Travel Safety Alert: Death of Tanzania President, John Magufuli

Updated: Mar 18

Tanzania has reported the death of Tanzanian President Magalufi this evening. President Magufuli had not been seen in public for more than two weeks and rumours have been circulating about his health. It is understood that Vice President Samia Suluhu Hassan will assume the Presidency to complete his term.


President Magufuli enjoyed significant support in Tanzania. A 14 day national mourning period has been announced and it is anticipated that a full State funeral is likely. There is a risk of spur of the moment protests, processions or demonstrations.


It is understood that opposition leaders have claimed that he actually died of Covid-19. President Magufuli was an avid Covid-19 denier. It is not yet clear whether the new Leadership will continue his Covid-19 strategy. Should there be a change in Covid policy, sudden and severe prolonged disruptions to travel and associated services are possible especially if 'lock downs' are ordered. Travellers / Overlanders should be vigilant and it would be prudent to:

  • Monitor local radio and television news networks.

  • Follow local government and police advice.

  • Make contingency plans to 'hunker down' in a safe place; consider, food, water and fuel. Be prepared to leave Tanzania at short notice if land borders are open and / or flights are available.

  • Register with your national Embassy in Dar es Salaam if you have not already done so to receive ongoing advice and support. Monitor your national governments travel advice for Tanzania.

  • Avoid protests, processions or demonstrations.

  • Continue to practice personal Covid-19 precautions. This includes washing hands regularly, wearing a face covering and maintain social distancing. ('Hands, Face, Space').

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