A visa is a stamp placed in your USA passport by a representative of a foreign government to enable you to travel to a port of entry for their country and present yourself to their immigration service for further processing. Whether you need a visa depends on your nationality and other requirements. In general, Americans will not need visas for traveling as tourists within Europe, but you will need visas for most of Africa. One exception to this is South Africa. They do not require a visa for American tourists for a visit up to three months, which is good because our nearest excellent medical facilities are in South Africa.(Note: You may be required to show proof of a yellow fever vaccination in South Africa, however, to gain entry.) Tanzanian Government Visa: You will definitely need visas for Tanzania. You will be applying for a tourist visa unless you have made other arrangements with the missionaries first. The internet address for the Tanzania Government Website and its Visa information, including prices and a downloadable visa application is: Tanzania Government Website Immigration Information (visa information). http://www.tanzania.go.tz/immigrationf.html. A tourist visa is normally good for one entry into Tanzania and for a period not to exceed 3 months. When looking to get your visa, you basically have three options for obtaining a Tanzanian visa.
- From the Embassy. To secure a visa before your trip, you may choose to deal directly with the embassy or consulate of the countries for which you need visas. Sometimes the foreign embassy will inform you that tickets are required to obtain a visa. If this is the case, ask if an itinerary will meet the requirement. Often it will be enough, and you can simply have a travel itinerary given to you from your travel agent indicating your flights. In some cases, they will also require a letter of financial solvency from your bank. If you choose this route, know that it can take a month or more to process your visa. You might want to check the Internet for information and/or visa application forms from each embassy or consulate. In many cases these forms can be downloaded. Here is the link to the embassy’s website: http://www.tanzaniaembassy-us.org/tzevisa.html
- Through Visa Services. If dealing directly with the Embassy seems a bit daunting, you may choose to use a commercial visa service. There are a great many of them. They will take care of some of the details but at a charge. A visa service we have used in the past with good results is Perry International of Chicago, IL. They charge about US$180.00 plus shipping to process a Tanzania visa. Use this link to their website: http://www.perryvisa.com/webPages/visa.php or write to them at: Perry International 100 W Monroe - Suite 502 Chicago IL 60603 or call them at: 312- 372-2703
- Upon Arrival. As an American, you can get your Tanzania visa upon arrival at the airport in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. It is good for one entry into the country for 3 months as a tourist and costs US$100 which is the same as if you applied for it at their embassy. If you choose to get your visa upon arriving in Tanzania, you must have crisp 100 dollar bills with a 2000 date or later. This is the ONLY currency that will be accepted by the Tanzanian office. Also, when choosing which route to take, remember that you may be tired after a long flight and need to stand in line to purchase your visa at the airport in Dar es Salaam.
Kenya Government Visa: Also you may need one of you are intending to travel inside of Kenya (i.e., game park trip in Kenya). You might want to check the Internet for information and/or visa application forms from each embassy or consulate. The internet address for the Kenya Government website and its visa information, including a downloadable application and prices is: http://www.kenyaembassy.com/visa.html For South Africa: We use South Africa whenever possible for medical evacuation in case of emergencies. Americans do not need visas to gain entrance to South Africa as tourists or on business for up to three months.You may want to check on the most current visa regulations at the South African Consular website: http://www.saembassy.org/usaembassy/consularservices/default.html