Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months after your departure date. This is a standard requirement not only for Africa. Check your expiration date in advance.
You need visa for your trip to Tanzania but it can be issued on arrival. It is possible to have it in advance from the only one Embassy of Tanzania in Europe – in Germany. So it can be a nice chance to plan a trip to Germany. I read somewhere you can send your documents and wait for your visa to be sent back by the Embassy of Tanzania in Germany. I don’t know more details here because I didn’t choose this option.
So we took our visas on arrival in Tanzania. The procedure is crazy. Action plan:
- First you need to fill a form on the airport.
- Then you go on the queue for finger prints and a photo of you.
- Next step is on a visa-paying desk – 50 USD (It’s good to have exact amount).
- And then you wait for your passport.
But the last step is very hard. Unpleasant moment. You are on the “queue” with at least 100 people (I put quotation marks because there isn’t any queue – it’s a mass of pressing people). One fat lady with bitter face comes in front of the “audience” and screams 5 names of the 5 passports in her hands. This is the procedure. You wait and wait and you hope your passport and visa to be among the next 5. The people which passports are ready have to get their documents pushing the “queue” because they can be at the back of the mass of people. But once you reach the lady from the Tanzanian administration you are ready to leave this chaos.
Our flights were Sofia (Bulgaria) – Doha (Qatar); Doha – Dar es Salam (Tanzania); Dar es Salam – island Zanzibar.
Let me share with you a nice photo from Doha’s airport.
We had a delay and we arrived almost 2 hours late in Tanzania, Dar es Salam airport. It was so much struggling time to get our visas on time, to take our luggage and to transfer from Terminal 2 to Terminal 1 for the last flight. We were running, screaming, fighting with the administration and sweating. Nerve test.
I was trying to organize our documents on time and kindly asked the lady who gives the visas to get our very soon. I explained to her we need to take the last transfer flight from Tanzania to Zanzibar. The second time I requested our passports she told me – “Don’t worry, you’ll have them tomorrow.”
Fortunately our guys found the boss of the airport administration, they wrote on a paper our names and we got our visas in the very last moment. Then we were very fast and we managed to get the flight. It was a happy chance that while running for the transfer to the island Zanzibar we bumped into the pilot of our flight. He saw us running desperately and crazy and said – “Don’t worry, I’ll wait for you”. And then I breathed. The chance was on our side!
Main rule for getting visa in Tanzania – save at least 2 hours because the visa administration is primitive and chaotic.
Tip 1 : There isn’t any shuttle between the two terminals on Tanzanian airport, so plan accordingly if you will go by feet – it will take around 40 minutes but it’s possible. The better option is to get a taxi but you better arrange the price in advance before the service. We were in a rush and we didn’t talk about the price, so for less than 2 km we paid 20 bucks.
Tip 2: Spend some time to exchange money on your arrival. They accept dollars and euro but the best offer is to have Tanzanian shillings.
1 Dollar = 2200 Tanzanian shillings.
So this is my story of how I became a millionaire in a day.
Our crazy travelling time ended with landing on African land in Zanzibar.
Can’t wait to share with you all adventures we took there! So much fun!