Saturday, September 18, 2021

How To Travel To Tanzania

AfricaTanzaniaHow To Travel To Tanzania

By plane

Julius Nyerere International Airport (IATA: DAR) in Dar es Salaam (formerly known as Mwalimu Julius K. Nyerere International Airport and Dar es Salaam International Airport) and Kilimanjaro International Airport  (IATA: JRO) in Kilimanjaro, which is halfway between Arusha and Moshi, are the two major airports.

Tanzania is served Internationally from:


Middle East and Asia

  • Emirates (Dubai), +255 22 211 6100. Daily flights.
  • Qatar Airways (Doha), +255 22 284 2675, 1019, Julius Nyerere International Airport, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Daily flights.
  • Oman Air.
  • Etihad airways.
  • Flydubai.


  • Fast Jet. a low cost airline.
  • South African Airways (Johannesburg), +255 22 211 7044. Twice daily flights.
  • Ethiopian Airlines (Addis Ababa), +255 22 211 7063. Daily flights (except for Monday) with a stopover in Kilimanjaro.
  • Kenya Airways (Nairobi), +255 22 211 9376 (Dar) & +255 24 223 8355 (Zanzibar). Three daily flights with some stopping in Kilimanjaro.
  • Egypt Air.
  • Air Seychelles.
  • Comores Aviation.
  • Carriers originating from MalawiMozambique also maintain regular flights to Dar es Salaam.


By train

TAZARA, the Tanzania-Zambia railway service, runs twice a week between New Kapiri Mposhi, Zambia, and Dar es Salaam, departing Dar es Salaam on Tuesdays and Fridays.

Tanzania’s main cities, including Kigoma, Mwanza, Dodoma, Tabora, and Dar es Salaam, are connected by a domestic railway network. Domestic rail service is generally dependable, and tickets are reasonably priced. However, ticket costs vary according on the ‘class,’ which is usually first, second, or third. Cabins in the first and second classes have two and six beds, respectively. Open seating is the third class. The dining car typically has hot meals and drinks available. Fresh vegetables is often purchased by the train cook at several of the stops along the route. You may also purchase fruit and refreshments from local sellers who visit the many railway stops along Tanzania’s numerous train lines.

By car

It’s not advised to drive in Tanzania, or throughout most of Africa, unless you have already experienced the driving conditions in developing countries. Nonetheless, here is some useful information for those thinking to undertake the challenge.

Drive on the left side of the road

Tanzanians drive on the left (like in the United Kingdom, India, Australia, and Japan), rather than the right (as in North America and most European nations). Experienced drivers from “right-hand drive” nations will require about half a day to adapt to the shift. Fortunately, the pedals are not reversed, even if the gear change, windshield wipers, and turn signal activators are. Simply follow the flow of traffic. Even if you have some experience driving on the other side of the road, you should always be cautious since you may quickly get confused, putting you at danger of a head-on accident or striking a person.

Choice of vehicle

If you’re renting a car when you arrive, a 4×4 sport utility vehicle with high road clearance is your best bet, particularly if you want to go on safari in one of the national parks. Vehicles such as the Land Cruiser, Hilux Surf (4Runner), and Range Rover may be found. Mini-SUVs like the Toyota RAV4 and Honda CRV should be avoided since they can’t always handle the terrible road conditions in Tanzania’s national parks. Another problem is the availability of four-wheel drive vehicles. Always-on 4×4 vehicles are not the greatest option for off-road driving. These cars were designed to drive across minor mud holes or in the snow on solid roads. What you’ll find in Tanzania’s national parks is very different, and it necessitates the use of a good 4-wheel drive vehicle capable of navigating big mud holes and sandy roads. Even so, you may find yourself trapped.


  • Nelles Maps of Tanzania, Rwanda & Burundi is the best map. They’ve gone to tremendous lengths to identify even the tiniest towns along the routes, which is useful for navigating areas with few markers.
  • Along the major roadways, there are markings and white concrete pillions. They indicate the next major city or town along the road as well as the remaining kilometers.

