Africa - Tanzania

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Africa - Tanzania

Gửi bàigửi bởi dongdao » Thứ 2 Tháng 12 19, 2016 3:12 pm

When many people think of Africa, they are actually thinking of Tanzania. It is here that some of the continent’s most vivid images come to life: snow-capped Kilimanjaro, rhinos standing proud in Ngorongoro Crater and wildebeests’ hooves thundering over the Serengeti Plains. If for you Africa means hot, dusty afternoons ending in star-studded skies, or Indian Ocean breezes caressing white sands and Swahili ruins, then head straight for Tanzania.

The most popular areas have sealed main roads, and hotels and restaurants to suit every budget. But it’s also easy to leave the beaten track by heading south to a Tanzania that is far removed from Western development and amenities. Here you can have one of Africa’s greatest wildernesses more or less to yourself, travel by boat on some of the world’s largest lakes and track chimpanzees in the country’s most secluded areas.

Despite its obvious appeal, Tanzania remains remarkably untouched by the tribal rivalries and political upheavals that plague many of its neighbours. It’s large enough to travel for hours without seeing another traveller, it’s ideal for exploring in combination with other African countries, and yet it has more than enough attractions to be a journey on its own.


Serengeti National Park Immerse yourself in the sounds and sights of the world’s greatest wildlife spectacle.

Zanzibar Follow the lure of the Spice Islands back through the centuries on Unguja and little-visited Pemba.

Mount Kilimanjaro Admire it from afar or climb its mighty shoulders, but do it before its icecap melts.

Picture-perfect beaches Take your pick of beach, from idyllic offshore islands, the palm-fringed mainland coast or serene inland lakes.

Mahale Mountains National Park Spend time with our closest relatives – wild chimpanzees – in one of the country’s most idyllic and least-visited corners.


The coolest months are from June to October and the warmest from December to March. Along the coast, there’s high humidity and temperatures averaging between 25°C and 29°C. On the central plateau, temperatures range from 20°C to 27°C between June and August. Between December and March they can soar above 30°C.

There are two rainy seasons, with the masika (long rains) from mid-March to May, and the mvuli (short rains) during November, December and into January. The best time to travel is between late June and October, when the rains have finished and the air is coolest. However, this is also when hotels and park lodges are full and airfares most expensive. From late December to February temperatures are higher, but many hotels charge highseason surpluses around the holidays. During the March through May rainy season, you can often save substantially on accommodation costs and have things to yourself.


One Week Arriving in Dar es Salaam, spend a day there getting oriented, fly to Ruaha National Park or Selous Game Reserve for a couple of nights then spend the remainder of the week on Zanzibar.

Two Weeks For the classic bush-and-beach itinerary, spend a week on the northern safari circuit or climbing Kilimanjaro, followed by a week chilling out on Zanzibar.

One Month With a month, combine any of the earlier itineraries; travel between Lake Victoria and northern or northeastern Tanzania via the western Serengeti; make your way southwest via Mbeya, with stops en route at Mikumi and Ruaha National Parks; or follow the coast south to Mtwara.

  • Midrange safari US$200 per person per day

  • Plate of ugali US$0.40

  • Serengeti National Park entry US$50 per person per entry

  • Papaya US$0.25

  • Short taxi ride US$1.20


  • 1L petrol US$0.80

  • 1L bottled water US$0.40

  • Bottle of Safari Lager US$0.40

  • Souvenir T-shirt US$7.80

  • Mishikaki US$0.20


The history of Tanzania is also quite literally the history of humankind. Hominid (humanlike) footprints unearthed near Olduvai Gorge show that our earliest ancestors were roaming the Tanzanian plains and surrounding areas over three million years ago.

Seafaring merchants from the Mediterranean and Asia, who came looking for gold, spices and ivory, intermarried with the families of their local trading contacts. They formed a civilization known as the Swahili, with a common language (Kiswahili), and a chain of prosperous cities stretching from Mozambique to Somalia. The Arabic kingdom of Oman eventually gained control of the Swahili coast, installing its sultan on Zanzibar and growing rich on the profits of slaving expeditions that penetrated far inland in search of booty.

Dr Livingstone, I Presume?

The first Europeans to arrive in East Africa were the Portuguese, who clashed with the Omanis for control of the lucrative trade routes to India. Later came British, Dutch and American merchant adventurers. By the 19th century, European explorers were setting out from Zanzibar into the unknown African interior. While searching for the source of the Nile, Dr David Livingstone became so famously lost that a special expedition headed by Henry Stanley was sent out to find him. Stanley caught up with Livingstone near modern-day Kigoma after a journey of more than a year, whereupon he uttered the famous inanity ‘Dr Livingstone, I presume?’

The suppression of the slave trade became the obsession of the Victorian British public and led to the downfall of the Omani Empire. British battleships blockaded the coast to prevent the slave ships escaping with their cargo, and the Omani sultan was reduced to no more than a puppet of the British Empire. But it was Germany that first colonised what was then known as Tanganyika, and during WWI German forces under Von Lettow Vorbeck waged a highly successful guerrilla-style campaign against the British in the thick bush of the modern-day Selous Game Reserve. When the war finally ended, the League of Nations mandated Tanganyika to Britain.


In 1959 Britain agreed to the establishment of internal self-government, requesting Julius Nyerere to be chief minister. On 9 December 1961 Tanganyika became independent and on 9 December 1962 it was established as a republic, with Nyerere as president.

On the Zanzibar Archipelago, which had been a British protectorate since 1890, the main push for independence came from the radical Afro-Shirazi Party (ASP), but when independence was granted in December 1963, two British-favoured minority parties formed the first government. Within a month, a Ugandan immigrant named John Okello initiated a violent revolution that toppled the government and the sultan, and led to the massacre or expulsion of most of the islands’ Arab population. The sultan was replaced by the Zanzibar Revolutionary Council, headed by Abeid Karume.

On 26 April 1964 Nyerere signed an act of union with Karume, creating the United Republic of Tanganyika (renamed the United Republic of Tanzania the following October). The union was resented by many Zanzibaris from the outset (Zanzibar is a Swahili, Islamic enclave that was previously independent from African Tanzania) and Karume was assassinated in 1972. In an effort to subdue the ongoing unrest, Nyerere authorised the formation of a one-party state and combined his ruling Tanganyika African National Union (TANU) party and the ASP into Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM; Party of the Revolution). CCM’s dominance of Tanzanian politics endures to this day.

The Socialist Experiment

The Arusha Declaration of 1967 committed Tanzania to a policy of socialism and selfreliance. The policy’s cornerstone was the ujamaa (familyhood) village: an agricultural collective run along traditional African lines, whereby basic goods and tools were to be held in common and shared among members, while each individual was obligated to work on the land.

In the early days of the ujamaa system, progressive farmers were encouraged to expand in the hope that other peasants would follow their example. This approach proved unrealistic, and was abandoned in favour of direct state control. Between 1973 and 1978, 85% of Tanzania’s rural population was resettled, often forcibly, into more than 7000 planned villages in an effort to modernise the agricultural sector and improve access to social services. This approach was also unsuccessful and resentment was widespread.

Tanzania’s socialist experiment was a failure: per capita income plummeted, agricultural production stagnated and industry limped along at less than 50% capacity. The decline was precipitated by a combination of factors, including steeply rising oil prices and sharp drops in the value of coffee and sisal exports.

Democracy at Last

In 1985 Nyere resigned, handing over power to Zanzibari Ali Hassan Mwinyi. Mwinyi tried to distance himself from Nyerere and his policies, and instituted an economic recovery program. The fall of European communism in the early 1990s and pressure from Western donor nations accelerated the move towards multiparty politics, and in 1992 the constitution was amended to legalise opposition parties.

The first elections were held in 1995 in an atmosphere of chaos, and the voting for the Zanzibari presidency was universally denounced for its dishonesty. In the ensuing uproar, foreign development assistance was suspended and most expatriates working on the islands left.

Similar problems plagued the 2000 election, and several dozen people were killed by government security units on Pemba during the ensuing protests. Despite attempts to negotiate an end to the strife, progress has been only modest at best, and tensions have continued to simmer, reaching another critical point on Zanzibar following balloting in late 2005.

Tanzania Today

One of the effects that the introduction of multiparty politics had on Tanzanian life was the unmasking of underlying political, economic and religious frictions, both on the mainland and between the mainland and the Zanzibar Archipelago. Yet – the Zanzibar situation notwithstanding – Tanzania as a whole remains reasonably well integrated, with comparatively high levels of religious and ethnic tolerance, particularly on the mainland. Tanzanians have earned a name for themselves in the region for their moderation and balance, and most observers consider it highly unlikely that the country would disintegrate into the tribal conflicts that have plagued some of its neighbours.

The 2005 presidential elections were won in a landslide by CCM’s Jakaya Kikwete, the former foreign minister. Multiparty politics in Tanzania seem to have taken several steps backwards in recent years with entrenchment of the CCM and splintering of the opposition. However, chances are high that Tanzania will continue to move forward, maintaining the stable and moderate outlook that has characterised its development since independence.


It takes a lot to ruffle a Tanzanian, and it’s largely to this fact that the country’s remarkably harmonious and understated demeanour can be attributed. Tribal rivalries are almost nonexistent, and a Tanzanian’s primary identification is almost always as a Tanzanian. Tribal structures range from weak to nonexistent – a legacy of the abolishment of local chieftaincies following independence – and political differences rarely come to the forefront in interpersonal dealings.

The workings of society are oiled by a subtle but strong social code. Tanzanians place a premium on politeness and courtesy. Greetings are essential, and you’ll probably be given a gentle reminder should you forget this and launch straight into a question without first enquiring as to the wellbeing of your listener and his or her family. Tanzanian children are trained to greet their elders with a respectful shikamoo (literally, ‘I hold your feet’), often accompanied in rural areas by a slight curtsey, and strangers are frequently addressed as dada (sister); mama, in the case of an older woman; kaka (brother); or ndugu (relative or comrade).

Want to take a peek inside a Tanzanian home? First call out ‘hodi’, then wait for the inevitable ‘karibu’ (welcome), and step inside. Home for most Tanzanians is of cinderblock or mudbrick, with roofing of corrugated tin or thatch, a latrine outside and water drawn from a nearby pump or river. Mealtimes typically centre around a pot of ugali (the stiff and doughy maize- and/or cassava-based national dish) or a similar staple served with sauce, and rural rhythms set the beat, with women and children spending much of their day working a small shamba (farm plot).

As elsewhere in the region, family life plays a central role, although it’s sometimes hard to know where the family ends and the community begins. Doors are always open, helping out others in the jamaa (clan, community) is assumed, and celebrations involve everyone. Child-raising is the expected occupation for women, and breadwinning for men. Village administrators (known as shehe on Zanzibar) oversee things, and make important decisions in consultation with other senior community members.


The vast majority of Tanzanians are of Bantu origin, with the largest groups including the Sukuma (who live around Mwanza and southern Lake Victoria), the Makonde (southeastern Tanzania), the Haya (around Bukoba) and the Chagga (around Mt Kilimanjaro). The Maasai and several smaller groups (all in northern Tanzania) are of Nilo-Hamitic or Nilotic origin.

About 3% of Tanzania’s total population, or about one million people, live on the Zanzibar Archipelago, with about one-third of these on Pemba. Small but economically significant Asian (primarily from the subcontinent) and Arabic populations are concentrated in major cities and along the coast.

About 35% to 40% of Tanzanians are Muslim and between 40% and 45% are Christian. The remainder follow traditional religions. There are also small communities of Hindus, Sikhs and Ismailis. Muslims traditionally settled in coastal and inland towns along the old caravan routes.


Shaaban Robert (1909–62) is considered to be the country’s national poet, and was almost single-handedly responsible for the development of a modern Swahili prose style.

Almost as well-known is Zanzibari Muhammed Said Abdulla, who gained fame with his Mzimu wa watu wa kale (Graveyard of the Ancestors), and is considered the founder of Swahili popular literature.

One of Tanzania’s most widely acclaimed contemporary writers is Abdulrazak Gurnah, whose novel Paradise is set in East Africa during WWI and made the Booker Prize short list in 1994.

Other contemporary Tanzanian authors of English-language works include Peter Palangyo, who wrote the novel Dying in the Sun; William Kamera (known for his poetry and for Tales of the Wairaqw of Tanzania); and Tolowa Marti Mollel, author of many short stories, including The Orphan Boy, a retelling of a local Maasai legend. May Balisidya, who authored the novel Shida (Hardships) as well as several plays and children’s books, was one of the few first-generation women writers of Swahili literature.

Tanzania’s music scene has traditionally been one of the most dynamic in the region. Famous musicians include Remmy Ongala (‘Dr Remmy’), the group Mlimani Park and its offshoot International Orchestra Safari Sound (IOSS). A popular figure from the 1970s was Patrick Balisidya. In addition to his Afro 70 band, Balisidya, who died in 2004, was known for his song ‘Harusi’, which is still a staple at Tanzanian weddings.

Tanzania’s best-known school of painting is Tingatinga, which takes its name from the self-taught artist Edward Saidi Tingatinga, who began producing it in the 1960s in response to demand from the European market. Tingatinga paintings are traditionally composed in a square format, and feature brightly coloured animal motifs set against a monochrome background. The use of undiluted and often unmixed enamel and high-gloss paints give the paintings their characteristic shiny appearance.

Tanzania’s Makonde are known throughout East Africa for their beautiful and highly stylised ebony woodcarvings. The country’s major centres of Makonde carving are in the southeast on the Makonde Plateau and in Dar es Salaam.


Tanzania covers over 943,000 sq km, bordered to the east by the Indian Ocean and to the west by the deep lakes of the Western Rift Valley, including Lakes Tanganiyka and Nyasa (Malawi). A central highland plateau culminates in the north at Mt Meru, 5895m Mt Kilimanjaro – Africa’s highest mountain – and a chain of active volcanoes known as the Crater Highlands. In the northwest is the enormous, shallow Lake Victoria basin. Off the northeast coast lies the Zanzibar Archipelago, comprised of Unguja (Zanzibar) and Pemba.

Among Tanzania’s wild mammals are all the ‘classic’ African mammals. Particularly notable are its large elephant population; big cats, especially lions, which are routinely seen in Ngorongoro Crater; and the annual wildebeest migration in the Serengeti National Park. Tanzania also boasts over 1000 bird species, including 33 that are endemic to the country. For more on endangered species.

Few places on the continent surpass Tanzania’s Eastern Arc range for endemic plants. There are impressive stands of baobab in parks such as Tarangire. Away from the mountain ranges, much of the country is covered by miombo or ‘moist’ woodland, where the main vegetation is various types of Brachystegia tree.

Although Tanzania has one of the highest proportions of protected land of any African country (about 39% is protected in some form), limited resources hamper conservation efforts, and erosion, soil degradation, desertification and deforestation continue to whittle away at the natural wealth. In the national parks, poaching and inappropriate visitor use – specially in the northern circuit – threaten wildlife and ecosystems. Dynamite fishing has also been a serious threat in the Zanzibar Archipelago and in mainland coastal areas, although significant progress has been made in halting this practice.

On the positive side, great progress has been made in recent years to involve communities directly in conservation, and local communities are now stakeholders in several lodges and other tourist developments.

The best local contact for more information about environmental issues is the Wildlife Conservation Society of Tanzania (Arusha; Boma St; Dar es Salaam tel  22-211 2518;; Garden Ave).

National Parks & Reserves

Tanzania’s unrivalled collection of protected areas includes 14 national parks, 13 wildlife reserves, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area (NCA), two marine parks and several protected marine reserves.

The ‘northern circuit’ parks (Serengeti, Lake Manyara, Tarangire, Arusha and Kilimanjaro National Parks and the NCA) are easily accessible, well equipped with facilities and heavily visited. In addition to the natural beauty, the northern circuit’s main attractions are the high concentration, diversity and accessibility of its wildlife.

The ‘southern circuit’ parks – including Ruaha and Mikumi National Parks and the Selous Game Reserve – tend to have more of a wilderness feel, although the wildlife is just as impressive.

All parks are managed by the Tanzania National Parks Authority (Tanapa; tel 027-250 3471, 027-250 4082; Entry fees – see individual park listings for details – must be paid in hard currency, preferably US dollars cash.

Other costs at most parks include guide fees of US$10 per day (US$15 for overnight and US$20 for walking safaris) and vehicle fees of US$40 per day for a foreign-registered car (TSh10,000 for a Tanzania-registered car). Guide and vehicle fees for Ngorongoro Crater and Selous Game Reserves are given in those sections.

Wildlife reserves are administered by the Wildlife Division of the Ministry of Natural Resources & Tourism (tel 022-286 6376, 022-286 6064; cnr Nyerere & Changombe Rds, Dar es Salaam). Fees – see individual listings for details – should be paid in US dollars cash. Saadani and Selous are the only reserves with tourist infrastructure. Large areas of many others have been leased as hunting concessions.


Tanzania’s unofficial national dish is ugali. Other favourites include mishikaki (marinated meat kebabs, often grilled over the coals at street stalls), and refreshing mtindi and mgando, cultured milk products similar to yogurt and usually drunk with a straw out of plastic bags. Many Tanzanians start their day with uji, a thin, sweet porridge made from bean, millet or other flour. Vitambua – small rice cakes vaguely resembling tiny thick pancakes – are another morning treat, especially in the southeast. On Zanzibar, look for mkate wa kumimina, a bread made from a batter similar to that used for making vitambua.

In major towns, there’s a good selection of places to eat, ranging from local food stalls to Western-style restaurants. In smaller towns you’re likely to just find hoteli (small, informal restaurants) serving chicken, beef or fish with rice or another staple. The main meal is at noon; in rural areas, many places are closed in the evening, and often the only option is street food.

Bottled water and soft drinks are widely sold; tap water should be avoided. Tanzania’s array of beers includes the local Safari and Kilimanjaro labels, plus Castle Lager and various Kenyan and German beers. Finding a cold beer can be a challenge.


