Getting Around Tanzania

  • Transportation
    by babar_1
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    Dar Es Salam Port
    by elsadran
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Most Viewed Transportation in Tanzania

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    Long distance bus to Tanzania

    by georeiser Updated Apr 1, 2013

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    Taking the bus is the cheapest way to get to Tanzania from the neighboor countries. The bus takes 8-10 hours from Mombasa to Dar es Salaam with stop at the border The bus stops at the border waiting for passengers to arrange visa and immigration. And in Tanga, where you have to change bus. The price is 15 USD. Keep your ticket because it is checked many times during the travel and of course at Tanga bus terminal where you change the bus.
    Its recommended to buy your bus ticket some hours or a day in advance to get a good seat, but you might get help from the locals to find the right bus to the right destination.

    The road from Horohoro border station to the city of Tanga is made by Chinese constructors and is in good condition. It's a boring stretch of way, without ocean view. From Tanga to Dar es Salaam you can choose between the new fast inland road or the old, slow road along the coast. Long distance buses takes the fast road.

    If you choose to take the old road, ask for private car or Bodaboda to the town of Kigombe. On the way you have the possibility to see Tongoni Ruins, one of the landmarks in the North-east. Other towns on the way to Bagamoyo are Pangani, Bweni, Mwera, Ushongo, Mkwaja (bad road), Mligaji, Saadani, Kinyonga. The last road from Bagamoyo to Dar es Salaam is good.

    The inland road from Tanga to Dar es Salaam is fast and boring. Other towns on the way are Ngomeni, Muheza, Hale and Segara (where buses normally takes a break to correspond with buses from Moshi and Arusha). Then the bus drives to Mkata, Manga, Mandera, Msata, Chalinze, before turning left on the Morogoro highway towards Mlandizi, Kibaha and finally Dar es Salaam.

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    • Beaches
    • Budget Travel

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    boats to Zanzibar

    by elsadran Updated Jul 2, 2012

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    The boat ticket to Zanzibar costs US$40 for the fast ferries and $25 for the slow ones. Only, the slow boats return at inconvenient hours, that is they start from Zanzibar late at night and arrive to Dar very early in the morning, so you can go on a slow boat and come back on a fast one that departs in the morning from Zanzibar.
    For more information you can contact the travel agencies near the seaport.

    I bought my ticket at :
    Horton Safaris Ltd.
    Sokoine Drive PO.Box 1467
    Tel : 255 782 884 655 / 255 713 288420
    email: allyjuma51@yahoo.com
    Bus Dar-Tanga 15,000

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    Local v tourist rates!

    by Durfun Updated Feb 3, 2010

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    Safari parks ask for passports in Tanzania, so you pay tourist rates.

    However, buying catamaran tickets to Zanzibar (from Dar) was different. There were clearly marked different rates for locals & foreigners. My cousin from the U.S learnt some Swahili so he bought us local tickets (less than half the tourist rate).

    We did the same thing in a hotel in the Stone Town.. he told me to keep quiet [though I learnt some basics, eg "yes, I live in Tanzania, etc" ;)] & he checked us in at local rates.

    But, the hotel on the East coast was a different story altogether, asking for our passports!!

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    Buses and Dalla Dalla's

    by Acirfa Updated Nov 30, 2009

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    Whilst in Tanzania this time, it was to visit a friend already in the country so, there was no hired vehicle as such hence it began with a bus ride, 8 hours of it, from Dar Es Salam to Pangani before taking a taxi to a ferry to eventually arrive at our destination
    The bus ride was an amazing if somewhat cramped experience!

    Although tickets are purchased through a station office, it is my belief a little extra is made on the 'side' by picking up people along the route and cramming them in like sardines, taking their fare as pocket money, this on top of the extra row of seats that have been installed alongside the original quota, makes for a very intimate ride with your fellow passengers.

    Some sights are sad such as the lady who appeared to be suffering from malaria, a common sight in this country, there was also the buzz of people selling their wares; oranges, cashews, peanuts and water, through the windows of the bus whenever it drew to a halt, dropping people off and picking them up, this happened frequently.

    Then there was the incident of being twice conned for security charges, to look after my luggage...ok so I learnt the hard way, YOU don't have to, you can use my lesson; there are no security charges and it will be a bold thief who has brazenly climbed aboard the bus to relieve you of your cash, hang tightly on to it is my advice, this is the life these people live, they have no choice on how to travel and they need to feed their families, enter their world and experience the techniques on how they make life work. They do not have the luxury of health and safety that includes on the buses but you will meet some of the most happy, sociable people on this earth.

