Here some of our experiences in Tanzania which we want to share with fellow travellers:
we used the small border north of Mbala in Zambia, close to Lake Tanganyika and the border to Rwanda, which were both very easy and fast to cross.
we got a 3-month visa for $50,-pp three times in a row, when we came back after Christmas in Austria and later, when we had to cross Tanzania to get to Kenya.
Toll, Insurance, TIP:
No toll fees charged, nobody asked about insurance, but we had one from our German insurance. The only thing we had to pay for the car was $25,- for temporary import, which was valid for one month and needed to be extended. As we were back in Austria when it expired, we did as some friends had recommended: We left it until the border, to pay afterwards, but when leaving Tanzania, nobody asked about it, and we left without paying anything.
we could change money at the border (black market) and get money from the ATMs, pay in Euros, US$ or with credit card. We found that at the ATMs of KCB Bank, they didn’t charge us a fee, so look out for them.
there are filling stations everywhere, Diesel was available with 50ppm, Add Blue is not available. Not many filling stations accept credit cards.
the roads in Tanzania are in good condition, mostly tar and without many potholes. When you are coming from Zambia, it feels like heaven. The route from Dar es Salaam to the Zambian border has a lot of truck traffic, which makes it more dangerous and around Moshi we experienced some crazy bus drivers, but otherwise, driving in Tanzania was relaxed.
we used again MapFactor Navigator, which worked well. We noticed that “Tracks for Africa” was not always accurate.
we were already used to quite high prices: camping was usually $20,-per night. Imported food like cheese is very expensive, local food is much cheaper of course.
the fees for the national parks are incredibly high (price list) but Tanzania without visiting a national park? Here are some tips how to save some money:
Katavi National Park: there are 2 roads leading to the park, which are free of charge, the main road and another one further east. If you stop for the night at River Side Camp north of the park, you get hundreds of hippos for free.
Kitulo National Park: it is “only” about flowers, but if you come at the right time it must be spectacular. Already the route to get there is worth it, and you can drive through it on a main road without fees.
Mikumi National Park: also here leads the main road through the park, we saw a group of giraffes and many other animals just from the highway, but also went into the park with a guide.
For the other parks we visited, we sometimes took a game drive, instead of going with our own car. When we finally decided to drive ourselves into Tarangire NP, our car was registered with 2-3t, which we appreciated (in reality we have 5.5t). In the following parks, they used this registration again, which saved us some money.
Chipsi Mayai is a typical fast food you will find everywhere (chips with eggs like an omelette). Especially at the coast, you will find Indian restaurants and fish on the menu.
You get so many lovely fruits and juices everywhere, which is just great. We had jackfruit for the first time and tried all different kind of bananas, from small to large and also red ones.
we used a Vodacom Sim Card, which we had bought at a Vodacom shop in the first town after the border. It was easier to reload it at Vodacom shops, as we didn’t have Mpesa money on our phone. The coverage was good.
Traffic police are everywhere, so better try not to speed. Once they tried to charge us for speeding which we think was forged, but in the end we didn’t have to pay, because they didn’t have any change. Another time we paid for driving with Flip flops.
we used only few wild camping spots, but mostly campsites again. Many had a good standard, and we could also fill up our water tank there.
That’s it about Tanzania, we will tell you more about Rwanda next.