Tanzania basically offers three options for transportation:
- In a taxi (by far the most expensive, but also the most comfortable option)
- By shared taxi (where you share a vehicle with others)
- On the public bus (also called Dalla-Dalla)
The basic rule for all taxis is that you negotiate the price before you start the journey so that you don’t pay an exorbitant tourist price. It is best to inquire in advance at the hotel or with a guide what the maximum cost of the trip is. Usually you have negotiated well if you pay approx. 50-70% of the amount stated by the taxi driver at the beginning of the negotiation.
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While you can pay up to US$ 40 in a taxi for a journey of about 20-30 km on Zanzibar, depending on your negotiating skills, the Dall-Dalla offers a possibly not always comfortable, but always exciting and very cheap way of getting around.
Since there is no public transport in Tanzania, Dalla-Dallas are operated by private individuals. As a rule, these are small buses or converted trucks in which (depending on the size and flexibility of the passengers) a large number of people can fit.
If there is no more space on the benches, you can take a seat on a sack of rice or a bucket of paint in the aisle. Also, sometimes the dinner purchased by the local is carried in the passenger compartment like a live chicken.
Luggage is stored on the roof
only surrounded by a small border. Interesting that despite the mostly bumpy roads, almost nothing ever falls down.
The Dalla-Dalla usually starts at marked bus stops and travels to specified destinations and routes, but also stops directly at the side of the road when the guests call out. The fee is usually only a few thousand shillings, so that you only pay US$ 1-2 for the above route, for example. However, you must have the amount ready in local currency. Another advantage: the price is fixed, so you don’t have to negotiate.
Incidentally, the term dalla-dalla probably comes from
The (Maria-Theresia) thaler, which was used as a currency in large areas of East Africa: to signal the driver to stop or depart, the “conductor” knocks a coin on the body. The “conductor” often stands on a bunk attached to the back of the bus. At speeds of 50-80 km/h on country roads, this is not an entirely risk-free job.
You can find out how fascinating the Serengeti can be in this article about a balloon flight over the savannah.