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Country profile for Tanzania

Provided Courtesy of Security Exchange 24

Risk Rating

Red (High Risk) InTouch advice:

Most parts of the country are dangerous.

Do not travel unless absolutely necessary.

Amber (Moderate Risk)
Amber (Moderate Risk) InTouch advice:

Some parts of the country are dangerous.

Travel with caution.

Green (Low Risk) InTouch advice:

Most parts of the country are safe.

Travel freely.

General Information

  • Capital: Dodoma
  • Major Languages: English, Swahili
  • Currency: Tanzanian Shilling
  • Timezone: GMT +3:00

Country Map

Map of Tanzania

Tanzania is one of the most stable countries in the region and is increasingly popular with tourists.  The security situation in many of Tanzania’s neighbours is highly volatile and caution is advised around the exterior of the country.  This is especially the case around the north-western borders with Burundi, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) as there have been reports of low-intensity cross-border skirmishes and banditry in these areas.

The threat of terrorism is moderate in Tanzania and attacks have taken place in the past.  Islamic militants are known to operate throughout East Africa - notably al-Shabaab in Somalia and northern Kenya - and future attacks cannot be ruled out.  There have also been sectarian tensions between Muslims and Christians, particularly in the semi-autonomous region of Zanzibar, where there have been several low-level bomb attacks.  In January 2015, the country suffered terrorist attacks at Mikocheni Falls and Amboni Village on the outskirts of Dar es Salaam.  Visitors are advised to remain vigilant to the potential threat, especially in the capital, Dodoma, the largest city, Dar es Salaam, and Zanzibar City. In April 2017 eight police officer were killed in an ambush near Dar es Salaam, prompting the Parliamentary Defence and Security Committee to hold a crisis meeting and warning of cells of radicalised youths in the Coastal Region, Tanga, Dar es Salaam, Zanzibar and Lindi.

Politically Tanzania is generally stable; however, since President John Magufuli was elected in 2015 there has been a widespread crackdown on dissent. Opposition MPs and activists have been arrested for criticising the government, while protests have been banned on vague security grounds. In September the opposition MP Tundu Lissu and government critic was shot and wounded by unknown assailants in Dodoma. Magufuli has also taken on foreign investment firms, including Acacia Mining, who has been embroiled in a dispute over tax revenues. The government imposed a ban on exports of gold and copper concentrates after a committee claimed it was massively underreporting its gold exports. The new approach has spooked other foreign investors and raised fears that Magufuli will attempt to nationalise mining and other sectors of the economy.

There were clashes between riot police and protesters during a rally in Zanzibar's Stone Town in October 2015 after Tanzania cancelled the archipelago's presidential election.  Clashes between protesters and police in Dar es Salaam on June 8 2016 saw police use tear gas on the crowd. Officials subsequently banned all public rallies and demonstrations until further notice.

Crime is a moderate risk in the country, with the risk increased in major urban centres and around areas of tourism.  Although petty crimes, such as mugging and pick-pocketing, are the most likely to affect foreigners, violent crime does occur.  In 2012 three foreign nationals were killed in home invasions on the Msasani Peninsula.  In December 2016 a group of tourists were robbed at gunpoint on a beach near Dar es Salaam.  Visitors should undertake necessary safety precautions, such as avoiding travelling at night or in isolated areas.

Alerts for Tanzania

Opposition vows to boycott local elections

The main opposition party said it will boycott upcoming local elections after several of its candidates were disqualified. More than half of the Chadema party candidates were blocked from standing in the vote, many for not completing registration forms accurately. Conversely, around 99 percent of the ruling party's candidates have been approved. Chadema Chairman Freeman Mbowe said his party would not participate in what he called "a sham exercise".

Comedian freed on bail after insulting President Magufuli

Tanzanian comedian Idris Sultan has been freed on bail after was questioned by police over allegations that he insulted President John Magafuli. Sultan had published face-swap photos of himself and the president, leading to him being summoned by police on Wednesday. He could face charges under the Cybercrime Act, which forbids people from using digital tools to "impersonate" someone else.

Scores killed as intense rainfall batters Handeni, Tanga

At least 14 people have been killed after flooding hit Tanga, north-eastern Tanzania. According to media reports, most casualties were reported across the district of Handeni. According to official reports, in the last two weeks, more than 40 people have been killed due to severe flooding across the region. Besides heavy casualties, infrastructure and crops have been widely damaged. Forecast from the Tanzania Met Authority shows that inclement weather could persist for the next few days in the central and northern regions. Tanzania is heading into its second rainy season in November.

Students wounded by lightning storm

At least 39 students were wounded in a lightning strike during a storm on Friday. The pupils were in a classroom in the north-west region of Geita when the lightning struck. "The pupils were inside the classroom as heavy rain pounded the area coupled with strong winds and thunderstorms," said a local official. Some of the injuries were serious and the students were transported to a local hospital for treatment. Strong winds and torrential rains caused flooding and landslides across Tanzania and northern Kenya last week.

Eleven killed in Morogoro flooding

At least 11 people have been killed in flooding in the Eastern Region of Morogoro. The regional commissioner, Wilbroad Mutafungwa, said five schoolchildren were swept away by floodwater as they walked home on Tuesday. The main highway connecting the region to Dar es Salaam was temporarily closed after a bridge was submerged in the Coast region. Further heavy rains are forecast over the coming days.

