Transports in Tanzania

transportation in Tanzania
Updated 2018-09-03 09:12

There are many ways in which you can get around the country. Deciding on what mode of transport you will use to travel will depend on the distance you need to go, as well as your budget and time constraints. There are private taxis, dala-dalas (shared minibus taxis), boda bodas (motorbike taxis), and bajajis (tuk-tuks). To travel far you can get around by plane, train, or bus. If your stay in the country is longer you may want to hire or even buy a car.

By Plane

If you are pressed for time or do not enjoy traveling for hours on end, and if your budget allows, then traveling around Tanzania by plane will definitely be the best option available. A handful of local airlines operate predominantly from Dar es Salaam, Kilimanjaro, and Zanzibar and fly between each other, to the other main airports on the mainland, as well as to the airports on the islands of Zanzibar, Pemba, and Mafia. These flights are not overly priced, operate frequently, and have good safety records.

If you are traveling to a national park, or a top-end luxury lodge, there are private charter companies who will transport you to your destination. These short flights are often included in packages booked through your travel agent. Contact them to inquire further.

By Train

Getting around the country can be a cost-effective and pleasant experience. There are three classes of travel, ranging from two/four-berth compartments (first class) to simple wooden seating (third class). There is a satisfactory dining car service, however, it is advised to take snacks and drinks in addition.

If you are on a tight schedule, traveling by train might not be for you, as there are frequent delays experienced, and journeys thus can end up taking longer than you had expected.

By Taxi

If you are in a city and need a short trip from A to B, then a taxi would be the most convenient method for you. Although you will not be able to hail a taxi in the street, taxis are parked in transportation areas - such as airports, rail and bus stations - as well as at major intersections. If you are coming from a hotel or restaurant, it is likely that the staff will be able to call one for you.

Good to know:

Taxis are not metered and you will have to negotiate the fare before getting into the vehicle.

By Hired Car

If you are in the country for longer but have not relocated there, then you might want to hire a car for the duration of your stay. Often a car hire company will only allow you to hire a 4-wheel-drive vehicle if you are going into any park or reserve, or are driving off the beaten track. This is both for the safety of yourself and the vehicle.

Do be aware first of the conditions In Tanzania before hiring a car. Traffic drives on the left-hand side of the road in the country. Also, only 15% of the roads are tarred. The major freeways are in relatively good condition, however, many roads vary from gravel to rural tracks. If you are not comfortable driving in these aforementioned conditions, you might want to consider hiring a car with a driver.

If you are in the country more permanently, it is possible to import your car, however, others have struggled with high import and VAT costs, and it might be difficult to find parts. It might make more sense, therefore, to sell your car in your current country and purchase one upon your arrival in Tanzania.

Useful links:

Precision Air
Coastal Air
Scandinavia Express
Tanzanian Railways Corporation

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