Tanzania - Country Commercial Guide
Business Travel
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Business Customs

Tanzanians are accustomed to international standards of business practices. To get meetings, one must set up an appointment. When attending a meeting one must dress formal. Exchange of business cards is a good way to create a good first impression. Gifts should only be given by the consent of the recipient before the meeting because in some cases it may be perceived as bribe especially when are binding for government business.  One should make every effort to be on time for meetings, but delays by your Tanzanian partners and last-minute meeting arrangements/cancellations are not out of the ordinary.

Travel Advisory

Please see the Department of State’s Consular Information Sheet for Tanzania.
For current information on travel warnings and advisories, please see the Department of State’s Travel website.

Visa Requirements

A business visa may be issued for a period not exceeding 90 days to foreign nationals who wish to enter in the United Republic of Tanzania for one of the following


  • To conduct special assignments such as fixing/repairing machines or to run short term training, etc.
  • To conduct short time professional roles such as auditing accounts, making feasibility studies, establishing professionals and business contacts, deciding for investments during the startup period etc.
  • To conduct any other short term lawful business-related task recognized by the laws of the country and as may be determined by the issuing authority.

Eligibility and Documentation

The Government of Tanzania utilizes an electronic visa issuance system which is the equivalent to a visa, but no stamp or label is placed in the passport.

To be eligible the traveler must:

  • Enter Tanzania through Julius Nyerere International Airport (JNIA), Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA), Abeid Amani Karume International Airport (AAKIA), Namanga border, or Tunduma border
  • Hold a passport valid at least six months on entry with one blank visa page
  • Hold proof of sufficient funds
  • Hold proof of onward/return flights
  • Hold proof of hotel reservation
  • Hold all documents required for the next destination.

To complete the visa request form the traveler must provide:

  • A photograph
  • A copy of the passport information page
  • A copy of the flight confirmation
  • A letter of invitation
  • A copy of a document detailing the purpose of travel

More information on Tanzania Visa application can be found on Tanzania Visa Guidelines

U.S. Companies that require travel of foreign businesspersons to the United States should be advised that security evaluations are handled via an interagency process. Visa applicants should go to the following links:
State Department Visa Website
US Embassy Consular Section


The Tanzanian Shilling (TZS) is the country’s local currency. The U.S dollar is commonly accepted in five-star hotels and high-end stores. Credit and Debit cards are accepted in supermarkets, hotels, gas stations and certain shops. Most banks in Tanzania have ATMs that accept Visa and Mastercard. Traveler’s check are not so common in Tanzania and are accepted in few banks.


Most Tanzanians access internet through their mobile networks. The mobile companies have adopted 4G internet technology.  When purchasing a sim card, one must register biometrics and provide proof of identification to activate the sim card.

Businesses access the Internet through one of many reputable Internet Service Provider. Wi-fi is also accessible in hotels and restaurants. Tanzania has a low cost of data charges compared to other countries. This has been widely adopted to promote the use of internet in the country.

In Tanzania, Type G is the common plug used in most buildings. Tanzania operates on a 230V supply voltage and 50Hz.


Tanzania is connected by road in most of its regions. This is the most common form of transport especially for imported goods that enter the ports/airports and destined inland or neighboring land locked countries.  The country is now developing its standard gauge railway that will also stimulate trade and movement of goods from one region to another.

The country’s national carrier Air Tanzania caters for air travel within the country and few destinations outside Tanzania. Air Travel is the most preferred mode of transport for businesspeople due to its time convenience. They are also other local and international flights that operate within, to and from Tanzania such Precision Air, Ethiopian Airlines, Rwandair, KLM and Emirates to name a few.


English and Swahili are Tanzania’s official languages. Swahili is widely used compared to English but in a business environment such as corporate and government setting English is the preferred language of communications.


Travelers to Tanzania should be aware of tropical diseases such as Malaria caused by mosquitoes. It is important to use anti malaria drugs prescribed by your doctor before entering Tanzania.  With the ongoing COVID pandemic Tanzania takes necessary preventive measures to ensure the public is safe by encouraging sanitization, wearing of mask and social distancing.  The CDC maintains a list of recommended vaccinations for travelers to Tanzania.

Local Time, Business Hours and Holidays

Tanzania is on East Africa Time, GMT + 3 hours.  Tanzania does not observe daylight savings time. Government offices are open from 8am to 5pm Monday to Friday and are closed on weekends. Shops typically open from 9am to 9pm, Monday to Saturday. Most offices and shops remain closed on Sundays in Mainland Tanzania and in Zanzibar they are closed on Fridays.

Below is a list of Tanzania holidays.


Holiday Name

Jan 01

New Year’s Day

Jan 12

Zanzibar Revolution Day

April 02

Good Friday

April 05

Easter Monday

May 01

Labor Day

May 13 to May 14

*Eid al-Fitr

July 07

Saba Saba  (Dar es Salaam Int’l Trade Fair)

August 08

Nane Nane (Farmers’ Day)

Oct 14

Mwalimu Nyerere Day

Oct 18

*Maulid Day

Dec 09

Independence Day

Dec 25

Christmas Day

Dec 26

Boxing Day


The holiday(s) marked with an asterisk* are based on the lunar calendar and are estimates only.  Holidays falling on Saturday and Sunday will not be officially observed.

Temporary Entry of Materials and Personal Belongings

Rebate of customs duty may be given to a traveler on certain imports in their baggage. A rebate is given on goods that are not meant for resale under the following conditions:

The value of the goods should not exceed Tanzania shillings equivalent to USD 500 on full declarations of goods.

A full rebate (concession) is allowed on the following: 

  • Portable spirits one (1) liter.
  • Perfumed spirits not exceeding one (1) liter.
  • Tobacco not exceeding 250 grams.
  • Cigarettes not exceeding 200 sticks.