    A week later I bravely chanced another 7 hour bus ride to Arusha, alone this time and yes once again I had the numbest posterior possible, even at only 5'4 I felt squashed and unable to stretch myself out at all, attempting a 'halfbentseatstand' was the nearest to unravelling my body I came to.
    At times it is possible to get off the bus but as an Mzungu it's a tough call as people gather round you desperate to sell you their wares, not something I relished the idea of so I suffered the consequences of staying put.

    I did too, take a short ride in a dalla dalla with my friend for the experience, it was fun and packed solid also very very cheap, however, if you do decide to take a bus or dalla dalla ride, please do be aware, there are very many accidence in these vehicles, drivers take big risks, drive at speed and roads are not always well maintained. Also emergency services just do not exist in Tanzania, there are no paramedics or ambulances, no helicopters and flying doctors, if you are attached to a holiday resort of some sort there may be something available but that should be checked before you leave, as it is likely to be basic, ensure you know your position for anything medically required before you leave.

    It was also made clear to me by friends who have lived for decades in the country, that they under no circumstances would undertake such a journey.

    You have the info, now you can make your choice on how much of the culture you try. People are wonderfully friendly and will chat to you easily.

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    Self Drive is not a desirable option

    by cchiuching Written Jul 28, 2008

    serenegti is great for spotting lions and cheetahs.

    ngorongoro is good to see flamingos, huge herds of zebra and wildebeest.

    USD50 for serengeti one day entry.

    USD100 for one day offroad ride.

    but the park is huge! u may not be able to spot any animals if u r not familiar with the area.

    our guide keeps talking with his driver friends or listening to a radio so as to get updated info on animal locations during our safari.
    they talk in swahili.

    unless u don't mind not being able to see animals, then u can do a self drive.
    or if u r a very very lucky person, then u can give it a try.

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    Nairobi to Arusha

    by flyrubi Written Mar 26, 2008

    Hello Suzy,

    It's possible to get a shuttle from Jomo Kenyatta Airport.The company that offers this service is Riverside shuttles. The route is also very safe even if you are solo, just need to take normal precaution just like when in any other place in the world. Alternatively like advised above you can take a flight with Precision or Kenya Airways for about USD 225 oneway or about USD 350 for return.
    For more information about the shuttle you can visit this site http://www.riverside-shuttle.com/ for schedule, rates and their terms.

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    Road accidents

    by grets Written Jul 29, 2007

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    Of course, in the rainy season, the same dust becomes mud. Mud can be absolute murder to drive through, and certain roads can become impassable. As we found out a few years ago when we were heading up a fairly steep slope which had become a complete mud bank after twice the entire months’ worth of rainfall had fallen overnight. After four hours we had to just give up and try a different route. So be aware that night stops may differ from those planned in this kind of situation. We never did get to our destination and had to book in to a hotel unexpectedly. You may have to get out of the car to push, and think about it – the roads are really muddy, the car wheels are spinning, flinging mud about, you are behind the car, pushing. You WILL get covered in mud!

    Another thing to consider is how good your driver is. As I mentioned above, Dickson would keep his distance from other cars and wound his window up when vehicles passed, to ensure we weren’t covered in dust. He also made us feel very safe, as he never drove too fast or took unnecessary risks. As you can see from the picture, the roads can be treacherous and accidents do happen. I am glad to report that the driver of this truck was OK, and by the time we passed this piece if road a few days later, the truck had been righted and was in the car park. Of course, you won’t know the ability of your driver until you have traveled with him for a while, but don’t be afraid to ask him to slow down if you feel he is driving too fast, or to keep his distance from other vehicles if he drives too close. Don’t forget that you are the paying customer, and the customer is king!

