Getting there & away
Not recommended, but shared taxis go between the Arusha bus station and the Namanga border throughout the day, from 6am. Most are nine-seater sedans that do the journey at hair-raising speeds. At Namanga, you’ll have to walk a few hundred metres across the border and then catch one of the frequent matatus (Kenyan minibuses) or share taxis to Nairobi (about US$7). From Nairobi, the matatu and share-taxi depots are on Ronald Ngala St, near the River Rd junction.
There are no entry restrictions for any nationalities.
Fares from Europe and North America are highest in December/January, and in July/August, but lowest from March to May, except around Easter. London is the main discount hub. You can find discounted fares into Nairobi (Kenya), and then make your way to Tanzania. Recommended online ticket sellers.
Cheap Tickets (www.cheaptickets.com)
Flight Centre (www.flightcentre.com)
STA Travel (www.statravel.com)
There’s no passenger ferry service on Lake Victoria between Tanzania and Kenya. Occasionally cargo boats depart from Mwanza for Kenya and are sometimes willing to take passengers. Inquire at the Mwanza South port about sailings.
The official route between southwestern Tanzania and Mozambique is via Malawi on the MV Songea between Mbamba Bay and Nkhata Bay, and then from Nkhata Bay on to Likoma Island (Malawi), Cóbuè and Metangula (both in Mozambique) on the MV Ilala. Unofficially, there are small boats that sail along the eastern shore of Lake Nyasa between Tanzania and Mozambique. However, Lake Nyasa is notorious for its severe and sudden squalls, and going this way is risky and not recommended.The MV Ilala departs from Monkey Bay (Malawi) at 10am Friday, arriving in Metangula (via Chipoka and Nkhotakota in Malawi) at 6am Saturday, reaching Cóbuè around midday, Likoma Island at 1.30pm and Nkhata Bay at 1am Sunday morning. Southbound, departures are at 8pm Monday from Nkhata Bay and at 6.30am Tuesday from Likoma Island, reaching Cóbuè at 7am and Metangula at midday. The schedule changes frequently; get an update from Malawi Lake Services (in Malawi 01-587311; email@example.com). Fares are about US$40/20 for 1st-class cabin/economy class between Nkhata Bay and Cóbuè. There’s an immigration officer at Mbamba Bay, Mozambique immigration posts in Metangula and Cóbuè, and immigration officers on Likoma Island and in Nkhata Bay for Malawi. You can get a Mozambique visa at Cóbuè, but not at Metangula.
Buses cross the borders between Tanzania and Kenya, Malawi, Uganda and Zambia. Apart from sometimes lengthy waits 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 and continue on. Visa fees aren’t included in bus ticket prices for trans-border routes. It’s also possible to travel to/from all of Tanzania’s neighbours by minibus. Most main routes go direct; otherwise you’ll need to walk across the border and change vehicles on the other side.
Entry requirements include the vehicle’s registration papers and your driving licence, as well as a temporary import permit (Tsh20, 000 for one month, purchased at the border), third-party insurance (Tsh50, 000 for one year – purchased at the border or in the nearest large town) and a one-time fuel levy (Tsh5000). You’ll also need a carnet de passage en douane, which acts as a temporary waiver of import duty. The carnet – arranged in advance through your local automobile association – should also specify any expensive spare parts that you are carrying.
Most rental companies don’t permit their vehicles to cross international borders; if you find one that does, arrange the necessary paperwork with it in advance.
Most border posts don’t have petrol stations or repair shops; you’ll need to head to the nearest large town.
For Kobero Bridge: the trip is done in stages via Nyakanazi (the junction village where the unpaved road southwest to Kigoma branches off from the tarmac road southeast to Kahama and Nzega) and Lusahunga (from where there’s regular transport north towards Biharamulo and Lake Victoria and southeast via Kahama towards Nzega or Shinyanga). There are several direct buses weekly between Mwanza and the border. Otherwise, take a Kigoma-bound bus, disembark at Lusahunga and get onward transport from there. The road from Nzega to the Burundi border via Ngara is mostly tarmac and in good condition.
