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Travel Tanzania - Yellow Fever Vaccination For Visitors To Tanzania Is Mandatory! To Whom?

May 26, 2008
Recently, the Government of the Republic of Tanzania, through the Ministry of Social Welfare, issued a notification that the Health Surveillance Desks, which were abolished way back in the year 2001, will be reinstated in all entry points - border posts, ports and international airports. Tanzania happens to be among the countries that are at risk of being affected by the yellow fever. The health officials have therefore been instructed to deal with the control and prevention of yellow fever with regard to international travelers coming from yellow fever endemic areas. This directive is actually as a result of an advise from the World Health Organization on the same issue.

To all Tour Operators, Travel Agents and the general public, the general message is that all visitors arriving from SOME infected countries will require proof of yellow fever vaccination before entering Tanzania.

Which areas are the Yellow Fever Endemic zones in Africa?

The areas considered as Yellow fever endemic zones in Africa include:-

Senegal, Gambia, Guinea Bissau, Sierra Leone, Cote D'Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Nigeria, Mali, Niger, Chad, Central African Republic, Togo, Benin, Sao Tome and Principe, Cameroon, Gabon, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, United Republic of Tanzania, Angola, Zambia, Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi, Ethiopia, Somali, Sudan and Equatorial Guinea.

Which areas are the Yellow Fever Endemic Zones in America?

The areas considered as Yellow fever endemic zones in the Americas include:-

Panama, Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Brazil, Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana and Bolivia.

Any exemptions to this requirements?

Yes! Some exemptions, here:

Visitors arriving from other areas, but transiting in yellow fever endemic countries by connecting flights to Tanzania within the arrival airport BUT WITHOUT checking out of that 'transiting' airport will NOT be required to produce a yellow fever vaccination certificate when they get to Tanzania.

Any yellow fever issues with Travelers from Europe and North America?

Not really, but for personal health protection, it would be wise to heed this advise. "All clients including those arriving directly into Tanzania from non-yellow fever areas, for example Europe or the USA, may need to vaccinate against yellow fever, although it is not mandatory"

What does this mean to Tour Operators specifically?

From the Tour Operators' and Travel Agents' point of view, the directive raised a number of concerns. Some of the issues raised by Tanzania Association of Tour Operators (TATO) upon getting this notification were:

1. Positioning of separate health desks are not necessary as these will contribute to unnecessary delays at the entry points.

2. Adequate preparation time and proper logistics was required.

3. Sufficient publicity is required regarding the reintroduction of Yellow Fever requirement and position (status) of travelers who have transited yellow fever- endemic zones.

Subsequently, TATO has engaged the relevant government departments on the matter. According to a circular sent from the TATO Secretariat to all TATO members, the discussion held between TATO Executive Secretary and Tanzania's senior medical personnel responsible for control of transmission of disease within population (epidemiologist)........ they were informed that the Government is working on their concerns and will give a statement later.

However, in the interim some clarifications have been made:

Travelers to Tanzania who will NOT NEED proof of Yellow Fever vaccination:

For all travelers coming directly from Europe to Kilimanjaro and Dar es Salaam (Julius Nyerere International) Airports on direct flights, such that they did not cross or transit through an endemic country they will not need Yellow Fever Vaccination. You may however recommend yellow fever vaccination to your clients for self protection against the risk of exposure to the disease, although it is not mandatory - suggested by WHO.

Travelers to Tanzania who will NEED proof of Yellow Fever vaccination:

For all travelers coming from Europe via or transiting through an endemic country, for example. via Nairobi or Addis Ababa. They will need a Yellow Fever Vaccination card. This also applies to passengers in transit in airports where there is a risk of yellow fever transmission, for example, clients arriving on an international flight in Nairobi or Addis Ababa and connecting a regional flight within the airport to Kilimanjaro or Dar es Salaam.


Yellow fever vaccination is provided at Kilimanjaro and Dar es Salaam airports at a cost of USD 50 per passenger. This service is for passengers who are required to hold a yellow fever vaccination certificate but have none on arrival in Tanzania.


On arrival, international & regional passengers must first go to the health desk then to the Immigration desk; no passport will be accepted at immigration desk without a stamp from Health Desk.

Final word of caution: If you find yourself in a situation that does not fall under any of the ones described above, the most reliable source remains the Tanzania government through the high commission or embassy that you find closest to you. Or ask your travel consultant or destination specialist for Tanzania Safaris to contact them for you.
About the Author
Solomon Okila Editor African Voyages Tours and Safaris. Reliable consultants on Africa Travel including Tanzania Travel and hotel bookings Information
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