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    • Safari

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    Dust

    by grets Updated Jul 29, 2007

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    Dirt. As I said before, most of the minor roads, and nearly every single road within the national parks, is a dirt track. In the dry season, the sand will be thrown up by the wheels of the vehicles that use the road – you and others. That means, if you are following another vehicle, you will be in the slipstream from the dust. Dust gets everywhere. And I mean EVERWHERE! Make sure you protect your electronic equipment, as dust/sand is equally as lethal to cameras as water is. Place your camera inside a plastic bag when not using it. Or, if you haven’t got a plastic bag, or no time to get the camera inside the bag, at least hide it under your shirt or something similar. Prolonged exposure to dust will damage your camera. I speak from experience. The dust may also very well play havoc with your respiratory system. It always does with mine, anyway. I am the sort of person who rarely gets colds, but after spending two weeks touring sub-Saharan Africa recently, I had a bad cold, with catarrh and sinusitis for six months afterwards. The first cold for over five years! The last time I went to Tanzania, my nose was bleeding the entire time I was there (obviously the delicate membranes inside my nostrils had been irritated by the dust), and for over a week after I got home. Dirt will also get all over your clothing. Many years ago I spent a very long day travelling on dusty roads, and by the time I got to the lodge at the end of the day, my face and hair were orange, as was my pale T-shirt. Everywhere you look, the surfaces will be covered with dust – the grass, trees, leaves, posts etc. Everything will be a dull shade of reddy-brown.

    Our driver was very considerate – he would follow vehicles at a safe distance, so not to be in the slipstream of the dust (unlike some other drivers I saw), and every time we passed a vehicle going in the opposite direction, he would wind the window up.

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    Road conditions

    by grets Written Jul 29, 2007

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    Another thing you must be aware of is how long it will take to get from A to B in Tanzania. The road conditions are not how you are used to from home. I shall never again complain about the potholes in my road! The main roads between cities are mostly sealed (but still in a sad state of repair), but other, minor roads are dirt tracks. There are several things to take into consideration:

    Pot holes. Roads are eroded during the rainy season, and pot holes and grooves appear in the surface. If it catches you unawares, it can lead to a nasty bump on the head. I know, as it has happened to me – I am happily minding my own business, looking out of the window, when the driver hits a pot hole he didn’t see until it was too late. Wham! My head shot up and hit the surrounds of the door frame. Ouch.

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    Safari vehicles

    by grets Written Jul 28, 2007

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    In Tanzania we saw a Land Cruiser with seven people in it, two in the front, three in the back seat and two right at the back of the vehicle, facing inwards. Whatever would they be able to see? The windows right at the back didn’t open, and the driver hadn’t even bothered to clean them. There is no way the two poor unfortunate people right at the back would have been able to see much of the surrounding wildlife. The roof didn’t elevate either, as they had all their camping gear on the top of the vehicle. That is one aspect to consider, especially if the safari seems very much cheaper than others of the same quality. You get what you pay for. If a deal appears to be too good to be true, it usually is.

    Many privately hired drivers have mileage limitations imposed on them from the company, so if you wanted to go off on a detour, you may not be able to. Having the flexibility of your own driver without mileage limitations has lots of advantages, as you may be feeling tired one day and want to go back to the camp/lodge early, whereas another day you might feel you have had a disappointing game viewing and want to go off for another search for something interesting.

    Breakdown. Does the safari company have any arrangements in case of breakdown? Will you get your money back or the safari extended if you lose time because of it? It was part of our agreement, but fortunately it did not happen. I must say, it is the first safari we have been on where we have not had a puncture, which is no doubt because of the excellent condition of the tyres on the vehicle. Check out the condition of the tyres and the vehicle in general before you book it, if you are able to.

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    Safari vehicles

    by grets Written Jul 28, 2007

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    The transport is one of the most important things to consider when doing a safari. There are many types of vehicles available, and getting the right one can make the difference between a mediocre safari and a good one. The things to look out for are:

    Do all passengers have a window seat?

    How many people will be in the vehicle?

    Does the roof elevate?

    Is there a mileage limitation on the driver?

    We have taken many different safaris and have used various different types of safari vehicles: Mini bus – both with guaranteed window seat and not; elevated open sided vehicle where you sit four to a bench seat, and Land Rover where there were just the two of us (Calabash Adventures used this kind of vehicle). There are obvious advantages to each vehicle:

    The more people that are in each vehicle, the greater the chance is of spotting something – more eyes on the scenery.

    The more people that are in each vehicle, the more difficult it is going to be if the animal is not on your side of the road.

