Tanzania-Getting to Tanzania and around
How to get to Tanzania: Currency and Money Matters
The Tanzanian unit of currency is the Tanzanian Shilling (TSh). Bills range from 1 shilling to 10,000 shillings. The exchange rates fluctuate, the latest rates can be found here.
The easiest foreign currency to exchange in Tanzania is the US dollar, in either cash or traveler check form. While you get better rates at banks and foreign exchange bureaus for the larger bills, keeping a stack of small bills is handy for tips. Most of the high-end hotels and wildlife parks accept US dollars but it can sometimes be a bit cheaper if you pay fees and accommodation in Tanzanian shillings.
ATM’s can be found in all the major cities, but my Lonely Planet Guide warns that some machines enjoy eating cards, so use at your own risk. Major credit cards are only accepted at the more expensive restaurants and hotels.
Getting To and From Tanzania
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.
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 minibuses 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 minibuses from Mbeya to Tunduma and then cross into Zambia and take public transport from there.
Flights & airlines to Tanzania
Domestic airlines & flights in Tanzania
Passport, visa and other entry requirements
Entry requirements can change, so please contact your local Tanzania embassy to verify the information below is current.
- A passport is required for all foreign visitors and has to be valid for at least six months.
- Passports must have a clean and a full visa page for endorsement.
- When arriving from a yellow-fever-infected country in Africa or the Americas a yellow fever vaccination and document is required.
- Citizens of most countries require a visa, which can be obtained at arrival. A list of countries and specific visa eligibility is available from the Tanzanian Ministry of Home Affairs