Bleeding esophageal varices is a deadly complication of liver cirrhosis. Guidelines recommend an early diagnosis of esophageal varices before incident bleeding by screening all patients diagnosed with liver cirrhosis. Though it has been reported elsewhere that the presence of esophageal varices varies widely among cirrhotic patients this has not been assessed in Tanzania since endoscopy is not readily available for routine use in our setting. This study was designed to determine the prevalence of esophageal varices and assess the utility of clinical parameters in predicting the presence of varices among cirrhotic patients in northwestern Tanzania.