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How to Get from Arusha to Dar es Salaam Using Public Transportation

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How to Get from Arusha to Dar es Salaam Using Public Transportation

Traveling by flight from Arusha to Dar es Salaam is the fastest and most convenient option, but it is also the most costly, and your time in Tanzania should not be dictated by the clock. Traveling by bus allows you to get a true sense of Tanzania, including its people and scenery. 

Local transportation is a less expensive alternative to flying, and the cheapest mode of transportation is the bus. This is never encouraged or suggested by tour organizers in any way. Local transportation is seen to be too hazardous, according to some. This is true even if you just board any random bus. However, traveling in Tanzania does not have to be hazardous or scary since there are a number of reputable and safe bus companies that operate across the country.

Scandinavia Express is the most well-known bus operator in the country. They provide the most reliable, safest, and most pleasant transportation between the two cities in the world. Although it is the most costly private bus option – at about US $25 per person – it is also the most convenient – and your safari trip operator may assist you in making the arrangements. 

Kilembero Market, which is adjacent to the Shoprite supermarket in Arusha, serves as the ticket office and starting point for the Scandinavian leg of the journey. Scandinavia has lately been burdened with massive debt, and the police have taken possession of several of its buses, which made headlines in the East African media. Because the fleet has been reduced, it has also become necessary to make reservations in advance.

How to Get from Arusha to Dar es Salaam Using Public Transportation


he 'Dar Express' bus service comes as a close second to Scandinavia, or maybe even in first position on a par with Scandinavia. There are various bus classes available, including cheap and luxury. Nevertheless, only the premium class is suggested. The booking office is located near the Kimahama Bookshop [approximately 500m uphill from the Arusha Stadium] and is easily accessible. 

To ensure that you get the first class bus, which should cost about US $20 per person, it is necessary to express your preference in advance. My favorite business is Dar Express, and I would suggest this firm above all others without a shadow of hesitation. 

Some of the coaches, however, do not have toilets, which may turn out to be a blessing in disguise, since riding in the African heat, particularly if you are seated near the back of the bus, isn't such a luxury after the majority of people have taken advantage of such a facility. It's important to remember that the trip will take about 10 hours.

If you want to travel at the lower end of the market, the majority of buses depart Arusha from the Bus Station, which is adjacent to the ‘Stadium.' Buffalo seems to be a popular choice for visitors seeking a more affordable way to get to Dar es Salaam, since the journey time on this route is less than on other options. 

Because the majority of the route you will be traveling on is a single lane, going fast is not recommended. Due to the twisting and steep nature of the route, driving slowly and steadily is the most prudent strategy for arriving at Dar es Salaam from Arusha.

In terms of the cheapest coaches, I would suggest either Fresh Coach or Amazon Coach as viable options. I've taken both and found that they move at a more leisurely pace between the two cities. The price of the ticket must be negotiated, and no more than US $15 per person should be paid. The final bus for each of these groups departs Arusha Bus Station at 8 a.m., on the dot.

Tickets are often sold by independent contractors in and around the bus terminal, and since the commission is high – the more they charge, the more money they take home – the competition is intense in this market. As a tourist, you will be targeted and besieged by zealous ticket touts who will try to sell you something. 

Not for the faint of heart, this is a challenging and rewarding journey. Hold on to your belongings, keep your money, mobile phones, and cameras securely tucked away [just as you would as a visitor elsewhere in the world] since pickpockets are aplenty in this city.

What's the hurry? Typically, this is due to the fact that once a safari concludes in the north of Tanzania, the following part of the safari is relaxing on the islands of Zanzibar. By bus to Dar es Salaam, and then by high-speed boat to the Spice Islands, you may save a lot of money on your travel expenses. 

A bus departing Arusha may arrive in Dar es Salaam between 2 and 4 p.m. on any given day. The problem is getting from the bus station to the ferry port in time for the final boat to Zanzibar, which departs the port at about 4.30 p.m. on Sunday.

If you want to leave Arusha and travel by bus to Dar es Salaam in order to make the ferry crossing to Zanzibar in a single day, I recommend leaving Arusha at 6 a.m. in order to arrive in Dar es Salaam by 2 p.m. If you want to leave Arusha and travel by bus to make the ferry crossing to Zanzibar in a single day, I recommend leaving Arusha at 6 a.m. to ensure you arrive on time. Allow yourself a good couple of hours to travel from the bus station into town and to the ferry terminal in time to purchase your boat ticket.

A stopover in Dar es Salaam is an option as an alternative. Dar es Salaam is a wonderful African city, so why not stay the night and take advantage of an opportunity that most people do not have? On the north shore, there are several fantastic beach hotels to choose from. The south shore is more isolated, wild, and less developed than the rest of the island; yet, it does have some excellent hotels that appeal to the budget traveler.

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