President Magufuli moves base to Dodoma

President John Magufuli has moved his base from the commercial centre Dar es Salaam to Tanzania's capital Dodoma. "I was in Kitavi region, but I decided to come to my home city, Dodoma, to register my name because this is now my official address," Magufuli told reporters. The plan to move the government to Dodoma was initially outlined by Mwalimu Julius Nyerere in 1973.

Head of anti-corruption agency nominated to replace intelligence chief

The head of the Tanzania Intelligence and Security Service (TISS), Modestus Kipilimba, has been sacked due to undisclosed reasons. President John Magufuli's office has confirmed in a statement that Kipilimba is being replaced by Diwani Msuya, the former head of Prevention and Combatting of Corruption Bureau (PCCB). Kipilimba is expected to be re-assigned to another government post. He is sacked three years after being nominated to lead the TISS. The decision comes a year before the general elections in Tanzania, where President Magufuli is expected to run for another five-year term in office.

Government reaches agreement to return Burundian refugees

Tanzania's government has reportedly reached an agreement with neighbouring Burundi to send back hundreds of thousands of migrants currently stranded in the country. According to the government, more than 200,000 Burundians are in Tanzania. An intense migrant influx has been reported since political tensions broke out in Burundi in 2015. Interior Minister Kangi Lugola told AFP: "In agreement with the Burundian government and in collaboration with the High Commissioner for Refugees, we will start the repatriation of all Burundian refugees on October 1." Despite claims that the UNHCR complied with the decision, the organisation raised concerns that Burundi is currently not prepared to receive a mass return of migrants in such a short period.

Death toll of fuel tanker explosion reaches 85

The death toll of last week's fuel tanker explosion has reached 85. The governor of the western region of Morogoro, Stephen Kebwe, confirmed that 10 people have succumbed to their wounds. According to the National Hospital in Dar es Salaam, 17 people are currently receiving intensive care. Dozens of people died when an explosion happened near the town of Morogoro. Preliminary reports suggest that a fire broke out after an attempt to remove the battery of the lorry, which overturned on the road. Further casualties happened after locals rushed to the scene to siphon fuel from the leaking tanker.

Scores killed in fuel tanker explosion

At least 57 people have been killed and 60 others wounded in a fuel tanker explosion near the town of Morogoro. A crowd had gathered around the tanker after it crashed on Saturday morning to siphon off fuel. "The situation is really bad. Many people died here, even those who were not stealing fuel because this is a busy place," local resident Daniel Ngogo told Reuters.

Six wounded in Mafia plane crash

Six people have been wounded after a plane crashed in the town of Mafia. The Cessna 208B Grand Caravan plane, operated by Tropical Air, was carrying nine people when it crashed shortly after taking off from Mafia Airport. The wounded passengers were transported to Mafia District Hospital for treatment.

Investigative journalist detained near Dar es Salaam

A freelance investigative journalist has been detained after police officers raided his house near Dar es Salaam. The Citizen reported that Erick Kabendera was taken into custody on Monday when plain-clothed officers forced him out of his house. US-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) raised concerns over Kabendera's well-being. A CPJ regional representative said: "The manner in which this journalist was taken, by men claiming to be police, is very ominous and further evidence that the press is not safe in President John Magufuli's Tanzania". Kabendera's detention comes weeks after Foreign Minister Paramagamba Kabudi told the BBC that Azory Gwanda, another journalist who went missing in 2017, had died.

Four killed in clashes on Lake Victoria

Three residents and a fisheries officer have been killed in clashes on Lake Victoria. The incident occurred on Siza Island on Monday evening as police and officers from an anti-illegal fishing unit carried out raids. A police officer was also wounded during the exchange.

Foreign minister suggests missing journalist is dead

Tanzania's foreign minister has suggested that a missing journalist is dead. Paramagamba Kabudi inadvertently told the BBC that Azory Gwanda, who went missing in 2017, had died. "The state is dealing with all those who have unfortunately died and disappeared in Rufiji... it was very painful for someone who was doing his job to pass on," said Kabudi. The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has been campaigning for the government to investigate Gwanda's disappearance.

Eleven killed in Islamist attack near Tanzania border

At least 11 people have been killed in an attack by suspected Islamist militants in northern Mozambique, close to the border with Tanzania. Gunmen targeted a village in the coastal district of Palma before trying to flee across the border via the river Rovuma. On Sunday officials from both countries said they would work together to counter the threat from militant groups in the region.

US warns of attacks in Tanzania and Uganda

US officials have warned of potential attacks in the Tanzanian capital, Dar es Salaam. "There are rumours of impending attacks in the Masaki area of Dar es Salaam, specifically at hotels and restaurants frequented by tourists, and at Slipway Shopping Center on the Msasani Peninsula" said the US Embassy in a statement. The US State Department also warned of possible attacks in neighbouring Uganda.

Police arrest gang rape suspects

Tanzanian police have arrested nine people accused of carrying out a series of gang rapes since 2016. Local women's rights groups told the BBC that there had been 43 rape cases in the Kigoma region over the last three years. The men allegedly used machetes when carrying out the attacks, leaving some victims with serious injuries.

Missing activist found dead in bush

An activist who went missing on Saturday has been found dead in a bush in the south-western Mbeya region. Mdude Nyagali was seized by masked gunmen from offices of his opposition Chadema party. Nyagali appears to have been tortured before he was killed. His party accused police of orchestrating the killing, an allegation that they have denied.