For the Manyovu crossing, dalla-dallas (minibuses) leave Kigoma from behind Bero petrol station (Tsh5000, three hours). Once through the Tanzanian side of the border, you can sometimes find cars going to Bujumbura (Tsh5000, three to four hours). Otherwise, you’ll need to take one of the many waiting vehicles across the border and on to Makamba (about 70km from Manyovu), where the Burundian immigration post is located, and then from there get another vehicle on to Bujumbura.
The main route to/from Kenya is the sealed road connecting Arusha (Tanzania) and Nairobi (Kenya) via the popular Namanga border post (open 24 hours). There are also border crossings at Horohoro (Tanzania), north of Tanga; at Holili (Tanzania), east of Moshi; at Illassit (Tanzania), northeast of Moshi; at Bologonya in the northern Serengeti; and at Sirari (Tanzania), northeast of Musoma.
The road is well sealed between Dar es Salaam and Tanga, potholed between Tanga and the border at Horohoro, and in good condition from the border to Mombasa. There’s nowhere official to change money at the border. Touts here charge extortionate rates, and it’s difficult to get rid of Kenyan shillings once in Tanga, so plan accordingly.
Scandinavia Express goes daily between Dar es Salaam and Nairobi via Arusha (Tsh39, 000, 14 hours from Dar, Tsh15, 000 from Arusha, departing Dar at 6am and Arusha at 4pm), as does Akamba (Tsh35, 000). Both bus lines also have daily services between Mwanza and Nairobi (Tsh20, 000, 12 to 14 hours), departing from Mwanza about 2pm and Nairobi at about 10pm.
Between Arusha and Nairobi, a good option is one of the daily shuttle buses, departing daily at 8am and 2pm in each direction (five hours). Following are the main companies – both of which also have one bus daily to/from Moshi:Impala Arusha (027-250 7197; www.impalashuttle.com, Impala Hotel, cnr Moshi & Old Moshi Rds, Arusha); Nairobi (020-273 0953; Silver Springs Hotel)
Riverside Arusha (027-250 2639, 027-250 3916; www.riverside-shuttle.com; Sokoine Rd, Arusha); Nairobi (020-229618, 020-241032; firstname.lastname@example.org; Pan African Insurance House, 3rd fl, Room 1, Kenyatta Ave)
Both charge about US$25 one way, and with a little prodding, it’s easy enough to get the residents’ price (US$10). In Arusha, drop offs are at the bus company offices. In Nairobi, drop offs are at centrally located hotels and at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. For Nairobi pick-ups, if you book in advance, they’ll meet your flight. Otherwise, contact the shuttles through the tourist information desk in the international arrivals area. Confirm the drop-off point when booking, and insist on being dropped off as agreed. Also watch out for touts who board the bus at the New Stanley Hotel (Nairobi) and say that it’s the end of the line to drum up business for waiting taxis.
Regular buses also link Arusha and Nairobi daily (Tsh11, 000, six to seven hours), departing between 6.30am and 8am. Departures in Arusha are from the bus station; in Nairobi most leave from Accra Rd.
Dalla-dallas go daily between Moshi and the border town of Holili via Himo junction (Tsh1000, one hour). At the border (6am-8pm), you’ll need to hire a piki-piki (motorbike; Tsh500) or bicycle to cross 3km of no-man’s land before arriving at the Kenyan immigration post at Taveta. From Taveta, sporadic minibuses go to Voi along a rough road (KSh300), where you can then find onward transport to Nairobi and Mombasa. If you’re arriving/departing with a foreign-registered vehicle, the necessary paperwork is only done during working hours (8am to 1pm and 2pm to 5pm daily).
There’s no public transport between the northern Serengeti and Kenya’s Masai Mara Game Reserve, and only East African residents and citizens can cross here. If you’re a resident and are exiting Tanzania here, take care of immigration formalities in Seronera, to the south. Entering Tanzania from Masai Mara, park fees should be paid at the Lobo ranger post, between the border and Seronera.
