MAY 2023 UPDATE: As Tanzania no longer requires COVID-19 testing to enter or exit the country, the government made the decision to end testing facilities in the Serengeti. The closest testing facilities are now in Karatu town, as well as Arusha city.
As of February 13th, PCR-type COVID-19 coronavirus tests are available in central Serengeti National Park, at Seronera Village. This testing facility has been set up in response to the increasing need for Coronavirus testing prior to guest’s return flights to their home countries. As of late, citizens of the United States, Canada, and other countries require proof of a negative COVID test within 72 hours prior to the flight departure. Prior to this move by the Tanzanian government, the only options for testing were in the main cities, which would be prohibitive for those in the country with a strict sightseeing schedule.
COVID-19 Testing Procedure
Testing is available for all guests regardless of showing symptoms or not, and regardless if they need the test to fly onward to their next destination or not. The Seronera testing facility in the Serengeti is open between 8:00 am and 12:00 pm daily. No prior appointment is needed, but they are recommended.
Testing will be done by a qualified medical professional via a nasal swab. Samples will be flown express to Dar es Salaam city for analysis, and results will be delivered via e-mail or Whatsapp within 48 hours. (So, if you are scheduled for a departure flight on Thursday, you should get tested on the prior Monday to allow enough time for results to be delivered.)
COVID-19 Test Costs
The fee for the COVID test, whether in the city or at the new testing facility in the Serengeti, is USD$50 (or the Tanzanian shilling equivalent, approximately Tsh232,000), plus an additional USD$20 fee paid to the facility administering the test. Payments can be made in cash, or via the Mpesa electronic payment system (for those who have access to a Tanzanian phone number/account). MasterCard or Visa credit or debit card payments will be charged a separate fee to cover the cost of payment processing.
In addition to this, there is a fee that must be paid, which differs according to your tour provider’s TATO (Tanzanian Association of Tour Operators) classification status. Non-members must pay an additional Tsh40,000 per guest tested, while members need to pay only Tsh20,000 per person.
COVID-19 Test Scheduling
If you need, or want, a COVID test prior to departing the country, please let us know prior to arrival, and we will set everything up for you in order to your results back before your departing flight. We will then do all of the scheduling on our end, through the electronic registration system.
You can download the official government flyer regarding the opening of the testing center here.
Have any questions regarding Coronavirus testing? Just let us know!