High Court frees two opposition politicians

Two senior opposition politicians have been released on bail by Tanzania's High Court. Freeman Mbowe and Esther Matiko were jailed last November after they were charged with sedition, incitement to violence and holding an illegal rally. Judge Sam Rumanyika said their rights had been violated and ordered their immediate release.

Teacher sentenced to death for killing student

A teacher has been sentenced to death for killing a student. Respicius Mtazangira, 51, beat 14-year-old Sperius Eradius with a blunt object after accusing him of stealing another teacher's handbag last August. The incident sparked nationwide outrage and if the sentence is carried out it will be the first use of capital punishment in Tanzania since 1994.

Newspaper suspended over currency report

The Citizen newspaper has been suspended by the Tanzanian authorities for a week. The ban comes after the paper was accused of falsely reporting currency exchange rates. "You deliberately published false and misleading information to make Tanzanians believe that the Tanzanian shilling has depreciated over the last three years," the media registration body said in a statement. The ban fell under the 2017 Statistics Act, which prohibits the publication of information which differs from official figures.

Dozens arrested over ritual killings

Tanzanian police have arrested 29 suspects in connection with the ritual killings of children. "We are holding 29 people for interrogations as we continue with investigations. We are going to take stringent legal measures against the assailants regardless of their positions and social status," said the Minister for Home Affairs Kangi Lugola. Seven children have been confirmed dead in the recent ritual killings.

Six children killed in ritual attacks

Six children have been killed in ritual attacks in south-western Tanzania. Officials said the victims, aged between two and nine-years-old, had been dismembered and had body parts removed. "This is all about superstitious beliefs and many believe they will get help from witchcraft," Njombe District Commissioner Ruth Msafiri said. The children were abducted at night while their parents were working at a local market.

Opposition unites against President Magufuli

Tanzania's opposition parties have formed a joint committee to fight what they call unconstitutional acts by President John Magafuli. We recognize that Tanzania is facing backsliding of democracy, with all signs pointing to institutionalization of an authoritarian regime that ignores political, social and economic rights of our people,” said the coalition in a statement. The group cites the annulment of elections in Zanzibar in 2015 and the arbitrary arrests of politicians and journalists as their key concerns.

Government approves hydro-electric plant in game reserve

President John Magafuli has approved the construction of a hydo-electric power plant in the Selous Game Reserve. The $2.4bn project will be built at a site on Rufiji River by two Egyptian firms. Opponents to the deal said the project will have a negative impact on wildlife at the reserve, which is a UNESCO world heritage site.

Denmark halts aid over anti-gay rhetoric

Denmark is suspending $9.8m in aid to Tanzania in response to the "unacceptable homophobic comments" made recently by a senior official. Last month Paul Makonda, commissioner for the commercial capital Dar es Salaam, announced plans for a 17-person surveillance squad which would target people in same-sex relationships. This was followed by reports that 10 men were arrested for conducting a same-sex marriage ceremony on the island of Zanzibar.

Ministers sacked over cashew nut crisis

President John Magufuli has sacked the agriculture and trade ministers over their handling of a cashew nut crisis. Over the weekend the president accused traders of offering low prices to farmers, who are refusing to sell their harvests. He said the traders have until 16:00 on Monday to buy the crops at government-set prices (3,000 shillings per kilo) or the army will be deployed to purchase them for the state, although opposition leader Zitto Kabwe said the president needs parliamentary approval before the government takes action.

CPJ journalists briefly detained in Tanzania

Two staff from the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has been released from detention in Tanzania. Angela Quintal and Muthoki Mumo were questioned for several hours and had their passports confiscated from them.  "It is now abundantly clear to anyone who followed the latest developments that Tanzanian journalists work in a climate of fear of intimidation," said CPJ executive director Joel Simon. "We call on the government of Tanzania to allow journalists to work freely and to allow those who defend their rights to access the country without interference."

Government forms 'anti-gay' squad

The Tanzanian government has formed a new surveillance squad which will be tasked with tracking down homosexual people and arresting them. Paul Makonda, the police regional commissioner for the commercial capital, Dar es Salaam, said the new 17-member squad will use social media to identify people in same-sex relationships. Makonda also said strong action would be taken against anyone found to be in possession of pornographic material, including nude photographs.

Mozambique-bound militants arrested in Tanzania

Police in Tanzania has arrested 104 people accused of planning to travel to Mozambique to set up militant basis. Officials said the suspects were detained during operations in the south and east of the country. Hundreds of people have travelled to Mozambique's Cabo Delgado province to join Islamist groups since October 2017.

Billionaire kidnapped in Dar es Salam

Africa's youngest billionaire has been kidnapped by gunmen in Dar es Salaam. Mohammed Dewji, 43, was targeted outside a hotel gym and taken to an unknown location. Police said three people have been arrested in connection with the attack, while two of the kidnappers are reported to be foreign nationals. In 2017 Forbes estimated Dewji's wealth at $1.5bn.

Death toll rises from ferry disaster

At least 136 people have been confirmed dead after a ferry capsized on Lake Victoria on Thursday. The MV Nyerere, which was heavily overloaded, went down near Ukara Island. Rescue workers managed to save 37 people and operations resumed early on Friday morning, but there is little hope of finding any more survivors. Accidents on passenger ferries are common in the region, often due to overcrowding and poor vessel maintenance.