Tel 022 / pop 2.5 million

Dar es Salaam is Tanzania’s major city and its capital in everything but name. ‘Dar’ is a down-to-earth place, with a picturesque seaport and enough historic buildings, shops and good restaurants to keep you busy for a few days. The city has a mix of African, Arabic and Indian influences yet keeps close ties to its Swahili roots.


In the 1860s Sultan Sayyid Majid of Zanzibar developed a humble East African fishing village into a port and trading centre, and named the site Dar es Salaam (Haven of Peace). When the sultan died the town sunk again into anonymity until the 1880s, when Dar es Salaam resurfaced as a station for Christian missionaries, then as a seat for the German colonial government. Since then the city has remained Tanzania’s undisputed political and economic capital, although the legislature was transferred to Dodoma in 1973.


The congested centre, with banks, forex bureaus, shops and street vendors, runs along Samora Ave from the clock tower to the Askari monument. The area northwest of Samora Ave, around India and Jamhuri Sts, is chock-a-block with Indian traders. Northeast of the Askari monument there are shady tree-lined streets with the National Museum, Botanic Gardens and State House. North from here along the coast you first reach the uppermiddle class section of Upanga and then, after crossing Selander Bridge, the diplomatic and upmarket residential areas of Oyster Bay and Msasani.



  • A Novel Idea (cnr Ohio St & Samora Ave; 10am-7pm Mon-Fri, to 6pm Sun) A great range of fiction, wildlife guides, Africa titles, maps and more.

  • Cultural Centres

  • Alliance Française (tel 213 1406;; Ali Hassan Mwinyi Rd)

  • British Council (tel 211 6574;; cnr Ohio St & Samora Ave)


  • Central police station (tel 211 5507; Sokoine Dr) Near the Central Line Railway Station.

  • Traffic police (tel 211 1747; Sokoine Dr) Near the Central Line Railway Station.

Immigration Office

  • Wizara ya mambo ya ndani (tel 211 8640/3; cnr Ghana Ave & Ohio St; 8am-1pm Mon-Fri for visa applications, until 3pm for visa collection)

Internet Access

  • Alpha Internet Café (Garden Ave; per hr TSh500; 8.30am-6pm Mon-Sat)

  • Hotspot Internet Café (Ground fl, JM Mall, Samora Ave; per hr TSh1000; 8am-7pm Mon-Fri, 9am-7pm Sat, 9.30am-2pm Sun)

  • Kool Surfing (per hr TSh500; 8am-10pm Mon-Sat, 9am-10pm Sun) Just off Jamhuri St.

  • Mealz Internet Café (cnr Pamba Rd & Sokoine Dr; per hr TSh1000; 8am-9pm Mon-Sat, 10am-6pm Sun)

Medical Services

  • Regency Medical Centre (tel 215 0500, 215 2966; Allykhan St) In Upanga, just off Bibi Titi Mohammed Rd. Twenty-four hour emergency service.


  • American Express (tel 211 0960, 211 4094;; Upanga Rd) No cash advances and no replacement of stolen checks, but issues US-dollar travellers cheques up to US$1500 against an Amex card. It’s at Rickshaw Travels, next to Citibank.

  • Coastal Travels’ Local Currency Outlet (Upanga Rd; 9am-4pm Mon-Fri, to noon Sat) Withdraw Tanzanian shillings (or dollars, for an additional 6% commission) using Visa or MasterCard.

  • National Bank of Commerce (NBC; cnr Azikiwe St & Sokoine Dr) Has an ATM.

  • Royal Palm Forex Bureau (Mövenpick Royal Palm Hotel, Ohio St; 8am-8pm Mon-Sat, 10am-1pm Sun & holidays) Cash and travellers cheques.


Barclays Bank Opposite Mövenpick Royal Palm Hotel and at Msasani Slipway.

NBC ATMs at all branches, including at headquarters (cnr Azikiwe St & Sokoine Dr) and next to Ubungo Bus Terminal.

Standard Chartered bank At NIC Life House (cnr Ohio St & Sokoine Dr), Shoppers’ Plaza, JM Mall (Samora Ave) and next to Holiday Inn (Garden Ave).


  • Main post office (Maktaba St; h8am-4.30pm Mon-Fri, 9am-noon Sat)


Card phones are everywhere, including in front of Extelecoms House and the main post office. Cards are sold during business hours at nearby shops.

  • Extelecoms House (cnr Bridge St & Samora Ave; 7.30am-6pm Mon-Fri, 9am-3pm Sat) Operatorplaced calls from US$2.50 per minute to USA, Europe and Australia.

Tourist Information

What’s Happening in Dar es Salaam is a free monthly with tide tables, airline schedules etc; available from travel agencies and the tourist information centre. The Dar es Salaam Guide has more of the same.

  • Tanzania Tourist Board Information Centre (tel 212 0373, 213 1555;; Samora Ave; 8am-4pm Mon-Fri, 8.30am-12.30pm Sat) Free tourist maps, brochures and city information.

Travel Agencies

For safari and trek operators. Coastal Travels (tel 211 7959, 211 7960;; Upanga Rd) Handles internal flights, travel to Zanzibar, and northern and southern safari circuit destinations.

  • Kearsley Travel (tel 213 1652;; Garden Ave) In the Holiday Inn business centre.

  • Rickshaw Travels Mövenpick Royal Palm Hotel (Ohio St); Upanga St (tel 211 0960, 211 4094; Amex agent.


Dar es Salaam is considered to be safer than many other big cities in the region, though it has its share of muggings and thefts. During the day, watch out for pickpocketing, particularly at crowded markets and bus and train stations, and for bag snatching through vehicle windows. At night take a taxi, rather than taking a daladala (minibus) or walking.


The National Museum (tel 211 7508;; Shaaban Robert St; adult/child/student US$3/1.50/2; 9.30am-6pm) is home to the famous fossil discoveries from Olduvai Gorge; other displays include the German and British colonial periods.

The open-air Village Museum (tel 270 0437;; cnr New Bagamoyo Rd & Makaburi St; adult/child/student US$3/1.50/2, camera/video US$3/20; 9.30am-6pm) features authentic dwellings showing traditional life in various parts of Tanzania. Traditional music and dance performances are held in the afternoon. The museum is 10km north of the city centre; take the Mwenge daladala from New Posta transport stand (TSh200, 30 minutes) or take a taxi (TSh5000).

For the colour and bustle of a Tanzanian market, get a reliable taxi driver to take you to the huge, sprawling Kariakoo Market (cnr Msimbazi & Mkunguni Sts), the country’s largest market, but watch out for pickpockets.


It’s cheaper to stay in the city centre and more convenient if you’re relying on public transport. There’s also a good range of pricier hotels on Msasani Peninsula.


  • YWCA (tel 212 2439; Maktaba St; s/d without bathroom TSh10,000/15,000) A good budget deal near the post office, with clean rooms and net, fan and sink. Rooms around the inner courtyard are quieter. Both men and women are accepted.

  • YMCA (tel 213 5457; Upanga Rd; s/d without bathroom US$10/13) Around the corner from the YWCA and marginally quieter. Rooms have mosquito nets and there’s a canteen. Men and women are accepted.

  • Safari Inn (tel 211 9104;; s/d TSh10,000/16,500, d with air-con TSh26,500) A popular travellers’ haunt off Libya St, on the western edge of the city centre. Rooms have fans but no nets.

  • Jambo Inn (tel 211 4293, 211 0686;; Libya St; s/d TSh12,000/16,000, d with air-con TSh24,000) Another popular hang-out, where rooms have fans and fly screens but unreliable hot water.

  • Kibodya Hotel (tel 211 7856; Nkrumah St; d TSh12,000) Basic but large no-frills rooms with fans in a busy part of town but handy for the Scandinavian bus terminal.

  • Econolodge (tel 211 6050;; s/d with fan TSh15,000/20,000, with air con TSh25,000/30,000) The best, but most expensive, option in the popular west end of town. Rooms are large and clean, though a bit worn, with balconies and hot water. It’s on an alley off Libya St.

Midrange & Top End

  • Palm Beach Hotel (tel 212 2931, 213 0985;; Ali Hassan Mwinyi Rd; s/d/tr US$65/90/100) An excellent choice north of the city centre (but close enough to walk). Spacious, spotless rooms all have TV and a safe, and there’s free wireless internet access and a restaurant.

  • Holiday Inn (tel 213 7575;; Garden Ave; s/d US$144/160) A popular place in a leafy local, with modern rooms and standard amenities, including a business centre.

  • Mövenpick Royal Palm Hotel (tel 211 2416;; Ohio St; s/d from US$185/210) The poshest hotel in central Dar, with plush rooms and service you’d expect for the price. There’s a large pool (TSh10,000 for nonguests) plus fitness and business centres, several restaurants and a café-patisserie.


There’s a good selection of moderately priced restaurants scattered around the city centre, although most of them are closed on Sunday.

For inexpensive Indian food and lots of local atmosphere, head to the area around Zanaki and Jamhuri Sts, where there are numerous informal restaurants selling samosas and other favourites.

Épi d’Or (tel 213 6006; Samora Ave; light meals from TSh2000; 7am-7pm Mon-Sat; a) A French-style bakery-café with air-con where you can get delicious breads, pastries and light lunches, including Middle Eastern dishes.

Chef’s Pride (Chagga St; meals from TSh2000; lunch & dinner, closed during Ramadan) A long-standing and very popular local eatery within easy walking distance of the Kisutu budget hotels. The large menu features standard fare, plus pizzas, Indian and veg dishes, and Chinese cuisine.

Steers (cnr Samora Ave & Ohio St; meals from TSh2000; 8am-late) A handy place to pop in for a burger while sightseeing in the eastern end of town.

Dar Shanghai Restaurant (tel 213 4397; Luther House Centre Hostel, Sokoine Dr; meals from TSh4000; breakfast, lunch & dinner, closed Sun lunch) The best bet for Chinese food, with a wide menu selection, reasonable prices and friendly staff.

Alcove (tel 213 7444; Samora Ave; meals from TSh6000; lunch & dinner, closed Sun lunch) Dark, heavy décor and tasty Indian and Chinese cuisine, including a decent selection of vegetarian dishes.

For self-catering, try Shoprite (JM Mall, Samora Ave & Mission St).


Neither the café nor the pub scene have made their way into local Dar es Salaam life, but there are nevertheless a few good spots to quench your thirst.

Cynics Café & Wine Bar (tel 213 8422; 10am-6pm Mon-Thu, to 9pm Fri) Featuring live music on some Friday evenings, Cynics Cafe & Wine Bar is next to Barclay’s Bank, between Ohio St and Upanga Rd.

Garden Bistro (tel 260 0800; Haile Selassie Rd, Oyster Bay) A popular spot for a drink, with live music on weekends.

Mawazo Art Gallery & Café (tel 0748 782770; Upanga Rd; ham-5.30pm Mon-Sat, 10am-8.30pm Wed) Mawazo Art Gallery & Café is small, bright art gallery-café situated within the YMCA grounds.

Kibo Bar (Mövenpick Royal Palm Hotel, Ohio St) Upmarket sports bar at the Mövenpick Royal Palm Hotel.


For high-quality paintings, woodcarvings and more, a good place to start your shopping is at the Mawazo Art Gallery & Café ( opposite ) in the YMCA.

Msasani Slipway Weekend Craft Market (Msasani Slipway, Msasani Peninsula; Sat & Sun) For souvenirs, try this weekend market located on the western side of Msasani Peninsula, just off Chole Rd.

Tingatinga Centre (Morogoro Stores, Haile Selassie Rd, Oyster Bay; 8.30am-5pm) The best place for Tingatinga paintings is this bustling centre, where you can also watch the artists at work.

Mwenge Carvers’ Market (Sam Nujoma Rd; 8am-6pm), For woodcarvings, head to this market near the Village Museum off New Bagamoyo Rd.

Nyumba ya Sanaa (Ohio St; hdaily) A little closer to town (next to Mövenpick Royal Palm Hotel), Nyumba ya Sanaa is a local artists’ cooperative that sells textiles and crafts from various parts of the country. You also have the opportunity to watch some of the artists at work.



Dar es Salaam International Airport is Tanzania’s international and domestic flight hub. Most domestic flights and all international flights depart from Terminal Two (the ‘new’ terminal). Many flights on small planes (including most Zanzibar flights) and most charters depart from Terminal One (‘old’ terminal), about 700m further down the road.


The main passenger routes are between Dar es Salaam, Zanzibar and Pemba; and Dar es Salaam and Mtwara.


The only connection is the MV Safari, which departs at 8am Saturday from Dar es Salaam, and at 2pm Tuesday from Mtwara (US$25 including port tax, 25 to 30 hours). Tickets are sold at the MV Safari office (tel 212 4504/6; Sokoine Dr) at the port.


There are four ‘fast’ ferry trips daily from Dar es Salaam to Zanzibar, departing at 7.30am (Sea Express), 10.30am (Sea Star), 2pm (Sea Bus) and 4pm (Sea Bus). All take 1½ hours and cost US$35/40 regular/VIP. There’s also one slow ferry called the Flying Horse, which takes almost four hours. It departs daily at 12.30pm and costs US$20 one way. The ticket windows are opposite St Joseph’s Cathedral.

Travelling in the other direction, departures from Zanzibar are daily at 7am (Sea Star), 10am (Sea Bus), 1pm (Sea Bus), 4pm (Sea Express) and 10pm (Flying Horse, arriving before dawn the next day).


All buses except Scandinavian Express depart from and arrive at the main bus station at Ubungo, about 8km west of town on Morogoro Rd. It’s a sprawling place with the usual bus-station hustle, so keep an eye on your luggage and your wallet, and try to avoid arriving at night. Daladalas to Ubungo (TSh200) leave from New Posta and Old Posta local transport stands. Taxis from the city centre cost TSh8000 to TSh10,000. For departures, book tickets at the bus-line offices (listed following) and only buy tickets inside the bus office itself.

Dar Express (Libya St) and Royal Coach (tel 212 4073; Libya St) run daily buses to Arusha departing between 6am and 9am (TSh12,000 to TSh14,000, approximately 10 hours).

Scandinavian Express (tel 218 4833/4;; cnr Msimbazi St & Nyerere Rd) has its own terminal for arrivals, departures and ticket bookings close to the city centre. All Scandinavian buses also pass by Ubungo.










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For information about buses between Dar es Salaam and Kenya, Uganda, Zambia and Malawi.


For information about the Tazara line between Dar es Salaam, Mbeya and Kapiri Mposhi (Zambia). For more on Central Line trains between Dar es Salaam, Kigoma and Mwanza.

The Tazara station (tel 286 5187;; cnr Nyerere & Nelson Mandela Rds) is about 6km southwest from the city centre (TSh5000 in a taxi). Daladalas depart from the New and Old Posta transport stands, and are marked Vigunguti, U/Ndege or Buguruni.

Tanzanian Railways Corporation (Central Line) station (tel 211 7833;; cnr Railway St & Sokoine Dr) is in the city centre just southwest of the ferry terminal.


Dar es Salaam International Airport is located 12km from the city centre. Daladalas (marked U/Ndege) depart from New Posta transport stand. Taxis will cost from TSh8000 to TSh10,000, depending on your bargaining abilities.

Daladalas are invariably packed to overflowing and are difficult to board with luggage. First and last stops are shown in the front window, but routes vary, so confirm that the driver is really going to your destination. Rides cost TSh100 to TSh200. Main stops include the following:

New Posta (Maktaba St) In front of the main post office.

Old Posta (Sokoine Dr) Just down from the Azania Front Lutheran Church.

Stesheni (Algeria St) Off Samora Ave near the Central Line Railway Station. Daladalas to Temeke bus stand also leave from here; ask for ‘Temeke mwisho’.

Taxis charge TSh1000 to TSh2000 per short trip within the centre. Fares to Msasani Peninsula start at TSh2500.



The coastline south of Dar es Salaam gets more attractive the further south you go, and makes an easy getaway if you want to laze on a white-sand beach for a while. The budget places begin just south of Kigamboni, which is opposite Kivukoni Front and reached in a few minutes by ferry.

At Kipepeo Village & Campsite (tel 022-282 0877, 0744 276 178;,; camp sites US$4, s/d banda US$50/65, without bathroom US$13/20) Something for every budget, from simple beachside bandas (thatched-roof huts) with nets and shared facilities to thatched cottages on stilts, all with balconies and mosquito nets. There’s also a restaurant-bar and grill. Kipepeo is 8km south of the Kigamboni ferry dock.

Gendayeka Beach Village (camp sites TSh5000, r per person without bathroom TSh12,000) is a simple place with beachside camping and no-frills bungalows with shared facilities, about 700m south of Kipepeo Campsite. Bookings and transport can be arranged through Chef’s Pride restaurant.

The Kigamboni ferry ( per person/vehicle TSh100/800, five minutes) runs throughout the day between the eastern end of Kivukoni Front and Kigamboni village. Once on the other side, daladalas head south from Kigamboni; ask the driver to drop you off. Taxis from Kigamboni charge about TSh2000 to Kipepeo and Gendayeka.


Tel 023

From 1887 Bagamoyo was the capital of German East Africa, but when the capital was transferred to Dar es Salaam in 1891, Bagamoyo went into a slow decline. Bagamoyo’s sleepy charm and nearby beaches make it an agreeable day or weekend excursion from Dar es Salaam.


The National Microfinance Bank changes cash. For internet, try 4MSK (per hr TSh2000; 9am-6pm) at the Catholic mission. The small tourist information office at the main junction at the entrance to town can help with guides and excursions.

Sights & Activities

With its crumbling German-era colonial buildings and narrow streets dotted with Zanzibar-style carved doors, central Bagamoyo is well worth a leisurely stroll, especially the area along Ocean Rd. Nearby on the beach is the colourful port, where you can watch boat builders at work, or visit the fish market.