    The more people that are in a vehicle, the more difficult it is to gain everyone’s agreement on various decisions. We had eight to a vehicle once, and some wanted to start off early and take a picnic breakfast, whereas others wanted a bit of a lie-in and start later. Also, we are interested in birds, but some others we’ve travelled with on a safari have not wanted to spend any time looking for feathered wildlife. Another thing to consider is your objective from the safari: Do you have a tick list of animals you want to see, or are you happy to observe whatever you come across? Personally we just enjoy whatever nature gives us, but I have heard of people who are so desperate that they spend all day driving around without stopping to look at what they see along the way, just so that they can look for a certain species that is missing from their tick list. I would find this annoying and tiring.

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    Scandinavia Express Buses (1)

    by peterdhduncan Updated Jun 14, 2007

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    Scandinavia Express has the reputation of being the best long-distance bus service in Tanzania. However, unfortunately, it didn't live up to its reputation on our journey from Dar es Salaam to Mbeya, which took 18 hours instead of the usual 11 or 12 because of 3 incidents en-route (see separate tip for details). However, the time spent sitting and standing around in the Tanzanian countryside gave us an opportunity to get to know local people that we wouldn't otherwise have had!

    We eventually arrived at Mbeya just after midnight, having set off at six o' clock in the morning.

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    Scandinavia Express Buses (2)

    by peterdhduncan Updated Jun 14, 2007

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    The first incident which occurred after about an hour or so was the linkage between the gear-box and the gear lever coming apart, leaving us stranded in the middle of the Tanzanian countryside. After an hour and a half, a mechanic arrived, and it was then fixed fairly swiftly. However, before he arrived, a local man in a suit appeared on a bicycle with a vast bundle of bananas covering it, which he proceeded to sell to the passengers on the bus!

    The second incident, which occurred about half an hour after we set off again was a double set of tyres at the rear of the coach exploding into shreds. It then transpired that there was only one spare tyre, and that was bald! Another Scandinavia coach coming the other way stopped, but that also had only one spare tyre and that was down to the cord! A third coach then appeared, and, eventually, as we had considerably further to go than the other coaches, they put two decent tyres onto our coach and put the 'spare' tyres onto one of the other coaches. They then realised that the other rear tyres on our coach had become pretty ropey, so they swapped them with some from one of the other buses as well. All of this was done with only one jack between the three coaches!

    About four hours after the incident occurred, we set off again at great speed. However, after a short time, it started to pour with rain as well as getting dark, and we realised that the windscreen wiper, which had been in use at the beginning of the journey, had fallen off. In spite of this, the driver didn't slow down, and he still didn't slow down when a swarm of termites landed SPLAT on the windscreen, covering it in white wings!!!

    Eventually, when we reached Iringa, the driver was ordered to get it fixed by police at a check-point, for which we were very grateful. However, this meant another wait of a couple of hours until the driver eventually returned with a replacement wiper, and we set off on the final leg of the journey.

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    Ranger Safaris

    by bumpychick Updated Jun 3, 2007

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    Ranger safaris provided us with an excellent service during our two week safari in Tanzania. The driver/guides were very proficient when it came to spotting wildlife, particularly when they also had to negotiate the bumpy tracks within the national parks. Our vehicle was comfortable and our guide cleaned it every day! Unlike in Kenya, the safari vehicles are not allowed to drive off the tracks in order to track down animals. This obviously makes it a bit more challenging to get 'close encounters', but it is still possible and much kinder to the animals.

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  • Bad experience with PrecisionAir airline

    by makxx Updated Mar 13, 2007

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    I’d like to communicate what we experienced with Precision Air services.
    Me and a friend of mine bought tickets to fly from Zanzibar to Mombasa, where we had a connecting flight to return home back in Italy, on last august 2006 paying over 300 U$.
    Thus we confirmed the flight 2 days in advance, the morning we got to the airport for checking in we discovered at the Precision Air counter that the flight was cancelled.
    Of course we lost our flight back to Italy, which resulted in further hassles as you may understand, but we received reassurances we’d get at least our money back, as stated by the attached refund application RF N. 0236 issued by PrecisionAir itself the very same day (the 23 of Aug. 2006).
    In spite of several subsequently inquiries to PrecisionAir offices (via phone, fax and email) we hadn’t got yet our money back.
    Therefore you’d better wonder if it’s a good idea to get their tricky and unreliable services, no matter how intriguing is their motto: “Quick, Comfortable and Reliable”.

    So then pay a lot of attention in dealing with Precision Air.

    Hope this will help other travellers,
    Massimo Giannini

    Related to:
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    • Business Travel

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Tanzania Transportation

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