How to Get About Tanzania (by plane, train, vehicle, boat, bus, tuk tuk & bike)


How to Get Around Tanzania

One particular of the major factors I’m asked about, is how to get about Tanzania. Is there regional transport? Is it quick to get about? Do I require to book in advance? How can I stay away from lengthy bus journeys? How can I travel about Tanzania on a price range?

I know it appears quite confusing at initial, but do not be concerned, I’ve actually taken each type of transport you can visualize in Tanzania from buses to boats to planes, trains and automobiles and I’m going to inform you every little thing I know!

How to Get About Tanzania (by plane, train, vehicle, boat, bus, tuk tuk &amp bike)

By Plane

There are a quantity of significant airlines that fly into Tanzania from abroad and 3 major airports you may possibly want to appear at when arranging your flights:

  • Kilimanjaro International Airport amongst Arusha &amp Moshi
  • Julius Nyerere International Airport in Dar es Salaam
  • Abeid Amani Karume International Airport in Zanzibar

Air travel inside Tanzania is quite quick and frequent and each regional and international airlines fly amongst the significant cities and towns. There are also a quantity of smaller sized airports and airstrips all through the nation for domestic flights.

That incorporates a couple of airstrips inside the national parks (and some private ones owned by the much more higher-finish lodges) so you can conveniently get to your selected safari location. Airlines such a Coastal Aviation, Auric Air, Flight Hyperlink and Air Excel fly from Arusha Airport to the Seronera Airstrip (inside the Serengeti) regularly. They are frequently not low-cost even though.

If you want to stay away from the lengthy drives amongst destinations (Tanzania is substantial), then flying is the greatest alternative. You can obtain a list of Tanzanian airports here and I search for all of my flights to Tanzania on Skyscanner.

A lot of men and women ask me about fly-in safaris, so here’s a fast overview…

If you do not fancy the lengthy drive to the national parks you can either book your accommodation and safari package straight with a lodge (or possibly group of lodges if you want to move about ie. commit 1 evening in the Serengeti, 1 evening on the Ngorongoro crater and so forth) and then book your flights separately, finding the lodge to choose you up when you get there.

Or you can book an all-inclusive fly-in safari with a safari organization who will arrange every little thing for you, flights and all. There are tons to pick from and I’ll go into much more detail in a separate post (coming quickly).

The Tazara Train Richard Stupart

Photo Credit: Richard Stupart

By Train

Train travel is not the easiest or most reputable type of travel in Tanzania, but it is a exciting adventure and there are two significant train lines you can take.

There’s the Tazara train line that connects Dar es Salaam and Kapiri Mposhi in Zambia. The trip typically requires about two days, while delays are prevalent (my train was delayed 24 hours). People today frequently ask regardless of whether it is worth the trip and all I can say, is that it is an ‘experience’… and is not that what travel is all about?

There’s also the Central line which hyperlinks Dar es Salaam with Kigoma on Lake Tanganika and Mwanza on Lake Victoria. Nonetheless, presently the track is out of action close to to Dar, so if you want to take the train, you will require to head to Dodoma or Tabora (by means of other suggests) and take the train from there.

By Vehicle

If you have your personal transport or really feel confident adequate to employ a vehicle, then driving in Tanzania is also an alternative.

You can employ automobiles from a quantity of distinct rental businesses, as lengthy as you are more than 23 and have an international or English language driver’s licence.

But ahead of you do make a decision to go it alone, you will require to make certain that your vehicle is in excellent functioning order, you have all the necessary paperwork, adhere to the regulations and stick to the speed limit. The Tanzanian police just appreciate to hand out fines.

The major roads amongst Moshi, Arusha and Dar es Salaam are considerably enhanced these days and largely tarmacked but there are nonetheless lots of roads that are not and pot holes are prevalent. If you are preparing on driving off the major roads, in rural locations or in the national parks I would advise on finding a 4×4.

To be truthful, even if you have your personal transport, I believe it is much better to take a guided safari into the national parks as you will have a much better encounter with a excellent guide or at least, go on game drives with a guide, even if you drive to the lodge your self.

Driving in the cities can be a small chaotic and there are some crazy drivers out there, so preserve your wits about you and use your horn to alert other drivers of your presence (be assured they will alert you of theirs – in the UK we only actually use our horns to show our anger at men and women for undesirable driving, in Tanzania it is much more like ‘I’m right here and I’m just letting you know I’m cutting in – regardless of whether you like it or not’).

I’d also attempt to stay away from driving at evening if you can, specially outdoors of the cities as there are frequently men and women and/or animals (each domestic and wild) on the road and extremely small street lighting, so collisions are prevalent.

You can obtain automobiles through Europcar, 1st Vehicle Rental and Self Drive Tanzania.

By Taxi

There are lots of taxis in Tanzania, but they can be high-priced, so you will require to attempt and negotiate a excellent value. Possibly attempt and ask an independent regional for an thought of the fare ahead of you begin bartering.

Just be conscious that there are lots of touts in the ferry port/train station/border and so forth who will be wanting their reduce so attempt to obtain an individual else to ask, like an official or a random passer by.

If there’s a group of you, you could employ a taxi/mini bus taxi for a lengthy distance. They’re much more high-priced than coaches or buses but virtually usually faster and much more direct. Plus you can assistance handle the speed limit as I do on my Rock My Adventure tours.

Every single hostel or hotel will have a single or much more trusted taxi drivers, so they can arrange your airport choose up for you or assistance you get from location to location. Take the taxi drivers quantity so you can get in touch with them as and when you require.

