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Bus from dar to mwanza.

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Bus from dar to mwanza.

Hi, I am a young female who will be travelling solo in June.

I arrive in Dar on the 2nd and want to be in Mwanza on the 4th or 5th. I want to catch the bus, but want to make sure that this is safe for a solo female. I have not been to Tanzania before so I am not sure.. I don't mind stopping along the way (perhaps Dodoma).. Would love to hear if someone has done it recently..

Thanks!!

Findlay, Ohio
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1. Re: Bus from dar to mwanza.

Almost always I take the bus from Dar to Dodoma. It is safe. You will probably need to overnight in Dodoma. I would suggest using the Shabibi Bus Linie and getting their Ultra Luxury bus (it will be air conditioned). If you are overnighting in Dodoma you might want to stay at the Cana Lodge, right on the edge of the market area about 4 blocks from the bus station.

It is my understanding that most of the road to Mwanza from Dodoma is now paved, don't know that for a fact as I haven't taken it for quite a while.

It will take you six hours to get to Dodoma, with a 15 minute stop in Morogoro. Probably a bit longer then that to get to Mwanza.

Saint Paul...
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2. Re: Bus from dar to mwanza.

I would estimate a lot longer than 6 hours from Dodoma to Mwanza, even if roads are substantially better than in the past.

Flights are nice and that much more when you consider the ground transport costs plus accommodation and meals along the way. Maybe $200 bucks to fly and a couple hours to get there. Versus probably $50 for bus tickets, $30 for night in hotel, $30 misc and $30 for food, plus at least two days of traveling. Do note that buses are most often crowded and quite hot. I personally love buses when I have plenty of time, but I haven't had the luxury of time lately. And most people will not love the buses in Tanzania. In fact, I pretty much hated them for most of my first 7 months living there and then I let loose and learned to enjoy them.

Findlay, Ohio
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3. Re: Bus from dar to mwanza.

The distance from Dar es Salaam to Dodoma is ~570km, and the distance from Dodoma to Mwanza is ~670im. It will most probably take longer for the second leg but not all that much longer, eight hours at the most.

If you stay at the Cana Lodge in Dodoma the cost will be 12,000 Tsh including breakfast ($8). If you stay at the Dodoma Hotel that will cost in the neighborhood of $50. Food in the evening in Dodoma will range from $3 at the Cana Lodge, to a max of $10 at the Dodoma Hotel. The bus ticket from Dar to Dodoma will be about 12,000 Tsh (again $8). And the ticket from Dodoma to Mwanza will be no more then 15,000 Tsh ($10).

I enjoy the buses, get to talk with a lot of people riding on them. And I have the time.

Saint Paul...
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4. Re: Bus from dar to mwanza.

Thanks Karl,

The road from Dar to Dodoma is entirely paved. So I would agree that the trip from Dodoma to Mwanza might be 8 hours but only if that road, too, is at least nearly entirely paved. Otherwise, the trip could be a lot longer than 8 hours. I've asked more recently about the road situation and it seems they are not finished with it all yet. But I can't say for certain.

Findlay, Ohio
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5. Re: Bus from dar to mwanza.

Brian... I heard that it was all completed except for about 50km. Don't know that for certain.

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6. Re: Bus from dar to mwanza.

Thank you both for your advice. I have my heart set on taking the bus, so I think I'll just hope for the best. I like the idea of taking a few days to get there anyhow and would like to see a bit of the scenery.. Thanks again.

Saint Paul...
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7. Re: Bus from dar to mwanza.

Then definitely do it! Looks like you'd do well to spend 3 nights doing it: Dodoma, Singida and Shinyanga. All three will have reasonably nice places to stay. And breaking it up that way will make the bus rides much more bearable while leaving plenty of time for you to meet people at each location. Have fun! I'm incredibly jealous.

Findlay, Ohio
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8. Re: Bus from dar to mwanza.

You will see a lot of different scenery along the way, from savannahs, to crop land, to mountains, to dry deserts. Lots of different topology along this way. Basically the trip from Dar to Morogoro will be through lots of farmland and hills, when you get close to Morogoro you will find a lot of sisal and tobacco plantations and very high mountains reaching into the clouds. The Morogoro area has quite a few new gold mines and other gemstones. Then you will leave Morogoro and enter more crop lands and hills, eventually getting to Dodoma which is a dry area with lots of rock formations and crop lands and lots of cattle. Before arriving at Dodoma you will go through the Kongwa Ranch which has about 13,000 head of cow/calf ranching there. The bus will typically slow down as they pass through the Kongwa Ranch (at least they are supposed to do that). Just East of the Kongwa Ranch there is a large area of ruby mines where they are bringing up quite a few pigeon blood and bright red rubies. After Dodoma you will get into Singida which has a lot of cattle and gold mining and is rather hilly. Then on to Shinyanga where just North of there is one of the world's largest diamond mines the Williamson Mine which was discovered in the 1950s and has been producing ever since. In that area there are also many alluvial diamond mins worked by individuals, along with some gold mines. This area is rather flat, dry, and dusty. Then you go on to Mwanza and Lake Victoria which is known as rock city with all kinds of crazy rock formations, huge rocks standing on top of each other with Mwanza sitting down in a bowl on the edge of the lake.

Interesting things along the way. I've traveled these roads, and off into the bush areas, a lot.

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9. Re: Bus from dar to mwanza.

Thank you, great advice. Do you by any chance know of any cheap accommodation at either of those places?

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10. Re: Bus from dar to mwanza.

Oh and thanks for the descriptions Karl- I like the sound of it! I'm a fan of long distance travel, so it sounds like I might enjoy the trip!