Tanzania Airport COVID Testing

LAST UPDATED: January 8, 2022

2021 has been a big year for the country of Tanzania so far, with the ongoing struggle with COVID-19 combined with the death of the former president Dr. John Magufuli in March. Since the former head of state’s death, his Vice President, Samia Suluhu, has gone on to become the country’s first female president.

Along with the change in leadership came a change in how the country deals with the ongoing Coronavirus epidemic. The former president was known throughout Africa and the world as being a bit of a COVID-denier, and because of that Tanzania was quite lax in enforcing many of the tactics that other countries had been using to stop the spread of the disease (quarantines, mandatory testing, etc.). This has all changed very rapidly since the new president became head of the country, and now the government is taking a much harder stance on preventing any outbreaks in the country, as detailed below.

Pre-arrival COVID Testing

As of January 2022, all airlines flying into Tanzania currently require you to have a negative RT-PCR COVID-19 test (and results delivered back to you) within 96 hours of boarding the first leg of your flight.

Rapid COVID-19 or antigen tests are not acceptable, so check with your testing provider to make sure that the test is the right type, and that you will definitely get your results back before your flight is scheduled to leave. At the airport, one of the airline staff will ask to see your test results, which you can show them on your phone (the PDF of your results will be sent to your email), or via a printed copy of the test results.

Your test results may also be inspected upon arrival in Tanzania, so be sure to save your printed copy or proof on your phone.

For the most up-to-date information, please consult your airline directly, as they each have different policies regarding required tests that are always changing.

Pre-arrival Online Health Form

Within 24 hours of arrival to Tanzania, you must fill out the government health form located online here.

Once you complete the form you’ll have a chance to print out a confirmation page (recommended if you have access to a printer), and then pay online via credit/debit card in advance for the rapid COVID-19 test on arrival to Tanzania (if applicable, see below).

COVID Testing On Arrival

The government of Tanzania, via enacting Travel Advisory #7 (May 4, 2021), has started implementing mandatory Rapid COVID-19 testing on arrival for all arriving visitors. The cost for this test is $10/person ($25/person if flying directly into Zanzibar) and may be paid via cash or credit/debit card (remember to contact your card issuer before heading to Tanzania to let them know you will be traveling abroad). Once tested via a nasal swab, your results will be given to you within an average of ten minutes or so, after which you will be allowed to collect your baggage and proceed through customs.

This slows down your arrival and immigration process by about twenty minutes or so, so plan to spend a bit of extra time when entering the country. (As there are no bathrooms available until you clear customs, we highly recommend using the restroom on the plane before landing.)

Please note that the testing is mandatory regardless of whether you have been vaccinated or not. At present, proof of vaccination is not checked at any point to enter the country.

Pre-departure COVID Testing

As of December 2021, all guests returning back to the U.S. or Europe are required to undergo a rapid COVID-19 test within 24 hours of boarding their first flight. There are testing facilities set up in Zanzibar, Dar es Salaam, and Kilimanjaro International Airports to facilitate this, at the cost of USD$10/person, payable in cash. Reservations are not needed, and the testing center is open long enough to serve passengers up to the last scheduled flight out for the evening.

If you prefer or require an RT-PCR test for your next destination, there are various clinics throughout the country (Serengeti National Park, Arusha, Karatu, etc.) that provide test results back within 24-48 hours. The cost for this test is $50/person, plus a $20 processing fee, and is payable via cash or credit/debit card. Just be sure to let us know that you would like to schedule an RT-PCR test and we will make sure that your itinerary allows for the required amount of time in order to take the test and have the results delivered before your flight.

For the most up-to-date information on exactly what COVID-19 test you need for your flight, please consult your airline directly, as they each have different policies regarding required tests.

COVID-19 Testing in Zanzibar

As of late, some of our guests have asked whether or not they need a separate COVID test in order to go to Zanzibar (as about half of our guests do after a safari trip or Kilimanjaro trekking adventure). If you have already flown into Tanzania and have tested negative for Coronavirus, you do not need an additional test to fly to/enter Zanzibar.

If your final port of call within Tanzania is Zanzibar, and you need to take a COVID-19 test in order to board your international flight back home, you can get one at the Lumumba COVID-19 Testing centers (multiple locations), which are located near both Stone Town and Zanzibar’s Abeid Amani Karume International Airport (ZNZ). If flying into Zanzibar as your first port of call in Tanzania, you will take a rapid COVID-19 test at the airport (USD$25).

Turnaround time is currently listed at up to 72 hours, so be sure to do the math and take it as soon as possible before your flight to satisfy the 72-hour window that all international providers are requiring (e.g. if your flight leaves Thursday at noon, be sure to get the test in the early afternoon [after 12:00 pm] on Monday).

Appointments may be scheduled online here.

Additional COVID-19 Safety Precautions

In addition to the testing procedures detailed above:

  • All of our guides are tested within 48 hours of receiving guests at the airport
  • All vehicles are completely disinfected before guest arrival
  • Hand sanitizing/washing will be required at points during the trip
  • Masks will be worn by driver guides upon request

All of our partner lodges and activity partners are also trained in the detection of COVID-19 symptoms and how to prevent the spread of the disease. All lodges are disinfected before guests arrive, and common spaces are cleaned regularly.

Because of the scarcity of high-quality facemasks and portable hand sanitizer in Tanzania, guests are encouraged to bring enough supplies of each for the duration of their time in the country.

For more about our Safe & Clean Commitment, please look here.

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In summary, all visitors will need to undergo three separate COVID tests in order to visit Tanzania—one before arrival (required by the airlines), one on arrival (required by the Tanzanian government), and one pre-departure (required by the airlines).

We’ll be sure to keep this page updated with the most recent information, so be sure to bookmark it if you’re heading to Tanzania anytime soon!

Have any questions regarding entry procedures and COVID testing for entering or exiting Tanzania? Just let us know here.

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