Backpacking Tanzania. Visa and borders.

We went to Tanzania in February - March 2015,
during a complete trip (8 months), 
through Southern and Eastern Africa.
For Spanish passports (and most UE) visa on arrival in Tanzania.

Price Single Visa: 50$ for 90 days.
You don´t need to purchase a multiple visa, if travelling to Kenya, Rwanda or Uganda, countries of  East Africa Community. 

They call it visa, but it´s just a stamp (see picture).

Fee if crossing by car.
More information:


Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, and Rwanda, these 4 countries, have special border agreements. They are part of the East Africa Community. So, you can travel between these countries with a “single” visa of each one, crossing several times.

Since January 2014, new East Africa Visa, for Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda.Price for East Africa Visa: 100 $, 3 months. 
It seems that Tanzania signed it too, in November 2014 but in February 2015 it was still not avalaible… but check, maybe latter, coming soon.

   SONGWE RIVER  BORDER  ( Malawi - Tanzania border)   

Easy border, hassle free, quick border post controls. Many trucks waiting.
Except the big bus Lilongwe - Dar Es Salaam (departure Lilongwe around 18:00, Mzuzu 00:00, border 6:00), no direct public transport. Similar in the other direction (we don´t know the departure time from Dar). But don´t worry, with transfers, you will connect towns.

Malawi - Tanzania border with local transport:
Crossing the border
From Mzuzu or Karonga to Tanzania border, vans departure when full.
Price from Mzuzu: 3.000 K, around 6 h.
Price from Karonga: 500 K, 1h30. 
The vans stop just near the Malawi border post.

Cross the Songwe bridge by walk. Also possible to get a bicycle or motorbike, but it´s really short and quick getting to Tanzania border post.

From the Tanzania border post to the bus station is around 2 km up the road. You can walk or take a mototaxi.
From the bus station, minibuses go direct to Mbeya (2h30, price: 5.500 Sh).

At the border, on both Malawi and Tanzania sides, houses and shops. There are ATMs on both sides, but we are not sure if they accept international cards (you find them sure in Karonga and Mbeya). There are money change official shops, so no need to change money to the guys around, much safer and similar rates inside the shops.


Rusumo is the only border between Tanzania and Rwanda. The border is a river with a bridge over Rusumo falls. There´s a new bridge, built by the Japanese government, with the modern Rwandan immigration post (the Tanzania one is just a simple post).

You can see the details HERE, in our chapter about Rwanda borders.