About 2km north of town is Holy Ghost Catholic Mission, with an excellent museum (tel 244 0010; admission free, donations appreciated; 10am-5pm). Nearby is the chapel where Livingstone’s body was laid before being taken to Zanzibar Town en route to Westminster Abbey.

Further south along the beach are the overgrown Kaole ruins (admission TSh2000), which include the remains of a 13th-century mosque and some 15th-century gravestones.

Sleeping & Eating

  • Mary Nice Place (tel 0744 024015;; r from TSh10,000-20,000) Bagamoyo’s best budget option, this place is simple and homey, with clean, no-frills rooms with fan and the possibility of meals.

  • Bagamoyo Beach Resort (tel 244 0083;; bandas per person without bathroom TSh12,000, s/d with fan TSh30,000/35,000, with air-con TSh40,000/45,000) A friendly, French-run resort-style place offering water sports, a good restaurant and a pool. There a few no-frills beach bandas.

  • Lazy Lagoon (; s/d with full board & boat transfers US$160/240) A secluded, upmarket place about 10km south of Bagamoyo on Lazy Lagoon Island. The airy rooms all have private verandas, nets and a loft where you can park the kids.

Getting There & Away

Buses and minibuses ply between Bagamoyo and Dar es Salaam (TSh1000, 1½ hours) throughout the day.


The ‘spice islands’ – Unguja and Pemba – have an exotic, almost legendary allure and offer

a complete change of pace from the Tanzanian mainland. Unguja, the larger of the two main islands, is more commonly known simply as Zanzibar. Apart from historic Stone Town, with its fascinating labyrinth of narrow streets, there are beautiful palm-fringed beaches and pristine coral reefs. Pemba, in contrast, is seldom visited and very laid-back, but offers a largely undiscovered culture and challenging diving.


From around the 8th century Shirazi traders from Persia established settlements in the archipelago; and between the 12th and 15th centuries, Zanzibar became a powerful city-state, exporting slaves, gold, ivory and wood, and importing spices, glassware and textiles. In the early 16th century Zanzibar came under Portuguese control. Omani Arabs in the mid-16th century routed the Portuguese and by the early 19th century had become so prosperous that in the 1840s the Sultan of Oman relocated his court here from the Persian Gulf.

In 1862 Zanzibar became independent from Oman, although Omani sultans continued to rule under a British protectorate. On 10 December 1963 Zanzibar gained independence and in 1964 Abeid Karume signed a declaration of unity with Tanganyika (mainland Tanzania), forming a fragile union with the new United Republic of Tanzania.

Dangers & Annoyances

There are occasional robberies and muggings in Zanzibar Town and along the beaches. Papasi (street touts) are persistent and can be irksome. Take the normal precautions: avoid isolated areas, especially isolated stretches of beach, and keep your valuables out of view. If you go out at night in Zanzibar Town, take a taxi or walk in a group. Also avoid walking alone in Stone Town during the pre-dawn and dawn hours.


Tel 024

Almost every visitor arrives first at Zanzibar Town, the island’s main population centre and commercial hub. At the heart of Zanzibar Town is the old Stone Town, with its labyrinthine alleyways and fascinating architecture. Just beyond here, and within easy reach, is an unsurpassed collection of beaches where the sand is powdery white and the sea ethereal shades of turquoise.

Zanzibar Town


Zanzibar Town, on the western side of the island, is the heart of the archipelago, and the first stop for most travellers. The best-known section is the old Stone Town, surrounded on three sides by the sea and bordered to the east by Creek Rd.



  • Zanzibar Gallery (tel 223 2721;; Gizenga St; 9am-7pm Mon-Sat, to 1pm Sun) An excellent bookshop with a large selection, including travel guides, Africa titles, children’s books and maps.

Internet Access

There are dozens of internet cafés in Stone Town, including the following, all charging TSh500 per half-hour.

  • Hasina Soft Telecentre (Kenyatta Rd; 8am-10pm Mon-Fri, 8.30am-10pm Sat & Sun) At Shangani post office.

  • Shangani Internet Café (Kenyatta Rd; 8.30am-10pm) Just down from Shangani post office.

Medical Services

  • Shamshu & Sons Pharmacy (tel 223 1262, 223 3814; Market St; 9am-8.30pm Mon-Thu & Sat, 9am-noon & 3-8.30pm Fri, 9am-1.30pm Sun) Just behind (west of ) the market.

  • Zanzibar Medical Group (tel 223 3134, 223 2200; cnr Kaunda & Vuga Rds; 9am-1pm & 5-8pm Mon-Sat, 9am-11am Sun)


There are many forex bureaus – most open until about 8pm Monday through Saturday, and often also on Sunday – where you can change cash and travellers cheques. Commissions can be exorbitant, so shop around, but they are better in Stone Town than elsewhere on the island.

  • Coastal Travels’ Local Currency Outlet (Shangani St)

  • NBC (Shangani St) Just before the tunnel; changes cash and travellers cheques, and has an ATM.

  • Queens Bureau de Change (Kenyatta Rd)

  • Shangani Forex Bureau (Kenyatta Rd)

Post & Telephone

  • Shangani post office (Kenyatta Rd, Shangani; 8am-10pm Mon-Fri, 8.30am-9pm Sat & Sun) Poste restante, operator-assisted calls from TSh1800 per minute plus card phones.

Tourist Information

The free mags Recommended in Zanzibar and Swahili Coast have information on cultural events, transport schedules etc.

  • Zanzibar Tourist Corporation (tel 223 8630;; Bububu Rd) Headquarters in Livingstone House.

Travel Agencies

For excursions around the island, and plane and ferry tickets, agencies to try include the following. (Only make bookings and payments inside the offices, and not with anyone outside claiming to be staff.)

  • Eco + Culture Tours (tel 223 0366;; Hurumzi St)

  • Fernandes Tours & Safaris (tel 223 0666;; Vuga Rd)

  • Madeira Tours & Safaris (tel 223 0406; Just off Kenyatta Rd, opposite Baghani House Hotel; all price ranges.

  • Maya Tours (tel 223 3108; Opposite the market.

  • Sama Tours (tel 223 3543;; Hurumzi St)

  • Tropical Tours (tel 223 0868, 0777 413454;; Kenyatta Rd) A good budget operator opposite Mazsons Hotel.

  • Zan Tours (tel 223 3042, 223 3116;; Malawi Rd) Upmarket tours on the archipelago and beyond.


Stone Town is a historic wonder in itself that amply repays a few days of wandering through its narrow streets and alleys. The town is a photographer’s dream, where Arabic-style houses rub shoulders with Indian-influenced ornate balconies and latticework, and bustling Oriental bazaars alternate with lively street stalls.

Zanzibar National Museum of History & Culture (tel 223 0873; Mizingani Rd; admission US$3; 9am-6pm Mon-Fri, to 3pm Sat & Sun), housed in the Beit el-Ajaib (House of Wonders), has exhibits on Swahili civilisation, the history of Stone Town and a mtepe (a traditional Swahili sailing vessel made without nails).

Beit el-Sahel (Mizingani Rd; admission US$3; 9am-6pm Mon-Fri, to 3pm Sat & Sun), a former sultan’s palace, is now a museum devoted to the era of the Zanzibar sultanate. Outside is the Makusurani graveyard, where some of the sultans are buried. Constructed in the 1870s, Stone Town’s

Anglican cathedral (Mkunazini St; admission TSh1000; 8am-6pm Mon-Sat) was built on the site of an old slave market, of which nothing remains today bar some holding cells.

Built by Sultan Barghash in the late 19th century, the now-defunct Hamamni Persian baths (Hamamni St; admission TSh500) were the first public baths on Zanzibar. To get in, ask the caretaker across the alley to unlock the gate.

The chaotic Darajani market (Creek Rd; predawn–mid-afternoon) is at its best in the morning, before the heat and the crowds, and when everything is still fresh.


Diving & Snorkelling

Zanzibar offers excellent diving and most dive operators also offer snorkelling. Trips average US$30 to US$50 per half day, often including lunch. Recommended operators include Bahari Divers (tel 0748 245786, 0777 415011;; and One Ocean/The Zanzibar Dive Centre (tel 223 8374, 0748 750161;, a Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) five-star centre.

Spice Tours

Half-day excursions are available that take in some spice plantations, as well as ruins and other sights of historical interest. Most tour operators around Stone Town can organize trips, or try Mr Mitu’s office (tel 223 4636), signposted off Malawi Rd near Ciné Afrique. Tours cost US$10 per person in a group of about 15, and include a lunch of local food seasoned with some of the spices you’ve just seen.


Muslim holidays are celebrated in a big way on Zanzibar. Other festivals include Mwaka Kogwa, the ZIFF and Sauti za Busara (a music festival in February).



A spate of renovations has seen many erstwhile budget places creep up the price scale, although they still offer good value in pricey Stone Town.

  • Flamingo Guest House (tel 223 2850;; Mkunazini St; s/d US$10/20, without bathroom US$8/16) Straightforward but perfectly acceptable rooms.

  • Bandari Lodge (tel 223 7969, 0777 423638;; r per person US$12) Simple rooms, plus a common kitchen and fridge. Turn right as you exit the port and it’s a short walk straight ahead.

  • Jambo Guest House (tel 223 3779;; s/d/tr without bathroom incl breakfast US$15/20/30) Just around the corner from Flamingo Guest House; there’s an internet café opposite. The typical Zanzibari wood-appointed rooms are a bit dark, but offer cool respite in the heat of the day. English breakfast is served.

  • Malindi Guest House (tel 223 0165;; s/d US$20/30, without bathroom US$15/20, all incl breakfast) Whitewashed walls and atmospheric, well-maintained rooms.

  • Haven Guest House (tel 223 5677;; s/d incl breakfast US$15/25) Clean rooms, a travellers’ bulletin board, free coffee and tea and a small kitchenette.

  • Garden Lodge (tel 223 3298;; Kaunda Rd; s/d/tr downstairs US$20/30/45, upstairs US$30/40/60) The spacious upstairs rooms and excellent location make up for the price at this friendly family-run place.

  • Florida Guest House (tel 0777 421421, 0777 411335;; Vuga Rd; s/d/tr US$30/50/60) Recently upgraded rooms are still small, but all are spotless with bathroom, air-con and hot water.

  • Victoria House (tel 223 2861;; s/d/tr US$35/50/60) Promoting its ‘expat management’, this place has spacious, recently revamped rooms with hot showers, and is in a leafy spot just off Kaunda Rd.

Midrange & Top End

  • Clove Hotel (tel 0777 484567;; Hurumzi St; s/d/tr incl breakfast US$35/50/70) Painted in pleasing pastel shades, the Clove is stylish and very good value in this price range. Rooms all have nets and fan, and family rooms also have small balconies. Breakfast is in the rooftop restaurant.

  • Baghani House Hotel (tel 223 5654;; s US$40, d US$60-90) A small hotel with atmospheric rooms – most reached via a steep staircase – that are all dark wood and Zanzibari furnishings. Advance bookings and reconfirmations are recommended.

  • Chavda Hotel (tel 223 2115;; Baghani St; s/d incl breakfast US$85/110) Quiet and full of character, Chavda Hotel has an internal courtyard and rooftop restaurant. Rooms all have four-posters with net, TV, telephone and minibar.

  • Emerson & Green (tel 0777 423266;; Hurumzi St; r US$185-220) Tucked in among the alleyways, divine Emerson & Green – in two completely restored historic buildings – is definitely worth a splurge. Each room is unique and all are decadently decorated to give you an idea of what Zanzibar must have been like in its heyday.

  • Zanzibar Serena Inn (tel 223 3587;; Kelele Sq; s/d from US$260/390) Zanzibar Town’s most upmarket accommodation, with a beautiful setting on the water, plush rooms with all the amenities and a business centre.


Note that during the low season and Ramadan many restaurants close or operate for reduced hours.

The grassy plaza of Forodhani Gardens (Jamituri Gardens) comes alive in the evening, with dozens of vendors serving up such delicacies as grilled pweza (octopus), plates of goat meat, Zanzibari pizza (omelette or other filling cooked in a rolled up circle of dough), a thick, delicious local version of naan, samosas and more. The gardens are along the seafront opposite the Old Fort.

Radha Food House (tel 223 4808; thalis TSh4500) A great little vegetarian hang-out on the small side street just before the Shangani tunnel. The menu features thalis, lassis and other dishes from the subcontinent.

Monsoon Restaurant (tel 0777 411362; meals TSh5000-12,000; noon-midnight) Traditional dining on floor cushions, and Swahili cuisine served to a backdrop of taarab or kidumbak music, or ngoma (drums).

Amore Mio (Shangani St; pastas/pizzas /TSh6000/7500; high season) Across the road from La Fenice and less formal, serving delectable ice cream as well as light meals, cappuccino and other coffees.

La Fenice (tel 0777 411868; Shangani St; meals about TSh8000; lunch & dinner) A breezy little Italian place on the waterfront, with outdoor tables and thin-crust pizzas. Enjoy homemade ice cream while gazing out at the turquoise sea.

Sambusa Two Tables Restaurant (tel 223 1979; meals TSh10,000; dinner) For sampling authentic Zanzibari dishes, it’s hard to beat this small, family-run restaurant off Kaunda Rd, where the proprietors bring out course after course of delicious local delicacies. Advance reservations are required.

Emerson & Green Tower Top Restaurant (tel 0777 423266;; Hurumzi St; meals US$30-35; dinner) The rooftop at Emerson & Green’s is a great spot for a romantic evening, with impeccable food and service to a backdrop of traditional music and dance on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The menu is fixed and reservations are essential.


Stone Town offers wonderfully atmospheric craft shopping, and there are some excellent buys to be found among the kitsch. The best places are Gizenga St, which is lined with small shops and craft dealers, and Kenyatta Rd.

Zanzibar Gallery (tel 223 2721;; cnr Kenyatta Rd & Gizenga St; 9am-7pm Mon-Sat, to 1pm Sun) Has a large collection of souvenirs, textiles, woodcarvings, antiques and more, in addition to its books.

Memories of Zanzibar (tel 223 9376;; Kenyatta Rd) Just down the road from Zanzibar Gallery, with a great selection of jewellery, textiles and curios.



Daily flights with Coastal Aviation and Zan-Air connect Zanzibar with Dar es Salaam (US$55), Arusha (US$140 to US$175), Pemba (US$70), Selous Game Reserve (US$130) and the northern parks. Coastal Aviation also goes daily to/from Tanga via Pemba (US$80).

Airline offices in Zanzibar Town include the following:

  • Air Tanzania (tel 223 0213; Shangani St) Diagonally across from Tembo Hotel.

  • Coastal Aviation (tel 223 3112, 0777 334582) Next to Zanzibar Serena Inn, and at the airport.

  • Kenya Airways (tel 223 4521; Kenyatta Rd) Together with Precision Air.

  • Oman Air (tel 223 8308; Mizingani Rd) Just southeast of the Big Tree.

  • Precision Air (tel 223 4521; Kenyatta Rd) Next to Mazsons Hotel.

  • ZanAir (tel 223 3670) Just off Malindi Rd, opposite Ciné Afrique.


For ferry connections between Zanzibar and Dar es Salaam. For ferry connections between Zanzibar and Pemba. You can get tickets at the port or through a travel agent.

Foreigners are not permitted on dhows between Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar.


To/from the Airport

The airport is about 7km southeast of Zanzibar Town and costs TSh6000 to TSh10,000 to get there, depending on your negotiating skills. The 505 bus line also does this route, departing from the corner opposite Mnazi Mmoja hospital.

Car & Motorcycle

It’s easy to arrange car, moped or motorcycle hire. Prices are reasonable, although breakdowns and moped accidents are fairly common.

You’ll need either an international driving licence, a licence from Kenya, Uganda or South Africa, or a Zanzibar permit. Zanzibar permits can be obtained on the spot at the traffic police office (Malindi, cnr Malawi & Creek Rds) for TSh6000, or through any tour company.

Daily hire rates average about US$25 for a moped, US$30 for a motorcycle, and from US$50 to US$70 for a Suzuki 4WD. You can hire through any of the tour companies; through Asko Tours & Travel (tel 0777 422841;; Kenyatta Rd), next to Shangani post office; or by asking around in front of the market, near the bus stand. Full payment is usually required at the time of delivery, but don’t pay any advance deposits.


Open-sided pick-ups (daladalas) link all major towns on the island, leaving from Creek Rd opposite Darajani market. For most destinations, including all the main beaches, there are several vehicles daily, with the last ones back to Stone Town departing by about 3pm or 4pm. None of the routes cost more than TSh1000, and all take plenty of time (eg about three hours from Zanzibar Town to Jambiani). See relevant sections for route numbers.

Private Minivan

Private minivans run daily to Nungwi and to Paje, Bwejuu and Jambiani on the east coast. Book through any travel agency the day before you want to travel, and the vans will pick you up at your hotel in Stone Town between 8am and 9am. Travel takes 1½ to two hours to any of the destinations, and costs a negotiable TSh3000 per person. Don’t believe anything about a hotel’s status until you see it yourself, and insist on being taken to the destination you’d originally agreed on. Also, don’t pay for the return trip in advance, as you may see neither the driver nor your money again.


Taxis don’t have meters, so agree on a price with the driver before getting into the car. Town trips cost about TSh2000.


Zanzibar has superb beaches, with the best along the island’s east coast and to the north. The east coast beaches are protected by coral reefs offshore and have fine, white coral sand. Note that at low tide the sea recedes a long way and swimming is possible only at certain times of day.


The traditional and modern collide at Nungwi, a large dhow-building centre that has become one of Zanzibar’s major tourist destinations.

There’s internet access at Amaan Bungalows and at Nungwi Inn Hotel, and a forex bureau at Amaan Bungalows that changes cash and travellers cheques at bad rates.

Locally based dive operators include Ras Nungwi Beach Hotel (tel 223 3767;, a PADI five-star centre based at Ras Nungwi Beach Hotel.