Driving in the city

This only pertains to Dar es Salaam; the rest of the cities and villages are tiny and simple to navigate. Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., the city center is highly crowded. The roadways are small and there are few traffic signals. Because it’s a dog-eat-dog environment, aggressive driving abilities are required, as no one will let you past if you just sit and wait at stop lights. The streets are clogged with parked and moving vehicles, SUVs, trucks, scooters, and hulking guys carrying ridiculously laden carts. Traffic congestion may last for hours, particularly near Kariakoo Market.

The locals refer to a few roundabouts in downtown as “keeplefties” since the sign instructing vehicles to “Keep Left” while approaching the roundabouts was called after this interesting Mzungu innovation. The Swahili term mzungu means “white” outsiders. It’s not pejorative, and it’s more akin to calling a Caucasian a white person.

If you’re parked on the street in Dar, locate a space, lock your doors, and leave. A parking valet in a yellow neon vest will approach you for payment when you return. The cost for two hours is 300 Tsh. Either the attendant will give you a ticket or the ticked will be on your windshield already. If you have a ticket on your windshield, DO NOT leave without paying it. The attendant will very certainly be compelled to compensate for the missing funds, since he is likely to earn no more than 3000 Tsh a day.

Carjacking is rare, but stealing goods by unlocking doors or leaping through open windows is not. Keep your windows and doors shut and locked. Thieves have been known to take mirrors, paneling, spare tires, and anything else that isn’t inscribed with the license plate number or fastened into the vehicle’s body while cars are stopped at traffic signals or parked in unguarded places. Pick your parking spaces wisely, and don’t leave valuables out in the open. You may either leave a modest tip for the parking attendant to keep an eye on your vehicle (500 to 1000 Tsh) or locate a secure parking place, particularly if you’re leaving your car overnight.


The “Dar es Salaam to Mbeya” route (A7/A17) connects Dar es Salaam with the Southern Highlands, passing via Morogoro, Iringa, and Mikumi National Park, as well as the Selous and Ruhaha National Parks. The “Dar to Arusha and the Serengeti” route (B1) connects Tanga and Moshi to the Northern Circuit, which includes Mount Kilimanjaro, Saadani, Tanrangire, Ngorongoro, and Serengeti National Parks.

Dangers and annoyances

Tanzanians drive extremely quickly and will overtake on a blind bend without hesitation. Furthermore, most commercial cars are under-maintained and overweight, and you’ll notice a lot of them broken down on major roads. NEVER presume that the drivers’ brakes are functioning or that they have thoroughly considered the hazardous move they are about to undertake.

The majority of Tanzania’s roads are in poor condition, with potholes and hazardous grooves created by heavy transport trucks. All major highways pass through towns and villages, and traffic calming devices (also known as speed bumps or road humps) are often used to ensure that cars slow down as they pass through. Unfortunately, few are properly marked, and most are difficult to notice until you are very next to them, and if you approach too quickly, you may be thrown off the road. If you enter any town too quickly, you may not be able to escape these and other dangers. Because animals and children often rush out onto the roadway, this protective driving attitude is also sensible.

If you have a collision with a pedestrian, go to the closest police station and report it. Even if you’re certain it wasn’t your fault, don’t get out of your car and try to fix the problem. Tanzanians are among of Africa’s kindest people, yet they have been known to take things into their own hands. This is because to their distrust of the police and the idea that anybody with money, such as wealthy foreigners, can buy their way out of a situation.

Move out of the path if you come upon a caravan of government cars. Although this is arguable, they have priority and will not hesitate to drive you off the road if you do not yield. You may potentially face a fine from the cops if you don’t yield.

In Tanzania, license plate colors may be used to identify car registration. Privately owned cars have yellow plates that begin with “T” and are followed by three digits. Tanzanian government plates are similarly yellow, however they only show letters and typically begin with the letter “S.” (the fewer the letters, the higher up in the food chain the owner is). Diplomatic plates are green, while red plates are for international development agencies, blue plates are for the United Nations and related organizations, white plates are for taxis, buses, and commercial (safari) vehicles, and black plates are for the military and police. In Zanzibar and Pemba, this code does not apply.

