myself have never liked it by the way. There is no refund that will be issued for any payments should your visa application be rejected.
12: The Best Way to Apply for a Tanzania Visa
So far I have provided you with the most information you need above to apply for a Tanzania visa. Nevertheless, you might be asking yourself, how do you apply for a visa? Where do you get it? No panic, we have you covered.
Kindly browse around this Tanzania Immigration Department Official website, there you’ll immediately see how you can easily get started.
13: Applying for a Tanzania Visa on Arrival
I would highly recommend against this. Applying visa on arrival can lead to unbearable lengthy delays.
Following the recent changes made by the United Republic of Tanzania, Ministry of Home Affairs – Immigration Department, you should really focus on applying for your Tanzania Visa online.
While applying for a Tanzania Visa online might take up to three weeks for a Visa to be issued, applying it as early as possible would be wiser.
14: Entry Points for Online & On Arrival Tanzania Visa
15: Entry Points for Online & On Arrival Tanzania Visa
Type of Tanzania Visa You Should Apply
Ordinary Visa right away!
Be it a wildlife Tanzania safari, cultural tourism or beach holidays in Zanzibar, all you need is Ordinary/single entry visa.
While it costs 50 USD as I have mentioned somewhere in this post, it will by the way, give you enough time of up to 90 days to enjoy the country.
If you have other intentions rather than tourism, no worries, I have you covered.
For other intentions rather than tourism, you can simply scroll up and read types of Visas to find out which one is going to cater for your requirements.
16: Payments methods
On applying for your Tanzania Visa online, there are two options which are;
- Credit card or
- Payments by SWIFT transfer.
Nonetheless, I recommend you use the credit card option (paying through VISA or MASTERCARD) since with SWIFT transfer, there might arise some challenges in tracking your payments.
17: Waiting for your Tanzania Visa
After you’ve completed your online Tanzania visa application and have already received application ID, you will be notified on your application status via email within 10 days.
Regardless, no need to wait for a notification, they sometimes lag, so what I would advise here is that you keep checking your application status yourself time after time by going back to the visa system and check in the VISA STATUS category.
18: Applying for a Tanzania Visa via Third Parties.
Sometimes you’re going to come across agents, websites and other links promising to help you get a Tanzania Visa swiftly. They might go far by claiming that they work on behalf of the Tanzania Immigration Department.
Thanks you have read this guide, don’t buy a word from them, not even applying for your Tanzania visa via their services.
The best and recommended safe way to apply your Tanzania Visa is by visiting the immigration website here and apply for your visa right away.
You have been warned, right?
19: Visa vs. Yellow Fever Certificate – Can Either be a Substitute for Another?
Visa is not used as a substitute for the yellow fever certificate and the vice versa. Having said so;
If you are from a yellow fever endemic country or have stayed there for more than 6 hours you will need to get a yellow fever vaccine.
The yellow fever endemic countries are:
Angola, Argentina, Benin, Bolivia, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central Africa Republic, Chad, Colombia, Costa Rica, Congo, Cote d’ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Equador, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia.
More countries are;
French Guyana, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Honduras, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principle, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Sudan, Suriname, Togo, Trinidad, Uganda and Venezuela
Tanzania safari is beautiful and amazing
You shouldn’t trade your Tanzania experience for anything. That is why you need your Tanzania Visa as soon as you confirm your Safari.
It is of paramount importance that you ensure you get all the preparations right before you start your Tanzania safari.
That way, you will avoid any unnecessary disturbance hence you will have your mind and soul relaxed and devoted to enjoying this beautiful country.
From my side, I wish you nothing but the very best Tanzania safari experience.
Oops! Almost forgot, Tanzania Immigration Department has put together a very useful FAQ online page here that you should visit if you’re facing any questions