Sleeping & Eating

All the beach places are within a few minutes’ walk of each other. Most of the more expensive places are on Nungwi’s eastern side.

  • Cholo’s (camp sites US$5, bandas per person without bathroom US$10) The only spot to pitch a tent, this relaxed place has some basic bandas, plus Nungwi’s best bar.

  • Jambo Brothers (s/d without bathroom US$15/25) Clean, no-frills rooms on the sand, and meals if you order early.

  • Amaan Bungalows (tel 224 0026;; standard s US$25-40, d US$30-60, s/d with sea views US$50/75) Various levels of accommodation, some rooms offering garden or sea-view rooms, and all with fan or air-con, private bathroom and nets. There are several restaurants and a coffee lounge.

  • Baobab Beach Bungalows (tel 223 6315;; s US$60-110, d US$70-140) Away from the cheek-by-jowl budget places and a bit quieter, with standard bungalows plus some nice ‘deluxe’ rooms that are closer to the beach.

  • Mnarani Beach Cottages (tel 224 0494;; s/d US$70/104, d/q family cottage US$148/255) This small lodge on a small outcrop overlooking the sea features a dozen pleasant cottages with Swahili décor, all with nets and some with sea views, plus a good seafood restaurant.

  • Flame Tree Cottages (tel 224 0100;; s/d/tr inc breakfast $US80/105/125; Jun-Mar) A good, quiet choice, with sparkling white, comfortable bungalows, all with nets, small porch, and kitchenette use for self-catering (US$10 per day extra). It’s on the eastern edge of central Nungwi.

  • Ras Nungwi Beach Hotel (tel 223 3767;; s/d with full board US$210/300, with sea view from US$250/375; Jun-Mar) Nungwi’s most upmarket hotel features airy chalets, all with four-poster beds, air-con and mosquito nets, ranging from decadent to merely luxurious; the more expensive ones have sea views. There’s a superb restaurant and water sports including diving.

Getting There & Away

Bus 116 (1000TSh, up to three hours) runs daily between Nungwi and Zanzibar Town, but most travellers go via private minivan.


Paje is a wide, white beach with a cluster of places to stay and a party atmosphere, though it’s quieter than in Nungwi.

Kinazi Upepo (tel 0777 497495;; banda without bathroom US$28-38, bungalow US$45-60) Has good vibes and good value among the palms on a nice section of beach. You can sleep in simple makuti bandas on low stilts, or in large en suite bungalows with Zanzibari beds; all rooms have fans and mosquito nets.

Paje by Night (tel 0777 460710;; standard s/d US$35/40, large d with hot water US$70, 2-/4-person ‘jungle bungalow’ US$75/100) Tastefully decorated rooms surrounding a courtyard just back from the beach and include makutiroofed ‘jungle bungalows’. There’s a popular bar, restaurant with pizza oven, free internet use and moped hire.

Bus 324 (1000TSh, about two hours) runs several times daily between Paje and Stone Town en route to/from Bwejuu, with the last departure from Paje about 3pm.


The large village of Bwejuu lies about 3km north of Paje on a long, palm-shaded beach. It’s very spread out, and quieter than both Paje and Nungwi.

Simple, appealing rooms, some with their own bathroom and all with their own theme, make Mustapha’s Nest (tel 224 0069;; r per person US$20-25, without bathroom US$10-15) an attractive choice. Meals at Mustapha’s are taken family style. It’s south of Bwejuu village, just across the road from the beach.

Robinson’s Place (tel 0777 413479;; s/d from US$25/40) A small getaway at the northern end of the village, with individually styled rooms nestled amid palm trees directly on the beach.

Bus 324 (1000TSh, about two hours) goes daily between Stone Town and Bwejuu village, and private minivans come here as well.


You could do worse than spend a few days at Jambiani Beach, gazing out at turquoise seas, and there’s a good selection of budget accommodation.

Sleeping & Eating

  • Kimte Beach Inn (tel 777-430 992;; dm US$10, d US$30, without bathroom US$25) At the southern end of Jambiani, this is a friendly and laid-back Rasta-run place where rooms all have fans, nets and hot water.

  • Blue Oyster Hotel (tel 224 0163;; s/d US$45/50, without bathroom US$20/30) A pleasant place run with German efficiency, the rooms here are spotless, the terrace restaurant breezy and the setting convenient and peaceful.

  • Shehe Bungalows (tel 224 0149; s/d/tr US$20/35/45) Clean, straightforward rooms, in a nice setting at the southern end of Jambiani, with nets, fans and private bathrooms. There’s also a seaside restaurant.

  • Mt Zion Long Beach (tel 0777 439 001, 439034;; s/d/tr US$30/50/65) Another Rasta-run place, Mt Zion offers nicely decorated, spotless stone-and-thatch bungalows set around large, lush gardens. It’s just up from the beach and there’s also a bar and tasty food.

Getting There & Away

Jambiani Beach is reached by bus 309 from Stone Town (1000TSh, 1½ hours).

Jozani Forest

Cool and lush Jozani Forest (adult/child US$8/4; 7.30am-5.30pm) is the island’s largest area of mature forest and protects the rare Zanzibar red colobus monkey. The best times to see the colobuses are in the early morning and late evening.

Jozani can be reached via bus 9 or 10, by chartered taxi (about US$40) or with an organized tour from Zanzibar Town.


Tel 024

About 50km north of Unguja lies hilly, verdant Pemba – Zanzibar’s ‘other’ island, seldom visited by tourists but with some idyllic offshore islets and rewarding diving in the surrounding waters.


Chake Chake is the only place to change money, and even here facilities are limited, so come prepared and bring enough cash.

  • Adult Computer Centre (connection fee TSh1000, plus per min TSh300; 8am-8pm) Opposite the telecom building; you can also place/receive international calls here.

  • People’s Bank of Zanzibar Changes cash and travellers cheques to a daily limit of US$200. At the main junction.

  • Zanzibar Tourist Corporation Come here for tourist information. It’s at the main junction, on the 2nd floor of the building with the flag.


Most travellers come here for the diving, but strong currents and challenging conditions mean it’s best suited for experienced divers. Dive operators include the following:

  • Manta Reef Lodge (tel 423930, 0777 424637; Offers diving at a range of sites around the island and live-aboard arrangements on the schooner SY Jambo.

  • Swahili Divers (tel 245 2786; Based at Old Mission Lodge.

Sleeping & Eating

  • Pemba Island Hotel (tel 245 2215, 0777 435266;; s/d/tw US$20/35/50) Good value, with small, spotless rooms with nets, TV, minifridge and hot water. Meals are available on the rooftop restaurant. It’s on the Wesha road, about 100m downhill from the bank.

  • Le Tavern (tel 245 2660; s/d with air-con US$25/30) A reliable but slightly tatty establishment on the main road north of the town centre. Nofrills rooms are clean with nets, and included in the price is an early morning wake-up call from the mosque next door. Meals (TSh5000) can be arranged.

  • Old Mission Lodge (tel 245 2786;; dm/d US$25/70, r without bathroom US$53-82) Primarily a dive centre, this lodge is in a restored Quaker mission house on Chake Chake’s main street. Rooms are overpriced and there are tiny shared bathrooms, but the food’s good.

Getting There & Away


ZanAir (tel 245 2990) and Coastal Aviation (tel 245 2162, 0777 418343), opposite ZanAir, fly daily between Chake Chake and Zanzibar Town (US$70), with connections on to Dar es Salaam (US$85). Coastal also goes daily between Pemba and Tanga (US$55).


The MS Sepideh (tel 0741 414343, 0777 420243) sails in both directions between Dar es Salaam and Mkoani via Zanzibar on Monday, Thursday and Saturday, departing Dar es Salaam at 7.30am and Zanzibar by 10am. In the other direction, it departs Mkoani at 12.30pm, reaching Zanzibar at 3pm, and then on to Dar es Salaam at 4pm. The fare is US$45 in economy class between Pemba and Zanzibar/Dar es Salaam. The Serengeti departs Mkoani at 10am Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, reaching Zanzibar between 4pm and 5pm (US$25, six to seven hours). Departures from Zanzibar are at 10pm, reaching Pemba the next morning at about 6am. Both boats have their main booking offices at the port in Mkoani, although you can arrange tickets through travel agencies in Chake Chake and with Sharouk Guest House in Wete.



Tel 027

The fast-growing town of Arusha is the gateway to Tanzania’s northern safari circuit. Towering Mt Meru forms Arusha’s impressive backdrop, and the surrounding lush countryside supports coffee, wheat and maize estates tended by the Arusha and Meru people.


Arusha is divided into two sections by the Naura River valley. To the east of the valley are most hotels, the post office, immigration, government buildings, safari companies, airline offices and craft shops. To the west are the commercial and industrial areas, the market, some budget hotels and the bus stations.



KamNet (per hr TSh1000; 8am-7pm) Just off Boma Rd, opposite Coastal Aviation.

New Safari Hotel (tel 250 3261;; Boma Rd; per hr TSh1000; 24hr)

Patisserie (Sokoine Rd; per hr TSh1000; 7.30am-7.30pm Mon-Sat, 8.30am-2pm Sun)


Accident Air Rescue (AAR; tel 250 8020; Haile Selassie Rd, Plot 54) Just off Old Moshi Rd; lab tests and a doctor on call 24 hours.

Moona’s Pharmacy (tel 250 9800, 0741 510590; Sokoine Rd; 8.45am-5.30pm Mon-Fri, to 2pm Sat)


Barclays Bank (Sopa Lodges Bldg, Serengeti Rd) Has an ATM that takes Visa and MasterCard.

Kibo Palace Bureau de Change (Joel Maeda St; 8am-5pm Mon-Sat, 9am-2pm Sun)

NBC (Sokoine Rd) Travellers cheques and Visa ATM.

Rickshaw Travels (tel 250 6655;; Sokoine Rd) The Amex representative, but doesn’t issue travellers cheques.

Roika Safaris (tel 250 9994; Sokoine Rd) Centrally located forex bureau, next to Arusha Naaz Hotel.

Standard Chartered bank (Goliondoi Rd) Visa ATM.


TTCL (Boma Rd; 8am-8pm Mon-Sat, 9am-8pm Sun & holidays) International calls and card phones.


There are travellers bulletin boards at the Patisserie (above) and the Tourist Information Centre, which are also good spots to look for safari companions.

Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority (NCAA) Information Office (tel 254 4625;; Boma Rd; 8am-1pm & 2-5pm Mon-Fri, to 1pm Sat) Just down from the TTB tourist office.

Tanzania Tourist Board (TTB) Tourist Information Centre (tel 250 3843;; Boma Rd; 8am-4pm Mon-Fri, 8.30am-1pm Sat) For information on Arusha, the northern parks and local Cultural Tourism Programs. There are also copies of a ‘blacklist’ of tour operators as well as a list of registered tour companies.


Coastal Aviation (tel 250 0087; Boma Rd) For northern and southern circuit itineraries, Zanzibar trips and flight charters.

James Wolstencroft (tel 0784 596 209, 0752 771 347;; guiding per person per day from US$125) This local naturalist knows the birds and other wildlife of the northern safari circuit intimately and is a great guide for independent safaris.

Rickshaw Travels (tel 250 6655;; Sokoine Rd) For domestic and international flight bookings.

Roika Tours & Safaris (tel 250 9994;; Sokoine Rd) A new but professionally run company that can organise safaris, guides, flights and vehicle hire.

Dangers & Annoyances

Arusha is the worst place in Tanzania for street touts and slick tour operators who offer safaris and treks to newly arrived travellers at ridiculously low prices. They try to get gullible travellers signed up for a safari by undercutting rivals, but these cut-price safaris are often bogus or fail to deliver the itineraries, transport and services promised. See the Travel Agencies section ( above ) for reputable tour operators. Their main haunts include along Boma and Goliondoi Rds, at the bus station and near the budget hotels. Make sure any tour company you sign up with is properly registered by checking the current ‘blacklist’ at the TTB Tourist Information Centre on Boma Rd.

At night, take a taxi if you go out. It’s not safe to walk, especially over the bridge on Old Moshi Rd near the clock tower, and in the area between the Mt Meru Hotel and the Arusha International Conference Centre (AICC) building.



Masai Camp (tel 0744 507131;; camp sites US$3, banda per person without bathroom US$5, r per person without bathroom US$7) Cheap as chips, with no-frills rooms and a dorm-style banda, but hot showers, pool tables, satellite TV, internet, bar and restaurant. It’s about 3km southeast of the town centre off Old Moshi Rd.

Meserani Snake Park (tel 253 8282;; camp sites 1st night incl admission to snake park TSh3000, per night thereafter TSh2000) Another great place, about 25km west of Arusha, just off the Dodoma road, combining a fascinating snake park, Maasai museum and popular bar. There are also hot showers, a restaurant and a couple of emergency rooms if you’re ill.

Minja’s Guesthouse (tel 0784 707851; s/d/tr without bathroom TSh4000/5000/6000) Similar to Monjes, but with shared facilities. This and the following two places are very basic concrete guesthouses down a muddy road off Colonel Middleton Rd.’

Monjes Guesthouse (s/d without bathroom TSh6000/8000) A friendly and family-run establishment, with basic rooms and hot water.

Kitunda Guesthouse (r TSh12,000, s/d without bathroom TSh6000/8000) One of a brace of dirt-cheap places in the north of town, this one offers hot water and clean rooms.

Hotel Flamingo (tel 254 8812;; Kikuyu St; s/d incl breakfast TSh12,000/15,000) Excellent value for its location close to the town centre. Good clean rooms that come with hot water.

William’s Inn (tel 250 3578; s/d TSh12,000/17,000) Moving upmarket, this place is quieter and the rooms (the doubles have one large bed) are clean and reasonable value.

Hotel 7-11 (tel 250 1261; Zaramo St; s/d/tr US$20/25/30) Spotlessly clean but overpriced rooms on a busy street; the chief reason to stay here is because it’s opposite the central bus station.

Hotel Fort de Moines (tel 254 8523;; Pangani St; s/d US$30/35) A few rungs up in comfort and security, although the rooms are somewhat bland and have fans but no nets.

Arusha Naaz Hotel (tel 257 2087;; Sokoine Rd; s/d/tr US$30/45/60) Superclean rooms with TV, fan and hot water plus a great location make up for what Naaz lacks in atmosphere.


Le Jacaranda (tel 254 4624;; s/d/tr incl breakfast US$45/50/65) This large house in a leafy garden visited by monkeys has spacious, old-style rooms with four-posters, nets and full-sized bath. It’s on Sabasaba Rd, about 100m north of Old Moshi Rd.

Impala Hotel (tel 250 2398, 250 8448;; cnr Moshi & Old Moshi Rds; s/d US$72/83) Large and somewhat impersonal, but reliable and central, with efficient staff, a forex bureau and several restaurants.

Ngare Sero Mountain Lodge (tel 255 3638;; r US$120) This 100-year-old German colonial farmhouse on the slopes of Mt Meru has been converted into stylish accommodation in verdant grounds. Perfect for a splurge, each guest room has a fullsized bath, veranda (some with Kili views) and four-poster. Guests can take part in yoga camps held on the grounds; see the website for details.

New Arusha Hotel (tel 250 7777, 250 8870;; s/d from US$140/160) Right on the clock tower roundabout, this is the most upmarket option in the town centre. Rooms are of a high standard and there’s a restaurant and expansive gardens out back.


  • Via Via (Boma Rd; meals from TSh4000; 10am-10pm Mon-Sat) Good food and an agreeable atmosphere make this a winner. The cuisine is a mixture of local and European, and it’s a good spot to meet people.

  • Jambo Coffee House (Boma Rd; meals TSh4500-7000; to 10pm) European café chic right in the middle of town. There’s an à la carte menu and a good-value plate of the day for about TSh5000.

  • Lounge (tel 250 7089; meals TSh6000-7500; 10am-late) Arusha’s best dining is at this place at L’Oasis Lodge on the northern edge of town. There’s a good selection of fresh pastas, salads and grills served in generous portions.

  • Big Bite (cnr Somali Rd & Swahili St; meals from TSh6500; closed Tue) A long-running favourite for delicious Indian food, including numerous vegetarian dishes, in a no-frills setting.

  • Le Jacaranda (tel 254 4624; mains TSh8000) Under new management, the restaurant in this hotel is quickly getting a name for innovative European and local dishes.

There are plenty of Western-style food joints in town. Popular ones include Patisserie (Sokoine Rd; snacks & meals from TSh1000; 7am-6pm), which also has light meals, baked goods and an internet café; McMoody’s (Sokoine Rd; 11am-10pm Tue-Sun), with mostly burgers; and a branch of the South African chain Steers (Joel Maeda St).

For local flavour, try Geekay’s Take-Away (India St; meals from TSh1000; 7.30am-6pm Mon-Sat), with plates of rice, ugali and sauce; or Khan’s (Mosque St; mixed grill TSh4500; from 5.30pm), a popular night barbecue with a huge spread of grilled, skewered meat, and salads.

Self-caterers should head to Shoprite (Dodoma Rd; 9am-7pm Mon-Fri, 8am-5pm Sat, 9am-1pm Sun), about 2km west of town at TFA Centre.


  • Via Via (Boma Rd) One of the best spots in town to go for a drink, Via Via is also a great place to find out about upcoming music and traditional dance events. Via Via is located in the grounds of the Natural History Museum, where it also stages cultural events and openair movies.

  • Greek Club (cnr Old Moshi & Serengeti Rds; hclosed Mon & Thu) A popular expat hang-out, especially on weekend evenings.


The small alley just off Joel Maeda St is full of craft dealers. Hard bargaining is required. There are several large craft stores west of town, signposted along the Dodoma road.

  • Aminata Boutique (Sokoine Rd), in the entryway to Arusha Naaz Hotel, has textiles.