Minibuses go daily between Musoma and the Sirari–Isebania border post, where you can get Kenyan transport to Kisii, and then on to Kisumu or Nairobi. Scandinavian Express and Akamba also pass Kisii on their daily runs between Mwanza and Nairobi (Tsh20, 000, 12 to 14 hours between Mwanza and Nairobi), with some buses continuing on to Arusha and Dar es Salaam.
Buses go several times weekly between Dar es Salaam and Lilongwe (27 hours), though they are overcrowded (even if you have a ticket, it’s often not possible to board midroute in Mbeya) and often greatly delayed. It’s better to travel from Dar es Salaam to Mbeya and get onward transport there. From Mbeya, buses depart in the afternoons several times weekly, arriving in Lilongwe the next day (Tsh28, 000). Coming from Malawi, the best option is to take a minibus from the border to Mbeya, and then get an express bus from there towards Dar es Salaam. This entails staying overnight in Mbeya, as buses to Dar es Salaam depart from Mbeya between 6am and 7am.
There are also daily minibuses and 30-seater buses (known as ‘Coastals’ or thelathini) connecting both Mbeya (Tsh3000, two hours) and Kyela with the border. In Mbeya, look for buses going to Kyela (these detour to the border) and verify that your vehicle is really going all the way to the border, as some that say they are atually stopping at Tukuyu (40km north) or at Ibanda (7km before the border). Asking several passengers (rather than the minibus company touts) should get you the straight answer. Your chances of getting a direct vehicle are better in the larger thelathini, which depart from Mbeya two or three times daily and usually go where they say they are going. The buses stop at the transport stand, about a seven-minute walk from the actual border, so there’s no real need for the bicycle taxis that will approach you. If you get stuck at the border, try Mala Green (0752-029010; camping per person Tsh5000, r Tsh7000), with clean rooms and food on order. Coming from Mbeya, it’s on the left (south) side of the main road, before the small Kiriwa River bridge and about 2km before the border. It’s poorly signposted – watch instead for the Celtel sign.
Once across the Tanzanian border, there’s a 300m walk to the Malawian side, and minibuses to Karonga. There’s also one bus daily between the border and Mzuzu (Malawi), departing the border by mid-afternoon and arriving by evening. Many vehicles and trucks ply between Mbeya and Karonga, so it’s easy to find a lift.
There are no bridges over the Ruvuma River border (yet). The main crossing is at Kilambo (south of Mtwara, Tanzania), where there is a ferry. It’s also possible to get your passport stamped between Newala (Tanzania) and Moçimboa do Rovuma (Mozambique). Travelling by boat, there are immigration officials at Msimbati (Tanzania) and at Palma and Moçimboa da Praia (Mozambique). You can also use the crossing between Songea (Tanzania) and Nova Madeira (Mozambique), although there’s no immigration office on the Tanzanian side, so you’ll need to get stamped in/out in Songea. Mozambique visas are not issued anywhere along the Tanzania border, so arrange one in advance.
Buses depart daily from Mtwara between 7am and 9am to the Kilambo border post (Tsh2500, one hour) and on to the Ruvuma, which is crossed via dugout canoe (Tsh2000, 10 minutes to over an hour, depending on water levels, and dangerous during heavy rains). If you happen to be at the river when the vehicle ferry is departing, this is a better alternative. On the Mozambique side, there are usually two pick-ups daily to the Mozambique border post (4km further) and on to Moçimboa da Praia (US$9, four hours), with the last one departing by about noon. If you get stuck, there’s a makeshift and bedbug-ridden guesthouse on a sandbank in the middle of the river; camping on the Mozambique side is a better option.
The Ruvuma crossing is notorious for pickpockets. Watch your belongings, especially when getting into and out of the boats, and keep up with the crowd when walking to/from the river bank.
