Getting to Tanzania

Air

There are three major international airports in Tanzania: 

Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO): situated between Arusha and Moshi, this is the most common entry point into the country for those exploring the Northern Safari Circuit that includes the Serengeti, the Ngorongoro Crater, Tarangire National Park and Lake Manyara

Julius Nyerere International Airport (DAR): a good option for those visiting Dar es Salaam or the Southern Safari Circuit that includes Selous Game Reserve, and Ruaha National Park

Abeid Amani Karume International Airport (ZNZ): for those heading straight to Zanzibar, this airport is just 5km (3.1 miles) outside of Stone Town, Zanzibar's capital.

All three airports have good international connections from most major cities in Europe and North America. 

How to get to Tanzania

Road

Driving into Tanzaniais also possible if you're coming in from a neighbouring country. 

The roads from Nairobi, to Arusha or from Zambia over Mbeya and Iringa are in decent condition, although drivers should be aware that all driving in Tanzania can be quite hectic.

Watch out for police controls and take caution not to underestimate the long distances between destinations

If you book your adventure with us, all transport will be handled for you, so you can focus on the more exciting parts of your African adventure!

How to get to Tanzania

Getting around Tanzania

  • By plane

    Flying is the quickest and most comfortable way to get around Tanzania. The distances between destinations are easily underestimated, particularly when you're looking at the Northern Circuit parks on a map. The result is people often choose the cheaper road travel over flights, only to discover they're now committed to long days in the car. 

    There are regular flights from all the international airports to the airstrips at parks and beaches. We can help you design your itinerary to minimise frustrations when connecting the dots between destinations. 

    Smaller airlines, such as Precision Air, Air Excel, Coastal Air or Auric Air, are the most common domestic flight carriers, and run a reliable schedule across Tanzania. 

  • By car

    The roads connecting Moshi, Arusha, Dar es Salaam and a number of other southern towns are tarmac and in good condition. Other routes can be full of potholes, requiring a sturdier car and experienced drivers. 

    You should always aim to be off the road by nightfall, and our drivers will make sure you leave enough time to get to your next destination safely. In Tanzania, the rules of the road are sometimes taken as suggestions, rather than requirements. 

    Self-drives are possible in many parks, but you lose a lot from the experience without an experienced guide. 

  • By taxi

    Taxis are widely available in all the minor and major towns of Tanzania and can sometimes be convinced to make slightly longer journeys in between towns.

    They are fairly cheap, but tend to charge inflated prices for travellers. It is worth asking your lodge or restaurant for recommended prices, although some price difference is unavoidable.

    Prices should always be arranged before entering the car to avoid overcharging. Especially at night, you should rely on trusted taxi drivers only recommended by your lodge or restaurant, and if you're booking with us, all transfers will be taken care of for you. 

    Keeping taxi drivers' numbers is common in Tanzania and can lead to better deals and more security. 

  • By bus

    Travellers have various bus options, including the local minibuses, called a dala-dala, coaches (only on long and popular journeys), and shuttles.

    Dala-dalas are common in all of Tanzania and are usually buses packed to the doors with passengers.

    In rush hour in Dar es Salaam it is not unusual for passengers to crawl through the windows to get a seat! Prices are arranged with the minibus conductor, but we would advise you to ask your hotel or a local person for appropriate pricing.

    Dala-dalas usually only leave when they are full, making them fairly unreliable, but definitely an experience!

    Coaches are available on all the major routes, and there are even some 'luxury' options from Moshi/Arusha to Dar, these are also cheap and should be booked ahead of time.

    Like the Dala-dalas, these trips carry a risk - unless you book the luxury options - as drivers can be reckless. It is always better to use the slightly more expensive, reputed company to avoid any problems.

    A few shuttles are available between Moshi, Arusha and Nairobi. These can be booked through your hotel and are generally safe and easy ways to reach the next city. 

  • By bajaji/tuk tuks

    Commonly seen in South East Asia, bajajis are 3-wheelers suited for two to three passengers.

    They are cheap and easy to hail, but they can be a bit slow, and in big cities, they are more prone to robberies as they are so open, although this is a rare event.

    You can either hail them on the street or get their number. 

  • By motorbike

    Boda-boda or piki-pikis (the name depends on the region) are the quickest and cheapest ways to get around and are very unsafe.

    We advise against this option, as the drivers rarely have a second helmet (or a first to begin with) and are known to drive recklessly.

    They are mostly used in Dar es Salaam and Arusha, where the rush hour extends a 20-minute drive to three hours, as the motorbikes can easily fit in between the many waiting cars. 

    If you book your adventure with us, all transfers will be arranged for you.

  • By train

    A lesser-known alternative is taking the train for some journeys. The longest option is the TAZARA train line, which runs from Dar es Salaam all the way to Zambia through national parks and stunning landscapes. It is a rather unreliable service - over a day delay is not unheard of.

    It often runs out of water midway through, so passengers are advised to take their own beverages and food and approach this service with a certain sense of adventure.

    There are also some other train lines available, but these are prone to disruptions. Current updates should be checked regularly before embarking on this trip.

  • By boat/ferry

    There are some options for taking boats or ferries, mostly to reach Zanzibar or other Indian Ocean islets.

    Ferries to Zanzibar are affordable, quick, and safe, but visitors should take one of the well-established companies leaving from the Dar es Salaam port.

    Some dhows can be used for short distances, and some even go to Zanzibar, but these can be unsafe, especially when the sea is rough.