Passing Etiquette

Following vehicles will activate their right turn signal lights to signify their intent to pass you. Engage your left turn signal if the road is clear; otherwise, activate your right turn signal. When trying to pass, keep an eye out for this.

By bus

The bus is an excellent method to enter Tanzania. Fly to Nairobi, then take a bus to Arusha, which is a fantastic base for Mount Meru and the Ngorongoro Crater. You should also consider visiting Tanzania’s south central region, which is free of tourist hawkers. Tanzania’s roads are in poor condition; there are no freeways and just a few multiple lane portions on major routes. Buses in most villages slow down or halt due to traffic, police, and speed calming devices. For your information, a private car journey from Dar to Iringa takes at least 6 hours. It’s mainly a two-lane road that the Chinese have just renovated, so it’s in excellent shape for the most part.

Buses departing from Dar go on the same route (A7) until they reach Chalinze, which is approximately midway between Dar and Morogoro and takes less than two hours.

If you’re heading to Arusha, the bus will take the A17 north. Saandani National Park, Pangani, Tanga, Lushoto, Kilimanjaro, and Moshi are some of the other noteworthy sites along this road. You may also take a bus from Arusha to Mwanza or Kigoma, but after you’ve passed through the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, the roads are in terrible shape, and you’ll be in for a bumpy trip.

If you continue beyond Chalinze, you’ll travel via Morogoro (also the Dodoma exit), the Selous Game Reserve’s entrance point, Mikumi National Park, the ancient major gate to the Udzungwa Mountains Parks, and Iringa, the Ruaha National Park exit.

With a new campground at the Msosa entrance to the Uduzungwas (the Iringa side of the park) and the gateway to Ruaha (probably Tanzania’s finest park), Iringa is the spot to go to see the southern circuit. It’s a fantastic location to spend a few days.

You may either travel west to Mbeya or south to Songea after Iringa. If you wish to see Lake Tanganyika, enter Malawi, or go north to Kigoma, Mbeya is the place to go. The roads north of Mbeya aren’t sealed, so it’ll be a lengthy and miserable journey. Take the bus to Songea to view Lake Nyasa (also known as Lake Malawi). Despite the fact that Mozambique is just a short distance away, there are no formal entrance points.

Finally, you’ll take the B2 if you’re heading south of Dar. The primary path to the Selous and the Rufiji River is through this route. You may also stop at Kilwa, Lindi, and lastly Mtwara along the route. Bring a cushion since the road isn’t completely sealed.

Aside from the highways linking Nairobi, Arusha, and Dar es Salaam, the roads connecting smaller towns and villages are in poor condition, but they are gradually improving. Traveling from Arusha to Dodoma, for example, is slow. Returning to Chalinze and then boarding a bus to Dodoma may be more expedient. This is true for any trip between cities that aren’t on the way to Dar.

Namanga, on the border with Tanzania, is a bustling outpost that typifies much of Africa. Even the bus will wait for you to cross the border here. You can even get off on the Kenyan side, walk over the border, and board the Tanzanian side of the bus.

It is also feasible to travel by bus from Dar to Malawi, Uganda, and Rwanda.

If you’re buying tickets in a bigger city, make sure you go to the correct ticket sales counter. Also, arrive long before the bus is due to leave to guarantee that you are escorted to the right bus and that your baggage is checked in with the real bus driver. There is a scam at Arusha’s bus terminal where individuals try to mimic bus ticket salespeople and bus drivers.

Bus Lines

  • Tahmeed Buses connect Mombasa with Tanga and Dar in Tanzania.
  • Royal Coach, one of the finest buses available, goes to Arusha.
  • Dar Express services many cities, including Nairobi, Kenya.
  • SumrySutco, and Upendo connect the beautiful southern part of Tanzania, Iringa and Mbeya to Dar and further S.W.
  • Taqwa Coach Company have buses to and from Dar to Malawi, Zambia and Kenya.

By boat

Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar are connected by Azam Marine and Fast Ferries. It takes approximately 90 minutes to sail.