Getting There & Away


There are daily flights to Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar (ZanAir, Coastal Aviation, Precision Air, Air Tanzania), Nairobi (Precision Air), Seronera and other airstrips in Serengeti National Park (Coastal Aviation, Air Excel, Regional Air). There are also daily flights to Mwanza (Precision Air), and Lake Manyara and Tarangire National Parks (Coastal Aviation, Air Excel, Regional Air). Verify whether departure is from Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA) or Arusha airport when buying your ticket. International airlines flying into KIA include KLM and Ethiopian Air.

Airline offices include the following:

Air Excel (tel 254 8429, 250 1597;; Goliondoi Rd)

Air Tanzania (tel 250 3201/3;; Boma Rd)

Coastal Aviation (tel 250 0087;; Boma Rd)

Ethiopian Airlines (tel 250 6167, 250 7512;; Boma Rd)

KLM (tel 250 8062/3;; Boma Rd)

Precision Air (tel 250 2818, 250 2836;; Boma Rd) Also handles Kenya Airways bookings.

Regional Air (tel 250 4477, 250 2541;; Nairobi Rd) West of the centre.

ZanAir (tel 024-223 3670;; Moshi Rd) In Bushbuck Safaris building.


The central bus station near the market is for buses to Dar es Salaam, Tanga, Nairobi, Mombasa and other points north and east. The Kilombero bus station, about 2km west of town along the Dodoma road, opposite Shoprite, has buses to Mwanza and other points west and south. Both, especially the central bus station, are chaotic and popular haunts for flycatchers (a local name for con artists that prey on gullible or newly arrived travellers looking for a cheap deal) and touts. Watch your luggage and don’t negotiate any safari deals at the stations.

Comfortable (but pricier) coaches to/from Dar es Salaam have their own offices. The main lines include the following:

Dar Express (tel 0744 946155; Colonel Middleton Rd) Buses depart Arusha at 6am (luxury TSh14,000) and 7.30am, 8.15am and 9am (ordinary TSh12,000).

Royal Coach (tel 250 7959, 0744 366121; Colonel Middleton Rd) Departures at 9am (TSh17,000).

Scandinavian Express (tel 250 0153; cnr Somali & Kituoni Rds) Departures at 7am (luxury TSh24,000), 8.30am (ordinary/luxury TSh15,000/24,000) and 11am (luxury TSh24,000). Scandinavian Express also goes to Mwanza via Nairobi and Musoma (TSh32,000 plus US$20 for a Kenyan transit visa, 20 hours), departing Arusha about 3.30pm.

There are other lines serving Lushoto (Fasaha; TSh8000, six hours, daily at 6.30am); Mbeya (Hood; TSh27,500, 16 hours, daily at 5.30am); and Tanga (Tashriff; TSh9000, seven hours, daily at 8.30 and 11.30am).

Buses and minibuses run throughout the day between Arusha and Moshi (about TSh1500, one hour). It’s more comfortable and safer to take one of the Arusha–Nairobi shuttles, TSh4000 between Moshi and Arusha).


Tel 027

Although it’s one of Tanzania’s smallest national parks, Arusha is one of its most beautiful and topographically varied. Its main features are Ngurdoto Crater, the Momela Lakes and towering Mt Meru.


Entry fees are US$35/10 per adult/child per day. Armed rangers (required for all walks) cost US$15 per day and the huts on Mt Meru cost US$20.

The main park entrance is at Ngongongare Gate, about 10km from the main road. Park headquarters (tel 255 3995; 6.30am-6.30pm) – the main contact for making camp-site or resthouse reservations, and for arranging guides and porters to climb Mt Meru – is about 14km further in near Momela Gate.


The park has four ordinary camp sites – three near Momela Gate and one near Ngurdoto Gate. There are also two rest houses with kitchen facilities near park headquarters.

  • Colobus Mountain Lodge (tel 255 3632; camp sites US$5, s/d US$35/50) A two-minute walk from Ngongongare Gate, with bougainvillea-dotted grounds, a camping area, reasonable budgetstyle rooms and a restaurant.

  • Momella Wildlife Lodge (tel 250 6423/6;; s/d/tr with half board US$68/98/128) This long-standing establishment has small, serviceable cottages set around modest gardens.

  • Ngurdoto Lodge (tel 255 3701;; r per person with full board US$150) An upmarket lodge with attentive hosts and five spacious double bungalows set on a large lawn with views of Kilimanjaro and Meru.

  • Hatari Lodge (tel 255 3456/7;; r per person with full board plus safaris US$295) Hatari has an upscale ambience, creative ‘modern retro’ room décor, a wonderful location on large lawns frequented by giraffes, and views that take in both Meru and Kilimanjaro on clear days.

Getting There & Away

There’s a daily bus between Arusha and Ngare Nanyuki (10km north of Momela Gate) that can drop you at the park gate (TSh2000, 1½ hours from Arusha to Ngongongare Gate).


Tanzania’s largest and most famous national park, the Serengeti is a 14,763-sq-km wilderness that offers unparalleled safari opportunities. The annual wildebeest migration is the biggest wildlife spectacle on earth and the Serengeti’s biggest draw. Try to set aside as much time as possible to explore the park and appreciate its vastness.


Park entry fees are US$50/10 per adult/child per day. Bookings for camp sites, rest houses and the hostel should be made through the Tourism Warden (tel 028-262 0091, 028-262 1515/04; There’s an excellent Visitors Information Centre at Seronera.

The Serengeti’s greatest concentration of wildlife is generally between December and June. For the wildebeest migration, it’s best to be based near Seronera or in the southeastern part of the park from about December to April. The famous crossing of the Grumeti River, in the park’s Western Corridor, usually takes place between May and July. The northern Serengeti is a good base between about August and October.


There are nine ordinary camp sites and at least two dozen special camp sites in the park. The main lodge area is at Seronera, in the centre of the park, where there are also several comfortable rest houses and a large hostel. The following are recommended lodges.

  • Serengeti Tented Camp (tel 027-255 3242;; tents per person with full board US$160/213) This small camp just outside the park’s western boundary has just 12 simple tents with bathrooms and hot water, but the chance for night drives and guided walks.

  • Seronera Wildlife Lodge (tel 027-254 4595, 027-254 4795;; r per person with full board US$180) Offers the best overall value, with a good location convenient to prime wildlife-viewing areas, modest but pleasant rooms and a lively evening buffet.

  • Lobo Wildlife Lodge (tel 027-254 4595, 027-254 4795;; r per person with full board US$180) Similar in standard to the Seronera Wildlife Lodge, this offers the best value in the northern part of the park.

  • Migration Camp (tel 027-250 0630/39;; s/d with full board incl wildlife drives US$385/770; s) A luxurious camp with an intimate bush atmosphere, and views over the Grumeti River in a good wildlife-watching area.

Getting There & Away

Coastal Aviation, Air Excel and Regional Air all have daily flights from Arusha.

Most travellers visit the Serengeti with an organized safari or with their own vehicle. Driving is not permitted in the park after 7pm.


Tel 027

The world-renowned Ngorongoro Crater is just one part of a much larger area of interrelated ecosystems, including Olduvai (Oldupai) Gorge, alkaline lakes and the Crater Highlands – a string of volcanoes and volcanic craters (calderas).


The Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority (NCAA; tel 253 9108, 253 7019, 253 7060; has its headquarters at Park Village at Ngorongoro Crater, and there’s a tourist information office in Arusha.

Entry fees are US$30 per person per day. Guides cost US$15 per day, and US$20 for walking safaris. To drive into Ngorongoro Crater, there’s an additional US$100 vehicle fee per car, valid for six hours. Camp fees are US$20/40 per person in an ordinary/special camp site.

Ngorongoro Crater

With high concentrations of wildlife offering close-range viewing opportunities, Ngorongoro is one of East Africa’s most visited destinations. At about 20km wide it’s also one of the largest calderas in the world. Within its walls you are likely to see lions, elephants, buffaloes and flamingos; and there’s also a chance of seeing black rhinos. Local Maasai have grazing rights and you may come across them tending their cattle.

The gates down to the crater floor open at 7am, and close (for descent) at 4pm; all vehicles must be out of the crater area before 6pm.


There is one ordinary camp site and numerous special camp sites. Bring all supplies from Arusha.

Lodges on or near the crater rim are positioned to minimise travel time down to the crater floor, and include the following:

  • Ngorongoro Wildlife Lodge (tel 254 4595, 254 4795, or direct 253 7058/73;; r per person with full board US$180) Straightforward rooms but a beautiful setting on the crater’s southern rim.

  • Ngorongoro Serena Safari Lodge (tel 250 4158/3;; s/d with full board US$285/420) The attractive and perennially popular Serena is in a good location on the southwestern rim of the crater, near the main descent route.

  • Ngorongoro Crater Lodge (; r per person all-inclusive US$630) Service and amenities are ultra-top-end, and prices include your own butler. It’s on the southwestern rim of the crater.


The Ngorongoro Crater bus departs Arusha’s central bus station daily at 10am (TSh4000, seven hours), and Park Village (where vehicles can be hired) at 7am.

You can arrange guides and vehicle hire at NCAA headquarters in Arusha for US$100/140 for a half-/full day; book vehicles in advance. Only 4WDs are normally allowed down into the crater.


Tel 027

Between August and October, the baobabstudded Tarangire National Park has one of the highest concentrations of wildlife of any Tanzanian park.

Entry fees are US$35/10 per adult/child per day. For bookings, contact the senior park warden (tel 253 1280/1, 250 8642). The entry gate is at the northwestern tip of the park.

There’s an ordinary camp site near park headquarters and about 12 special camp sites. Bring supplies from Arusha.

Tarangire Safari Lodge (tel 254 4752;; s/d with full board US$125/200) This large lodge is excellent value, with a prime location on a bluff overlooking the Tarangire River; accommodation in safari tents or thatched bungalows.

Tamarind Camp Tarangire (tel 250 7011, 250 7541;; s/d with full board US$165/250; Jun-Mar) Intimate and rustic, this comfortable camp makes a good base if you are interested in taking part in nature or wildlife walks together with your safari. Night drives are also possible.

Tarangire is an easy two-hour drive from Arusha.


Tel 027

Among the attractions of the often underrated Lake Manyara National Park are superb birdlife, elusive tree-climbing lions and abundant hippos.

Entry fees are US$35/10 per adult/child per day. The park gate and park headquarters (tel 253 9112/45) are at the northern tip of the park near Mto Wa Mbu village.

The park has two ordinary camp sites, about 10 double bandas with bathroom (US$20 per person), and a student hostel, all near the main gate. There are three special camp sites in the park along the river.

Kirurumu Luxury Tented Camp (tel 250 7011, 250 7541;; s/d with full board US$165/250) This highly regarded camp offers good food, and its 20 double tents are well hidden in the vegetation, and well spaced for privacy.

Lake Manyara Tree Lodge (; per person all-inclusive US$490-630; Jun-Mar) Lake Manyara’s most exclusive lodge, and the only one within the park boundaries, with 10 intimate ‘tree house suites’ set in the forest at the southern end of the park.

Most people visit Lake Manyara as part of a longer safari and independent travellers will need private transport inside the park. The best public transport option is the Ngorongoro crater bus (TSh2000 one way) from Arusha to Mto Wa Mbu. From there you should be able to hire a vehicle and driver from one of the lodges inside the park for about US$140 a day.


Tel 028

Mwanza is the economic centre of the Lake Victoria region and the surrounding area is home to the Sukuma, Tanzania’s largest tribe. It’s the place to organise trips to the western part of Serengeti National Park during the dry season.


To the west of the town centre, just a short walk from the clock tower, are the passenge rf erry docks and several banks and shops. East of the clock tower area are more shops, guesthouses and mosques; further east are the market and bus stand. The train station is about five minutes’ walk southwest of the clock tower. Just beyond here is Capri Point.


  • (Nkrumah St; per hr TSh1000; 8am-8.30pm) Internet access. One block north of Nyerere Rd.

  • DBK Bureau de Change (Post St) At Serengeti Services & Tours, and the easiest place to change cash or travellers cheques.

  • Fourways Travel Service (tel 250 2620, 250 2273;; Station Rd) Long-established agency offering Serengeti safaris and vehicle hire.

  • Karibu Internet Café (cnr Post St & Kenyatta Rd; per hr TSh1000; 8am-8.30pm Mon-Fri, 8am-6pm Sat, 9am-5pm Sun) Internet access.

  • NBC (Liberty St) Changes travellers cheques.

  • Serengeti Services & Tours (tel 250 0061, 250 00754;; Post St) Serengeti safaris, vehicle hire and general travel assistance.

  • Standard Chartered bank (Makongoro Rd) This bank is near the clock tower, and has ATMs.


There are several dirt-cheap guesthouses in the town centre with serviceable singles/doubles for about TSh3000/5000 with shared facilities.

  • Hotel La-Kairo (tel 250 0343/5; s/d TSh24,000/30,000) This friendly, family-run place has a restaurant and spotless rooms with fan. It’s about 4km out of town, just off the airport road and signposted.

  • Serengeti Stopover (tel 262 2273;; s/d US$30/40) Pricey but lovely bandas, a restaurant and bar make this great place to stop en route to the Serengeti. It’s two hours east of Mwanza and only 1km from the park gate. Staff can help with safari arrangements.

  • Hotel Tilapia (tel 250 0517, 250 0617;; Capri Point; d/ste from US$80/100) Central Mwanza’s best hotel is in a breezy setting overlooking the water on Capri Point. It has a lakeside terrace, a business centre, several restaurants and your choice of rooms or bungalow-style suites.


  • Kuleana Pizzeria (tel 256 0566; Post St; meals TSh2000; 9am-9pm) Good pizzas, sandwiches, freshsqueezed juices and vibes are the features here.

  • Szechuan Mahal (tel 40339; Kenyatta Rd; meals from TSh6000; dinner) The delicately seasoned Chinese food here is some of Mwanza’s best cuisine.

Getting There & Away


There are daily flights to/from Dar es Salaam (US$135) on Air Tanzania (tel 250 0046; Kenyatta Rd) and Precision Air (tel 250 0819;; Kenyatta Rd).


Cargo boats to Port Bell (Uganda) and Kenya depart from Mwanza South Port, about 1.5km southeast of the centre.


The Scandinavian office (tel 250 3315; Rwagasore St) is just south of the market, and Akamba buses depart from the Akamba office (tel 250 0272), off Mtakuja St near Majukano Hotel. All other departures are from the main bus stand near the market.

To Arusha and Moshi (TSh32,000 plus US$20 for a Kenyan transit visa) and Dar es Salaam (TSh44,000 to TSh58,000 plus Kenyan transit visa costs, about 30 hours), the best route is via Nairobi (TSh23,000 to TSh28,000 plus Kenyan visa costs), and the best line is Scandinavian. Akamba also does the route. There are several buses weekly to Kigoma (TSh15,000), departing at about 5am and arriving the next day if you’re lucky.


Mwanza is the terminus of a branch of the Central Line from Dar es Salaam.



At 5896m, Mt Kilimanjaro is the highest peak in Africa and one of the continent’s most magnificent sights. From cultivated farmlands on the lower levels, the mountain rises through lush rainforest, alpine meadows and a barren lunar landscape to the twin summits of Kibo and Mawenzi.

A trek up ‘Kili’ lures hundreds of trekkers each year, and is even more attractive because, with the right preparation, you can walk all the way to the summit without ropes or technical climbing experience. However, the climb is a serious undertaking and only worth doing with the right preparation.


Park entry fees are US$60/10 per adult/child per day, and must be paid in US dollars, cash or travellers cheques. Huts (Marangu route) cost US$50 per person per night, and there is a US$20 rescue fee per person per trip for treks on the mountain. Camping costs US$50 per person per night on the Marangu route (but you still need to pay the hut fees), and US$40 per person per night for all other camping. Guide and porter fees (but not tips) are handled directly by the trekking companies.

  • Kilimanjaro National Park Headquarters (tel 275 6605/2) is located at the park gate (8am-6pm) in Marangu.

It’s not permitted to climb Kilimanjaro independently, and you’ll need a guide and at least one porter (for the guide). Most trekking companies allow two to three porters per trekker, depending on the length of the trek.

Trek operators:

  • Key’s Hotel (tel 275 2250;; Uru Rd, Moshi) Long-established and reliable budget Kili trek operator.

  • Moshi Expeditions & Mountaineering (tel 027-275 4234;; Kaunda St, Moshi) Budget to midrange Kili treks.

  • Shah Tours (tel 027-275 2370, 275 2998;; Mawenzi Rd, Moshi) Quality midpriced treks.

  • Tropical Trails (tel 027-250 0358, 254 8299;; Masai Camp, Old Moshi Rd, Arusha) Upper midrange quality treks; a percentage of the company’s profits goes towards Maasai education projects.

Weather conditions on the mountain are frequently very cold and wet, no matter what the time of year, so bring a full range of waterproof cold-weather clothing and gear. While you can hire sleeping bags and some coldweather gear at the Marangu park gate, quality and availability can’t be counted on.


There are at least 10 trekking routes that begin on the lower slopes, but only three continue to the summit. You’ll need to camp on all except the Marangu route, which has a series of three ‘huts’ (bunkhouses) spaced a day’s walk apart.

The Marangu route, which is the most popular, is usually sold as a five-day, four-night return package, although at least one extra night is highly recommended to help acclimatisation. Other routes usually take six or seven days. The increasingly popular and challenging Machame route has a gradual ascent before approaching the summit. The Umbwe route is much steeper, with a more direct way to the summit. The top, very steep section (up the Western Breach) is often covered in ice or snow, and the route should only be considered if you are experienced and properly equipped, and going with a reputable operator. Beware of operators who try to sell an ‘economy’ version of the Machame route, which switches near the top to the final section of the Umbwe route and summits via the Western Breach.


Standard five-day four-night treks up the Marangu route start at about US$750 including park fees. For budget treks of six to seven days on the Machame route expect to pay from around US$800. Better-quality trips on the Marangu/Machame routes start at about US$950. The Umbwe route is often sold by budget operators for about the same price as Marangu, and billed as a quick and comparatively inexpensive way to reach the top. Don’t fall for this – the route should only be done by experienced trekkers, and should have an extra day for acclimatisation built in.

