permit requirements: Tanzania

McKamey, Stuart H. {ZMUC} shmckamey at ZMUC.KU.DK
Mon Oct 16 22:58:00 CDT 1995

Dear field researchers,

I expect that among us, we have valuable information to share
for just about every country.  If we entitle entries
consistently as "permit requirements:", it should be easy to
retrieve the whole batch, exclusively, after they accumulate.

Here's the first installment (harrier than most, I hope).

Stuart H. McKamey, shmckamey at

Current as of: July 1995

       Research clearance is sufficient to collect
invertebrate specimens, and will enable you to obtain
permission to export specimens. To collect vertebrate
specimens, you will need a letter from the Department of
Wildlife or permission to collect under permits that have been
issued to some department at the university. Some parts of the
description below were facilitated by a special agreement
between my present institution, the University of Copenhagen,
and the University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM).  If you go through
the process, make plenty of copies of your CV, research
proposal, passport photo, and all permits and letters that you
recieve.  With 3 to 6 month's advance planning, the
exceptionally organized can probably get their proposals
approved before arriving in the country, and a residency
permit within 2-3 days after that.

1. Institutional affiliation in home country.
2. COSTECH permit.
3. Residency permit, regardless of the proposed duration of
4. Authorization letter from Regional Development Director to
       District Commissioner(s)
5. Authorization letter from District Commissioner to Division
       Officer(s) and villages around research sites.
6. Authorization letter from Division Officer to Ward
       Secretary(ies) and villages around research sites.
7. Introductory letter from Ward Secretary to village elders.

Numbers 4-7 are important because many villagers don't like
unintroduced visitors in their territory (but are among the
friendliest people I have met) or have superstitions about
whites, and may go to the local police, who will ask for
papers from the Ward Secretary.  If you are briefly passing
by and are friendly, however, perhaps nobody will ask for it.

       1.  The Tanzanian Commission for Science and
Technology (COSTECH) 'strongly encourages' that researchers
have a tanzanian counterpart or two, who are available at the
University of Dar es Salaam.  Your life will be easier if you
find a professor who can judge your proposal and provide
support letters for COSTECH, CITES and, if exporting
specimens, customs.  Research counterparts can be MSc students
or professors, able and interested to participate in some way
with the field work in exchange for a negotiable per diem,
paid by you.  Students are generally not available because
they either have course responsibilities (except mid to late
December and July-August, barring closures that shift the
timing of semesters) or already have jobs.  There are official
rates for each academic level, but you should budget for
higher wages.  MSc students and professors can get per diems
of up to US$70 or even US$120 from consultant companies, and
some may expect this of you. But remember: this is bargaining
country.  Expect to pay a minimum per diem of US$10-15 +
expenses for an MSc student and US$20 + expenses for a
professor.  It is not absolutely necessary that your
counterpart(s) participate in all or any of the fieldwork.

      2. Apply for COSTECH permit (US$25). In July 1995
COSTECH raised their set fee from US$200 to US$300, for a
permit valid for one year or less.  In the future they may
prorate it for shorter visits, but until then you may as well
get the full year you pay for.
       Much to the consternation of Dr. Kilahama of the head
forest office in Dar es Salaam (DSM), they are currently left
out of the process of approving proposals to conduct research
in forest reserves.  This may change soon, and there may be an
additional charge (and delay) implemented for this extra step.
I only knew that the head forest office existed because the
Catchment Forest Office in Tanga Region referred me to
them.  Currently, COSTECH only requires Regions, rather than
exact forest reserves, to be indicated in proposals, and one
is not allowed to conduct any research, even preliminary
visits, without the COSTECH permit.  In contrast, the head
forest office requires exact forest reserves and expects you
to visit the forest to determine its suitability before
approaching them for permission.  In Dr. Kilahama's words,
such permission is almost pointless if you already have the
COSTECH permit for a proposal for forest research, but he also
said that COSTECH only grants permits to work in a region, not
in a forest.  Thus, presently there is no way to please
both COSTECH and the head forest office, so go to COSTECH
first.  To avoid problems in case COSTECH starts going to the
head forest office and the head forest office does not change
their requirements, it may be best to list in your proposal
all the possible forests you might work in.
       You and all your foreign assistants, even students,
need separate permits, each with separate applications, CVs,
proposals (may be identical copies), FEES, etc.

