Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Tanzania: How to Get Around

The bus is the most common way to travel around in Tanzania. Most buses have a simple design, and the roads are poor, although 1st class air-con buses are available on the Dar-Moshi-Arusha route. Nearly all buses go in and out of Dar es Salaam. The main bus station in Dar (where all buses go), Ubungo, is 8 km west of the city center. A number of the better "intercity buses" provide you with complimentary drinks and biscuits. Scandinavian Express is a good choice if you want to travel by bus, as their routes cover much of the country, although they have fallen on hard times of late. They operate their own terminal in downtown Dar es Salaam.

In Dar, shared taxis, called Dalla-Dallas, can be taken cheaply to most places within a city.


Private taxis are also a convenient choice, but be sure to negotiate the price before you use them. Fellow travelers might be able to offer advice about a reasonable fare. Some places (e.g. Dar Es Salaam Airport) have a strong taxi cartel and post fixed prices.

If you can afford it, flying around Tanzania is faster and safer. Even the busiest roads are in poor condition, and bus drivers are not known for their patience or great driving skills. Road accidents claim more lives in Tanzania than any other cause of death, so be careful.

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