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Passport and/or Visa Requirements: A passport and visa are required for travel to Tanzania. Detailed entry information may be obtained from the Tanzanian Embassy at 2139 R Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20008, tel. (202) 939-6125 or the Tanzanian Permanent Mission to the United Nations at 205 E. 42nd St., 13th Floor, New York, N.Y. 10017, tel. (212) 972-9160. Overseas, inquiries may be made at the nearest Tanzanian Embassy or Consulate.
Travel Warnings, Advisories and Areas of Instability: Since the closely contested 1995 election, and in the lead up to the next election in 2000, political tension remains high in Zanzibar, particularly on the island of Pemba. Travelers should avoid political rallies and gatherings both in Zanzibar and on the mainland.
The area near Tanzania's borders with Rwanda and Burundi has been the subject of minor military clashes, and refugee flows across the borders into Tanzania continue. There have been a number of incidents of criminal and violent activity in the region. Travelers to this area should exercise additional caution.
Tanzania has not traditionally been a venue for international terrorists. However, on August 7, 1998, terrorists bombed the U.S. Embassy in Dar es Salaam. As a result, the U.S. Embassy has relocated to a different, interim location.
REGIONAL TERRORISM: One of the many rebel factions in the Great Lakes region has committed, and continues to threaten, violence against U.S. citizens and interests. This faction was responsible for the March 1999 kidnapping and murder of several Western tourists in Uganda. A rebel faction was responsible for the kidnapping of four foreign nationals in August 1998 in a region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo that borders Tanzania. Rebel factions are known to operate in northeastern DROC and the surrounding areas, including sections of Uganda, Rwanda, and Burundi. Rebel faction members are also present in Tanzania.
MEDICAL FACILITIES: Medical facilities are limited and medicines are often unavailable. Doctors and hospitals often expect immediate cash payment for health services. The Medicare/Medicaid program does not provide for payment of medical services outside the United States. Check with your own insurance company to confirm whether your policy applies overseas, including provision for medical evacuation. Ascertain whether payment will be made to the overseas hospital or doctor, or whether you will be reimbursed later for expenses you incur. Some insurance policies also include coverage for psychiatric treatment and for disposition of remains in the event of death.
Useful information on medical emergencies abroad, including overseas insurance programs, is provided in the Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs brochure, "Medical Information for Americans Traveling Abroad," available via its home page at http://travel.state.gov and autofax service at (202) 647-3000.
Cholera is prevalent in many areas of Tanzania. Information on vaccinations and other health precautions may be obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's international traveler's hotline at telephone: 1-877-FYI-TRIP (1-877-394-8747); fax: 1-888-CDC-FAXX (1-888-232-3299), or by visiting the CDC Internet home page at http://www.cdc.gov.
Travel Warnings, Advisories and Areas of Instability: Crime, particularly against foreigners, has become more common in both urban and rural areas. Incidents include rapes and attempted rapes, muggings, vehicle thefts, and residential break-ins. Thieves on buses and trains may steal valuables from inattentive passengers. Visitors driving in and near game parks are at risk. In recent years, there has been an increase in acts of armed banditry in and around parks and reserves frequented by tourists. The Tanzanian government has taken steps to increase security in the national parks. Assaults in Zanzibar and along public beaches in Dar es Salaam are not uncommon, and police, particularly in Zanzibar, appear inattentive to the problem. Crime and hazardous road conditions make travel by night dangerous.
Carjackings have occurred in both rural and urban areas. Travelers are urged not to stop between populated areas and to travel in convoys whenever possible.
The loss or theft abroad of an U.S. passport should be reported immediately to local police and to the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. The pamphlets "A Safe Trip Abroad" and "Tips for Travelers to Sub-Saharan Africa" provide useful information on personal security while traveling abroad and on travel in the region in general. Both are available at the Bureau of Consular Affairs home page, http://travel.state.gov, and from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 20402 or via the Internet at http://www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs.
