The thought of traveling through Tanzania by bus can be daunting for anyone trying to plan their first Africa trip without a tour operator. It can be especially hard for people visiting from the west. We are so used to googling information on every little detail before even setting foot in a foreign country, and not being able to do so can be a bit scary. But in this post we will give you all the information you need to successfully travel cheaply through Tanzania by bus.
Traveling by bus in Tanzania today is a little bit like traveling through Europe twenty years ago. There is no way of pre booking bus tickets or local guest rooms online (trust me I have tried and nothing happened). If it’s not flight tickets or proper resorts, booking has to be done on site in the country. A lot of information is simply not digitalised in Tanzania yet and the tourism infrastructure is under developed.
If you are traveling from Dar es Salaam you will most likely buy your ticket from Ubungo bus station. This is the main bus station in Dar which gets super busy and overwhelming for any person trying to buy a ticket. A couple of bus lines have private offices outside the main Ubungo bus station which makes it so much easier to buy a ticket. Further down in the article there is a list differentiating which those bus companies are.
When traveling by bus it is best to travel with the “luxury” bus lines to get the most safe and comfortable journey. Of course the word luxury is relative but in the context of Tanzanian buses it means your ticket ensures that you will actually have a seat on the bus and no one will stand in the isle. You will have a seatbelt, there is going to be air conditioning (sometimes), there are (some) functioning USB ports to charge your phone on board, you will be given a small bottle of water and soda as well as a muffin. It may sounds basic, but this is a lot compared to what most bus companies offer in this country. Below is a list of companies which offer quite comfortable bus rides with vehicles similar to what you can find in America or Europe. Find their contacts/social media and some of their destinations listed as well.