Tanzania tourist visas cost US citizens $100 for a 12-month multiple-entry visa, available in advance or at points of entry. Many other nationalities get 6 months and are charged $50. See the Tanzania Embassy in Washington website for more details.
I had one night in Zanzibar and did not want pay $100 for the privilege.
Tanzania does have transit visas available only at arrival. Generously they allow transit up to 14 days. I found little information online and wasn’t sure if it would work or what I would be charged. Several of its neighbors have transit visas that cost exactly the same as other visas.
I arrived in Zanzibar to the friendliest group of immigration officers I have ever met. There was a bit of back and forth among them of it US citizens are eligible and what to charge. One roaming officer on form help duty took the lead, pointed me to the payment window and said, “I will come and help you.” He finished with someone else’s questions, went over and the decision was the cost was to be US$30. Awesome!
I entered on the 15th and they hand-wrote on the passport that I paid $30 and had until December 31, more than 14 days. No one checked my onward flights. The next night I departed from Dar Es Salaam without incident.
The vast majority of visitors probably only need one-entry for less than 14 days, so a transit visa may be the way to go and enjoy Tanzania!
Important: at least at Zanzibar Airport they are now only accepting MasterCard or Visa for visa payments, not cash. I have to think that in special cases or when systems are offline they must have a way to accept cash, so come prepared with both.
In this series:
- Uganda Visa on Arrival
- Rwanda New Visa on Arrival Process
- The East Africa Borderless Visa for Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda
- Burundi Visa on Arrival
- Tanzania Transit Visa Often Beats Tourist Visa
- More to come…