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Tanzania

Tanzania is a developing East African nation noted for both its history of stability and its astounding natural beauty.  A robust tourist industry provides all levels of tourist amenities, although higher-end facilities are concentrated mainly in the cities and selected game parks.  The United Republic of Tanzania was formed in 1964 with the union of the mainland country of Tanganyika and the Zanzibar archipelago, which comprises the islands of Unguja and Pemba.  Unguja is the much larger and more populous of the two islands and it is commonly referred to as Zanzibar, as is its main city, Stonetown.  Zanzibar enjoys an autonomous status in many areas of governance and has a separate legal system from the mainland.  The legislative capital of Tanzania is Dodoma.  The U.S. Embassy is in Tanzania’s largest city, Dar es Salaam, the location of most government offices, and the commercial center of the country.  Please read the Department of State Background Notes on Tanzania for additional information.

 

 

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 COUNTRY OVERVIEW
Country Name: Tanzania (including Zanzibar)
Continent: Africa
Capital City: Dar Es Salaam
Boundary Countries:

Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Uganda, Zambia

Recommended Hospitals in Capital:

Dar es Salaam: Aga Khan Hospital
Moshi: Kilimajaro Christian Medical Center

Main Cities:

Dar es Salaam, Arusha, Dodoma, Mtwara, Songea, Mbeya, Iringa, Sumbawanga, Tanga, Zanzibar, Mkoani, Musoma, Bukoba, Mwanza, Kigoma, Tabora.

Country Size: 945,087 sq km, note: includes the islands of Mafia, Pemba, and Zanzibar
Population: 40,213,160 (*see Mortality Statistics)

 

COUNTRY GENERAL INFORMATION
Language:

Kiswahili or Swahili (official), Kiunguja (name for Swahili in Zanzibar), English (official, primary language of commerce, administration, and higher education), Arabic (widely spoken in Zanzibar), many local languages
note: Kiswahili (Swahili) is the mother tongue of the Bantu people living in Zanzibar and nearby coastal Tanzania; although Kiswahili is Bantu in structure and origin, its vocabulary draws on a variety of sources including Arabic and English; it has become the lingua franca of central and eastern Africa; the first language of most people is one of the local languages.

Currency: Tanzanian shilling (TZS)
Predominant Religions:

mainland - Christian 30%, Muslim 35%, indigenous beliefs 35%; Zanzibar - more than 99% Muslim

 

National Holidays: Union Day (Tanganyika and Zanzibar), 26 April (1964)
Economic Status:

Tanzania is one of the poorest countries in the world. The economy depends heavily on agriculture, which accounts for more than 40% of GDP, provides 85% of exports, and employs 80% of the work force. Topography and climatic conditions, however, limit cultivated crops to only 4% of the land area.

Security:

Tanzanian People's Defense Force (Jeshi la Wananchi la Tanzania, JWTZ): Army, Naval Wing (includes Coast Guard), Air Defense Command (includes Air Wing), National Service

US Presence:

The US Embassy is located at 686 Old Bagamoyo Road, Dar es Salaam. The Embassy’s Consular Section can be contacted by telephone at [255](22) 266-8001 x 4122 (After hours US citizen emergencies should call [255](22) 266-8001 and wait for the operator to answer); by fax [255](22) 266-8238; contacted by email. The Embassy website is http://tanzania.usembassy.gov.

Document Requirements:

A passport and visa are required for travel to Tanzania. US citizens with valid passports may obtain a visa either before arriving in Tanzania or at any port of entry staffed by immigration officials. The current fee for a visa has recently risen to $100 for a 12-month multiple-entry tourist visa to reciprocate the fee the United States charges visa applicants.  This could rise again as the US application fee rises. Some border posts and embassies may have technical difficulty in producing the 12-month visa. They may make hand-written annotations on the computer printed visa. US passports should be valid for a minimum of six months beyond the date the visa is obtained, whether it is acquired beforehand or at the port of entry. Also, foreigners are required to show their passports when entering or exiting Zanzibar.
The web site of the Embassy of Tanzania in Washington, DC states that yellow fever vaccination is required only for persons from, or those who have visited yellow fever endemic countries. 
Tanzanian law is very strict on visa categories. A recurring problem encountered by Americans is that volunteer activity– even if the traveler is paying for the volunteer opportunity– is prohibited on a tourist visa. Americans who are traveling to Tanzania for short or long term volunteer projects should review their status with the sponsoring organization before entering the country.
Travelers are reminded to safeguard their US passports while in Tanzania. Passport loss can lead to delays in departing the country and can cause disruption of travel. Tanzanian authorities require that travelers who are not in possession of the visa and entry stamps obtained upon admission to Tanzania visit the immigration office prior to departure to regularize their status. Persons attempting to depart the country without proper documentation may be subject to fines or delays in departure. Visit the Embassy of Tanzania’s web site at http://www.tanzaniaembassy-us.org for the most current visa information.
Information about dual nationality or the prevention of international child abduction can be found on our web site. For further information about customs regulations, please read our Customs Information sheet.