Tourists killed in Arusha crash

Four tourists and a local resident have been killed in a crash in the Arusha region of Tanzania. The group were driving in the Nanja area of Monduli district when their vehicle collided with a lorry. Investigators were dispatched to the scene to determine the cause of the accident.

Opposition members released on bail after arrest in Tunduma

More than 20 members of the centre-right opposition have been released on bail on Monday after they were detained over the weekend. The chairman for the Chedema party, Vincent Mashinji, has said that a number of people were gathered at their local office in Tunduma when they were detained. "According to the initial information we have, the police are saying they were fomenting trouble". The incident comes days after a politician was detained for insulting President John Magufuli.

Politician arrested for insulting president

An opposition politician has been arrested for insulting President John Magufuli. Julius Mtatiro posted the question "Who is the president really?" in a post on social media, which the police said was offensive. The incident is the latest clampdown on free speech since Magufuli took office, a stance which has prompted widespread criticism from civil rights activists.

Five wounded in hippo attack

Five people have been wounded in an attack by a hippopotamus in the Kilimanjaro region. The victims were walking home from church in the Rombo district when they were targeted by the animal. Wildlife officials shot the animal, which is believed to have crossed from neighbouring Kenya.

Opposition protests falter amid high police presence

Mass anti-government protests planned for Thursday failed to materialise as thousands of police were deployed across the country. Gilles Muroto, police chief in Tanzania's administrative capital, Dodoma, had earlier warned the protesters would be "beaten like stray dogs" if they took part in any rallies. The demonstrations were organised by US-based activist Mange Kimambi and were intended to protest the government crackdown on press freedoms.

Seven arrested for planning protest against Magufuli

Seven people have been arrested in Tanzania for planning a protest against President John Magufuli. The group were detained in the south-eastern city of Arusha ahead of rallies organised by activist Mange Kimambi. Police officials in the city said the "government will not allow an illegal protest being planned by a few people to destabilise the country."

Bloggers told to register within communications authority

Tanzania's Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) has said in a statement that bloggers and owners of internet forums must register their pages and channels until early-May. Lawmakers have passed in March a bill which seeks to regulate such platforms. Critics claim that this is a fresh move from President John Magufuli to crackdown on internet users - where most bloggers are individuals who run independent radio, TV and YouTube channels.

Protests expected ahead of Union Day

The UK Foreign Commonwealth Office (FCO) has confirmed that potential demonstrations are likely to occur nationwide during Tanzania's Union Day, which will occur on Thursday. Travellers have been advised to remain vigilant and avoid large gatherings as protests may suddenly turn violent.

National park closed due to flooding

Authorities in Tanzania have suspended tourists visits to the Lake Manyara National Park after flooding damaged a bridge. "We urge all visitors to temporarily suspend their planned visits to the park," said Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA) Corporate Communications Manager Paschal Shelutete. "Visits will resume when water levels subside." Heavy rains have affected much of Tanzania in recent weeks, with at least 14 people killed in flooding in Dar es Salaam.

Nine killed in Dar es Salaam flooding

Nine people have been killed after flooding hit Dar es Salaam on Monday. Three days of heavy rain caused the flooding in the city, forcing residents to seek shelter on rooftops. Regional Commissioner Paul Makonda said public schools have been shut. "It is not convenient to send children to school in this situation where vehicles are prone to accidents and infrastructure of some schools has been destroyed," he said.

Twelve killed in Tanzania bus crash

At least 12 people have been killed and 46 others wounded in a bus crash in Tanzania. The incident happened in Makomero in Tabora province late on Wednesday. According to witnesses, the bus was hit by a truck transporting potatoes.

Opposition leaders charged with sedition

Six opposition leaders have been charged with sedition and incitement to violence. Freeman Mbowe, chairman of the CHADEMA party, was charged along with four members of parliament by a court in Dar es Salaam. The group are accused of taking part in an illegal rally in February during which a student was shot dead by police. In response to the charges, Zitto Kabwe from the opposition ACT Wazalendo party said: "It is a new normal, a fearful nation."

Shipping suspended in Zanzibar due to bad weather

The Zanzibar Maritime Authority (ZMA) has suspended shipping services due to bad weather at sea. ZMA Director General Mr Abdallah Hussein Kombo said services will resume later on Friday once conditions improve.

Social groups accuse President Magufuli of rights violations

More than 100 social organisations have teamed up to accuse President John Magufuli of unprecedented violations of human rights. The groups claimed that the Magufuli administration is responsible for the systematic attack against rights activists, journalists and political leaders. Further, the groups also called for the establishment of an independent commission to monitor the upcoming elections in 2020. The move comes after the Tanzanian Catholic Church accused President Magufuli of endangering national unity.

Security beefed up ahead of by-elections in Dar es Salaam

The UK Foreign Commonwealth Office (FCO) has reported that by-elections are scheduled to take place on Saturday at Dar es Salaam's Kinondoni district. Security measures will be heightened around voting areas, while travel disruptions are also expected to affect the areas around Masaki, Msasani and Oysterbay. Extra caution is advised as demonstrations may take place across the capital.

Zanzibar separatists file court challenge for independence

Separatist supporters have filed an appeal to the East African Court of Justice to challenge the legality of the union between the autonomous archipelago of Zanzibar and mainland Tanzania. The leader of the Zanzibar Rights of Freedom and Autonomy (Zarfa) said: "Based on the evidence we have, we argue that this union has no legal basis. It is purely political, for it does not take into account the interests of citizens." The court is set to hear the case in early-March. Zanzibar became part of Tanzania back in 1964 and it has its own president and parliament, which is currently controlled by Tanzania's President John Magufuli's Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) party.

