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Traveling to Mwanza and Visa

By Plane

Mwanza Airport (MWZ) has flights to/from Dar es SalaamKigomaArusha, Bukoba, Karagwe, Rubondo, Fort Ikoma, Grumeti, Kigali, Klein’s Camp, Kogatende, Lobo, Manyara, Ngorongoro, Pemba, Sasakwa, Seronera, Southern Serengeti, Tanga, Tarime, Zanzibar, Karasabai, KilimanjaroBujumburaNairobiKisumuMombasa, Musoma and Shinyanga.

By Train

Tanzanian Railways has a line running from Mwanza to Dar es Salaam via some places in the Mwanza district and Kwimba. The second branch runs from Tabora to Mwanza port on Lake Victoria.

By Bus

There are daily buses to the border of Burundi (Kabanga) and Rwanda (Busoro). There are also buses to the Kenya border, Dar es Salaam and Kigoma. There are daily buses from Mwanza going to and from Dar es Salaam. Transport company Shabibi bus lines are one of best and reliable choices. The journey takes around 17 hours to reach Dar es Salaam and the fare is TSh 45,000. you could do a stopover in Dodoma which is around a 9-hour bus ride from Mwanza. There is a paved road from Mwanza to Dar es Salaam via Shinyanaga.

By Boat

To arrive from Uganda you can take a bus form Kampala to Bukoba (in Tanzania) and from Bukoba you can either take the ferry Monday, Wednesday or Friday evenings or the bus (several every day around 6-7 AM).

The ferry MS Victoria depart Mwanza going to Bukoba every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday evening. A bed in 2nd class 6-bed sleeper cost TSh 23,500.

There is a ferry across the Mwanza gulf that leaves from the city (the Kamanga ferry) and another about 32 km south of the city. The southern one is recommended for driving because the roads on the western terminal are rumored to be much better.

Airlines to Mwanza:

Precision Air
Precision Air
Air Tanzania
Air Tanzania
Rwanda Air
Rwanda Air
Ethiopian airline
Ethiopian Airlines
KLM Airlines
Qatary Airways
Qatar Airways
Coastal Aviation
Coastal Aviation
Regional Air
Regional Air Arusha

How to get from Mwanza to Dar es Salaam

There are 5 ways to get from Mwanza to the coastal city of Dar es Salaam, by plane, bus, train, car or taxi.

The following is a brief that will exhausts all you need to know about all the 5 ways to get from Mwanza to Dar.


Fly from Mwanza to Dar es Salaam

  • This is the quickest way to get from Mwanza to Dar es Salaam.
  • Depending on your location, you’ll need to take a taxi from your area to the airport,9.6 km away and that will cost you around 4-5 USD.
  • Take a flight to Dar es Salaam, which takes 2h 10m and will cost you an average of 200 – 250 USD.
  • From the airport, take a taxi to Dar es Salaam town, which is 10.7 km away, and takes about 9 minutes, costs 10 USD

From Mwanza to Dar es Salaam by Bus

  • This is the cheapest way to get to Dar es Salaam from Mwanza.
  • The journey takes 18h 30m and costs around $30.
  • The bus operates twice daily.
  • There’s however no direct bus from Mwanza to Dar.

Mwanza to Dar es Salaam by Train

  • The Journey is operated by Tanzania Railway Cooperation 3 times a week.
  • The duration of travel is 38h, with only 3 stops.

Drive from Mwanza to Dar es Salaam

  • The journey, 1152.2km long, takes 16h 45m.
  • The cost of fuel for the entire journey is 90-140 USD.
Mwanza Travel Guide
Malaika Beach Resort

Dar Es Salaam International airport: Julius Nyerere International Airport is the largest airport in Tanzania. The airport is located 12km away from Dar es Salaam city. It was previously known as Dar es Salaam International Airport and in 2006, was renamed in the honour of Julius Nyerere, the first president of Tanzania. The airport is operated by Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority (TAA).

Immigration: Some airlines hand out forms on the plane to be completed. If not, you need to complete it in the arrivals hall. When you made it to the top of the queue at immigration,  your visa is processed and a photo of you as well as fingerprints are taken, this only takes a few minutes. After you got your luggage from the conveyor belts everything will be scanned. 

Please make sure you don’t have any plastic bags in your luggage, except zip block bags, since they are banned in Tanzania. In case you want to exchange money, you can do so while you wait for your luggage although you usually get better rates at the exchange bureau in Arusha town.

In order to avoid any stress at departure: check in well in advance, minimum is two hours before departure! After the initial queue to get into the departure hall, your luggage/bags are scanned. If the airport staff see anything suspicious on the scan they will ask for the suitcase to be opened and it will be thoroughly checked. Do not pack any aerosol sprays in your luggage, for example. They will be confiscated. Then you join the queue at the check-in counters. 

Fortunately, this hall nowadays has aircon. If needed, toilets are in departure hall, at the far left of the restaurant. Then you proceed to another hall, produce your boarding pass and passport and fill in the immigration forms. Toilets are at the end of that hall. Around the corner you find the immigration counters and thereafter your hand luggage is scanned again. Now you made it into the boarding hall, which has aircon. Here you find a duty free shop and some kiosks where you can do your last shopping. At the end of the hall  (walk around the corner) you find a small kiosk for snacks and coffee, fridges with cool drinks and water. There are also toilets in that section.


Best Health care in Mwanza Region


Since November 2018, an official tourist visa can be applied for online  This is the only official website. Please only use this website for your visa application! Other companies or agencies are far more expensive and I even heard of cases were applicants lost the money they paid.

NB: The new e-visa facility is still in its infancy. According to posts on Tripadvisor people still didn’t get their e-visa 2 weeks after applying and paying for it. Email queries are not replied to. It might be better for the time being to apply for your visa on arrival.

Visa exemptions for stays of less than 3 months: for a complete list of countries check above webpage, section “guidelines”

You can also get your visa for stays of up to 3 months on arrival at the Kilimanjaro International Airport*. They are equipped with cameras and laser fingerprint check. You need a valid passport and the completed visa form to apply for it.  The visa costs US$ 50 per person (adults and children), for US citizens US$ 100. Immigration is open day and night.

Payment for the visa is in cash or by credit card**. If you bring cash, they apparently only accept US$ 50 notes, new notes only (US$ notes 2013 or after). No other currencies are accepted, only US$!

**As per feedback received from tourists, sometimes the counter for the credit card payments is closed. And every other day, US$ cash is not accepted, only credit cards… Rather bring both, credit card and US$ cash, just in case.

Please make sure that your passport is still valid for 6 months from the date of departure from Mwanza!

*Some rumours are floating around that visa can only be applied for online and that the visa facility on arrival at the airport was closed. This is not true. The visa application facility on arrival is still open and there are no plans to close it!  (February 2020)


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