The rarely used border crossing south of Newala entails long walks on both sides (up to 25km in Tanzania, and at least 10km in Mozambique). The main Mozambique town is Moçimboa do Rovuma, from where there’s a daily vehicle to Mueda.
Further west, one or two 4WDs or trucks depart daily from Songea’s Majengo C area by around midday, reaching the Ruvuma in the evening (Tsh10, 000, six hours plus). Try to get a seat in the cab, rather than with the cargo load. Cross the river via dugout canoe (Tsh2000) and spend the night on the river banks before continuing the next morning to Lichinga (Tsh24, 000, eight to 10 hours) via Segundo Congresso (where you’ll need to change vehicles) to Macalogue. There’s no accommodation on the Tanzanian side of the border, nor any official immigration post (take care of formalities in Songea). On the Mozambique side there are basic rooms near the immigration post, a short walk from the river. The whole journey is rugged and hardcore. It’s best to pay in stages, rather than paying the entire Tsh34, 000 Songea–Lichinga fare in Songea, as is sometimes requested.
The road from Mtwara to the border is in reasonably good condition. There’s a vehicle ferry at Kilambo, operating at high tide (per person/vehicle Tsh200/25, 000). Especially during the August to November dry months, the boat can only cross at high spring tides, so you’ll need to coordinate your trip accordingly. To avoid long waits at the river, get an update first at the Old Boma or Ten Degrees South Lodge (both in Mikindani), or at Russell’s Place (Cashew Camp; in Mozambique 82-686 2730; www.pembamagic.com) in Pemba, or try contacting the ferryman (0754-869357).
Work has started on the Unity Bridge over the Ruvuma, well southwest of Kilambo, near the confluence of the Lugenda River.
The main crossing is at Rusumu Falls, southwest of Bukoba (Tanzania).
Daily minibuses go from Kigali to Rusumu (Rwanda; US$6.50, three hours), where you’ll need to walk across the Kagera river bridge. Once across, there are pick-up taxis to the tiny town (and former refugee camp) of Benako (marked as Kasulo on some maps; Tsh2500, 25 minutes), about 20km southeast. In Benako, there’s Silent Night Guest House (d Tsh5000), with a helpful proprietor who is a good source of information on travel onwards to Kigoma and points east. Daily buses go from Benako to Mwanza (Tsh17, 000, eight hours), though it’s often easier to go in stages via Kahama and Shinyanga along the tarmac road. There are also daily connections from Benako to Nyakanazi junction, where you can try hitching a lift or squeezing into a bus on to Kibondo, Kasulu and Kigoma (Tsh4500 and two hours from Benako to Nyakanazi, plus Tsh9000 and about seven hours from there to Kigoma).
The main post is at Mutukula (Tanzania), northwest of Bukoba (although you actually get stamped in and out of Tanzania at Kyaka, 30km south of the Mutukula border), with good tarmac on both sides. There’s another crossing further west at Nkurungu (Tanzania), but the road is bad and sparsely travelled.
Scandinavian Express goes daily between Dar es Salaam and Kampala via Nairobi (Kenya) (Tsh62, 000, 27 hours) and Arusha (Tsh38, 000 from Arusha to Kampala), departing from Dar in the morning, Arusha at 4pm and Kampala at midday. Dolphin and Jaguar lines go daily between Bukoba and Kampala, departing from Bukoba about 7am (Tsh11, 000, five to six hours). Departures from Kampala are at 7am and usually again at about 11am. Tawfiq/Falcon goes several times weekly along this route, continuing on to Nairobi (Tsh27, 000) and Dar es Salaam, though if you’re headed to Nairobi, it’s better to sleep in Kampala and continue the next day.
The main border crossing (7.30am-6pm Tanzania time, 6.30am-5pm Zambia time) is at Tunduma (Tanzania), southwest of Mbeya. There’s also a crossing at Kasesya (Kasesha, Tanzania), between Sumbawanga (Tanzania) and Mbala (Zambia).
