Zanzibar Prep: Getting an eVisa

In my research for my upcoming trip to Zanzibar, I wanted to know if I needed a visa or not. Turns out that you do need a visa but you can apply for a visa on arrival. Looking through some of the travel forums, it seems that process can be very easy or very difficult.

Usually, a single entry visa costs $50 USD. The funny thing is, US citizens can only apply for a multiple entry visa which costs $100 USD. When you go through customs and immigration in Tanzania, you are required to pay the fee. Credit cards are accepted but from what I’ve read on some of the travel forums, the credit card machines don’t always function. If the credit card machines don’t work, you are required to have new (2006 or newer), crisp bills in order to obtain a visa. The idea of carrying a lot of money in an Africa airport isn’t so appealing due to the fact that airport workers ask for “donations”.

To play it safe I decided to apply for an eVisa. Since there is little to no information about applying for an eVisa for Tanzania online, I figured I would document the process.

To start go to and click on New Application.

Next, you’ll be asked to input your email address as well as pick a Security Question and Security Answer. There is no password. After you fill this out, you will be given an Application ID. Make sure you save this information, you will need it later to check your application status.

Next, you fill out the standard personal information.

After that, you fill out contact and employment information.

Next, you need to enter your passport information along with information about your mother and father. There is also a field for guardian information that can’t be left blank. I ended up just putting my mother’s information in these fields again.

Next, you have to specify which embassy where you will be applying. I just choose the embassy in Washington DC. Make sure that you remember which one you chose, you will need it.

As a US Citizen, you must specify multiple entry visa as the Type of Visa Requested and Tourism as the Purpose of your visit.

You also have to indicate your destination as well as your port of entry. For the destination I chose Zanzibar and port of entry, I chose Abeid Amani Karume International Airport.

The next section is where you specify where you will stay. For host, I chose self and entered my hotel information.

For the last step, you are required to upload scan of a passport photo as well as a scan of your passport itself. The images can’t be too high resolution as the max image size is 300KB for each. You are also required to upload an Application Letter.

For my letter:

  • I addressed it to the embassy I chose in the steps prior.
  • I stated why I was coming to Tanzania
  • Included my flight and hotel information
  • Included information about travel insurance.

I used the template at Schengen Visa Info as a guide.

The next you have to confirm the disclaimer and pay for the visa.

I applied on a Sunday and it takes a couple of days to process. Once I hear back I’ll let you know.