       3. By law, you are not allowed to conduct research for
any length of time without a residency permit (Class C)
obtained from the immigration office in DSM.  Apply for this
immediately after obtaining your COSTECH permit.  In practice,
the COSTECH permit can carry you along while your residency
application gathers dust on somebody's desk.  If your tourist
visa expires you will be required to pay a US$500 fine or be
deported or both.

       4a. If your research will be in a National Park, you
will need to submit your research proposal simultaneously to
the head office of the Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA) in
Arusha and to COSTECH.  Clearance by COSTECH does not imply that
you will be granted clearance by TANAPA.  However, you will
not be granted permission to conduct research in a national
park without COSTECH clearance.  It is a good idea to send
your proposal to the Director of the Serengeti Wildlife
Research Institute (SWRI) early in the process as well.  If
you are lucky enough to get clearance from COSTECH and TANAPA
you will then have to pay US$1200 per researcher to SWRI.

       4b. If your research will be in Mazumbai field
station, West Usambaras (warning: don't trust sensitive
equipment to the 220V current available at the Mazumbai
station house), you will also need permission from the Dean of
Foresty, Sokoine University, Morogoro.  This may require a
day's visit to the university, but once you have the COSTECH
permit, Hamna tabu!

       5. Bring the COSTECH permit to the Regional
Development Director in each region where you plan to work,
explain your research, obtain a letter.

       6. Continue down the hierarchy (see YOU WILL NEED,
above).  Make at least 10 copies of the letter you receive
from the District Commissioner, as these will/may be needed
for the ward secretary, local police, and elders of all nearby
villages.  The Catchment Forest Office in Tanga Region was
extremely helpful guiding me through this morass, and
introducing me to the ward secretary and everyone below.

       7. Conduct research!

       8. If you are ready to carry or export specimens, obtain a
CITES certificate or CITES exemption certificate.  The CITES
office said they had no more exemption forms and that they
should be obtained from Dr. Kim Howell.  You need one
certificate for each group of specimens (e.g., 2 certificates
if you will be carrying some and shipping some, 1 certificate
with multiple names if several of you are carrying them out
together).  For EACH certificate, bring one original and one
photocopy to the office for the official SEAL (a copy of the
seal is sufficient for the copy, but would require an extra
visit to the CITES office in order to drop it off).  For
arthropods, on the CITES exemption certificate it was
sufficient (but barely so) for me to list each order and,
under Quantity, write "many". They would prefer at least a
rough estimate.

       9.  If you are shipping specimens, get a letter from
your university counterpart (see example below), obtain an
export permission stamp from customs in the city, go to
the airport with the permission and finalize shipping details,
including shipping number, weight and price.  There is a scale
near customs.  In other words, this is the last time you see
the specimens in Tanzania.

       Research permit renewel: easy and can be obtained
within one lucky day, but be prepared to submit new copies of
everything, including passport photos.  Even easier if you
have filed a summary report after the first would
further help to get a letter from your counterpart expressing
how fruitful your first year was, based on that report, and it
would not hurt to bring a copy of the report with you to

1. COSTECH permit: 3 copies of the permit application
       (basically a skeleton of your proposal + local
       contacts and 2 suggested referees), research proposal
       (with references, or it  will be returned), CV, and 4
       passport-size photos.  The application will be sent
       promptly to you by COSTECH if you request it in
       writing. Do not rely on e-mail.
2. Residency permit: 2 copies each of COSTECH permit, application,
       CV, and proposal, and 5 passport photos (Some of these may
       not be needed, depending on the mood of the
       immigration officer.)
3. CITES exemption certificate: filled CITES exemption form,
       COSTECH permit. Supporting letter from UDSM helpful.
4. Sokoine permission for Mazumbai: COSTECH permit, copy of
       proposal, written request for permission.
5. National Park permission: I don't know.  Most natural areas
       are reserves, not parks. See step 4a above.
6. Export permit (likely to be asked for only if you are
       shipping specimens): CITES exemption form,
       COSTECH permit, supporting letter from UDSM.