Eleven killed in Kagera road accident

At least 11 people have been killed and six others wounded in a head-on collision in the Kagera region in north-western Tanzania. A minibus and two trailer trucks crashed in the Biharamulo district on Sunday afternoon. Augustine Ollomi, Kagera regional police commander, said the minibus driver was speeding at the time of the accident.

Curfew in Lusaka over cholera outbreak

A curfew has been introduced in the Kanyama district of Lusaka in a bid to curb the spread of cholera. The 18:00 to 06:00 curfew was announced by the Tanzanian Health Minister Chitalu Chilufya. At least 58 people have been killed by the disease since September, including in the Rukwa region where Sumbawanga District Commissioner (DC) has banned all fishing activities on Lake Rukwa.

Journalist reported missing in Tanzania

A journalist has been reported missing in Tanzania by his news organisation. Francis Nanai, executive director of Mwananchi Communications Limited, said they believed Azory Gwanda was kidnapped from his home in Kibiti on 21 November. He had recently published a number of stories on the targeted killings of civilians and police officers.

Tanzania hit by nationwide power outage

Tanzania has been hit by a nationwide power outage due to a technical fault. Tanzania Electric Supply Company (TANESCO) said the outage occurred at 07:00 local time on Thursday. Blackouts are common in Tanzania, although the government is attempting to address the problem with a new hydroelectric plant at Stiegler's Gorge that will double the country's power generation capacity.

One killed in mine violence, Kishapu

One person has been killed and two others wounded during clashes at a mine in the Kishapu district. Shinyanga Regional Police Commander (RPC) Simon Haule said guards from the Zenet company were on patrol when they came under attack. Haule said six people were arrested during the unrest.

Tourists killed in light aircraft crash

A pilot and 10 tourists have been killed in a light aircraft crash in northern Tanzania. The Cessna Caravan was flying from the town of Arusha to the Serengeti National Park when it came down in the Ngorongoro Crater. The cause of the crash has not yet been identified.

President Magufuli sacks two officials

Tanzania's President John Magufuli has sacked two officials after publicly reprimanding one of them on television. Magufuli asked two municipal directors what their road construction budgets were, including during a televised exchange with Mwantum Kitwana Dau. She said she couldn't remember the exact figure and was sacked a few hours later. The president has been praised for his straight-talking style and his crackdown on corruption; however, human and media rights activists have accused him of being autocratic and silencing dissent.

Grenade blast kills six school children in Kagera

At least six school children have been killed and 25 others have been wounded in a suspected grenade blast in the north-western Kagera region of Tanzania. The explosion occurred at a school in the village of Kihinga, where three children were pronounced dead at the scene at and at least three others died in hospital. According to the BBC, it's believed some of the children mistook a hand grenade for a toy and began playing with it, triggering the explosive device. The region is allegedly used as a weapons transit point and many ex-soldiers and refugees from neighbouring Burundi reportedly dispose of their weapons, explosives, and ammunition by burying them.

Opposition MP arrested for sedition

An opposition MP has been arrested for alleged sedition during a campaign rally in Dar es Salaam. Zitto Kabwe, leader of the Alliance for Change and Transparency, is accused of using the seditious words during an event on 29 October. "He was arrested by the police at his Masaki home this morning following his remarks during a campaign rally in Kunduchi ward councillorship by-election," said ACT-Wazalendo spokesman Abdallah Khamis.

Heavy rainfall triggers deadly floods in Dar es Salaam

At least four people were killed as heavy rains battered Dar es Salaam on Thursday. Local authorities confirmed that dozens of houses were either heavily damaged or destroyed after floods spread across the Tanzanian commercial capital. Structural damage has also been reported to a number of bridges and roads, which triggered massive road travel disruptions across the region. Last week, the Tanzanian Meteorological Agency (TMA) has issued a warning to alert for the start of the country's rainy season, which usually lasts from November up until April.

South Africans held illegally in Tanzania

Two South African nationals detained in Tanzania for "promoting homosexuality" are being held illegally, according to the Initiative for Strategic Litigation in Africa (ISLA). Twelve people, including two South Africans and a Ugandan, were arrested at the Peacock Hotel in Dar es Salaam last Wednesday. ISLA spokesperson Matilda Lasseko said suspects in Tanzania should be charged within 24 hours of being arrested. "The reality is that, if they broke any laws, they would've been charged already. What is happening now is illegal – the country is on a witch-hunt against our people," Lasseko said.

Five killed in Tanzania flooding

Five people have been killed in flooding in the Tabora region of Tanzania. Four people died when a house collapsed following heavy rains, while a student was killed by lightning in the Nanga Ward of Igunga district. “Most houses here are made of mud and are, therefore, too weak to withstand rains,” said Igunga district commissioner John Mwaipopo.

A dozen killed as minibus plunges into Lake Victoria

At least a dozen people have been killed after a minibus veered off into the iconic Lake Victoria in northern Tanzania. Reports suggest that the accident happened in the early hours of Monday morning as passengers were heading from Mwanza to Sengerema. It is believed that the vehicles lost control due to a brake system failure. Local police revealed that two people are still missing. African countries present one of the highest numbers of traffic deaths in the world, mainly due to poorly maintained roads.