Whatever you pay for your trek, remember that at least US$520 goes to park fees for a five-day Marangu route climb, more for longer treks. If you cut things too close, expect barely adequate meals, mediocre guides and problems with hut bookings and park fees.

Guides & Porters

Guides and at least one porter (for the guide) are compulsory and are provided by the trekking company. Guides are required to be registered with the national park authorities, and should have permits showing this, though ‘sharing’ of permits among guides working for some of the less reputable companies is fairly common. Porters will carry bags weighing up to 15kg (not including their own food and clothing); your bags will be weighed before you set off.

Most guides and porters receive only minimal wages from the trekking companies, and depend on tips as their major source of income. As a guideline, plan on tipping about 10% of the total amount you’ve paid for the trek, divided among the guides and porters. For the Marangu route, tips are commonly from US$40 to US$60 for the guide, and US$15 each for the porters. Plan on more for the longer routes, or if the guide and porters have been particularly good.


Tel 027 / 144,300

Moshi, a bustling town at the foot of Mt Kilimanjaro, is home of the Chagga people and the centre of one of Tanzania’s major coffeegrowing regions. Most visitors use the town as a starting point for climbing Mt Kilimanjaro and it’s generally a less expensive place to stay than Arusha.

Marangu Hotel (tel 275 6594;; camp sites with hot showers US$3, s/d with half board US$70/100) is a long-standing place with expansive grounds and inviting rooms. Accommodation discounts are available if you join one of the hotel’s fully equipped climbs.

Kibo Hotel (tel 275 1308;; camp sites US$5, s/d US$32/52) The rustic Kibo has wooden flooring, large old-fashioned windows, spacious rooms and a restaurant.

Prices are high for camping, but the grounds at Coffee Tree Campsite (tel 275 6513/604;; camp sites US$8, rondavel per person US$10, chalet per person US$12) are green and well maintained, and there are hot-water showers, tents for hire, and a few four- to six-person rondavels and chalets. There’s also a fireplace for use (fee per person per day TSh500).

Minibuses run throughout the day between Marangu and Moshi (TSh1000). Prices can fluctuate according to demand.



Tel 027

The sleepy seaport of Tanga has little to compel the visitor, although it makes a convenient stop en route to/from Mombasa in Kenya.


  • (Sokoine St; per hr TSh500; 9am-9pm) Internet access.

  • NBC (cnr Bank & Sokoine Sts) Just west of the market; changes cash and travellers cheques, and has an ATM.

  • Tourcare Tanzania (tel 264 4111; Mkwakwani Rd; 8am-5pm Mon-Sat) Just down from Patwas restaurant; helpful with information on nearby attractions.

Sleeping & Eating

  • Kiboko Restaurant, Bar & Campsite (tel 264 4929;; Amboni Rd; camp sites US$4) Good, secure camping in a large yard, spotless shared bathrooms, a well-stocked bar and a nice garden restaurant.

  • Ocean Breeze Hotel (tel 264 4445; cnr Tower & Sokoine Sts; r with fan/air-con TSh7000/12,000) Just east of the market, this is one of the better budget choices in the town centre. Tired but OK rooms, some with nets.

  • Patwas Restaurant (Mkwakwani Rd; meals from TSh1500; 8am-8pm Mon-Sat) Fresh juices and tasty, good-value meals make this the best choice in town. It’s just south of the market.

  • Food Palace (tel 264 6816; Sokoine St; lunch Mon, breakfast, lunch & dinner Tue-Sun) Another good choice, with an array of tasty Indian snacks and meals, including some vegetarian selections.

Getting There & Away

The Takrima sails roughly weekly between Tanga and Wete on Pemba (US$25, five hours).

There are daily buses to Dar es Salaam (TSh7000 to TSh10,000, four to five hours), Arusha (TSh9000, seven hours) and Lushoto (TSh4000, three to four hours). For buses to Mombasa.


With their wide vistas, cool climate, winding paths and picturesque villages, the Usambaras are one of northeastern Tanzania’s highlights. It’s easily possible to spend at least a week here hiking from village to village, or relaxing in one spot and doing your exploring as a series of day walks.


Tel 027

Lushoto is a leafy highland town nestled in a fertile valley at about 1200m. It’s the centre of the western Usambaras and makes an excellent base for hikes into the surrounding hills.

The Tourist Information Centre (tel 264 0132) can help with arranging hikes. If would-be guides approach you on the street, check here first to verify that they are official before starting out. Expect to pay about TSh25,000 per person per day (less in a group) on multiday hikes, including camping or accommodation, but excluding food.


Karibuni Lodge (camp sites US$3, dm US$6, s/d from US$12/16) A cosy backpackers’ house with large rooms (some with bathroom), tasty meals and a crackling hearth. It’s signposted about 1.5km south of the town centre near the district hospital.

Lawns Hotel (tel 264 0005/66;; camp sites with hot shower TSh6000, s/d TSh40,000/45,000, without bathroom TSh14,000/18,000) This 100-year-old Lushoto institution at the entrance to town has faded rooms but an excellent camp site, with large lawns and hot showers.

Tumaini Hostel (tel 264 0094;; s/d TSh10,000/17,000) Reasonable-value rooms in a two-storey compound along the main road near the telecom building. The restaurant next door has inexpensive meals.


Daily buses travel between Lushoto and Tanga (TSh4000, three to four hours), Dar es Salaam (TSh8000, seven to nine hours) and Arusha (TSh7000 to TSh8000, six hours).



Tel 025

The bustling regional capital of Mbeya is the major town in southwestern Tanzania and an important transit point en route to/from Zambia and Malawi. There’s not much to the town itself, but the surrounding area offers some hiking possibilities.


  • Nane Information Centre (per hr TSh500; 8am-10pm) Internet access; on the western side of the market square.

  • NBC (cnr Karume & Kaunda Aves) Changes travellers cheques and has an ATM.

Sleeping & Eating

  • Karibuni Centre (tel 250 3035;; camp sites per double tent TSh2000 plus per person additional TSh1000, d/tr/q TSh10,000/12,000/14,000) This clean, m issionrun place is in an enclosed compound. You can pitch a tent and there’s also a restaurant.

  • New Millennium Inn (tel 250 0599; Mbalizi Rd; s TSh6500, without bathroom TSh5000) Directly opposite the bus station and noisy, but convenient if you have an early bus.

  • Holiday Lodge (tel 250 2821; Jamatikhana Rd; s/d TSh6000/7500) A whitewashed local guesthouse with clean rooms – some with bathroom – and a restaurant.

Getting There & Away

Scandinavian Express has two buses daily to Dar es Salaam (TSh15,000 to TSh17,000, 12 hours); book in advance.

Trains can be booked at the Tazara booking office (7.30am-3pm Mon-Fri) near the post office, or at the station (7.30am-12.30pm & 2-5pm Mon-Fri, 10.40am-12.40pm & 2-4pm Sat), 4km west of town on the main highway.


Tel 026

With its bluff-top setting, jacaranda-lined streets and highland feel, Iringa is one of the most agreeable stops along the Dar es Salaa m–Mbeya highway.

The owner of Hasty Tasty Too (tel 270 2061; Uhuru Ave; 7.30am-8pm), a local restaurant and one of Iringa’s highlights, is helpful with arranging hikes and budget safaris.

Campers should head to Riverside Campsite (tel 272 5280/2;; camp sites TSh3000, tent rental TSh2000), 13km northeast of Iringa along the main road on the banks of the Little Ruaha River. Bring your own food, but there are hot showers and cold drinks.

Iringa Lutheran Centre (tel 270 2489; Kawawa Rd; d TSh5000, s/d without bathroom TSh2500/3500) is a good shoestring option, with clean rooms and meals on request; while the no-frills Annex of Staff Inn (tel 270 0165; Uhuru Ave; r TSh7500-15,000) is along the main road near the bus stand.

Scandinavian Express has daily buses to Dar es Salaam (ordinary/semiluxury TSh9000/10,000, 7½ hours). To Mbeya, there’s a bus departing daily (TSh6500, four to five hours), or you can book a seat on the Scandinavian bus originating in Dar.


Ruaha is Tanzania’s second-largest national park and forms the core of an almost pristine extended ecosystem covering about 40,000 sq km.

Entry fees are US$20/5 per adult/child per day. For accommodation fees.

There are two ordinary camp sites and about five special camp sites. As well as these the park maintains several bandas, about 2km from headquarters, and a rest house. Ruaha River Lodge (tel 0748 237422, 0744 237422;; s/d all-inclusive US$280/470) is a classy but unpretentious lodge about 15km inside the park gate, with cosy stone bandas and river views.

Hasty Tasty Too ( above ) in Iringa organizes transport from US$130 per vehicle per day, five persons maximum, for two days and one night. There’s no public transport to Ruaha National Park. Safaris can be organised from Dar or Zanzibar (fly/drive).


With an area of approximately 45,000 sq km (5% of Tanzania’s total land area), the Selous Game Reserve is Africa’s largest wildlife reserve and Tanzania’s most extensive protected area.

Admission to the reserve costs US$30 per person, plus US$30 per vehicle per day.

There are two ordinary camp sites. Special camp sites can be arranged with the Wildlife Division.

Selous Mbega Camp (tel 022-265 0250;; camp sites US$10, s/d all-inclusive US$135/190, s/d ‘backpackers’ special for those arriving by public bus at Mloka US$70/100, excursions extra) is a good, laid-back budget choice, with a small camping ground for which you’ll need to be selfsufficient. The long-standing Rufiji River Camp (tel 022-212 8662/3;; s/d all-inclusive US$310/500) has a fine location on a wide bend in the Rufiji River and is frequented by hippos. All tents have river views.

Akida and Mwera bus lines run to Mloka village (about 10km east of the park’s Mtemere gate from Dar’s Temek bus stand (TSH4000, seven to nine hours). From there you can arrange a pick-up with park lodges. Note that if you’re bringing your own vehicle into Selous it must be 4WD.


Tel 023

Mikumi National Park is easily accessible from Dar es Salaam and is a good destination if you don’t have much time but want to see wildlife.

Entry fees are US$20/5 per adult/child per day. The park is best visited in the dry season. For camp-site bookings, contact the senior park warden (tel 262 0498).

The park has four ordinary camp sites, and a special camp site near Choga Wale in the north.

Fox’s Safari Camp (tel 0748 237422, 0744 237422;; s/d all-inclusive US$280/470) is set well away from the road on a rocky outcrop in a good wildlife-viewing area in Mikumi’s far north. Walks and fly camping can be arranged.

The best budget way to visit the park is on one of the frequent special deals offered by Coastal Travels and other Dar es Salaam-based tour operators. Self-drive safaris from Dar es Salaam are a good option for Mikumi, which is about four hours from the capital by road.


Tel 023

The sprawling town of Mtwara, a laid-back, likable place, is a good staging point on the overland journey to Mozambique.

For internet access there’s Makonde Net (per hr TSh1000; 8.30am-6pm Mon-Sat, 9am-2pm Sun) in the town centre. NBC (Uhuru Rd) changes cash and travellers cheques, and has an ATM.

In town itself, there are cheap sleeping options, such as Nandope Guest House (tel 233 4060; r without bathroom TSh5000), with no-frills rooms and mosquito nets; or for something more upmarket, try Southern Cross Hotel (tel 233 3206, 0741 506047;; s/d US$30/50), a nice place at the eastern end of Shangani Beach with spotless, good-value rooms, and a good seafood restaurant.

There are daily flights between Mtwara and Dar es Salaam (TSh144,500, one hour) on Air Tanzania (tel 233 3147; Tanu Rd).

To Dar es Salaam, there are buses four times weekly (TSh17,000, about 20 hours).

To Mozambique, there are several pick-ups daily to the Tanzanian immigration post at Kilambo (TSh3000).

The MV Safari sails weekly between Dar es Salaam and Mtwara.



Tel 028

The scrappy but agreeable town of Kigoma is the major Tanzanian port on Lake Tanganyika, the end of the line for the Central Line train, and the best starting point for visits to Gombe Stream and Mahale Mountains National Parks.


For internet access, try Baby Come ‘n’ Call Internet Café (Lumumba St; per hr TSh3000;  8am-8pm Mon-Sat) just up from the train station. NBC (Lumumba St) changes cash and travellers cheques, and has an ATM.

To arrange boat hire, or visits to Gombe Stream and Mahale Mountains National Parks, contact Chimpanzee Safaris (tel 280 4435/7, 0741 620154; at Kigoma Hilltop Hotel, or Sunset Tours (tel 280 2408; at Aqua Lodge.

The consulates for Burundi (Kakolwa St) and DRC (Kaya Rd) are both located southwest of the roundabout near the train station. An immigration officer is posted at the port to take care of immigration formalities for travellers departing for Zambia on the MV Liemba.

Sleeping & Eating

  • Lake Tanganyika Beach Hotel (tel 280 4894; s/d TSh10,000/15,000) The setting is ideal but the rooms have become quite run-down. There’s also a reasonable restaurant.

  • Kigoma Hilltop Hotel (tel 280 4435/6/7;; s/d all-inclusive & airport pick-up from US$90/140) Kigoma’s best hotel, with a prime setting on an escarpment overlooking the lake, comfortable cottages with minifridge and TV, and a restaurant.

  • Ally’s (Lumumba St; meals TSh1000) is a local favourite, serving piping hot wali maharagwe (rice and beans), or ugali and sauce, among other dishes.

Getting There & Away


Precision Air (tel 280 4720, 280 3166) has five flights weekly between Dar es Salaam and Kigoma.


The venerable MV Liemba plies between Kigoma and Mpulungu (Zambia). The regular passenger-ferry service between Kigoma and Bujumbura is suspended; inquire at the port in Kigoma for an update.

Small, motorised lake ‘taxis’ for Gombe Stream National Park stop at Kibirizi village, about 2km north of Kigoma.


All long-distance buses depart from Mwembe Togwa, about 3km southeast of town. To Mwanza, there are three buses weekly (TSh15,000, at least 20 hours).


The classic way to reach Kigoma is with the ageing Central Line train from Dar es Salaam, Mwanza or Tabora.


Mahale Mountains, Tanzania’s most isolated park, is primarily a chimpanzee sanctuary, but also boasts white-sand beaches backed by lushly forested mountains.

Entry fees are US$80/30 per adult/child per day. Children under seven aren’t permitted in Mahale. Camping and park bandas can be booked through the senior park warden (PO Box 1374, Kigoma), or through Kigoma Hilltop Hotel ( left ). Guide fees are US$20 per group.

There is a park camp site (US$20) and a cluster of quite nice double bandas (US$20) at Kasiha. Bring all supplies from Kigoma. Mahale Camp (; per person all-inclusive US$505; mid-May–mid-Mar) is an exclusive camp with thatched, tented bandas without electricity or running water, although solar power and bush showers mean you still have all the comforts.

Kigoma Hilltop Hotel runs twice-weekly charter flights connecting Mahale with Kigoma, Arusha and Katavi National Park.

The MV Liemba stops at Lagosa (also called Mugambo), to the north of the park (US$25/20/15 in 1st/2nd/3rd class, about 10 hours from Kigoma). Radio park headquarters in advance from Kigoma and arrange a pick-up.


Tel 028

In 1960 British researcher Jane Goodall ( arrived at Gombe Stream to begin a study of wild chimpanzees; the study is now in its fifth decade, making it the longest-ever study of a wild animal population. Gombe’s approximately 150 chimps are well habituated, which means that sightings are almost guaranteed, but allow at least two days to be sure.

Entry fees are US$100/20 per adult/child per day (children aged under seven are not permitted in the park). Guides cost US$20 per group per day.

There is a hostel (per person US$10) and a somewhat nicer rest house (per person US$20), which has nets; bookings can be made through Kigoma travel agencies, or directly through the senior park warden (tel 280 2586). Bring whatever you’ll need from Kigoma.

Gombe Luxury Tented Camp (tel 280 4435/6/7;; s/d all-inclusive US$500/800) is a relaxing camp makes a good splurge at the end of a hard, sweaty day tracking the chimps.

The only way to reach Gombe is by charter boat or lake taxi. Lake taxis depart from Kibirizi (see left ) Monday to Saturday (TSh1000, three to four hours). Faster boats can be organized through Sunset Tours (US$200 return per boat for up to 15 passengers, plus a US$80 per night stopover fee) and Kigoma Hilltop Hotel (US$400 return per boat for up to 20 passengers, plus a US$50 per night stopover fee from the second night onwards), both in Kigoma.



It’s a good idea to carry a tent if you’re planning to travel in off-the-beaten-track areas, and it can save you some money in and around the northern parks (though camping in the parks themselves will cost at least $20 per person per night). Camping isn’t permitted on Zanzibar.

All of the national parks have camp sites. ‘Ordinary’ camp sites have basic facilities; generally pit toilets and sometimes a water source. ‘Special’ camp sites are more remote, and have no facilities at all and must be booked in advance, but you’ll usually have them to yourself. Most parks also have simple huts or bandas, several have basic rest houses, and many northern circuit parks have hostels.

For accommodation fees, see the following table.


Ordinary camp site

Special camp site




Banda or hut

US$ (16 yrs +)




30 at Serengeti, Arusha, Ruaha & Katavi, 20 at Gombe Stream

20 (Mt Kilimanjaro 50)

US$ (5-15 yrs)







In Tanzanian Swahili, hotel (or hoteli) refers to food and drink, rather than accommodation. The more common term if you’re looking for somewhere to sleep is guesti or ‘guesthouse’ or, more formally, nyumba ya kulala wageni.

There’s a rapidly improving selection of midrange and top-end accommodation in major towns, and Tanzania also has some of East Africa’s most beautiful luxury lodges. Many lodges and luxury camps in or near national parks quote all-inclusive prices, which generally means accommodation plus excursions such as wildlife drives, short guided walks or boat safaris, and sometimes also park entry fees and airport transfers. Ensuite rooms (ie with private bathroom) are widely referred to as ‘self-contained’ or ‘selfcontainer’ rooms.

