Flying and taking a bus are the 2 main ways to get from Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania to Nairobi, Kenya.
Flights from Dar Es Salaam to Nairobi
Even though the distance is not great, flights which include a hefty tax can be quite expensive.
There are 3 main airlines that fly between the two cities frequently:
- Kenya Airways – Kenya Airways has very high safety standards and is a very reputable company, but their fares are very high.
- Precision Air – Offers a number of daily flights at competitive rates. Talk to the airline booking office in downtown Dar Es Salaam for possible better rates and quick booking options.
- Fly 540 – The cheapest option these days is to fly with the new Fly 540 airline, East Africa’s first budget airline. They offer a good schedule of flights. Booking at the official airline office in downtown Dar and paying with cash is the easiest way to purchase a ticket. Tickets can be bought with only a day’s notice, but for the best rates, try to book a few weeks in advance.
Bus From Dar Es Salaam to Nairobi
The much cheaper option for getting from Dar Es Salaam to Nairobi is by taking the bus. Depending on the conditions of the bus and the conditions of the highway in both Tanzania and Kenya, the ride can either be a great experience, or a frustrating and very tiring experience.
There are 2 ways:
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1. Direct bus from Dar to Nairobi
2. Bus from Dar to Arusha / Moshi and a seperate shuttle from Arusha / Moshi to Nairobi.
The best benefit of taking the bus is being able to see the beautiful country side of Tanzania with spectacular views of Mount Meru and Mount Kilimanjaro!
The best companies to research and get more information to take the bus from Dar to Nairobi are:
- Scandanavian Express – Used to operate a reliable and scheduled bus service directly from Dar Es Salaam to Nairobi, though I’ve now heard that the fleet of buses has been slowly degrading. Make sure to contact them to see if their routes are still in place.
- Dar Express – These days, Dar Express is often the most reliable option, though there are no printed schedules or contacts. With Dar Express it’s easiest to split the journey and spend the night in Arusha / Moshi and the following day travel from Arusha / Moshi to Nairobi. There buses leave around 6 am, contact them at their office in downtown Dar.
- Kilimanjaro Express – Kilimanjaro Express is also a reliable options.
- Akamba Bus Services (Dar 007 22 2185111, Arusha 007 27 2509491, Nairobi +254 020 553000) – Offers semi-reliable bus services directly from Dar Es Salaam to Nairobi.
- Davanu Shuttle (Arusha 057-8142, Nairobi 020-316929) – The Davanu shuttle service runs from Moshi or Arusha to Nairobi, Kenya. It can work to take a bus from Dar Es Salaam to Arusha or Moshi and then take the Davanu shuttle across the border to Nairobi.
- AA Shuttle – Luxury shuttle services from Nairobi to Arusha / Moshi and vice versa
Kenya Tanzania Border Crossing
The main and reliable border crossing is in the town of Namanga. The bus will drop you off, you can purchase your Kenya / Tanzania visa at the border and then continue on.
photo credit JMHan
Note: I would highly recommend doing a little bus planning research once you have arrived in Tanzania / Kenya. Contact the company either by phone of even better in the office and ask them what exact option they can offer. A lot of the information varies and is constantly changing so it’s important to ask for the information directly from the company.
If you know any better options on traveling from Dar Es Salaam to Nairobi, I’d love to hear your input or comments!
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