Getting There and Around

A Tanzania safari offers some of the most exciting and best wildlife viewing in Africa. Safaris to Tanzania are memorably rewarding, with Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater as well as other extensive national parks toping the list of the most popular destinations in Tanzania.

Tanzania is served internationally from Europe by KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (Amsterdam); British Airways (London-Heathrow) and Swiss International Air Lines. The Middle East and Asia by Emirates, Qatar Airways and for the thrifty traveler, Air India; and in Africa by South African Airways, Ethiopian Airlines and Kenya Airways from Nairobi. Carriers originating from Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe also maintain regular flights to Dar es Salaam.

Getting to and from Tanzania
By Air

If you're planning to visit Northern Tanzania, the best airport to arrive at is Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA). KLM has daily flights from Amsterdam. Ethiopian and Kenya Airways also fly into KIA.

If you're planning to visit Zanzibar, southern and western Tanzania, you'll want to fly to the capital Dar es Salaam. European carriers that fly into Dar es Salaam include British Airways, KLM, and Swissair (which codeshares with Delta).

Regional flights to Dar es Salaam, Zanzibar and parts of northern Tanzania regularly fly from Nairobi (Kenya Airways, Air Kenya) and Addis Ababa (Ethiopian Airlines). Precision Air has several flights per week to Entebbe (Uganda), Mombasa and Nairobi.

By Land

To and From Kenya: There are several bus services available between Tanzania and Kenya. Buses regularly go from Mombasa to Dar es Salaam (12 hours), Nairobi to Dar es Salaam (about 13 hours), Nairobi to Arusha (5 hours), and Voi to Moshi. Some bus companies originating in Arusha will drop you off at your hotel in Nairobi and also offer pick-ups at Nairobi's international airport.

To and From Malawi: The border crossing between Tanzania and Malawi is at the Songwe River Bridge. Direct buses between Dar es Salaam and Lilongwe depart several times a week and take around 27 hours. Your other alternative is to get to the border crossing and take minibusses in either direction to the closest towns -- Karonga in Malawi and Mbeya in Tanzania. Spend the night and then continue on the next day. Both towns have regular long-distance bus services.

To and From Mozambique: The main border post is at Kilambo (Tanzania) which you can get to via minibus from Mtwara. To cross the border requires a trip across the Ruvuma River and depending on the tides and the season, this could be a simple quick canoe trip or an hour long ferry ride. The border post in Mozambique is at Namiranga.

To and From Uganda: Daily buses travel from Kampala to Dar es Salaam (via Nairobi -- so make sure you get a visa for Kenya to transit). The bus trip takes at least 25 hours. A more manageable crossing is from Kampala to Bukoba (on the shores of Lake Victoria) which gets you to Tanzania in about 7 hours. You can also take a short 3 hour trip by bus from Bukoba (Tanzania) to the Ugandan border town of Masaka. Scandinavian also runs buses from Moshi to Kampala (via nairobi).

To and From Rwanda: Regional coach services travels from Kigali to Dar es Salaam at least once a week, the trip takes about 36 hours and crosses into Uganda first. Shorter trips between the Tanzania/Rwanda border at Rusumo Falls are possible but the security situation fluctuates so inquire locally in Benako (Rwanda) or Mwanza (Tanzania). Buses also run at least once a day from Mwanza (it will take all day) to the border of Rwanda, and from there you can catch a minibus to Kigali. Catching the bus from Mwanza means a ferry trip to start with so the schedule is fairly fixed.

To and From Zambia: Buses run a couple times a week between Dar es Salaam and Lusaka (about 30 hours) and between Mbeya and Lusaka (about 16 hours). The border that is used most often is at Tunduma and you can get minibusses from Mbeya to Tunduma and then cross into Zambia and take public transport from there.

Getting Around Tanzania
By Air

To get from northern Tanzania to the capital Dar es Salaam, or to fly to Zanzibar, there are several scheduled flights you can take.

Precision Air offers routes between all the major Tanzanian towns. Regional Air Services offers flights to Grumeti (Serengeti), Manyara, Sasakwa, Seronera, Dar es Salaam, Arusha and more. For quick flights to Zanzibar from around Tanzania, check out ZanAir or Coastal.

By Train

Two railway lines have passenger services in Tanzania. Tazara trains run between Dar es Salaam and Mbeya (handy to get to the border of Malawi and Zambia). The Tanzania Railway Corporation (TRC) runs the other railway line and you can travel from Dar es Salaam to Kigoma and Mwanza, and also along the Kaliua-Mpanda and Manyoni-Singida Branch Lines. See Seat 61's passenger-train schedules to find out when the trains run.

There are several classes to choose from, depending on how squashed you like to be on long train rides, choose your class accordingly. For 1st and 2nd class berths, book at least a few days in advance.

By Bus

There are plenty of options to travel by bus in Tanzania. The biggest express bus operator is Scandinavia Express Services which has routes between major cities and towns throughout the country.

Other major express bus companies in Tanzania include Dar Express, Royal, and Akamba. For basic schedules, costs and trip time see this handy guide from Encounter Tanzania.

Local buses run between smaller towns as well as large towns but they are often slow and very crowded.

Renting a Car

All the major car rental agencies and plenty of local ones can provide you with a 4WD (4x4) vehicle in Tanzania. Most rental agencies do not offer unlimited mileage, so you'll have to be careful when caculating your costs. The roads in Tanzania aren't very good especially during the rainy season and gas (petrol) is expensive. Driving is on the left side of the road and you'll most likely need an international driving license as well as a major credit card to rent a car. Driving at night is not advised. If you're driving in the major cities beware that car-jackings are becoming more commonplace.

If you're planning a self-drive safari in Tanzania then the Northern circuit is a lot easier to navigate than the western or southern wildlife parks. The road from Arusha to the Serengeti takes you to Lake Manyara and the Ngorongoro Crater. It's in reasonable condition, although getting to your campsite may not be as easy once you're within the park gates.