Zanzibar Elections

The State Department alerts U.S. citizens residing in or traveling to Tanzania of the announced re-run of Zanzibar elections for Sunday, March 20, 2016.  Violence has accompanied elections in Zanzibar in the past and the current political situation is tense.  Over the past weeks, there have been reports of arrests, small explosions, and isolated acts of violence in Zanzibar.   Further, press and independent reports indicate that a nightly curfew, beginning at 8:00 PM on the island of Pemba, may be in place.  U.S. Citizens should be advised that over the next several days, transportation delays and/or cancellations may occur, including ferry service between Zanzibar and the mainland.

U.S. citizens are urged to exercise caution and remain abreast of the security situation throughout the electoral period.

The State Department recommends U.S. citizens maintain a high level of security awareness leading up to, during, and following the election period. U.S. citizens should avoid political rallies, polling centers, demonstrations, and crowds of any kind as even gatherings intended to be peaceful can become confrontational and turn violent. Review your personal security plans; remain aware of your surroundings, including local events; and monitor local news stations for updates. Although there have been no specific incidents of violence targeting U.S. citizens, U.S. citizens are urged to exercise caution and stay current with media coverage of local events.

Monitor local media for any changes in the election schedule.  For more information about security conditions in Tanzania, please see the Country Specific Information page for Tanzania.

Please note that the State Department revised its Worldwide Caution on March 3, 2016, and expanded it to cover new developments throughout the world.  Please read this updated notice before planning any travel.

For further information:

  • See the State Department’s travel website for Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and Country Specific Information for Tanzania.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Contact the U.S. Embassy in Tanzania, located at 646 Old Bagamoyo Rd, Msasani, Dar es Salaam, at+255-22-229-4000 or e-mail at, and is open Monday-Thursday, 7:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m and Friday 7:30 – 11:30 a.m. For after-hours emergencies, U.S. citizens should call +255-22-229-4000 and ask to speak with the duty officer.
  • Call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
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