Scandinavian Express is planning to imminently resume its Dar es Salaam–Mbeya–Lusaka routing, departing from Dar es Salaam four times weekly at 5am (Tsh70, 000, 30 hours to Lusaka). Departures from Lusaka are at 5pm. Otherwise, minibuses ply between Mbeya and Tunduma (Tsh3000, two hours), where you walk across the border for Zambian transport to Lusaka (US$20, 18 hours). The road from Dar es Salaam into Zambia is good tarmac.
For the Kasesya crossing, there are pick-ups from Sumbawanga to the border, where you’ll need to change to Zambian transport.
The Tanzania–Zambia (Tazara) train line links Dar es Salaam with Kapiri Mposhi in Zambia (1st/2nd/economy class Tsh55, 000/40, 000/33, 000, about 40 hours) twice weekly via Mbeya and Tunduma. Prices between Mbeya and Kapiri Mposhi are Tsh28, 900/21, 600/17, 100 for 1st/2nd/economy class. Departures from Dar es Salaam are at 3.50pm Tuesday and 3pm Friday, and from Kapiri Mposhi at about 3pm on the same days. Departures from Mbeya to Zambia are at 2.30pm Wednesday and Saturday. Students with ID get a 50% discount. 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.
If driving from Zambia into Tanzania, note that vehicle insurance isn’t available at the Kasesya border, but must be purchased 120km further on in Sumbawanga.
Classic Safari Company (1300-130218, 02-9327 0666; www.classicsafaricompany.com.au) Upmarket customised itineraries, including to the south and west.Peregrine Travel (03-8601 4444, 1300-854444; www.peregrine.net.au) Northern circuit treks and safaris for all budgets; also family itineraries.
Wild Frontiers (011-702 2035; www.wildfrontiers.com) A range of itineraries, including to Kilwa and elsewhere in the south and west.
Abercrombie & Kent (0845-070 0611; www.abercrombiekent.co.uk) Customised tours and safaris, including to the southern and western parks.
Africa-in-Focus (01803-770956; www.africa-in-focus.com) Overland tours.
African Initiatives (0117-915 0001; www.african-initiatives.org.uk) Fair-traded safaris in northern Tanzania.
Baobab Travel (0870-382 5003; www.baobabtravel.com) A culturally responsible operator with itineraries countrywide.
Dragoman (01728-861133; www.dragoman.com) Overland tours.
Expert Africa (020-8232 9777; www.expertafrica.com) A long-standing operator with itineraries countrywide.
Explore Worldwide (0870-3334001; www.exploreworldwide.com) Small-group tours, treks and safaris.
Gane & Marshall (020-8445 6000; www.ganeandmarshall.co.uk) Customised itineraries, including to the west and south.
Responsible Travel.com (01273-600030; www.responsibletravel.com) Matches you up with ecologically and culturally responsible tour operators to plan an itinerary
Safari Drive (01488-71140; www.safaridrive.com) Self-drive safaris, primarily in northern Tanzania.
Simply Tanzania (020-8986 0615; www.simplytanzania.co.uk) Offbeat community-oriented cultural tours run by a former VSO director.
Tribes Travel (01728-685971; www.tribes.co.uk) Fair-traded safaris and treks, including in the south and west.
Abercrombie & Kent (630-954 2944, 800-554 7016; www.abercrombiekent.com) Customised tours and safaris.
African Environments (www.africanenvironments.com) Top-end treks organised by one of the pioneering companies on Mt Kilimanjaro. Also luxury northern circuit vehicle safaris, and walking safaris in Ngorongoro Conservation Area and in Serengeti border areas.African Horizons (877-256 1074, 847-256 1075; www.africanhorizons.com) A small operator offering various packages, including in the south and west.
Big Five Tours & Expeditions (800-244 3483, 772-287 7995; www.bigfive.com) Upmarket tours and safaris in the north and south.
Born Free Safaris (800-4 723274; www.bornfreesafaris.com) Northern circuit itineraries, including a women’s-only tour.
Deeper Africa (888-658 7102; www.deeperafrica.com) Socially responsible, upmarket northern circuit safaris & treks.