Note: Traveller's Checks are the only easy form of payment.
If you want to pay COSTECH in cash you will have to get a
pay-in slip from COSTECH and personally deposit your payment
in their bank account (National Bank of Commerce, Twiga
branch, on Samora Ave., DSM).  If your cash passes the scanner
test for counterfeit notes you will receive a receipt.  You
then take this back to the accountant at COSTECH, obtain an
official receipt, and ONE of the secretaries will then begin
to type out your permit (allow at least a whole day or more
for this process).

1. COSTECH application: US$25.  Payment must be in hard
       currency or equivalent (US$ cash or traveller's
2. COSTECH permit: US$300.  Payment must be in hard currency
       or equivalent (US$ cash or traveller's checks).
3. Residency permit: US$50.  Payment must be in hard currency
       or equivalent (US$ cash or traveller's checks).
4. Air freight shipping for me (Tanzania-Denmark), by any
       airline, of 45-249 kg of ethanol-preserved material:
       US$4.07/kg + US$20 for DAHACO, the handling company, +
       US$13 for other airport charges, also paid to DAHACO.
       Payment must be in hard currency or equivalent (US$
       cash or traveller's checks).  On the Denmark end we
       had to pay about US$150 on the receiving side as well.
5. ca. 90% EtOH from Tanzanian Distillaries: Tz 16000
       (= US$30) per 25 liters, double price for ca. 95%.
       Bring your own containers.


Tanzanian Commission for Science and Technology (COSTECH),
       P.O. Box 4302, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. tel: (country
       code) 255 + (DSM code) 51 + 75155; fax: 255-51-75313;
       e-mail: costech at; physical address:
       Bagamoyo Road, outside of city toward and fairly close
       to Mwenge, a well known bus stop; person in charge of
       PERMITS: Mr. Hamisi Nguli.  Send requests to: Director

Tanzanian National Parks (TANAPA), Arusha International
       Conference Centre, P.O. Box 3134, Arusha, Tanzania.
       tel: 255-57- 3471 (1991)

Head Forest Office, Forestry and Beekeeping Division, Ministry
       of Tourism, Natural Resources and Environment, P.O. Box
       426, DSM. Dr. Kilahama.  Physical address: room 12, 2nd
       floor in National Bank of Commerce (NBS) building, near
       Clock Tower, Samora Ave. (the main drag in Dar)

CITES Office. Ardhi House (the tallest building along the sea
       front near the Department of Lands and Surveys and
       Kilimanjaro Hotel), 9th floor, at end of hall to left.
       Mr. Ardulege and Mr. Ayo.  Get blank forms from Prof.
       Kim Howell, UDSM.

Customs and Excise Headquarters, Kivukuni front (road along
       harbour where all the Zanzibar ferries and hydrofoils
       depart from), near National Shipping Company (NASACO)

Dr. S.A.O. Chamshama, Dean, Faculty of Forestry, Sokoine
       University of Agriculture, P.O. Box 3009 Chuo Kikuu,
       Morogoro, Tanzania

East Usambara Catchment Forest Office, P.O. Box 5869, Tanga.
       tel. 255-53-46907, 43453, fax: 255-53-43820. Forest
       project officer: Mr. Massaba I.L. Katigula.  Chief
       technical advisor: Stig Johansson.  This is a
       regional office of the Ministry of Tourism, Natural
       Resources & Environment (Forest & Beekeeping

Wildlife Conservation Society of Tanzania, P.O. Box 70919, Dar
       es Salaam.  Physical address: 39 Garden Avenue, near
       Immigration and Air Tanzania office. tel: 255-51-66379
       (fax by night)

World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), Tanzania: P.O. Box 63117 Dar
       es Salaam. tel: 255-51-22664, fax: -46232.

FAO/UNDP/GEF (Institutional Support for the Protection of East
       African Biodiversity). P.O. Box 2, Dar es Salaam.
       National Project Officer J.G. Salehe (male). tel:
       office 255-51-32531, home 255-51-68197, fax: 255-51-
       44495. e-mail: uneptan at (currently
       the sponsor of many wildlife MSc students).  East
       Africa Officer: Alan Rogers.

