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How to get your visa for Tanzania

After you’ve booked one of our Tanzania safaris or Zanzibar holidays (hooray!), the next thing is to apply for your tourist visa. For many, this leads to worries and insecurities. How to apply? Where to apply? What documents do I need? Luckily for you, getting a visa for Tanzania is relatively easy, especially when booking with us. Read on to know more.

When travelling to Tanzania, you can either get your visa online or upon arrival*. Both ways are fine and valid, even though the Tanzanian government prefers you use the online option as they are keen to show Tanzania is a modern country. Below, we broke down more pros and cons of both ways of applying. But first, let’s talk about the costs.


The costs for a Tanzania visa differ slightly per nationality. Are you coming from Europe? Then the fee is 50 USD. Are you a US citizen? Then you need a multi-entry visa for the price of 100 USD. Both are valid for three months, but the multi-entry visa allows you to leave the country and come back again with the same visa within one year.

The amounts above apply when you purchase your visa online. If you apply upon arrival the costs are either 50 USD or 50 EUR (or 100 USD for the multi-entry visa). A bit surprising because of course 50 EUR is worth more than 50 USD. In any case, you can also pay with a credit card, and then the fee is 50 or 100 USD plus credit card fees. The choice is yours.


The Tanzanian government prefers it when you apply online, and truth be told, it does have its perks:

  • The process is relatively easy, especially with the explanatory PDF you get when booking through us.
  • You board your plane knowing your visa is arranged and paid for.
  • Upon arrival, you only have to wait at one counter to get your visa stamped.

To apply for a visa online, you go to the official portal of the Tanzanian government. We advise you to NOT apply through any other website because they are either more expensive or scams. We know of several travellers who lost their money through these scams, so it’s better to be safe than sorry. The official portal is:

People booking with us get a special PDF to guide them through the process. And our travel consultants are always available for advice. We cannot apply for your visa for you, but this way it can hardly go wrong. After submitting your application it can take up to ten days before your visa is processed and approved. Make sure to take a print or download with you when you go. Upon arrival, you only have to queue at the immigration counter to get your visa stamped in your passport. Then you collect your bags and you’re good to go.



If, for some reason, you cannot or don’t want to apply online, as of March 2024, you can also still apply upon arrival*. Brace yourself to experience some nice African bureaucracy, but other than that, the process is quite easy:

  • You fill out an application form upon arrival at the airport (keep a pen at hand and have the address of Tanzania Specialist and your first lodge at the ready).
  • Apply at the visa counter.
  • Go to a second counter to pay your visa fee, and pay either in cash or by credit card.
  • Go to a third counter, and get the visa stamped in your passport.
  • Get your bags and you’re good to go.

As you can see, when applying upon arrival you have to queue three times, whereas if you apply online you only queue once upon arrival. So applying the old-fashioned way might slow you down a bit, but hey; you are in the country of ‘pole pole’ now – no hurry in Africa! You might as well get used to it. And just between you and us: these days so many people apply online that the one queue for online applications is way longer than the three queues you take when applying upon arrival. So you might even be out quicker.


Nowadays, most people prefer to apply online, just to be sure to have that visa in their pocket before travelling. Which is understandable. If you decide to apply online, make sure to be prepared:

  • Apply three to four weeks before travelling, in case your application gets denied. This will give you enough time to correct the mistakes and apply again.
  • Have a credit card ready for your payment, or know how to make an international bank transfer.
  • Have a digital passport-size picture, a picture of your passport’s biodata page (max 300 kB) and a PDF of your flight ticket (max 1 MB) ready.
  • Make sure your passport is valid for six months upon return from Tanzania.
  • If children travel with only one parent, you need a written document in English with the consent of the other parent for the trip and then you have to upload this into the system.
  • Make sure to have a pen at hand when arriving in Tanzania, because sometimes there is still a form they ask you to fill.

If you decide to be a bit adventurous and apply upon arrival, don’t board the plane unprepared either.

  • Carry the amount needed for the fee in cash (USD/EUR), or use your credit card.
  • No passport-size picture is needed.
  • Have a pen at hand to fill in the application form, and the addresses of Tanzania Specialist and the first hotel you stay in.
  • If children travel with only one parent, you need a written document in English with the consent of the other parent for the trip.

It’s up to you how you apply for your visa – whatever gives you the least stress. As long as you keep the end goal in mind: to get that visa. Because only with your visa in hand, you can get your bags and start your safari adventure with us.


*Nationals of some countries need a so-called Referral Visa and are not allowed to apply upon arrival. So make sure to check that before you decide how to apply. Also, applying upon arrival might not be possible anymore in the future for anyone, so make sure to check the immigration guidelines before you leave to confirm that it’s still possible.

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