Laws in Tanzania
The following advice is intended to provide a brief outline of any laws in the desination country that are directly applicable to travelling there. This is not intended to be exhaustive or complete and laws do change from time to time so we strongly advise visiting the UK Foreign Office website and checking for their current advice.
In general the laws of any country will be based on the same values as at home but significant differences can be present subject to the prevailing cultural, religious and political environment in the country. These four basic factors can be your main guide to how to act in unfamiliar situations. If you are any doubt as to what to do in a given situation it is usually possible to identify the "safest" fallback option and go with it. For example, not buying something, not taking a photo of a government building etc.
This information should also be read in conjunction with our relevant pages dealing with Cultural Awareness and Visa Requirements.
Tanzanians are welcoming and well disposed towards visitors; but be sensitive to local culture. Loud or aggressive behaviour, drunkenness, foul language and disrespect, especially towards older people, will cause offense.
There is a high proportion of Muslims in Tanzania, especially along the coast and on Zanzibar and Pemba. Dress modestly. Women should avoid wearing shorts and sleeveless tops away from tourist resorts, and particularly in Stone Town and other places where the local population may be offended. There have been cases where women traveling alone and in small groups have been verbally harassed in such areas.
Respect local traditions, customs, laws and religions at all times and be aware of your actions to ensure that they do not offend other cultures or religious beliefs, especially during the holy month of Ramadan or if you intend to visit religious areas.
Homosexuality is illegal in Tanzania (including Zanzibar).
Carry identification (e.g. a copy of your passport) at all times.
All drugs are illegal in Tanzania (including Zanzibar) and those found in possession will be fined. There are severe penalties, including custodial sentences, for drug trafficking.