Dar es Salaam Airport Handling Company (DAHACO), P.O. Box
       18043, DSM.  Located next to customs at airport (old

University of Dar es Salaam:
       Dean of Science: Prof. A.N. Nikundiwe (male, mollusc
       Dept. Head, Zoology: Dr. Felista Urasa
       July 95 Acting Dept. Head, Zoology: Dr. Peter Kasigwa
              Zoology  Dept: P.O. Box 35064, Dar es Salaam.
       Dept. Head, Botany: Dr. Samesi (female). P.O. Box
             35060, Dar es Salaam.
       Entomologist: Dr. Jacob Yarro. P.O. Box 35149, Dar es
               Salaam, tel: office 43400, home 71051. e-mail:
               yarro at
       Vertebrate zoologist: Dr. Kim Howell (male):  e-mail:
               howell at

David Moyer (vertebrate biologist, american raised in
       Tanzania, educated in US, English-Swahili bilingual
       and bicultural): tel./fax 255-64-2475. e-mail:
       woudstra at  snail mail: P.O. Box 934, Iringa,

Akbar Photo Centre Ltd. (good instant passport photos):
       Intersection of Jamhuri and Zanaki Streets, DSM

Tanzanian Distillaries (everybody in DSM knows the Konyagi
       Factory), Pugu Road, DSM, for EtOH. Double distilled
       Production Manager Mr. L.L. Chami, tel: 255-51-860510
       (cellular phone: 0811-324975). Bring own containers.

Regional Development Office, Tanga. Regional Administrative
       Officer: Mr. Mganga, tel: 255-53-42240.  Can help to
       arrange care hire (but have no available vehicles

Tanga: cheap hotel: Bandarini Hotel, on sea front near
       market.  Good telephones: see next entry.

Ms. Jane E. Tame', Managing Director Kwamtili Estate Ltd.,
       P.O. Box 120, Tanga. tel: 255-53-46016.  See her for
       permission to camp on Cacao estate adjacent to
       Kwamgumi Forest Reserve, East Usambaras. Physical
       address: Go from Bandarini Hotel 2 blocks from sea,
       past permanent market, to rotary with monument, turn
       left, past Tangan. Farmers Supply, turn Right into
       Ganghi Mechanics, Kwamtili office in back.  The next
       street after that left turn you made at the monument
       is Usambara Rd.  Turn left and follow to sea front to
       reach post office and good telecommunications office.

Muheza (gateway to Amani in the East Usambaras): Post and
       Telephone Communications Office directly opposite the
       turn off to Amani (BP station at corner), and the
       District Commissioner Office is parallel to the
       latter, one street up the hill (across from the
       Ambassador Hotel).  Parallel to and one street past
       the Amani turnoff is the First & Last Guest House (8th
       building on right), which offers good photocopying
       (remember, you need many copies of the District
       Commissioner's letter).

1. e-mail: it's instant, easy, and free to set up an e-mail
       account at UDSM.  Go to the computer room in the Math
       building at the top of the hill above the Botany and
       Zoology Depts.
2. Secretarial services: widespread in DSM, mostly
       typewriters, MS-DOS also around.  The office in the
       back of the Kilimanjaro Hotel, Dar es Salaam, has good
       copy machines and a Mac.  The phones in the hotel
       lobby suck, however.
3. UDSM has very few resources, few functioning vehicles, and
       poor phone lines outside of the city.
4. Phone-calls and faxes from DSM: next to Salamander Cafe,
       open Saturdays too.
5. Shipping requirements for EtOH (= dangerous goods Class 3,
       UN ID no. 1170, Subsidiary risk: None, Packing Inst.
       305 II): CD3 form, provided by DAHACO, filled out as
       above at the airport.  Ethanol must be packed within 2
       layers of plastic or metal.  Sealed plastic bags in
       closed plastic buckets or old food tins was
       sufficient. In the shipping area you can also have
       them construct wooden boxes (US$??) or, at negligible
       cost, secure your containers with steel bands.
6. Maps: 1:50000 topo maps (US$5) are sold in DSM by the
       Department of Lands and Surveys, along the waterfront
       near the Kilmanjaro Hotel and CITES office.
7. Friendly, able, and knowledgeable local guides + assistants
       + naturalists: Mr. Subuni at Mazumbai (ask the field
       station manager) and, for the East Usambara Mts.,
       Salimu Bakali Mkamba, Kwamtili Estate, P.O.
       Box 120, Tanga, Tanzania; both speak little English.
       I recommend Zambia Habibu (Box 6526, Dar es Salaam,
       Tanzania), who knows quite a bit of English, for
       anywhere.  All are good people.  It is always best to
       negotiate salary before work starts.  Expect to pay Tz
       1500-2500 (US$3-$5) per day + expenses, food,
       accomodation. Zambia is less of a naturalist but more
       of a mechanic.