Tanzania uses the metric system for weights and measures.

Electricity is 220-250V AC, 50Hz (use British-style three-square-pin or tworound-pin plug adaptors).

English-language newspapers include the Guardian and Daily News, and the weeklies Business Times, Financial Times and East African.

The government-aligned Radio Tanzania broadcasts in English and Swahili.


The best diving and snorkelling is around the Zanzibar Archipelago. There’s also diving off the beaches north of Dar es Salaam.

The main trekking destinations are Mt Kilimanjaro and Mt Meru. All trekking requires local guides and (usually) porters. Be aware of the dangers of Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS). In extreme cases it can be fatal.

Wildlife-watching is one of the country’s top attractions and Tanzania delivers in spades, from the world-famous wildlife spectacles of Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater to remote wilderness safaris in Selous Game Reserve and chimpanzeetracking in Mahale Mountains and Gombe Stream National Parks.


In addition to regular banking hours, many forex bureaus remain open until 5pm Monday to Friday, and until noon on Saturday. Throughout the region, shops and offices often close for one to two hours between noon and 2pm, and – especially in coastal areas – on Friday afternoons for mosque services.


All Tanzanian parks and reserves are free for children under five years of age, and entry and camping fees are discounted for those under 16 years of age. Children under seven years of age aren’t permitted in Gombe Stream or Mahale Mountains National Parks. Hotel accommodation is usually discounted for those under 12 and free for those under two years old. Some wildlife lodges, especially those in the national parks, are restricted for children, so inquire when booking. Always specifically ask for children’s discounts if booking a safari through a tour operator, as otherwise they are often overlooked. Mosquito nets are best brought from home.


Exporting seashells, coral, ivory and turtle shell is illegal. You can export up to TSh2000 without declaration. There’s no limit on importation of foreign currency; amounts over US$10,000 must be declared.


Tanzania is in general a safe, hassle-free country, but you do need to take the usual precautions. Avoid isolated areas, especially isolated stretches of beach, and in cities and tourist areas take a taxi at night. When using public transport, don’t accept drinks or food from someone you don’t know, and be skeptical of anyone who comes up to you on the street asking you whether you remember them from the airport, your hotel or wherever.

In tourist areas – especially Arusha, Moshi and Zanzibar – touts and flycatchers can be extremely persistent, especially around bus stations and budget tourist hotels. Be very wary of anyone who approaches you on the street, at the bus station or in your hotel offering safari deals, and never pay any money for a safari or trek in advance until you’ve thoroughly checked out the company.


Tanzanian Embassies & Consulates

  • Australia Sydney (tel 02-9261 0911;; Level 3, 185 Liverpool St, Sydney, NSW 2000); Perth (tel 08-9322 6222;; Level 25, QV1 Bldg, 250 St George’s Tce, Perth WA 6000) The Sydney office is for NSW, VIC, ACT and Tasmania; the Perth office for Perth, SA, NT and QLD.

  • Canada (tel 0613-232 1500;; 50 Range Rd, Ottawa, Ontario KIN 8J4)

  • Kenya Mombasa (; Palli House, Nyerere Ave); Nairobi (tel 02-331056, 02-331104;; Reinsurance Plaza, 9th fl, btwn Tarifa Rd & Aga Khan Walk, Nairobi)

  • Mozambique (tel 01-490110; Ujamaa House, 852 Ave Mártires de Machava, Maputo)

  • Rwanda (; 15 Ave Paul VI, Kigali)

  • South Africa (tel 012-342 4393;; PO Box 56572, Arcadia 0007, Pretoria)

  • Uganda (tel 41-256292, 41-256272;; 6 Kagera Rd, Kampala)

  • UK (tel 020-7499 8951;; 43 Hertford St, London W1Y 8DB)

  • USA New York (tel 212-972 9160; 205 East 42nd St, New York, NY); Washington, DC (tel 202-939 6125;; 2139 R St, NW, Washington DC)

  • Zambia (tel 01-253320, 01-227698;; Ujamaa House, 5200 United Nations Ave, Lusaka) Tanzania also has diplomatic representation in DRC (Kinshasa), Egypt (Cairo), Ethiopia (Addis Ababa) and Zimbabwe (Harare), among others. There’s no Tanzanian high commission in Malawi.

Embassies & Consulates in Tanzania

Australians can contact the Canadian embassy. Except as noted, most are open from about 8am to at least 3pm, often with a midday break. Visa information is given for Tanzania’s neighbours; applications for all should be made in the morning. Diplomatic representations in Dar es Salaam (area code tel 022) include the following:

  • Burundi (Lugalo St, Upanga; 8am-5pm Mon-Fri) Onemonth single-entry visas cost US$45 plus two photos and are issued within 24 hours. Burundi also has a consulate in Kigoma.

  • Canada (tel 211 2831;; 38 Mirambo St)

  • DRC (Maliki Rd, Upanga; h8.30am-3pm Mon-Fri) Onemonth single-entry visas cost US$50, require two photos, and are available within three days. You’ll need a letter from an employer, tour operator or embassy explaining your purpose. The consulate in Kigoma issues visas within 24 hours, and without a letter, but with lots of questions.

  • Kenya (tel 270 1747; 14 Ursino, cnr Rashidi Kawawa & Old Bagamoyo Rds; 8am-2.30pm Mon-Fri) One-month single-entry visas cost TSh50,000 (no photos required), and are issued within 24 hours.

  • Malawi (tel 0748 481740; 1st fl, Zambia House, cnr Ohio St & Sokoine Dr; 8am-3pm Mon-Fri) Many nationalities, including the USA and UK, don’t require visas. For those that do, one-month single-entry visas cost US$70 plus two photos and are issued within 24 hours.

  • Mozambique (tel 211 6502; 25 Garden Ave; 8am-3pm Mon-Fri) One-month single-entry visas cost US$40/35 for same-day/two-day service, plus two photos.

  • Rwanda (tel 211 5889; 32 Ali Hassan Mwinyi Rd, Upanga; 8am-3.30pm Mon-Fri) One-month singleentry visas cost US$45 plus two photos, and are ready within three days.

  • Uganda (tel 266 7009; 25 Msasani Rd; 8.30am-4.30pm Mon-Fri) Near Oyster Bay Primary School. Threemonth single-entry visas cost US$30 plus two photos and are issued the same day.

  • UK (tel 211 0101;; cnr Mirambo St & Garden Ave)

  • USA (tel 266 8001;; cnr Old Bagamoyo & Rashidi Kawawa Rds)

  • Zambia (tel 212 5529; Zambia House, cnr Ohio St & Sokoine Dr; hvisa applications 9-11am, visa pick-ups 2-3pm Mon-Fri) Three-month single-entry visas cost TSh25,000 to TSh43,000 depending on nationality, and require two photos. They’re processed the same day.


Sauti za Busara (tel 024-223 2423; A Swahili music and dance festival held in February on Zanzibar.

Kilimanjaro Marathon ( In the foothills around Moshi; held in February or March.

Festival of the Dhow Countries ( Two weeks of dance, music, film and literature held in early July.

ZIFF This film festival is the centrepiece of the Festival of the Dhow Countries; held in early July.

Mwaka Kogwa A four-day festival held in late July to mark Nairuzim (the Shirazi New Year).

Bagamoyo Arts Festival ( Traditional music, dance, acrobatics and more, held in late September.


Tanzania (including Zanzibar) no longer requires you to carry a certificate of yellow-fever vaccination unless you’re arriving from an infected area (which includes Kenya, although arrivals aren’t always checked). It’s also a requirement in some neighbouring countries, including Rwanda, and thus is a good idea to carry. For more.


New Year’s Day 1 January

Zanzibar Revolution Day 12 January

Easter (Good Friday, Holy Saturday and Easter Monday) March/April

Union Day 26 April

Labour Day 1 May

Saba Saba (Peasants’ Day) 7 July

Nane Nane (Farmers’ Day) 8 August

Nyerere Day 14 October

Independence Day 9 December

Christmas Day 25 December

Boxing Day 26 December

Major Islamic holidays are also celebrated as public holidays.


There’s lots of information on Tanzania to be found on the internet. Following are a few sites to get you started:

Government of Tanzania ( The government site – dry, but with visa info.

Tanzania News ( News clippings.

Tanzania Page ( Good links.

Tanzania Tourist Board ( TTB’s official site.

Zanzibar Tourism ( The Zanzibar Commission for Tourism’s official site.


Good country maps include those published by Nelles (1:1,500,000) and Harms-ic, both available in Tanzania. Harms-ic also publishes maps for Lake Manyara National Park and the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. Colourful hand-drawn maps covering Zanzibar, Arusha and many northern Tanzania parks are available in some major centres.


Tanzania’s currency is the Tanzanian shilling (TSh). There are bills of TSh10,000, TSh5000, TSh1000 and TSh500, and coins of TSh200, TSh100, TSh50, TSh20, TSh10, TSh5 and TSh1. For information on costs.

The easiest places to reconvert currency are at the airports in Dar es Salaam and Kilimanjaro, but save your exchange receipts in case they are checked. The most useful bank for changing money is National Bank of Commerce (NBC), which has branches throughout the country. (Note that US$50 and US$100 bills get better rates of exchange than smaller denominations.)

Most branches of the NBC have ATMs that accept Visa, as do Standard Chartered, Barclays and CRDB ATMs in larger towns. A few ATMs also accept MasterCard.

Some top-end hotels, tour operators and a few midrange establishments accept credit cards – most with a 5% to 10% commission. Travellers cheques can be changed in Dar es Salaam, Arusha and other major centres at slightly lower rates than for cash.

Tanzania has a 20% value-added tax (VAT) that’s usually included in quoted prices.

On treks and safaris in Tanzania, it’s common practice to tip drivers, guides, porters and other staff if the service has been good.

When asking about times – of buses, boats or anything else – in Tanzania, be aware that Swahili speakers have a different system for telling the time. Their clock begins at sunrise (6am) rather than midnight, so 7am becomes 1 o’clock, 8am becomes 2 o’clock and so on. Many Swahili speakers translate their time directly when speaking English, so always double-check when you’re being given a time.


Airmail postage to the USA/Australia/Europe costs from TSh600/800/500 and is reasonably reliable for letters. Package delivery is unreliable, so don’t send any valuables.

There’s poste restante service in all major towns, with a charge of TSh200 per received letter. Mail is held for at least one month.


Tanzania’s country code is 255. To make an international call, first dial 000. Area codes (given at the start of town entries) must be used whenever you dial long distance.

Most telephone numbers are seven digits, although there are still a few four- and fivedigit numbers around. Mobile phone numbers are six digits.

You can make domestic (from about US$0.10 per minute) and international (from US$2 per minute) calls from Tanzania Telecom offices in all major towns, as well as from private communications shops. Calls to mobile phones cost TSh500 per minute. There are card phones in major towns (buy cards during business hours at Tanzania Telecom or at shops near the phones).

The rapidly expanding mobile network covers major towns throughout the country, plus most of the north and northeast. In the south, west and centre, you often won’t get a signal once you’re away from the larger towns.


The Tanzania Tourist Board (TTB; has offices in Dar es Salaam and Arusha. In the UK, the Tanzania Tourist Board is represented by the Tanzania Trade Centre (tel 0207-407 0566;; 80 Borough High St, London, SE1 1LL). In the USA, the TTB representative is the Bradford Group (tel 212-447 0027;; 347 Fifth Ave, Suite 610, New York, NY 10016).


Almost everyone needs a visa. A single-entry visa valid for up to three months costs between US$20 and US$50, depending on nationality. It’s best to get the visa in advance (and necessary if you want multiple entry), though they’re currently readily issued at Dar es Salaam and Kilimanjaro airports and at most border crossings (all nationalities US$50, US dollars cash only, single-entry only). Some embassies require you to show proof of an onward ticket before they’ll issue a visa, though a flight itinerary will usually suffice. For extensions (free) within the usual three-month visa limit, there are immigration offices in all major towns. After three months, you’ll usually need to leave the country and reapply for a new visa. For visas to neighbouring countries, see the following section.

Visas for Onward Travel

Visas for onward travel can be applied for at the relevant embassies in Dar. There are also consulates for Burundi and DRC in Kigoma. Note that under the East Africa partnership system, single-entry visitors to Tanzania can enter Kenya or Uganda without invalidating their Tanzania visa, ie you won’t need to pay for another visa to re-enter Tanzania from those countries. Reciprocal arrangements also exist, but it is worth getting an update on this arrangement before setting out.



Tanzania is straightforward to enter, whether you arrive at airports or at overland borders. Visas are available at all major points of entry (see above ) and must be paid for in US dollars cash.


Tanzania’s major air hub is Dar es Salaam International Airport (code DAR; tel 022-284 2461, 022-284 4371, ext 2001), but Kilimanjaro International Airport (code JRO; tel 027-255 4252, 027-255 4707; is the best option if you’ll be concentrating on Arusha and the northern safari circuit. There are also international flights to/from Zanzibar International Airport (code ZNZ). Mwanza Airport (code MWZ) and Mtwara Airport (code MYW) handle some regional flights.

Air Tanzania (airline code TC; tel 022-211 8411, 022-284 4239;; ATC Bldg, Ohio St, Dar es Salaam, Terminal 2, Dar es Salaam International Airport) is the national airline, with its hub at Dar es Salaam International Airport. It operates in partnership with South African Airways and is generally efficient and reliable. Regional and international routes include Nairobi (Kenya) to Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar, and Dar es Salaam to Entebbe (Uganda) and Johannesburg (South Africa). Credit cards are accepted at its Dar es Salaam office only.

The other major commercial carrier is Precision Air (airline code PW; tel 022-212 1718, 022-284 3547, in Arusha 027-250 2818, 027-250 6903, in Zanzibar 024-223 4520;; hub Dar es Salaam), which, in partnership with Kenya Airways, has flights from Nairobi to Dar es Salaam, Kilimanjaro and Zanzibar, and between Mombasa (Kenya) and Dar es Salaam via Zanzibar, plus numerous domestic routes.

Other regional and international carriers flying to/from Tanzania include the following (with useful flights between Tanzania and elsewhere in East Africa highlighted). All airlines service Dar es Salaam, except as noted.

  • Air Burundi (airline code 8Y; Bujumbura to Kigoma.

  • Air India (airline code AI; tel 022-215 2642;; cnr Ali Hassan Mwinyi & Bibi Titi Mohamed Rds, Dar es Salaam)

  • Air Kenya (airline code REG; tel 027-250 2541, in Nairobi 020-601727; Nairobi to Kilimanjaro.

  • British Airways (airline code BA; tel 022-211 3820, 022-284 4082;; Mövenpick Royal Palm Hotel, Ohio St, Dar es Salaam)

  • Coastal Aviation Airport (tel 284 3293; Terminal One); Dar es Salaam (tel 211 7959/60;; Upanga Rd)

  • Egyptair (airline code MS; tel 022-211 0333;

  • Emirates Airlines (airline code EK; tel 022-211 6100;; Haidery Plaza, cnr Kisutu & India Sts, Dar es Salaam)

  • Ethiopian Airlines (airline code ET; tel 022-211 7063;; Ohio St, Dar es Salaam) Opposite Mövenpick Royal Palm Hotel. Also flies to Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA).

  • Kenya Airways (airline code KQ; tel 022-211 9376/7;; Upanga Rd, cnr Ali Hassan Mwinyi & Bibi Titi Mohamed Rd, Dar es Salaam) Nairobi and Mombasa to Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar.

  • KLM (airline code KL; tel 022-213 9790/1, in Arusha 027-250 8062/3;; Upanga Rd, Dar es Salaam) Also serves KIA.

  • Linhas Aéreas de Moçambique (airline code TM; tel 022-213 4600;; Ground fl, JM Mall, Samora Ave, Dar es Salaam) At Fast-Track Travel,

  • Oman Air (airline code OMA; tel 024-223 8308;; Ground fl, JM Mall, Samora Ave, Dar es Salaam) Also serves Zanzibar International Airport.

  • Precision Air Airport (tel 284 3547; Terminal Two); City Centre (tel 212 1718; cnr Samora Ave & Pamba Rd)

  • Rwandair Express ( Kigali to KIA.

  • South African Airways (airline code SA; tel 022-211 7044;; Raha Towers, cnr Bibi Titi Mohamed & Ali Hassan Mwinyi Rds, Dar es Salaam)

  • Swiss International Airlines (airline code LX; tel 022-211 8870;; Luther House, Sokoine Dr, Dar es Salaam)

  • Yemenia Yemen Airways (airline code IY; tel 022-212 6036;; Ohio St, Dar es Salaam) Opposite Mövenpick Royal Palm Hotel.

  • ZanAir (tel 284 3297;; Terminal One, Airport)

  • Chimpanzee Safaris (tel 028-280 4435/7, 0741 620154; runs regularly scheduled charters between Kigoma (Tanzania) and Kigali (Rwanda) – useful if you’re combining gorillas and chimpanzees.


Buses cross the borders between Tanzania and Kenya, Malawi, Uganda and Zambia. Apart from sometimes lengthy waits at the border for passport checks, there are usually no hassles. At the border, you’ll need to disembark on each side to take care of visa formalities, then reboard your bus and continue on. Visa fees are not included in bus-ticket prices for transborder routes. Most main routes go direct, but sometimes you’ll need to walk across the border and change vehicles on the other side.

If you’re arriving via car or motorcycle, you’ll need the vehicle’s registration papers and your license, plus pay for a temporary import permit at the border (TSh20,000 for one month), third-party insurance (TSh50,000 for one year) and a one-time fuel levy (TSh5000). You’ll also need a carnet de passage en douane.

Most hire companies don’t permit their vehicles to cross international borders; should you find one that does, arrange the necessary paperwork with them in advance.


