Getting Around, Tanzania Travel, Transport and Car Rental

(Tanzania, TZ, East Africa)

Image of traffic in downtown Dar es SalaamHow you choose to travel around Tanzania will very much depend on your budget and time constraints. Tanzania's public transport network of trains and buses is fairly well developed, so it's a good option if you intend to visit towns and tourist destinations.

If you're planning to head off the beaten track into more remote areas, then it's probably simplest to travel by hire car or 4WD vehicle. Safari package tours are an easy and highly convenient option, since all transport is organised for you, while for longer distances, flying between the country's many airports is the easiest, safest and most comfortable way to get around.

Scenic cityscape picture of Dar es Salaam

Julius Nyerere International Airport (DAR) / Arriving by Air

Address: Julius K. Nyerere Road / Pugu Road, Ukonga / Kitunda, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, TZ, Africa
Tanzania's main airport, Julius Nyerere International, is located some 12 km / 8 miles outside of Dar es Salaam. The airport has two terminals, with taxis available to take passengers from one to the other. Buses are available to take visitors into the centre of Dar es Salaam. They run 24 hours, seven days a week and the journey takes just 30 minutes. Many hotels also offer their own airport shuttle services.

Kilimanjaro International Airport is Tanzania's second-largest airport. It is located 64 km / 40 miles from Arusha and serves the Arusha, Moshi and Kilimanjaro area, including the Serengeti National Park. Flights arrive and depart daily from Amsterdam, Frankfurt and Zurich (seasonal), linking Tanzania with the rest of Europe.

Charter flights are a quick and efficient way of travelling to out-of-the way destinations, including national parks. Scheduled flights run between Dar es Salaam, Kilimanjaro, Nairobi and Zanzibar. Of note, the main airports in Tanzania are as follows:

Photo of cars and bus in Dar es Salaam

Car Rental

Most of the major car rental agencies can be found in Tanzania. They can all offer four-wheel drive vehicles and many also provide unlimited mileage. The roads in Tanzania are generally in a poor condition, so care is needed, particularly if you're driving at night. If you are not confident about driving here, then it is possible to hire a car plus driver or guide. Those planning to drive around Dar es Salaam should be aware that the city centre can become very congested with traffic all through the day, Monday to Friday. Traffic jams are often at their worst in the vicinity of Kariakoo Market.

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View of roundabout in the city of Morogoro, located in the southern highlands

Buses and Coaches

Express bus services operate between major cities and towns throughout Tanzania. Some of these boast air conditioning and toilets on their vehicles, as well as advance seat booking. The best-known express operator is Scandinavian Express. A network of local buses also serves smaller towns, although these tend to be much slower and more crowded.

Minibuses known as 'dalla-dalla' are everywhere in Tanzania. They are useful for travelling short distances within and between towns. Cheap they may be, but comfortable they're certainly not. However, it's certainly an effective way of getting to know the locals and all part of the overall African experience.

Photograph of train station in Dar es Salaam


Tanzania's rail network has developed in recent years. Today, there are two passenger rail lines - one connects the cities of Dar es Salaam and Mbeya, while the other runs from Dar es Salaam to Kigoma and Mwanza, with branch lines also operating from Kaliu to Mpanda and from Manyoni to Singida. Trains run three to four times a week as a rule. Tickets for first and second class travel are available, along with beds (where necessary) and dining carriages.


Taxis are frequently sited outside most hotels, as well as on the streets of larger towns and cities. In Dar es Salaam, taxi stands can be found on Ohio Street and Sokoine Drive, close to St. Joseph's Cathedral.

This mode of transport is best suited for short journeys, such as hopping between attractions and to nearby airports. Slightly cheaper and able to weave through traffic jams are the three-wheeler tuk tuks, which are also known as bajajis or rickshaws. Whatever taxi you choose, be sure to negotiate a price before your trip.

Boats and Ferries

High-speed ferries run between Dar es Salaam and Stone Town in Zanzibar. Slower ferries also sail from Dar es Salaam to Pemba, usually making a stopover in Zanzibar. Passenger ferries are also available on Lake Tanganyika, Lake Victoria and Lake Malawi.