How to Get a PCR Test in Arusha

How to Get a PCR Test in Arusha

This following information is provided to reassure prospective climbers that there is a straightforward way to enjoy the incredible tourism and adventurous opportunities that Tanzania offers, while ensuring that returning home afterwards is stress-free.

Where to get a PCR test in Arusha

Mount Meru Referral Hospital in Arusha

What does it cost?

  • USD 100 per person for residents, non-residents and citizens (payable in local currency - 230,000 TZS via M-Pesa or deposited in cash at NMB or CRDB banks).
  • Free of charge for licensed Tanzanian safari and mountain guides 

How long does it take to get the result?

72 hours. The fastest results we have witnessed have been delivered in 52 hours, but since the certificate is a vital addition to travel documentation for some countries, we strongly recommend allowing 72 hours.

Why does it take so long to get a result?

Once clients are tested, the sample is sent, usually the following day, by road to a laboratory in Dar es Salaam - a journey of 620km that takes more than 10 hours.

Within what times can I get tested?

  • Monday to Saturday: between 0900 and 1600
  • Sunday: between 0900 and 1300

Important to remember

Please don't organise any activities following your receipt of the test results as most airlines and immigration officials need to see that the results of your test were obtained within the last 72 hours and a further day's delay may mean that more than 72 hours has elapsed before you reach your home border.

How do I book an appointment?

You need to book using the Ministry of Health's online booking service: https://pimacovid.moh.go.tz/#/booking. Ensure you input only a local Tanzanian number and an email address that you can definitely access. Otherwise, you won't received your control number or test results.

How do I pay?

As soon as you make the booking the system will automatically generate a 12-digit control number and send this to you via text and email. You need to use this control number to pay the government fee of USD 100 (TZS 230,000) via M-Pesa, or at NMB or CRDB banks.

If paying via Vodacom M-Pesa, select the options Move money > Make payment > Pay government. Then paste-in the control number and input the amount of 230,000. Then press Continue and confirm by entering your M-Pesa PIN code. Paying via Vodacom Mpesa will incur a charge of TZS 4,000 per TZS 230,000. Keep the digital copy of your receipts for presentation in case these are requested when boarding.

Bear in mind, however, that sometimes payments made to the Ministry of Health get lost in the system and it is impossible to have them refunded. You'll be forced to pay twice and no one within any Tanzanian government position will ever take any responsibility for this loss, even though their department will have received double payment. Physical deposit of funds at NMB or CRDB is therefore recommended. 

As from March 2021, PCR testing (or rather, sample-taking) is now available at Seronera and Ndutu airstrips in the Serengeti. This facility has been implemented to prevent clients having to either curtail their safaris or dissect their safaris with a journey to Arusha or, more recently, Karatu (FAME Hospital), mid-safari - so as to satisfy the "less than 72 hours old" validity rule that most airlines are required to enforce. 

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This following information is provided to reassure prospective climbers that there is a straightforward way to enjoy the incredible tourism and adventurous opportunities that Tanzania offers, while ensuring that returning home afterwards is stress-free.

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