    We recommend doing a dhow trip for an evening cruise or a snorkelling trip, but not for long distances.

    There are also some ferries on the lakes, such as Lake Tanganyika, Lake Malawi or Lake Victoria. Most of these ferries are quite basic and rustic, and some have sunk in previous years. 

Getting to Tanzania from the UK

There are no direct flights from the UK to Tanzania, although connections are straightforward. The two direct links from Europe are from Amsterdam via KLM to Kilimanjaro International Airport, or Istanbul to Dar es Salaam's Julius Nyerere International Airport via Turkish Airlines.

Most travellers from Britain fly via Nairobi, accessed from London (British Airways/Kenya Airways).

Zanzibar and Dar es Salaam can also be reached via Etihad Airways (via Abu Dhabi) and Qatar Airways (via Doha). 

Buffaloes in Selous Game Reserve, Tanzania

Buffaloes charging through the grasslands, Selous Game Reserve

From the US and Canada

Several airlines connect the United States with Tanzania. Qatar Airways flies from New York via Doha to Dar es Salaam, while Emirates connects New York with Zanzibar via Dubai.

Flying to Kilimanjaro is more complicated, with several stops and a variety of airlines. From Los Angeles, Qatar Airways and Turkish Airline both connect to Dar es Salaam via Doha and Istanbul, respectively.

Kilimanjaro and Zanzibar are both accessed via several stops from Los Angeles. 

There are one stop connections from Toronto to Zanzibar via Dubai through Emirates and to Dar es Salaam via Istanbul or Cairo through Turkish Airlines and Egypt Air.

Ethiopian Airlines also flies to Kilimanjaro via Addis Ababa. There are also one stop connections between Montréal and Dar es Salaam via Istanbul and Doha through Turkish Airlines and Qatar Airways.

How to get to Tanzania

A camping experience you'll never forget

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Tourists from the US, Canada and the UK require a tourist visa to visit Tanzania. These visas can be organised via the embassy in your home country or on arrival, but the easiest option is the online e-visa process. Talk to our team for details. 

Extraordinary Destinations in Tanzania

Serengeti National Park

Serengeti National Park

The Serengeti comes from the Maa word ‘Serengit’, which translates to ‘the place where the land moves on forever’. It is the far-reaching, endless savannahs that inspired …

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Ngorongoro Conservation Area

Ngorongoro Conservation Area

The Ngorongoro Crater - with its lush green plains, woodland trees and wildflowers - is one of the most popular travel destinations in Tanzania. A stunningly beautiful place, it's …

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Lake Manyara

Lake Manyara

Described by Ernest Hemingway as the ‘loveliest I had seen in Africa’, Lake Manyara National Park is situated on the Western escarpment of the Rift Valley. Home to lesser …

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Tarangire National Park

Tarangire National Park

Tarangire National Park is part of Tanzania's northern safari circuit that also includes Lake Manyara, Ngorongoro and the Serengeti. Tanzania's sixth largest park, Tarangire has …

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Mount Kilimanjaro

Night sky above glowing tents on Kilimanjaro hike in Tanzania

Towering high above Tanzania at 5,895 metres, Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa and the highest free-standing mountain in the world. 

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Selous Game Reserve

Buffaloes in Selous Game Reserve, Tanzania

Once one of the world’s biggest game reserves, Selous has recently been split up to accommodate the new Nyerere National Park in honour of Tanzania’s first President Julius …

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Zanzibar

Zanzibar

The Zanzibar archipelago is the meeting point between Africa, Arabia and India. This semi-autonomous region is a popular post-safari destination, providing a tropical beach …

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Ruaha National Park

Ruaha National Park

Lounging under the shade of a baobab tree, a baby elephant eagerly awaits her afternoon snack. Her mother, the matriarch, tears off a branch to the delight of the infant. Ruaha has…

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Gombe Stream National Park

Gombe Stream National Park

Situated on the white sandy shores of Lake Tanganyika, Gombe Stream is an untamed place of lush forests and clear lake views. It is one of only two places in Tanzania where you can…

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Arusha National Park

Arusha National Park

With Arusha National Park, you don't have to travel too far after landing to find yourself surrounded by the African bush. Canoeing, walking safaris, and game drives are some of …

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Katavi National Park

Katavi National Park

Largely untouched by civilization, Katavi National Park is for those seeking isolation amongst stunning views, far from the distant hum of safari vehicles. With only a few hundred …

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Lake Natron

Lake Natron

Reaching an alkalinity of over pH 12 and scorching temperatures up to 60°C, Lake Natron is an extremely hostile environment. Remarkably, the lake’s pinkish waters are the only …

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Stone Town

Stone Town

A labyrinth of chaotic alleyways interposed between towering limestone houses with ornately carved arched hardwood doors with brass finishings and terracotta roofs. Stone Town is a…

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Nungwi

Picturesque sunset at Zanzibar.

Vast stretches of white sand, blanketed by colourful shells and met by azure blue waters. Nungwi, nestled on  Zanzibar Islands northernmost tip, is a major beach holiday …

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Jambiani

Jambiani

Jambiani is a tranquil coastal paradise where you can set aside technology and embrace the local culture as you fall into the rhythm of a traditional fishing village. There is no …

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The tours below showcase just some of what is possible. Use these itineraries as starting points, or to draw inspiration. Then get in touch, and let our expert team help craft the perfect itinerary for you.

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