The main border crossing is at Kobero Bridge between Ngara and Muyinga (Burundi). Although the border is officially open, the security situation ebbs and flows, so get an update from your embassy first. The road between Kigoma and Lusahunga in particular is subject to occasional banditry, and it’s sometimes necessary to travel in a convoy.


Border Crossings

The main route to/from Kenya is the sealed road connecting Arusha and Nairobi via the heavily travelled Namanga border post (open 24 hours). The other main border crossing is at Horohoro, north of Tanga.


Scandinavian Express goes daily between Dar es Salaam and Mombasa (TSh19,000, 10 hours). Buses between Tanga and Mombasa also depart daily (TSh5000 to TSh10,000, four to five hours).


Scandinavian Express goes daily between Dar es Salaam and Nairobi (TSh38,000, 13 hours) via Arusha. Scandinavian and Akamba bus lines also have daily buses between Mwanza and Nairobi (TSh23,000 to TSh28,000 plus Kenyan visa costs, 12 to 14 hours).

Between Arusha or Moshi and Nairobi, the most popular option is one of the daily shuttle buses. Main companies include the following:

  • Davanu ( Arusha (tel 0744 400318, 0744 846160; Hotel Pallsons, Bondeni St, Arusha); Nairobi (tel 254-20-222002;; 4th fl, Windsor House, University Way) With a desk at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (tel 254-722-310234;

  • Impala Arusha (tel 027-250 7197;; Impala Hotel, cnr Moshi & Old Moshi Rds, Arusha); Nairobi (tel 254-20-2717373; Silver Springs Hotel, cnr Valley Rd & Argwings Kodhek Rd)

  • Riverside Arusha (tel 027-250 2639, 027-250 3916;; Sokoine Rd, Arusha); Nairobi (tel 254-20-229618; Room 1, 3rd fl, Pan African Insurance House, Kenyatta Ave) With a branch at Mt Meru Hotel, Moshi Rd, Arusha.

All charge US$25 one way, and with a little prodding, you can sometimes get the residents’ price (US$10). In Arusha, all companies drop you at Mt Meru Hotel, as well as at their offices. In Nairobi, drop-offs are at centrally located hotels and at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. When flying into Nairobi, shuttle representatives will meet your flight if you’ve booked in advance.

Regular buses also link Arusha and Nairobi daily (TSh9000, six to seven hours). Departures in Arusha are from the bus station; in Nairobi most are from Accra Rd.


The only border crossing is at Songwe River bridge (7.30am-6pm Tanzanian time, 6.30am to 5pm Malawian time), southeast of Mbeya.

Buses go three times weekly between Dar es Salaam and Lilongwe, departing Dar es Salaam (TSh47,000, 27 hours). It’s better to take Scandinavian from Dar to Mbeya, and get onward transport there. From Mbeya, buses depart several times weekly, arriving in Lilongwe the next day (TSh29,000). There are also daily minibuses connecting both Mbeya and Kyela with the border; once at the border, there’s about a 300m walk to the Malawian side, from where there are minibuses to Karonga.


There are no bridges over the Ruvuma River (the border). The main crossing is at Kilambo (south of Mtwara), where there is a sometimes-operational ferry. It’s also possible to get your passport stamped on the crossing between Newala and Moçimboa do Rovuma (Mozambique). If you travel by boat, there are border officials at Msimbati (Tanzania), and at Palma and Moçimboa da Praia (Mozambique). It’s also reportedly possible to get stamped in at the crossing between Songea and Nova Madeira (Mozambique); otherwise, there’s an immigration office in Songea. Some travellers have reported being turned back (all the way to Dar) for not having a visa. To be on the safe side, get a visa in Dar before setting out for Mozambique.

Pick-ups depart Mtwara daily for the Kilambo border post (TSh3000, one hour), and on to the Ruvuma, which is crossed via dugout canoe (TSh2000, 10 minutes to over an hour, depending on water levels; dangerous during heavy rains). On the Mozambique side, there are usually two pick-ups daily to the Mozambique border post (about 4km further) and on to Moçimboa da Praia (US$7, four hours).


The main border crossing is at Rusumo Falls, southwest of Bukoba. There have been no problems recently, but due to a long history of instability in this region, it’s worth getting an update from your embassy or resident expatriates before setting off. Daily pick-ups go between Benako (30km southwest of the border) and Rusumu Falls border post. At the border, walk across the bridge to the Rwandan border post, from where minibuses go to Kibungo and on to Kigali (US$5, three hours).


The main post is at Mutukula, northwest of Bukoba (although you actually get stamped in and out of Tanzania at Kyaka, about 30km south of the Mutukula border), with good sealed access routes on both sides.

Scandinavian goes daily between Dar es Salaam and Kampala via Nairobi (TSh50,000, 27 hours) and Arusha. Jaguar/Dolphin and Tawfiq go daily between Bukoba and Kampala (TSh11,000, five to six hours). From Kampala, Tawfiq continues on to Nairobi and Dar es Salaam (TSh40,000 plus transit visas for Uganda; US$15) and Kenya (US$20, 36 hours), though if you’re headed to Nairobi it’s better to sleep in Kampala and get another bus the next day.

From Mwanza, Akamba goes four times weekly to/from Kampala (TSh20,000, 19 hours).


The main border crossing is at Tunduma (7.30am-6pm Tanzanian time, 6.30am-5pm Zambian time), southwest of Mbeya.

Scandinavian goes daily between Dar es Salaam and Lusaka via Mbeya (TSh60,000, 24 hours). Otherwise, minibuses go frequently between Mbeya and Tunduma (TSh2500, two hours), where you walk across the border for Zambian transport to Lusaka (US$20, 18 hours).

The Tanzania–Zambia (Tazara) train line links Dar es Salaam with Kapiri Mposhi in Zambia (TSh55,000/39,100/31,500 in 1st/2nd/economy class, about 40 hours) twice weekly via Mbeya and Tunduma. From Kapiri Mposhi to Lusaka, you’ll need to continue by bus. Tazara also has one slower ‘ordinary’ train weekly between Dar es Salaam and Mbeya and between Kapiri Mposhi and Nakonde (on the Zambian side of the Zambia–Tanzania border, about 20 hours).

Sea & Lake

There’s a US$5 port tax for all boats and ferries from Tanzanian ports.


Regular passenger-ferry services between Kigoma and Bujumbura are currently suspended. Inquire at the port in Kigoma whether there have been any updates.


There’s currently no passenger service to/from DRC.


Dhows sail sporadically between Pemba, Tanga and Mombasa; the journey can be long and rough. Ask at the relevant ports for information on sailings.

There’s no passenger ferry service on Lake Victoria between Tanzania and Kenya.


The ferry MV Songea sails between Mbamba Bay and Nkhata Bay (Malawi) on Friday (US$10/4 in 1st/economy class, four to five hours), although the schedule is highly erratic and sometimes services are cancelled completely.


The official travel route between southwestern Tanzania and Mozambique will take you via Malawi on the Songea ferry between Mbamba Bay and Nkhata Bay (see the information in the Malawi section, above), and then from Nkhata Bay on to Likoma Island (Malawi), Cóbuè and Metangula (both in Mozambique) on the Ilala ferry (tel in Malawi 01-587311;


There’s no passenger-ferry service, but it’s relatively easy to arrange passage between Mwanza and Kampala’s Port Bell on cargo ships (about 16 hours). In Mwanza you’ll need to check in with the immigration officer at the South Port. Expect to pay about US$20, including port fees. Crew are often willing to rent out their cabins for a negotiable extra fee.


The venerable MV Liemba, which has been plying the waters of Lake Tanganyika for the better part of a century, connects Kigoma with Mpulungu in Zambia weekly (US$55/45/40 in 1st/2nd/economy class, US dollars cash only; at least 40 hours). Food is available on board, but it’s best to bring some supplements and drinking water. Keep watch over your luggage, and book early if you want a cabin.


Dozens of tour and safari companies organize package tours to Tanzania. While it’s generally cheaper to organise your tour with a company based in Tanzania, this may be outweighed by the convenience of organising things in advance with a company in your home country. For tour operators covering Tanzania and elsewhere in East Africa. For safari and trekking operators.



The national airline, Air Tanzania (tel in Dar es Salaam 022-211 8411, 022-284 4293; has reliable flights connecting Dar es Salaam with Mwanza, Zanzibar, Kilimanjaro and Mtwara (see the relevant sections for details). Other airlines flying domestically include the following (all also do charters).

  • Air Excel (tel 027-254 8429, 027-250 1597; Arusha, Serengeti, Lake Manyara, Dar es Salaam, Zanzibar.

  • Coastal Aviation (tel 022-284 3293, 022-284 2877, 022-211 7959; Arusha, Dar es Salaam, Lake Manyara, Mafia, Mwanza, Pemba, Ruaha National Park, Selous Game Reserve, Serengeti National Park, Tanga, Tarangire National Park, Zanzibar.

  • Precision Air (tel 022-212 1718, 022-213 0800, 027-250 2818; Arusha, Dar es Salaam, Kigoma, Mwanza, Zanzibar.

  • Regional Air Services (tel 027-250 4477, 027-250 2541; Arusha, Kilimanjaro, Lake Manyara, Serengeti National Park.

  • ZanAir (tel 024-223 3670/8; Arusha, Dar es Salaam, Lake Manyara, Pemba, Selous Game Reserve, Serengeti National Park, Tarangire National Park, Zanzibar.


Ferries operate on Lake Victoria, Lake Tanganyika and Lake Nyasa (Malawi), and between Dar es Salaam, Zanzibar and Pemba. There’s a US$5 port tax per trip on all routes. For details of ferries between Dar es Salaam, Zanzibar and Pemba. The MV Safari sails weekly between Dar es Salaam and Mtwara.


In theory, the MV Songea departs Itungi Port about 1pm on Thursday and makes its way down the coast via Lupingu, Manda, Mango and Liuli (but not via Matema) to Mbamba Bay (TSh14,000/8000 in 1st/economy class, 18 to 24 hours). It then continues across to Nkhata Bay in Malawi, before turning around and doing the return trip. This schedule is highly unreliable and frequently interrupted.


For the MV Liemba schedule between Kigoma and Mpulungu (Zambia), see left . The regular passenger-ferry service between Kigoma and Bujumbura is suspended; inquire at the port in Kigoma for an update.


The MV Victoria departs Mwanza for Bukoba at 10pm on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday (TSh16,500/14,500/11,300/10,600 plus port tax in 1st class/2nd-class sleeping/2nd-class sitting/3rd class, nine hours). Food is available on board.


Major long-distance routes have a choice of express and ordinary buses. Express buses make fewer stops, are less crowded than ordinary buses and depart on schedule. Some have air-con and toilets, and the nicest ones are called ‘luxury’ buses. On secondary routes, the only option is ordinary buses, which are often packed to overflowing, make many stops and run to a less rigorous schedule.

For popular routes, book your seat in advance, although you can sometimes get a place by arriving at the bus station an hour prior to departure. Scandinavian and Royal Coach fill up quickly on all routes, and should be booked at least one day in advance. Each bus line has its own booking office, usually at or near the bus station.

Prices are basically fixed, although overcharging isn’t unheard of. Most bus stations are chaotic, and at the ones in Arusha and other tourist areas you’ll be incessantly hounded by touts. Buy your tickets at the office, and not from the touts, and don’t believe anyone who tries to tell you there’s a luggage fee.

Major bus companies and a sampling of their destinations:

  • Dar Express Arusha, Dar es Salaam.

  • Royal Coach Arusha, Dar es Salaam.

  • Scandinavian Express (

Arusha, Dar es Salaam, Dodoma, Iringa, Kampala (Uganda), Mbeya, Mombasa and Nairobi (Kenya).

Other lines, none distinguished, include Takrim/Tawfiq (Arusha, Kampala, Mwanza, Nairobi), Sumry (Mbeya) and Jaguar (Bukoba, Kampala). You can book tickets online for Scandinavian Express routes, but need to collect (and pay for) your ticket at least three days prior to the journey date.


For shorter trips away from the main routes, the choice is often between 30-seater buses (‘Coasters’ or thelathini) and daladalas. Both options come complete with chickens on the roof, bags of produce wedged under the seats, and no leg room. Shared taxis are relatively rare, except in northern Tanzania near Arusha. Like ordinary buses, minibuses and shared taxis leave when full; they’re probably the least safe of the various transport options.

Car & Motorcycle

Unless you have your own vehicle and are familiar with driving in East Africa, it’s relatively unusual for travellers to tour mainland Tanzania by car. More common is to focus on one part of the country, and then arrange local transport through a tour or safari operator. On Zanzibar it’s easy and economical to hire a car or motorcycle for touring.


On the mainland, you’ll need your home driving licence or (preferably) an international driving licence. On Zanzibar, you’ll need an international driving licence, or a licence from Zanzibar, Kenya, Uganda or South Africa.


Dar es Salaam has a modest array of car-hire agencies. Daily rates for 2WD start about at US$40 excluding fuel, plus US$20 to US$30 for insurance and tax. Prices for 4WD range from US$70 to US$150 per day plus insurance (US$30 to US$40 per day), fuel and driver (US$15 to US$35 per day). There’s also a 20% VAT.

For anything outside the city, most companies require 4WD. Also, most don’t permit self-drive outside of Dar es Salaam, and none presently offer unlimited kilometres. Per kilometre charges average US$0.50 to US$1. Clarify what the company’s policy is in the event of a breakdown.

Avis (tel 022-211 5381; Skylink Travel & Tours, Ohio St, Dar es Salaam; Opposite Mövenpick Royal Palm Hotel, with a branch in Arusha.

Evergreen Car Rentals (tel 022-218 2107, 022-218 5419;; cnr Nkrumah St & Nyerere Rd, Dar es Salaam)

Hertz (tel 022-212 2130, 022-212 2363;; Mövenpick Royal Palm Hotel, Ohio St, Dar es Salaam)

Elsewhere in Tanzania, you can hire 4WD vehicles in Arusha, Mwanza and Zanzibar Town and other centres through travel agencies, tour operators and hotels. Except on Zanzibar, most come with driver. Rates average US$70 to US$120 per day plus fuel, and less on Zanzibar (where it’s also easy to hire motorcycles and minibikes, and arrange car hire privately). Clarify before setting out who bears responsibility for repairs.


About 20% of Tanzania’s road network is paved, including the roads from Dar es Salaam to Arusha via Chalinze, and from Dar es Salaam to Mbeya via Morogoro and Iringa. The road from Dar es Salaam to Mtwara is being paved. Secondary roads range from good to nearly impassable, depending on the season and on when they were last maintained. For most trips outside major towns, you’ll need 4WD.

Hazards include vehicles overtaking on blind curves, pedestrians and animals on the road, and children running onto the road.


In theory, driving is on the left, and traffic already in roundabouts has the right of way. Unless otherwise posted, the speed limit is 80km/h; on major routes, police have radar. Tanzania has a seatbelt law for drivers and front-seat passengers. The official traffic-fine penalty is TSh20,000.

Motorcycles aren’t permitted in national parks, except for the section of the Dar es Salaam to Mbeya highway passing through Mikumi National Park.


Hitching in Tanzania is generally slow going. It’s prohibited inside national parks, and is usually fruitless around them. That said, in remote areas, hitching a lift with truck drivers may be your only transport option, for which you’ll need to pay.

Local Transport


Local routes are serviced by daladalas and, in rural areas, pick-up trucks or old LandRovers. Prices are from TSh100 for local town runs. The vehicles make many stops and are invariably crowded. Accidents are frequent, particularly in minibuses. Destinations are either posted in the front window, or called out by the driver’s assistant, who collects fares.


Taxis can be hired in all major towns. None have meters; the base rate for town trips is TSh1500.


For some reputable safari operators in the northern safari circuit, see the Arusha section. Tour operators on Zanzibar can organise competitively priced fly/drive safaris to both the northern and southern safari circuits. For Mt Kilimanjaro trekking operators. For local tour operators, see listings in the regional sections.


Tanzania has two rail lines: Tazara (tel 022-286 0340/4, 022-286 5339;; cnr Nyerere & Nelson Mandela Rds, Dar es Salaam) links Dar es Salaam with Kapiri Mposhi in Zambia via Mbeya and Tunduma; the Tanzanian Railway Corporation’s

Central Line (tel 022-211 7833;; cnr Railway St & Sokoine Dr, Dar es Salaam) links Dar es Salaam with Kigoma and Mwanza via Morogoro, Dodoma and Tabora. A branch of the Central Line links Tabora with Mpanda; there’s also passenger service on the Dodoma–Singida spur.

Tazara is more comfortable and efficient, but on both lines, breakdowns and long delays – up to 12 hours or more – are common.


There are three classes: 1st class (two- or four-bed compartments), 2nd-class sleeping (six-bed compartments) and economy class (benches, usually very crowded). Some trains also have a ‘2nd-class sitting section’, with one seat per person. Men and women can only travel together in the sleeping sections by booking the entire compartment.


Tickets for 1st and 2nd class should be reserved at least several days in advance, although occasionally you’ll be able to get a seat on the day of travel. Economy-class tickets can be bought on the spot.


Both lines are undergoing renovations and management changes, so expect schedule and price changes. See the table below.

Central Line

Central Line trains depart Dar es Salaam three times weekly in the evening for both Kigoma and Mwanza (splitting at Tabora). In theory, both journeys take about 40 hours, though it’s often much longer. Trains from both Mwanza and Kigoma to Dar es Salaam also depart in the evenings.

Trains between Tabora and Mpanda (about 14 hours) run three times weekly, departing Tabora in the evening and Mpanda around midday.


Tazara runs three trains weekly: two ‘express’ trains between Dar es Salaam and Kapiri Mposhi in Zambia via Mbeya, and an ‘ordinary’ train between Dar es Salaam and Mbeya. Ordinary trains take about 24 hours between Dar and Mbeya, and cost TSh24,500/18,400/12,200 in 1st/2nd/economy class).
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