By Ferry

Tanzania has a couple of distinct ferry solutions of varying requirements.

The AZAM Marine ferry is possibly the greatest and most reputable service and the greatest alternative for finding to Zanzibar (other than flying). The ferry is fast (typically about 1.five hours) and is $35 for an economy seat. Personally I appreciate finding the ferry to Zanzibar.

You can book on-line, nevertheless they have no on-line payment facilities at the moment so you require to gather and spend for your tickets at least three hours ahead of departure or they may possibly release them.

There are also ferries that run amongst Zanzibar and Pemba a couple of occasions a week.

Other ferries include things like the MV Liemba on Lake Tanganika, MV Iringa and MV Songea on Lake Nyasa (aka Lake Malawi) and MV Victoria on Lake Victoria. Verify current reports to verify if they are operating.

Dhow TanzaniaBy Dhow

A dhow is the classic name for the Arabian style boats, that are prevalent along the East African coast.

There are are a quantity of dhows that sail more than to Zanzibar (and along the coast) if you want to stay away from the ferry, nevertheless, they are a lot much more risky and must only be attempted in extremely calm climate and with a reliable organization.

Zanzibar Watersports can arrange a private dhow from the mainland to Zanzibar for about $300 and I think some hotels also have their personal dhows. One more more affordable alternative is to head to the harbour and attempt and catch a lift with a single of the dhows leaving from there.

The ‘rules’ for vacationers look to be a bit of a grey region, but I think that it is illegal to accept rides on non-motorised dhows for lengthy trips.

Dala Dala TanzaniaBy Bus

If you want to travel about Tanzania on a price range, then bus is possibly your greatest alternative.

There are a couple of forms of bus:

Mini Bus: Local mini buses, known as dala-dalas go quite a lot everywhere in Tanzania. They are not the safest (some drivers go extremely rapid) or most comfy (frequently packed like sardines) type of transportation, but they are super low-cost and frequently.

The greatest information I can give you on these is to ask a regional when you get there – your hostel owners/workers are typically a good supply of information. Every single town has a major bus stand and you can catch dala dalas on the road also. The bus stands can be confusing and hectic, so when I’m attempting to obtain the suitable bus, I usually ask a regional lady – sorry to be sexist but I obtain that the girls give much more truthful and reputable answers.

I typically attempt and obtain out the value ahead of I get on also so that I do not get overcharged.

Coach: To travel lengthy distances, I would recommend employing coaches, of which there are a lot of (of varying requirements) to pick from. Once again, this is typically a case of asking about for suggestions or heading down to the bus station and obtaining a appear at the choices. For travel amongst Moshi/Arusha and Dar es Salaam/Bagamoyo I usually use the Kilimanjaro Express bus. They have a luxury coach which is about 36,000 TSH ($16), requires about 12 – 13 hours is air-conditioned and has charging points. I’d advise to book this in advance.

Shuttle Bus: The Impala Shuttle and Riverside Shuttle are excellent selections for travelling amongst Arusha/Moshi and Nairobi. Once again, book this in advance to make certain your seat. Most hotels can book these buses for you.

Hakuna Matatu: A new idea in backpacking travel in Zanzibar is the Hakuna Matatu (loving the name) mini bus service, developed specially for backpackers taking them amongst hostels. I’ve not attempted it myself, but it appears like a good and handy initiative.

Tuk Tuk Tanzania

By Tuk Tuk

There are a lot of tuk tuks (identified locally as Bajaj – which is the make) in Tanzania, specially in the coastal regions. They match two – three men and women and can be a low-cost option to a taxi more than brief distances.

You can choose them up off the street or ask an individual to get in touch with a single for you.

By Motorbike Taxi

There are lots of motorbike taxis identified as piki-pikis (from time to time known as boda-bodas based on which area you are in) which are a fast and low-cost way to get about.

While they are effective and exciting, they are not extremely protected and hardly ever will the driver have a spare helmet. Just be conscious that if you have an accident while riding a single, your travel insurance coverage may possibly not be valid.

By Bike

If you have your personal bike (take your personal or obtain a single when you get there), decent cycling capability (lots of rough roads and hilly in areas) and an adventurous spirit, you can cycle your way about Tanzania.

My buddy Tracy road across Africa on a bike and her rule was to begin early, preserve distances brief and and usually finish her cycle by midday. Superior assistance.

I’d also advise treating your self to a rearview mirror to preserve an eye on the website traffic coming up behind you – the major roads can be quite hazardous with rapid drivers.

You can not cycle by way of some of the national parks, but you can get to most of the major destinations and choose up safari tours as and when you require to.

Take your personal helmet as finding a excellent a single in nation can be extremely complicated.

By Hitchhiking

I would not advise hitchhiking from the side of the road in Tanzania if you can stay away from it. I know a lot of men and women who have, but as you know, it is usually a danger, specially if you are a lady on her personal.

Most Tanzanians are super good, but some males can be quite complete-on/flirty and opportunistic. Most of it is harmless, but you by no means know…

Rather, ask about at your hotel, hostel or camp and see if an individual knows an individual who is going exactly where you require to go – they typically usually do.

Just be conscious that you will typically be necessary to offer you some compensation which you will require to negotiate. Tanzania is complete of ‘fixers’ and every person is prepared to assistance, specially if they can make a small money.

It is illegal to hitchhike inside the national parks.

Study Extra About Tanzania: 

See all Tanzania posts here.

Hope you obtain this guide to finding about Tanzania super beneficial and I want you a good trip! If you have any queries or recommendations, please leave them in the comments under!

African Adventure Tours for Solo Travellers

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