Explorateur Voyages (514-847 1177; www.explorateur.qc.ca in French) Northern circuit treks and safaris.
Good Earth (813-929 7232; www.goodearthtours.com) Northern circuit safaris.
International Expeditions (800-633 4734, 205‑428 1700; www.ietravel.com) Naturalist-oriented northern circuit safaris.
Naipenda Safaris (888-404-4499; www.naipendasafaris.com) Northern circuit safaris, including for families.
Thomson Family Aventures (800-262 6255, 617-923 2004; www.familyadventures.com) A range of itineraries, and especially recommended for family safaris.
Provided you have a visa, Tanzania is straightforward to enter. There are no vaccination requirements, although there are several worth considering.
Tanzania’s air hub is Julius Nyerere International Airport (DAR; 022-284 2461/2402; www.tanzaniairports.com) in Dar es Salaam, with a modest array of services, including an internet connection, souvenir shops and forex bureaus. Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO; 027-255 4252/4707; www.kilimanjaroairport.co.tz), between Arusha and Moshi, also handles international flights, and is the best option for itineraries in Arusha and the northern safari circuit. It has a forex bureau and an internet connection, and shouldn’t be confused with the smaller Arusha Airport (ARK), 8km west of Arusha, which handles some domestic flights. There are also international flights to/from Zanzibar International Airport (ZNZ), Mwanza Airport (MWZ) and Mtwara Airport (MYW). Kigoma Airport occasionally handles regional flights.
Air Tanzania (TC; 022-211 8411, 022-284 4239, www.airtanzania.com; hub Julius Nyerere International Airport) is the national airline, with a limited but generally reliable network. Current regional destinations are Moroni (Comoros), Entebbe (Uganda) and Johannesburg (South Africa).
Regional and international carriers include the following (all servicing Dar es Salaam, except as noted) :
British Airways (BA; 022-211 3820; www.britishairways.com; hub Heathrow Airport, London)
Precision Air (PW; 022-216 8000; www.precisionairtz.com; hub Dar es Salaam) In partnership with Kenya Airways.
Swiss International Airlines (LX; 022-211 8870; www.swiss.com; hub Kloten Airport, Zurich)
Yemenia Yemen Airways (IY; 022-212 6036; www.yemenairways.net; hub Sana’a International Airport)
Useful airlines and connections:
Kenya Airways (www.kenya-airways.com) Abidjan, Bujumbura (Burundi), Cairo, Douala (Cameroon), Harare (Zimbabwe), Johannesburg, Khartoum (Sudan), Kigali, Lilongwe (Malawi), Maputo (Mozambique) and many other African cities to Nairobi, then on to Dar es Salaam or Zanzibar.
Precision Air (www.precisionairtz.com) Mombasa (Kenya) and Nairobi to Dar es Salaam, Zanzibar, Kilimanjaro and elsewhere in Tanzania. The airline also flies between Dar es Salaam, Lindi, Mtwara and Pemba (Mozambique), and between Kilimanjaro, Mwanza and Entebbe.
Return excursion fares for intra-African flights are frequently significantly cheaper than standard return fares.
Ticket discounters include Rennies Travel (www.renniestravel.com) and STA Travel (www.statravel.co.za), with offices throughout southern Africa. Flight Centre (0860 400 727, 011-778 1720; www.flightcentre.co.za) has offices in Johannesburg, Cape Town and several other cities. In the Middle East: Al-Rais Travels (www.alrais.com) in Dubai; Egypt Panorama Tours (2-359 0200; www.eptours.com) in Cairo; Israel Student Travel Association (ISTA; 02-625 7257) in Jerusalem; and Orion-Tour (www.oriontour.com) in Istanbul.
