Tanzania — Transportation
Tanzania Taxis and Car Rental
There are licensed taxis in Tanzania, although they are unmetered and there are no formal companies. They are white or have white plates, and can be found at train and bus stations and at main intersections. They can sometimes be hailed on the street, but it is best to have your hotel call a cab for you. Fares should be negotiated beforehand. At Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar airports there are taxi desks which have a list of standard fares.
Car rental is expensive and not practical. Driving around Dar es Salaam can be a nightmare and cruising anywhere at night is not recommended. It is often best to rent a vehicle with a driver. Jeeps can be obtained all over from hotels or tour operators, while Dar es Salaam is the only place with main car rental companies. It is fun to explore Zanzibar by jeep, and four-wheel drive is an absolute must if touring the reserves. Drivers typically need to be over 23 years of age to rent a car in Tanzania.
Tanzania Water Taxis
Passenger liners call on Dar es Salaam, Zanzibar, Mtwara, and other cities along the coast. You can also get from Zambia (at Mpulunga) across Lake Tanganyika in the west via a steamer service, while the 10-hour jaunt between Bukoba and Mwanza across Lake Victoria runs nightly.
The main ferry service within Tanzania is between Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar. Sea Express and Azam Marine run cheap, high-speed catamarans, which are air-conditioned and typically take 90 minutes. These go from the Kigaboni terminal in Dar es Salaam to the ferry terminal just north of Stone Town in Zanzibar several times a day. There is also a crossing from Zanzibar to Pemba Island.
Tanzania Trains and Buses
International rail service TAZARA runs between Dar es Salaam and New Kapiri Mposhi, Zambia, twice a week. There is also an affordable, semi-reliable domestic rail network in Tanzania—serving west and east—from Kigoma to Dar es Salaam that stops at Mwanza, Dodoma and other cities. There are three classes—first (two-bed cabin), second (four-bed cabin) and third (seats).
Scandinavia Express runs an international bus service from Kenya, Uganda and Zambia to Dar es Salaam, while cheap local buses connect all towns. Scandinavia Express also runs within Tanzania, linking Dar es Salaam with Arusha. The local buses have different ticket classes and the more upscale ones have air conditioning and toilets. Dalla dalla minibuses run in Dar es Salaam, but should be avoided as pickpocketing is rife.