Major Airports:

Airports:  124, Airports w/paved runways:  10

Dar-es-Salaam Airport, Tanzania, Box 18032, Dar-es-Salaam, TANZANIA
Tel: +255 (0)51 284 3403, Fax: +255 (0)51 284 4373
Email: dar@airports.go.tz  or info@tanzaniaairports.com
Website: www.tanzaniaairports.com

    Kilimanjaro Airport, Tanzania, PO Box 10, Kilimanjaro, TANZANIA
Tel: +255 (0)027 255 4252, Fax: +255 (0)027 255 4521
Email: info@kadco.co.tz
Website: www.kilimanjaroairport.co.tz

    Zanzibar Airport, Tanzania, PO Box 266, Zanzibar, TANZANIA
Tel: +255 (0)54 32001, Fax: +255 (0)54 33674
Email: info@zat-handling.com
Website: www.zanzibar-airport.com

 

Servicing Airlines:
Risks and Precautions:

Crime is a serious problem in Tanzania, and visitors should be alert and cautious. Street crime in Dar es Salaam is common and includes mugging, vehicle theft, "smash and grab" attacks on vehicles, armed robbery, and burglary. Thieves and pickpockets on buses and trains steal from inattentive passengers.
Crime involving firearms is becoming more common. A series of robberies involving increasing levels of violence has occurred along the coast and on Zanzibar. Robbers have held up tour buses and dive boats at gunpoint. In the spring of 2008, there were a string of armed robberies in hotels along the east coast of Ungunja (the main island) in Zanzibar.
Pedestrians on beaches and footpaths, both in isolated areas and in popular tourist venues, are often targeted for robbery or assault. This is especially true on Zanzibar and in Dar es Salaam and its environs. Visitors should limit the amount of cash they carry and leave valuables, such as passports, jewelry and airline tickets, in a hotel safe or other secure place. Cameras are highly coveted by thieves, and should be guarded carefully. Because of the potential for fraud, credit cards should only be used in reputable tourist hotels.
Sexual assaults involving tourists are also an increasing concern. Travelers should contract only with legitimate tour guides, preferably arranged by a known travel agency or hotel. Travelers are advised to be wary of “spontaneous” offers of sightseeing and to avoid being alone with “friendly” strangers who propose special, customized sightseeing trips.
A continuing concern is Tourè Drive on Msasani Peninsula in Dar es Salaam. It is the beach front road leading from the Sea Cliff Hotel into town and provides an inviting view of the ocean. However, there are regular reports of daytime muggings, pick-pocketing, and theft from cars. This road continues to be an area of concern any time of day, on foot, or in vehicles. US government personnel are expressly advised to avoid walking or running along Tourè Drive. In Arusha, the high number of foreign tourists attracts pickpockets and bag snatchers.
Occasionally, these crimes escalate into violence. While very frightening, the number of these attacks is small and the majority of American tourists enjoy Tanzania in peace. Travelers are always urged to practice common sense security and remain vigilant of their surroundings. If a situation does not seem right, travelers should follow their instincts and leave the scene.
Travelers are strongly encouraged not to walk around at dusk or later, and to avoid the section of Arusha on the far side of the Themi River at all times on foot. Long time residents say that crime in Arusha peaks around the December-January holiday season. Travelers should be even more vigilant during these months.
Americans residing in Arusha report a steady increase in crimes targeting the homes of expatriates living in the region. These armed home invasions usually involve some violence and some victims have received serious injuries. Americans choosing to reside in the area should ensure that their homes have a safe haven – a secure area with reinforced barriers into which inhabitants can retreat and remain safe if the intruders come into the home. Residents in Arusha strongly recommend retaining a professional security company with 24-hour guards and roving patrols.
Carjacking has occurred in both rural and urban areas. Visitors are advised to drive with doors locked and windows rolled up. Travelers are urged not to stop between populated areas and to travel in convoys if possible.
Terrorist incidents in the recent past highlight the continuing threat posed by terrorism in East Africa and the capacity of terrorist groups to carry out such attacks. On August 7, 1998, terrorists bombed the U.S. Embassies in Dar es Salaam and Nairobi, Kenya. On November 28, 2002, terrorists bombed a hotel in Mombasa, Kenya, approximately 50 miles north of the Kenya -Tanzania border, and unsuccessfully attempted to shoot down an Israeli charter plane departing Mombasa Airport. U.S. citizens should be aware of the risk of indiscriminate attacks on civilian targets including usual gathering places of tourists and Westerners. At all times, travelers should maintain a high level of security vigilance. They should avoid political rallies and related public gatherings. In the past, peaceful demonstrations have turned violent with little or no warning as riot police clashed with demonstrators.
The population in Zanzibar is majority Muslim and holds traditional values. Some Zanzibar newspapers have warned that women who dress immodestly may be subject to harassment. American citizens are advised to dress modestly and to refrain from intemperate public behavior. As in Dar es Salaam, Americans in Zanzibar should also avoid political rallies and related public gatherings.
The area near Tanzania's borders with Rwanda and Burundi has been the site of minor military clashes. There have been a number of incidents of criminal and violent activity in the region. Travelers to this area should exercise caution. U.S. officials, in keeping with UN security procedures, request police escorts on parts of the Rusomo to Kahama road near the Rwandan border because of an increase in armed bandit attacks.
Inter-city transportation routes between major destinations such as Arusha and Dar es Salaam are serviced by a variety of carriers that offer differing levels of safety and comfort. US citizens who travel by bus are urged to select carriers who use modern equipment and to avoid riding in vehicles that are in obvious disrepair. Americans on long-haul bus routes in Tanzania have been victims of “druggings” in which drug-laced food and drink are used to sedate unsuspecting passengers so their belongings can be stolen easily. Travelers are cautioned not to accept food or beverages from fellow passengers.
In-town transportation is best accomplished using taxis or hired drivers from a reputable source. Travelers should be wary of using the ubiquitous microbuses (dala-dalas), which are frequently overcrowded, poorly maintained, a common site of petty theft, and whose operation is generally unsafe.

