Local laws and customs

Tanzanians are welcoming and well disposed towards visitors, but you should be sensitive to local culture. Loud or aggressive behavior, drunkenness, foul language and disrespect, especially towards older people, will cause offense.

There is a high proportion of Muslims in Tanzania, especially along the coast and on Zanzibar and Pemba. Respect local traditions, customs, laws and religions at all times and be aware of your actions to ensure that they don’t offend, especially during the holy month of Ramadan or if you intend to visit religious areas.

 

 

You should dress modestly. Women should avoid wearing shorts and sleeveless tops away from tourist resorts, and particularly in Stone Town and other places where the local population may be offended. There have been cases where women traveling alone and in small groups have been verbally harassed.

Homosexuality is illegal in Tanzania (including Zanzibar).

Carry identification (a copy of your passport) at all times.

All drugs are illegal in Tanzania (including Zanzibar) and those found in possession will be fined. There are severe penalties, including prison sentences, for drug trafficking.

There are criminal laws on the protection of wildlife and fauna in Tanzania. Avoid bringing wildlife products such as jewelry into Tanzania as you risk delay, questioning or detention when trying to leave the country. These products, whether bought or received as a gift in Tanzania, are illegal. Foreigners have been arrested recently for trying to take products, including horns and seashells, out of the country without a certified export permit issued by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism. If you’re caught you may be detained or fined.