ARREST OR DETENTION OF U.S. CITIZENS: Tanzanian police and prison officials, especially in rural areas, have consistently failed to inform the U.S. Embassy of the arrest or detention of U.S. citizens. Travelers and U.S. citizens resident in Tanzania are strongly urged to maintain legal immigration status while in Tanzania to avoid difficulties with local immigration authorities. U.S. citizens who are arrested or detained have the right, under the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, to have the U.S. Embassy notified of their situation and should request that notification be made.
DRUG PENALTIES: U.S. citizens are subject to the laws of the country in which they are traveling. Penalties for possession, use or trafficking in illegal drugs are strict, and convicted offenders can expect jail sentences and fines.
ROAD SAFETY/AUTOMOBILE TRAVEL: While in a foreign country, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. The information below concerning Tanzania is provided for general reference only and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.
Safety of Public Transportation: Poor Urban Road
Drivers are advised against nighttime travel, as roadways are often not marked and lack streetlights and shoulders; banditry is also more common after dark. During the rainy season, many roads are passable only with four-wheel-drive vehicles. Excessive speed, unpredictable driving habits, and the lack of basic safety equipment on many vehicles pose additional hazards. Drivers frequently have unexpected encounters with cyclists, pedestrians, livestock, and wild animals. In some parts of the country, roads badly affected by rain remain hazardous or impassable. Storms and heavy rains in early 1998 cut transportation links with some parts of the country, which are gradually being restored.
AVIATION SAFETY OVERSIGHT: As there is no direct commercial air service at present, or economic authority to operate such service, between the U.S. and Tanzania, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed the Tanzanian civil aviation authority for compliance with international aviation safety standards. For further information, travelers may contact the Department of Transportation within the U.S. at 1-800-322-7873, or visit the FAA Internet home page at http://www.faa.gov/avr/iasa.html. The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) separately assesses some foreign air carriers for suitability as official providers of air services. For information regarding the DOD policy on specific carriers, travelers may contact the Pentagon at (703) 697-7288.
Anecdotal reports of poor equipment maintenance, pilot error and other problems have raised concern over the reliability of local air carriers. Travelers may wish to take this information into consideration when making air travel arrangements within Tanzania, particularly on flights to small airstrips in the interior.
Y2K INFORMATION: U.S. citizens contemplating travel or residing abroad in late 1999 or early 2000 should be aware of potential difficulties. U.S. citizens may wish to consider taking practical precautions against possible disruptions of services triggered by the Y2K computer phenomenon. Monitor the home page of the Department of State for updates on Y2K issues.
USE OF CREDIT CARDS: Credit cards are increasingly accepted at major hotels, but advances in the form of U.S. dollar traveler's checks or cash (in Tanzanian shillings) are available from just two sources in Dar es Salaam and two branch offices in Zanzibar. Visitors should bring sufficient cash or traveler's checks for their trip.
PHOTOGRAPHY RESTRICTIONS: Photography of military installations is forbidden. Individuals have been detained and/or had their cameras and film confiscated for taking pictures of hospitals, schools, bridges, industrial sites, and airports.
REGISTRATION/EMBASSY LOCATION: U.S. citizens are encouraged to register with the U.S. Embassy and to obtain updated information on travel and security in Tanzania from the Embassy. The U.S. Embassy is located at 140 Msese Road, Kinondoni District, Dar es Salaam. The mailing address is Post Office Box 9123, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania; telephone: (255-51) 666-010 through 5, and fax: 667-285. Office hours are 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Travelers may also contact the U.S. Embassy in Tanzania via its Internet web page at http://www.cats-nets.com/amemb by clicking on "Administration."
This replaces the Consular Information Sheet dated December 4, 1998, to add a section on Regional Terrorism, and Y2K, as well as to update the paragraphs on Entry Requirements, Areas of Instability, Road Safety/Automobile Travel, Use of Credit Cards, Registration/Embassy Location.
To find the latest updates and information, visit our website at: http://travel.state.gov
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