Visitors arriving into Tanzania will need to have an understanding of the country’s main airport, airlines and land borders providing visitors access to this east Africa gem and how much guests should expect to budget for this.
How to get to Tanzania: Options available
Most visitors access Tanzania by plane. As Tanzania has a limited selection of international flights, visitors typically arrive via Dubai, Amsterdam or Johannesburg, South Africa and take a connecting flight.
From the U.K and U.S, there are no direct flights to Tanzania at present, with visitors likely to choose from the airports above or Nairobi, Doha and Istanbul.
Tanzania has two major airports
- Julius Nyerere International Airport (DAR) in Dar es Salaam
- Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO), halfway between Arusha and Moshi.
Flights from the capital Dodoma and Dar es Salaam are possible to the safari hotspots in the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater in the north of the country as well as to the beach island of Zanzibar.
On the Tanzania safari circuit, the northern circuit includes the world renowned Serengeti and Ngorongoro crater, a significant 560 miles/15 hour drive from Ruaha National Park in the centre of the country, Tanzania’s second largest national park.
In the interest of time, visitors often prefer to take domestic flights via chartered aircraft between the various national parks and African safari sanctuaries, covering this vast country from the island of Zanzibar in the east to the stunning Lake Tanganyika on the west.
The choice of airport for arrival and departure should be selected according to the particular safari destination and route which visitors will embark on, to avoid excessively long transfers.
Visitors can also drive to Tanzania, likely requiring a 4×4 vehicle when crossing difficult terrains. Nairobi in Kenya is a 168 miles/5.5 hour drive from the Serengeti National Park.
Tanzania vehicle border requirements
Those planning to enter Tanzania from Kenya with their own vehicle or car hire will need to have the following in order to do so:
- Vehicle registration papers
- Driving license
- Road tax (USD $25)
- Fuel levy (USD $4)
- Third-party insurance (USD $22 for three months, which can be purchased at the border). COMESA yellow card motor insurance is also accepted in Tanzania.
- Temporary import permit (US $17 for one month, can be purchased at the border).
Carrying a small amount of Tanzanian currency, the Tanzania Shilling (TZS) is recommended to pay for the road tax, fuel levy and smaller items. Visitors can review further details on overall Tanzania safari prices here.
Travelers crossing into Tanzania with their own vehicle should also be aware that most border checkpoints do not have gas stations or repair shops so they will need to be prepared before starting their journey.
Crossing into Tanzania from Kenya
The main route for entering Tanzania from Kenya is the road connecting Nairobi to Arusha via the Namanga border post. The Tanzania eVisa is accepted at the Namanga border post. Travelers can apply for the visa online and save time on arrival at the border crossing or receive a tourist visa upon arrival.
Visitors can also read our article on the visa application process and how to apply for your Tanzania tourist eVisa.
Visitors to Tanzania will also need to be aware of any travel restrictions depending on the latest Covid-19 travel information and requirements.
When and where to book a flight to Tanzania
International flights to Tanzania can be booked:
- Online, either directly on an airline website or via a price comparison site
- Travel agency booking
For Tanzania safaris and beach holidays, visitors can travel to Tanzania by flying into Dar es Salaam (DAR), Kilimanjaro (JRO) and Zanzibar (ZNZ) airports. The main air connect countries include:
- Netherlands: Amsterdam (AMS) to Kilimanjaro (JRO) and Zanzibar (ZNZ)
- UAE: Dubai (DXB) to Dar es Salaam (DAR) and Zanzibar (ZNZ) with Emirates Airlines as well as Abhu Dhabi (AUH) to Dar es Salaam (DAR) with Etihad Airways
- South Africa: Johannesburg (JNB) to Dar es Salaam (DAR)
- Nairobi (NBO) to Dar es Salaam (DAR)
- Nairobi (NBO) to Zanzibar (ZNZ)
- Nairobi (NBO/WIL) to Kilimanjaro (JRO)
- Nairobi (NBO) to Musoma (MUZ)
- Mombasa (MBA) to Zanzibar (ZNZ)
- Qatar: Doha (DIA) to Dar es Salaam (DAR), Kilimanjaro (JRO) and Zanzibar (ZNZ) airports, often used by passengers from the United States, flying from Los Angeles
- Turkey: Istanbul (IST) to Dar es Salaam (DAR) and Zanzibar (ZNZ) airports with Turkish Airlines
Cost of getting to Tanzania?
Understanding the best time to visit Tanzania is important as this will impact accommodation, flight prices, availability and the weather that visitors can expect on their safari vacation.
Costs vary depending on origin, time of year and the fact that a connecting flight for international visitors including those from the U.S. and U.K. may be required.
Visitors can expect flight prices from £800/$1,060 for a return flight from London, not including a connecting flight. For the connection from Johannesburg, visitors can expect to pay an additional £250/$330. Prices can vary from season to season.
How to get to Tanzania?
Most visitors fly into Dar es Salaam (DAR) and fly a connected flight to Kilimanjaro (JRO) to visit the Serengeti or Ngorongoro Crater. Connections to Zanzibar (ZNZ) are also possible.
How to get to the Serengeti?
Visitors can take a flight from Dar es Salaam taking 65 minutes to Kilimanjaro International Airport, the closest airport to the Serengeti National Park and the Ngorongoro Crater.
Can I drive from Kenya to Tanzania?
Visitors can also drive to Tanzania, Nairobi in Kenya is a 168 miles/5.5 hour drive from the Serengeti National Park.