by Vika
May 6, 2021

Getting a Covid-19 negative certificate for your return flight from Tanzania is a simple process. There are several locations in Tanzania where you can have a sample taken. All samples (except those, taken at Mount Meru Hospital in Arusha, which has its own lab) are sent to Dar es Salaam for processing in the national laboratory. The results will be delivered to you by email 48 hours after your sample has been taken.

There are 4 easy steps - below you will find more information per step:

  • Register online
  • Pay
  • Take Sample / Swab
  • Get the result

Registration for your Covid-19 PCR test

In both, Tanzania and Zanzibar, tests must be registered and paid for in advance. Online registration for a test in the mainland of Tanzania can be done via this link:
For a test on Zanzibar go to this link:

It is best to register 5 days in advance - with your phone number and passport in hand.


It is best to pay for a test in advance to a “wakala” based on the control number that you received by telephone or email during registration. The payment can also be made in the hospital itself, but the process will take longer. There are many officially registered “mobile money” or “wakala” points in Tanzania. Your Shadows of Africa guide will assist you, making a short stop of about 10 minutes during your safari to complete the payment. Cash payment is preferred.

After payment you will receive proof of payment, which is also a necessary document when leaving the country, so don't lose it!

Taking a Covid-19 PCR test in Arusha

In Arusha, it is best to have a test taken at Mount Meru Regional Hospital or Arusha Lutheran Medical Center. The Mount Meru Hospital has its own lab, which means that the tests do not have to be taken to Dar Es Salaam. This means that results can be expected as early as 24 hours after taking the sample.

Taking a Covid-19 PCR test in Zanzibar

The Zanzibar Ministry of Health has currently designated three sites for Covid PCR testing:
Emergency Operation Center in Lumumba
Global Hospital in Vuga
North Valley Hospital in Nungwi

Taking a Covid-19 PCR test in the Serengeti

There is even a test site in the Serengeti - this is located at the airport in Seronera; so in the heart of the Serengeti! Your guide will take you to the special testing station in the morning and then you can continue on a safari. With a test in the Serengeti, you can combine the pleasant with the necessary.

Sample taking

When you arrive at your test location, you register and show your proof of payment, and provide your personal and flight details. You should bring your passport. You will then be given a control number and when it’s your turn, your sample will be taken. The samples are taken from both, the nose and the throat.

Test results

It takes up to 48 hours to get the results as the samples are sent to Dar es Salaam for testing (except at Mount Meru Hospital). If your airline has strict rules regarding the validity of the certificate, make sure you take your sample in the morning so that it can be sent to Dar es Salaam the same day as the collection. The date printed on your certificate is the date the certificate is issued, not the date the sample was taken. At the airport, you will occasionally be asked for a printed version of the test - so ask your hotel if they can print it for you.

In short, you can meet all requirements.

Latest update / Rapid test before departure

Since January 26, 2021, KLM requires a Rapid Covid-19 test as an additional requirement to the PCR test. This rapid test must be taken no later than 4 hours before departure. Rapid tests are performed at all airports KLM flies to and from: Kilimanjaro, Zanzibar, and Dar es Salaam.
The cost for this test is USD 25 per person per test and is payable in cash at the airport. Allow enough time for this test to avoid any problems and arrive at the airport at least five hours before departure.

If you fly with KLM, you must do this rapid test in addition to a classic PCR test - and you must therefore have a Covid-19 negative certificate + the rapid test before you can board. This is no longer applicable to passengers who only transfer in the Netherlands.

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