Opposition MP shot in Dodoma

An opposition MP has been shot and wounded in the administrative capital, Dodoma. Tundu Lissu, MP for Singida East, was targeted at his residence by unknown assailants on Thursday. He has been transferred to Dodoma General Hospital for treatment. He was arrested in July and later released after having called President John Magufuli a “dictator”.

Anti-poaching activist shot dead in Tanzania

An anti-poaching activist has been shot dead during an attack in Tanzania. Wayne Lotter, the co-founder and president of conservation organisation PAMS Foundation, was targeted while travelling in a taxi in the capital Dar es Salaam late on Wednesday.  The PAMS Foundation said they were "heartbroken" by the news, while police have launched an investigation into his death.

Maasai displaced after huts burned

Hundreds of Maasai have been displaced after their huts were burned down near the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania. One person was also shot and critically wounded during the incident, which was carried out by game reserve authorities. The Tanzanian government has been accused of carrying out forced evictions of the Maasai in order to use the land for exclusive game reserves.

Miner killed in clashes between workers

A man has been killed during clashes between workers from two mines in Tanzania. The Gem & Rock Venture Mine and the adjacent CT Shaft of TanzaniteOne Mining Ltd at Mirerani Town in Simanjiro District have both closed due to the unrest. Assistant commissioner of minerals for the Southern Zone, Mr Adam Juma, said an investigation had been launched into the cause of the conflict.

Opposition figure arrested after calling President Magufuli a dictator

A senior opposition figure has been arrested in Tanzania, three days after calling President John Magafuli a dictator.  Tundi Lissu was detained a Dar es Salaam airport as he tried to board a flight to Rwanda. On Monday he said Magufuli was trying to silence opposition, adding that his government is "politically, diplomatically and economically isolated."

Man killed in Kibiti attack

A man has been killed and his wife wounded in an attack in Kibiti in eastern Tanzania. The incident happened on Sunday night in the village of Ruaruke.  More than 40 people have been killed in the region since 2014, including two village leaders and two police officers who died in separate attacks in June.

Authorities shut down Mawio newspaper

Tanzanian authorities have shut down a newspaper over articles it published linking two former presidents to corruption in mining contracts.  "The government...has suspended Mawio newspaper from publication for a period of 24 months effectively from today," government spokesman Hassan Abbasi said in a statement.  The move comes seven months after President John Magufuli signed the Media Services Bill 2016.

Zanzibar schools shut by flooding

All schools in Zanzibar have been closed due to widespread flooding, according to the archipelago's education minister.  "After going through the recommendations, we had no options rather than closing them until when the situation is normalised," the minister said.  Several schools have been submerged by water following days of heavy rain across East Africa.

Scores killed in school bus crash in Arusha

At least 35 people have been killed when a school bus crashed in Arusha, northern Tanzania. Police told AP on Saturday that most casualties were young students of a local primary school. Reports suggest the vehicle lost control near Mlera river in Meatu district. African countries present one of the highest numbers of traffic deaths in the world, mainly due to poorly maintained roads.

President Magufuli sacks nearly 10,000 civil servants

Tanzanian President John Magufuli has sacked almost 10,000 civil servants over claims they forged educational documents.  The president said salaries for 9,932 employees will be withheld and that their posts will be available immediately. "They are thieves like any other thieves... you cannot perform if you don't have deserving qualifications," said Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa.

UNDP head expelled by Tanzania

Tanzania has expelled the head of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the foreign ministry said in a statement.  Awa Dabo, a Gambian national, was accused of poor performance in her role and "strained relations" with her colleagues.  Opposition MP Paskal Haonga condemned the move to expel Ms Dabo, while others claim the decision was linked to her criticism of elections in Zanzibar last year.

Police officers killed in Tanzania ambush

At least eight police officers have been killed in an ambush outside Dar es Salaam.  The incident happened near the village of Bungu in Jaribu late on Thursday as the officers returned from patrols.  Ernest Mangu, police chief, said on Friday that the identities of the assailants are unknown, adding that weapons were stolen from the scene.

Gun pointed at sacked information minister

A plain-clothes police officer has pointed a gun at Nape Nauye, Tanzania's information minister until he was sacked on Thursday morning.  The officer intervened in an attempt to prevent Nauye from holding a press conference in Dar es Salaam.  President John Magufuli's decision to sack Nauye without notice has caused controversy in the country, with claims that his removal was a response to an investigation into Regional Commissioner Paul Makonda, who threatened staff at a TV studio last week over a television programme.

Low intensity earthquake reported near Tanganyika lake

A 5.7-magnitude earthquake struck the bordering lake Tanganyika on Friday morning. The most affected area was Kapula in western Zambia; however, no casualties or major damages were reported. Witnesses told the BBC that the quake was also felt in western Tanzania. In September, a deadly earthquake killed at least 16 people in north-western Tanzania.

Man killed by mob in Kyela district

A man has been killed by a mob in the Kyela district of Tanzania.   Boniphace Kiswaga, 18, was attacked after he was accused of causing the death of a witch doctor, Doto Mwaipopo.  Police in the Mbeya region have arrested two people in connection with the killing of Kiswaga, who died of his injuries in Kyela District Hospital on Sunday.

