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Guidelines for Arriving Passengers

If arriving at any International airport within Tanzania, such as Dar es salaam, Zanzibar, Kilimanjaro, and Msalato International airport,  from abroad you will need to go through customs and immigration.  Upon landing, you will take the escalator down into the arrivals hall.

You will see a sign overhead for the Visa Desk, located to your right.  Do not expect an orderly line.  There is not much order at all here.  The hall is not very large and quickly becomes packed with confused travelers, leading to some chaos.  Again, keep in mind, this is Africa.

The plus side when we were there was that airport staff were handing out bottles of water.  There was no AC on, or at least it did not seem to be working very well, so this was definitely appreciated.

Get in the “line”, which is more like a mob of people, anxious to get their visa after a long flight.   Once you reach the sole visa desk, show the officer your immigration card which you should have already filled out on the plane.  You will then have your fingers scanned.

Lake manyara airport

Tanzania Visa Fee

Next, you are sent over to another line up where you will pay your visa fee.  Americans pay $100 USD and all other countries pay $50 USD.  They accept payment in US cash (make sure bills are issued in 2006 or later and are in good condition) or by credit card.  The sign says they prefer Mastercard but they also accept Visa, which was what we used.

After paying the visa fee, they will hand your passport and receipt to the officers behind the desk to process.  You will be directed to join the crowd of travelers standing around waiting for their visas to your left.  Listen carefully for your name to be called as it can be quite noisy and they don’t use a microphone.  There doesn’t seem to be much order to how they process the visas.  Ryan’s name was called a few people before mine, despite us handing our passports in together.

Tanzania Visa

Once you receive your passport back with your Visa stamp you can proceed to passport control.  The officer standing there nodded his head for us to continue on – no questions asked nor review of our passports.

This is where you will find your luggage (hopefully, unless it was left behind like ours was).  Once you have all your belongings, you will have to run it through the scanner and then you can proceed to the exit!  The whole process took us about 45 minutes.

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