Popular connections are via Singapore and the United Arab Emirates, or via Mumbai (India), from where there are connections to Dar es Salaam on Kenya Airways and Air India (one way about US$600). Ethiopian Airlines (via Addis Ababa) also flies this route, and Kenya Airways flies from Hong Kong, Bangkok and Guangzhou to Nairobi. A longer but competitively priced option is from Singapore or Hong Kong to Johannesburg, connecting to Dar es Salaam. Discounters include STA Travel Bangkok (02-236 0262; www.statravel.co.th); Singapore (6737 7188; www.statravel.com.sg); Hong Kong (2736 1618; www.statravel.com.hk); Japan (03 5391 2922; www.statravel.co.jp), with branches throughout Asia. In Japan, also try No 1 Travel (03 3205 6073; www.no1-travel.com); in Hong Kong try Four Seas Tours (2200 7760; www.fourseastravel.com/english). STIC Travels (www.stictravel.com) Delhi (11-233 57 468) Mumbai (22-221 81 431) has offices in many Indian cities.
There are no direct flights from Australia or New Zealand to East Africa. However, Qantas (from Sydney and Perth) and South African Airways (from Perth) have several flights weekly to Johannesburg, with connections to Dar es Salaam. Other options include: Emirates via Dubai to Dar es Salaam; Qantas or Air India via Mumbai; and Air Mauritius via Mauritius and Nairobi. STA Travel (1300 733 035; statravel.com.au) and Flight Centre (133 133; www.flightcentre.com.au) have offices throughout Australia. For online bookings, try www.travel.com.au.
From New Zealand, try Emirates via Dubai, or Qantas or South African Airways via Sydney and Johannesburg. Both Flight Centre (0800 243 544; www.flightcentre.co.nz) and STA Travel (0508 782 872; www.statravel.co.nz) have branches throughout the country. Try www.travel.co.nz for online bookings.
Return tickets between London and Dar es Salaam cost from about £400 return. From Continental Europe, low-season return fares start from about €600. Prices are often better to Nairobi. Charter flights, especially from London, are also worth investigating.
European airlines to check include Swiss, KLM and British Airways – all fly to Dar es Salaam, and KLM also services Kilimanjaro. Non-European carriers include Kenya Airways (via Nairobi), Ethiopian Airlines (via Addis Ababa), Emirates (via Dubai) and Yemen Airways (via Sana’a).
In the UK, travel agency ads appear in the travel pages of the weekend broadsheet newspapers, in Time Out, the Evening Standard and in the free online magazine TNT (www.tntmagazine.com). Discount ticket agencies in the UK:
Bridge the World (0870 444 7474; www.b-t-w.co.uk)
Flightbookers (0870 814 4001; www.ebookers.com)
Flight Centre (0870 890 8099; flightcentre.co.uk)
North-South Travel (01245 608 291; www.northsouthtravel.co.uk)
Quest Travel (0870 442 3542; www.questtravel.com)
STA Travel (0870 160 0599; www.statravel.co.uk) For travellers under the age of 26.
Travel Bag (0870 890 1456; www.travelbag.co.uk)
For discounted fares from Continental Europe:
Most flights from North America are via Europe; there are few bargain deals. Expect to pay from US$1300 (for tickets through consolidators or discount agencies) to over US$2500 return, depending on the season and your starting point. Fares offered by Canadian discounters tend to be around 10% more expensive than those sold in the USA.
The cheapest routing is generally to London on a discounted transatlantic ticket, where you can then purchase a separate ticket on to Tanzania. Most airlines listed for the UK & Continental Europe also offer direct fares from North America.
A roundabout, but occasionally cheaper, alternative is South African Airways from New York or Washington DC to Johannesburg, from where you can connect to Dar es Salaam (from about US$1100 return for the transcontinental portion of the trip). Other options include Ethiopian Airways between New York and Dar es Salaam or Zanzibar via Rome and Addis Ababa, and Kenya Airways together with Virgin Atlantic (www.virgin-atlantic.com) from New York to Dar es Salaam via London and Nairobi. For online bookings, see the agencies listed under Tickets. In Canada, also try Travel Cuts (800-667-2887; www.travelcuts.com), Canada’s national student travel agency.