Three killed in shoot-out with police

Three suspected criminals have been shot dead by police in Tanzania's capital, Dar es Salaam.  The clash occurred when officers carried out a raid on a house in the Mikocheni district on Wednesday.  "The bandits opened fire on the police officers who arrived at the scene before the planned robbery could take place," said Special Zone Commissioner of Police (CP) Simon Sirro.  The group were suspected of carrying out an ambush on a Chinese national near Nyerere Road and Mandela Expressway junction on Monday.

Tourists robbed at gun point

A European family were robbed at gunpoint at a campsite in south beach, around 20km from Dar es Salaam, according to the UK Foreign Office. A campside guard was also killed in the attack.

Eleven dead in Cholera outbreak in Kilosa

On 12 September, the District Commissioner for Kilosa District, Adam Mgoyi, confirmed that 11 people have died in a five-day long outbreak of cholera in the district. Six people are being kept in the Kilosa District Hospital for treatment. Residents in the area are being urged to drink boiled water.

Deadly earthquake hits northern Tanzania

At least 13 people have been killed and more than 200 others wounded after a 5.7-magnitude earthquake hit northern Tanzania.  "The toll has climbed from 11 people dead to 13 and from 192 injured to 203," said Deodatus Kinawilo, District Commissioner for Bukoba.  The quake struck close to the borders with Rwanda and Uganda at 15:27 local time.

Opposition party halts nationwide protest to start negotiations

The centre-right Tanzanian Party for Democracy and Progress (CHADEMA) halted a planned nationwide demonstration in order to start negotiation talks with the government. The CHADEMA took the decision after local religious leaders pledged them to find a political solution through dialogue rather than resorting to an armed option. The strike was set to take place on 1 September in order to demand the government for the freedom of assemble in public and stage outdoor meetings. CHADEMA is the main opposition party of the government led by John Magufuli

Four police officers assassinated in Dar es Salaam

Four police officers have been killed by unknown gunmen during an alleged targeted assassination in Dar es Salaam on Tuesday. The Commissioner of Police for Training and Operations, Nsato Mssanzya, stated that the police officers were attacked while guarding a bank. He added that nothing was stolen and no damage was caused to the facilities. Preliminary investigations conclude that: "These killings were purely targeted on the police officers and nothing else". The incident comes nearly one month after four police officers were killed along with three civilians at a police station in Dar es Salaam airport.

Two suspected terrorists shot dead in Dar es Salaam

Two suspected terrorists have been shot dead by security forces in Tanzania's capital, Dar es Salaam. The two men were suspected of involvement in attacks in the Tanga and Mwanza regions, which killed several people. According to police sources, the suspects were hiding in the region and were discovered after an anonymous tip-off. Police officers raided their hideouts in two different locations in the city and shot them dead after they resisted arrest. 

Police fire tear gas at opposition rally

Tanzanian police fired tear gas at opposition protesters in Dar es Salaam on Tuesday.  Police official George Kyando told Reuters that officers used tear gas "after we received intelligence reports suggesting that there was a likelihood of an outbreak of violence".  The opposition CHADEMA party has been calling for nationwide protesters against the ruling CCM party, led by President John Magufuli, and on Tuesday officials banned "all demonstrations and public rallies" until further notice.

Eight dead in Tanga violence

Eight people have been beheaded in violent attacks in Tanzania's coastal region of Tanga.  Unknown assailants armed with machetes raided houses in the Kibatini suburb, around 50km from Tanga city.  "We have not yet established the motive behind the killings," said Leonard Paul, Tanga's regional police commander.  He added that the violence was "the worst to have occurred in the region in recent history."

Three dead in Mwanza mosque attack

Three people have been killed in an attack at a mosque in north-western Tanzania.  The National Muslim Council of Tanzania condemned Thursday's attack in the Mwanza district, with the leader of the mosque among those killed.  Police described the incident and as a "terrorist-style attack" and said three people have been arrested.  The Mwanza Regional Police Commander (RPC) said 15 masked assailants armed with explosives and machetes carried out the assault.

Three killed in mosque attack in Mwanza

Three people have been killed during an attack on a mosque in Mwanza, north-western Tanzania. According to police sources, at least 15 heavily armed assailants stormed the mosque on Thursday. The motives for the attack remains unclear, although the authorities suspect that it could be related to a previous incident involving members of the congregation and police officers.

MCC cancels millions in aid to Tanzania

The US government's Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) has cancelled around $500 million of funding for Tanzania over alleged violations in the elections in Zanzibar. The original vote was cancelled in October, 2015 and the re-run earlier this month was boycotted by the government's main opposition, the Civic United Front party.  The MCC said that the elections "was neither inclusive nor representative".

Two hundred criminal suspects arrested in Dar es Salaam raids

More than 200 suspected criminals were arrested during a week-long crackdown in Tanzania's capital, Dar es Salaam.  A large quantity of drugs were also seized during the operations. The arrests took place in the city's Temeke, Ilala and Kinondoni municipalities between 8 and 15 February. 

Three arrested over UK pilot killing

Police in Tanzania have arrested three people in connection with the killing of a British pilot.  Roger Gower, 37, was killed on Friday as he tracked suspected elephant poachers in the Maswa Game Reserve in northern Tanzania.  "The suspects are in the hands of police," Natural Resources and Tourism Minister Jumanne Maghembe told the AFP.

Zanzibar vote annulled over 'gross violations'

Elections in the semi-autonomous archipelago of Zanzibar have been annulled after the local election commission cited "gross violations".  Jecha Salum Jecha said that a fresh elections should be held after votes were tampered with.  The main opposition candidate, Edward Lowassa, called for a recount of Sunday's poll ahead of the official announcement of the result, which is expected on Thursday.