EXAMPLE LETTERS THAT WORKED (note that once you have a UDSM
counterpart, your research is a collaboration)

1. From me to Sokoine
2. From me to Kilihama (hand-delivered on July 19)
3. From Prof. Howell to customs officer and CITES (on UDSM

1.     Dear Dr. Chamshama,

       I am heading a collaborative ...etc. (see letter 2,
       though we had an MSc participant)

       After reconnaissance trips to different sites in the
       Usambaras, we recently visited Mazumbai, hosted by Mr.
       Modest Mrecha.  The forest is the ideal site...etc..
       (see letter 2, though details different)

       Attached please find ...etc. (see letter 2, except no

2.     Dear Dr. Kilahama,

       I am heading a collaborative research project between
       the University of Dar es Salaam and the University of
       Copenhagen on arthropod communities in the forests of
       Tanzania.  Drs. Jacob Yarro and Marcelian Njau,
       entomologists of the University of Dar es Salaam,
       comprise the Tanzanian part of the collaboration.  The
       Danish contingent consists of myself (an American),
       Ms. Line Sorensen, and Mr. Jonas Krat; all of us have
       obtained permission from COSTECH to conduct the
       research in Tanzania.

       After reconnaissance trips to different sites in the
       Usambaras, we conducted the first phase of the
       research at Mazumbai, with permission from Sokoine
       University.  We identified Kwamgumi and Segoma Forests
       as the ideal sites for the second phase of the project
       because of their quality and elevational range.  We
       therefore request permission to conduct our research
       there, from July 20, 1995, through June 7, 1996.  The
       initial survey would ideally begin immediately and
       continue until July 31.  We will resume the survey
       later to study seasonality.

       Attached please find a description of the proposed
       research, my CV, and copies of our COSTECH permits.
       You can contact me in Dar es Salaam by e-mail at
       mckamey at  You can contact Dr. Yarro
       by telephone at 43400.

       With kindest regards,

       Dr. Stuart H. McKamey
       Assistant Research Professor

3.                  TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN

       This is to certify that the specimens collected by
       members of the Zoological Museum\University of
       Copenhagen team are all for scientific study and have
       no commercial value, as stated on their CITES
       exemption certificate.

       K.M. Howell

Lovett, J. & S. Wasser. 1993. The Biogeography and Ecology of
       the Rain Forest of Eastern Africa.

1. To tanzanians, No news is good news, so don't expect much
2. Don't be in a hurry, or at least don't give that
3. No bribes are necessary.
4. Everything is negotiable, especially taxi rides.  The
       standard mark-up in markets etc. for wazungu (whites)
       and probably all other foreigners is 100%.
5. 7:30 or 8 am is the best time to catch people in offices.
6. A little Swahili is appreciated and lightens interactions.
       Useful book: Wilson, P.M. 1985. Simplified Swahili,
       Longman Group UK Ltd. ISBN: 0 582 623588.  Most useful
       expressions: Hamna tabu (the tanzanian version of "no
       problem"); Habari? (How are you?); Nzuri (fine).
       Punguza (reduce the price).  More Swahili is very
       useful outside of Dar es Salaam.
7. Approximate seasonality: Short rains October-November
       (sometimes into January), Long rains March-May,
       sometimes beginning in February.  Otherwise drier.
       Usambaras are coldest in June and July.
8. US citizens must have a visa.  Research Visas are granted
       as quickly as tourist visas, even if your proposal has
       not yet been approved, if the embassy knows you will
       go to COSTECH first thing.
9. Bring your international health card.

       Obtaining the research clearance is difficult,
expensive, and time-consuming.  It is essentially impossible
to get your research permit approved before landing in the
country unless you have help from someone there already (e.g.,
university professor, or David Moyer).  On the bright side,
approval of any serious research proposal is just a formality
at all of the aforementioned levels.  The university dean of
science, department heads, and professors are all on your
side.  Local assistants, food, and public transport are cheap
and plentiful.  AND research in Tanzania is exceptionally
rewarding and enjoyable.

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