These days there are many ways to travel to Tanzania. Overland railways connect the country, the roads are easy to navigate and well-maintained, cruise ships and passenger liners stop frequently at the ports, and international air carriers arrive and depart daily from the many airports located around the country. Travel to Tanzania is easier and more convenient than it has ever been before. World-class airport facilities and on-the-ground assistance make sure that your visit to the country is perfect from the first moment of arrival.
Whether you’re travelling independently or with a tour operator, be sure to book your ticket well in advance and make sure your return flights are confirmed. Travel agents in major cities can assist you in making any last-minute changes to your itinerary and flights.
Flying to Tanzania
There are frequent direct and indirect flights to Tanzania by numerous international airlines. At the time of writing, international airlines that fly to Dar es Salaam include KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Swiss International Airlines, Emirates,Qatar Airways, Oman Air,Turkish Airlines,South African Airways, Ethiopian Airlines, Egypt Airways, Kenya Airways,Air Uganda, LAM Mozambique Airlines and Rwanda Air.
The international departure tax is US$50 but this is included in the price of an airline ticket.
Travel by rail
The route between Dar es Salaam and Kapiri Moshi in Zambia is run by the Tanzania and Zambia Railway Authority (Tazara) (tel: (022) 286 2033; www.tazarasite.com).
By rail note:
The train journey from Dar es Salaam to Zambia is very long (around 50 hours) and there are frequent delays. Trains get very crowded and travellers should take special care of their baggage. Always travel in First Class in a two or four sleeper compartment. When the train crosses the border between the two countries, immigration officials board the train to complete border formalities. There is also a train from Dar es salaam to Kigoma, Mpanda and Mwanza
Driving to Tanzania
The main international road crossings into Tanzania are from Kenya. The most used is the border crossing at Namanga, about halfway between Nairobi and Arusha. The other principle border crossing is south of Mombasa on the coast at Lunga Lunga, from where the nearest large Tanzanian town is Tanga. There are quieter border crossings at Taveta, between Voi and Moshi, and Isebania on the main road between Kisumu and Mwanza.
Border crossings from other neighbouring countries include the Songwe border with Malawi and the Tunduma border with Zambia, both of which are in the southwestern corner of Tanzania and are reached by a good (but long) road from Dar es Salaam. There is a crossing with Uganda at Mutukulu, northwest of Bukoba, but this is a rough road and a remote region to get to. The easiest way to get to Uganda from Tanzania is via Nairobi in Kenya, from where there are daily bus services to Kampala. There is a border crossing with Rwanda at Rusomo, although again this is in the remote northwestern part of Tanzania although there are bus services between Mwanza and Kigali. Tanzania does share a border with Mozambique to the south, but road access between the two countries is very limited.
By road note:
There are many local bus companies that ply the main routes over the borders. Several companies run comfortable shuttle bus services between Nairobi and Arusha and Moshi in Tanzania. These are aimed at tourists who fly into Nairobi and are visiting the game parks in Tanzania’s northern circuit region from Arusha, or are climbing Mt Kilimanjaro from Moshi. The buses take about 5-6 hours in either direction, and drivers assist passengers with border procedures. Riverside Shuttles (www.riverside-shuttle.com) offer a reliable daily service.
For long-distance cross-border bus travel, recommended for visitors is Taqwa Bus Services (+255 655 721287, +255 655 141034, +255 715 423820), which has frequent departures to and from Tanzania and neighbouring countries. They also offer daily services between Nairobi and Kampala in Uganda, and from Dar es Salaam to Lusaka in Zambia.
Getting to Tanzania by boat
The main port is Dar es Salaam (www.tanzaniaports.com) which is served by commercial ships but no passenger services from other countries. It does however serve as the departure point for ferry services to Zanzibar.
Some cruise ships dock at Zanzibar.
Passenger ferry services run on Lake Tanganyika to Mpulungu (Zambia). They also used to run to Bujumbura (Burundi), and this service is likely to start up again in the future. There is sporadic and unreliable ferry service on Lake Nyasa linking Tanzania with Malawi.