In Zanzibar, you will not find metro trains or government operated public buses, but what you can find as a form of public transport is Dala Dala and they are privately owned. This form of transport is not for everyone though, because it is not comfortable at all. We will share with you information in case you chose to ride in Dala Dala.
Nowadays, even buses and minibuses that have a licensed to carry passengers and have assigned routes are called Dala Dala.
When i say Dala Dala Terminal, i am actually talking about just a station where the Dala Dala Starts and Ends the route, not like there is a building where you can sit and wait. Nowadays, is a bit different then what it was before, the government is moving the terminal to another area which is now Under contruction, and the one which was used before is turned into a parking area, so Dala Dala basically moved in one of the main road in Town and it is chaotic! You can find most of the Dala Dala whose route are based within Urban Region at Michenzani Building Block No. 8 or known as Kisiwandui, I put the maps below to help you navigating.
Now if you arrived from Airport, there is a terminal just outside the airport area, you can find Dala Dala going to different places in the Urban Region. You will not find any that is going to the beach location. If you want to go to beach location, there is only 2 Stations, one for Dala dala going North part pf the Island and the other for Dala Dala going to South.
Darajani Terminal, Here you can find Dala Dala whose routes are going Northern part of the Island such as Kiwengwa, Pwani Mchangani, Matemwe, Kendwa and Nungwi.
Then there is a Terminal at Mwanakwerekwe for Dala Dala going to southern part of the Island such as Unguja Ukuu, Uzi Island, Jambiani, Paje, Bwejuu, Michamvi, Makunduchi and Kizimkazi. Once you know the name of the place you are going, it is easy to know the right Dala Dala, each has a route number and the name of its final destination.
So, you have decided to take Dala Dala like the locals. Now you need to avoid scammers! Some people will pretend to be the conductors of a Dala Dalas but they are not. All conductors and drivers are required to wear uniforms. You will find some people calling for passengers but with not uniforms, but they are the one to watch out, when they see Mzungu (tourist) for them it is like an opportunity to earn.
First you need to know where you are going, then you need to get the right Dala Dala. All of them have a route number and a name of a town where the route ends.
If you are reading this and still want to know which daladala you want to take, i would be more than glad to help you. Just send us an email or WhatsApp and i will help you.
CHEAP! Very CHEAP! most of urban routes costs from 400 TZS ($0.17)- 800 TZS ($0.35). And for routes out of town the max is 2,300 TZS ($1), with the lugagge (depending on its size) each cant cost you 1000 TZS ($0.43) at least.
Important thing also, do not pay the conductor just after you get inside. Pay when everyone else is paying 🙂
Well, if you are a person who don’t mind about comfort and would prefer to experience the daily life like the locals, then it would be great to take the dala dalas. But if comfort is your priority, just take a taxi to your destination.
And feel free to contact us if you would like to know anything about Zanzibar.