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Security Alert – Tanzanian and Zanzibari General Elections
(October 22, 2020)
October 22, 2020

Event: The 2020 Tanzanian and Zanzibari general elections are scheduled for Wednesday, October 28, 2020.

U.S. citizens in Tanzania should heighten awareness and caution during the election period. There is an increased possibility of protests, marches, or rallies related to political activities occurring in Dar es Salaam and throughout Tanzania. These types of activities may increase the risk of violence, civil crime, and COVID-19 transmission. U.S. citizens should avoid demonstrations and crowds and take proper precautions against the spread of COVID-19.

In addition to general election-period risk, there have been reports of increased scrutiny by the Tanzanian Immigration Department related to long-term housing rentals and reports of shortened visa validity periods. Some foreigners renting houses ahead of the elections have reported being questioned by authorities due to suspicion of possible immigration violations. In addition, there have been reports of Tanzanian visas being issued for 30 days or fewer, compared to the customary 90-day visitor visa.

U.S. citizens are reminded to review the U.S. Department of State’s  Level 3 Travel Advisory for Tanzania. The Travel Advisory encourages U.S. citizens to reconsider travel to Tanzania due to COVID-19, and to exercise increased caution in Tanzania due to civil crime, terrorism, and targeting of LGBTI persons.

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Actions to Take:

-Avoid demonstrations and crowds.
-Exercise caution if renting a house or apartment.
-Review your approved Tanzanian visa to ensure you do not overstay.
-Monitor local media for breaking events and be prepared to adjust your plans.
-Review the Department of State Tanzania Country Page.
-Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
-Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
-U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations.  Review the Traveler’s Checklist.


U.S. Embassy Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
686 Old Bagamoyo Road, Msasani,
P.O. Box 9123
Dar es Salaam, TANZANIA
+255 22 229-4000