Tanzania Driving Advice and Car Hire Info

The research for this website was carried out mainly in 2011 and 2012. Therefore there is a good chance that much of the information may now be out of date. This is particularly true of countries in the developing world, especially Asia, Africa and parts of South America where conditions can change often. Also, the political climate in many countries has changed a lot in recent years. Therefore the information on this website should be treated with caution. You should always check with your Government’s website or the UK Foreign office travel advice website before finalising plans to drive abroad.

Driving in Tanzania
Tanzania drives on the left. You will need an international driving permit to rent a car. Main roads between major towns are normally paved and maintained, but most roads will deteriorate after wet weather. During the rainy season (late March to mid-June), many roads in Tanzania, both urban and rural, are passable only with four-wheel-drive vehicles.In towns, main roads are usually paved but side roads aren’t and are often in poor condition and may only be passable with high-clearance vehicles. Traffic lights are often out of order, and care should be exercised at any junction as many drivers disregard signals. Excessive speed, unpredictable driving habits, and the lack of basic safety equipment on many vehicles pose serious traffic hazards. Buses and lorries in particular often display terrible standards of driving and may overtake on blind bends and hills. Be particularly wary if a bus or lorry is approaching or when attempting to overtake one. You should avoid travelling at night, especially away from towns – Pedestrians, cyclists, and animals are often encountered on unlit roads after dark, as are slow-moving trucks and cars traveling without lights. Carjacking and other related crimes are more common in Cities at night.
If you want to rent a car for a self drive safari, there are numerous websites offering advice such as the one below. You should decide at the planning stage whether you want to camp or stay in lodges. You should also have an idea of which National Parks you intend to visit and share this with the rental company. They can offer advice on what vehicle you’ll need and also provide some specific advice on the locations , driving times etc. It may seem at odds with the whole ethos of self driving but in my experience, its well worth taking a local guide with you on at least one day. They will spot wildlife that you would never see yourself. Ask the rental company for advice on arranging a guide.
See Zanzibar section for driving there

Tanzania Car Rental –
Sixt and Avis  have branches in Tanzania. However in my experience, if you’re planning a self drive safari you really need to deal with a local company who can provide a more personalised service. You should email them and see who is responsive and helpful and they’ll be able to offer advice that will make your trip planning so much easier. There are many local companies you can use.

This is a broker who can offer all sorts of vehicles in Tanzania

This company offer self drive safaris in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania –

Another company offering pre planned self drive safari’s

This company offers cars, 4WDs and vehicles with roof tents

This company offer safaris in Range Rover Vehicles –

For Renting in Zanzibar see the Zanzibar section

Tanzania Self Drive Rules
Sixt’s website states that cars can be taken into South Africa, Swaziland, Zimbabwe, Malawi.As Tanzania doesn’t border those countries my guess is they’ve got that wrong but meant the countries neighbouring Tanzania, namely Kenya, Zambia, Mozambique. Democratic Republic of Congo may be a different matter so I’d check with the company when making the reservation.

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