Mortality Statistics:

Infant MR total:  70.46 deaths/1,000 live births
Life expectancy at birth:  TOTAL 51.45 years   (male 50.06/female 52.88)

Immunization Indicators:

Required: None
Recommended: Yellow Fever, Hep A & B, Typhoid, Rabies
Boosters: MMR, DPT, Polio

Drugs to Prevent Malaria (antimalarial drugs).  If you will be visiting a malaria risk area in Tanzania, you will need to take one of the following antimalarial drugs: atovaquone/proguanil, doxycycline, or mefloquine (primaquine in special circumstances and only after G6PD testing). For additional information on malaria, protection from insect bites, and anti-malarial drugs, please visit the CDC travel health web site at http://www.cdc.gov/malaria/.
Note: Chloroquine is NOT an effective antimalarial drug in Tanzania and should not be taken to prevent malaria in this region.

Infectious Disease Concerns:

degree of risk: very high
Cholera is prevalent in many areas of Tanzania, and several strains of malaria are endemic. Travelers are strongly advised to carry malaria suppressants with them. Visitors should consult their physicians before traveling to learn about prophylaxis and the possible side effects of various available medications. Malaria risk area in Tanzania: All areas at altitudes below 1,800 m (<5,906 ft).

Dengue, filariasis, leishmaniasis, and onchocerciasis (river blindness) are other diseases carried by insects that also occur in East Africa. African trypanosomiasis (African sleeping sickness) has increased in Africa and an increase in travelers has been noted since 2000. Protecting yourself against insect bites will help to prevent these diseases.

Schistosomiasis, a parasitic infection, can be contracted in fresh water in this region.

Overall Quality of Medical Services:

Medical facilities are limited and medicines are sometimes unavailable, even in Dar es Salaam. There are hospitals on Zanzibar that can treat minor ailments. For any major medical problems, including dental work, travelers should consider obtaining medical treatment in Nairobi or South Africa where more advanced medical care is available.

Providers in Network:
Direct Payment: 2
Referrals: 33
View Network Providers
Recent Medical Threats/ Concerns/Warnings:

Polio outbreaks were reported in several previously polio-free countries in Central, Eastern, and Western Africa beginning in 2003.  Polio is still endemic in Nigeria.

Highly pathogenic avian influenza (H5N1) has been found in poultry populations in several countries in Africa. Avoid all direct contact with birds, including domestic poultry (such as chickens and ducks) and wild birds, and avoid places such as poultry farms and bird markets where live birds are raised or kept.  For a current list of countries reporting outbreaks of H5N1 among poultry and/or wild birds, view updates from the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), and for total numbers of confirmed human cases of H5N1 virus by country see the World Health Organization (WHO) Avian Influenza website.

Communications Info:

Calling Code:  +255    
Internet code:  .tz

 



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Seven Corners is one of the industry's most experienced travel health insurance providers. The company serves leisure, student, business, government and missionary/volunteer travelers. It offers an extensive selection of international medical and travel insurance policies to U.S. citizens traveling overseas, or foreign nationals visiting the United States. Seven Corners has thousands of policy holders and a worldwide network of over 30,000 agents. The company created and maintains the industry's most comprehensive network of international health care providers that includes thousands of doctors, pharmacies and hospitals around the globe. Seven Corners is a member of the United States Travel Insurance Association; is GSA certified and is currently pursuing a SAS 70 Type II compliant designation. In addition to travel medical insurance, Seven Corners also offers health care administration to the government sector. The company is privately held and headquartered just north of Indianapolis in Carmel, IN.