Tear gas fired at protesters in Zanzibar's Stone Town

The UK Foreign Office has reported that large crowds have gathered in the Stone Town area of Zanzibar, leading to clashes between protesters and security forces.  The unrest comes as election officials are set to announce the preliminary results from Sunday's general elections.  Analysts are predicting a close result between the rulling CMM and the opposition Ukawa coalition.

Cholera outbreak reported in Tanzania

Tanzania's Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MOHSW) has reported cholera outbreaks in 13 regions of the country,  A total of 4,835 cases have been reported up to 19 October, including 68 deaths.  The majority of cases have been reported in the Dar es Salaam region (72 percent), while the rest have been recorded in Morogoro, Pwani, Kigoma, Kilimanjaro, Iringa, Dodoma, Geita, Mara, Singida, Shinyaga, Mwanza and Zanzibar.

Official elections campaign period begins on August 22

Presidential and parliamentary elections are scheduled for Sunday 25 October. The official campaign period begins on 22 August. There may be heightened tension and unrest in the lead up to and during the election period. You should avoid large crowds or public demonstrations.

Travel advice issued by the British FCO on August 19.

Deadly outbreak of cholera in Burundi refugee camp

At least 33 people have been killed in an outbreak of Cholera at a camp sheltering thousands of Burundian refugees in north-west Tanzania. "It is very, very tough in Kagunga, and our focus now is to try and save those living in these very poor conditions," said Thomas Lyimo, a health officer at UNICEF. More than 100,000 people have crossed the border into Tanzania to escape the recent political unrest in Burundi.

Parliament approves anti-foreigner law

Tanzania's parliament has approved a new law aim at limiting foreign employment.  The measures were introduced amid growing public resentment over the number of non-Tanzanians entering the country and occupying skilled and semi-skilled jobs, particularly in relation to the large number of Chinese workers. It did not "make sense to see a Chinese driving a commuter bus" in Tanzania, ruling party MP Esther Bulaya was quoted by local media as saying.

Deadly flooding hits north-western Tanzania

At least 38 people have been killed and hundreds more displaced after north-western Tanzania was hit by widespread flooding. "The floods, which occurred after hail and strong winds, have affected some 3,500 people," President Jakaya Kikwete's office said in a statement.  The Shinyanga region was particularly badly hit by the flash flooding.

Bomb targets restaurant in northern Tanzania

A bomb has exploded at a restaurant in the northern town of Arusha, wounding at least eight people.  Local police said a device was thrown through the window of the Indian restaurant, which is popular with tourists and wealthy locals, on Tuesday evening.  No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, although police have said that they do not suspect the Somali militant group al-Shabaab.

Two home made bombs explode in Zanzibar

Two home made bombs have exploded on the popular tourist island of Zanzibar, off Tanzania's east coast.  Police said that there were no casualties from the blasts near the Anglican cathedral in Stone Town and outside the seafront Mercury restaurant and bar.

Police launch manhunt for lone gunman

Police in Tanzania have launched a manhunt for a gunman who has killed at least eight people and wounded three others in the northern region of Mara.  The violence began on Saturday night at a bar in the district of Tarime, and has since been followed by several indiscriminate attacks.  On Thursday morning a group of 160 officers, including special investigators from Dar es Salaam, launched a special operation to find the assailant.

Government suspends two daily tabloids

The Tanzanian government has suspended two daily tabloid newspapers for publishing classified information and "seditious" articles.  Mwananchi has been suspended for 14 days, while the Mtanzania has been given a 90-day suspension.  Last year the MwanaHalisi paper was suspended indefinitely for criticising the government and remains closed.

Police arrest 15 in Zanzibar acid attacks

Police in Zanzibar have arrested 15 people in connection with the recent spate of acid attacks on the island.  Police commissioner Mussa Ali Mussa said that some of the suspects had links to the Somali-based militant group al-Shabaab.  In August two British women had acid thrown over them, while last week a Catholic priest, Father Mwangamba, was attacked in Stone Town.

Foreign charity workers wounded in acid attack

Two UK charity workers have been wounded in an acid attack on the island of Zanzibar.  The two women, both reportedly aged 18, were walking through Stone Town in Zanzibar City when two men on a moped threw acid at them.

Saudis arrested in connection with church bomb

Four Saudi Arabian nationals have been arrested in connection with the bomb attack on a Catholic church in Arusha which left two people dead on Sunday.  The Pope's ambassador to Tanzania and the archbishop of Arusha were attending the church at the time of the attack.

Cashew farmers set fire to politicians' houses in protest

Some 24 buildings have been burnt down during protests by angry cashew nut farmers in Tanzania.  The farmers were angry that the price they received for their crops was less than had been agreed.  Additional police have been deployed to the area to prevent any more unrest.

Police deployed following sectarian clashes

Police have used tear gas to disperse a group of 200 Christian rioters who were trying to set fire to a Muslim mosque in the Southern town of Tunduma.  Tensions between the two groups have escalated recently due to a disagreement about the slaughter of cattle for public consumption.

Tanzania Data Sheet

45 million
Major Religion/s:
Christianity, Islam
International dialing code:
International dialing prefix:
Emergency services:
Ohter Major Cities:
Dar es Salaam
Uganda, Kenya, Burundi, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo, Mozambique, Zambia, Malawi