Transport – Arusha Tanzania style (part 1 – Dala Dala)

Since I’ve moved to a new location further from the center of Arusha I’ve been doing a bit more exploring. I also realized recently, whenever I am back in the states I will oddly miss the “dala dala” -Tanzania’s cheapest (besides walking) mode of transport around town. Since most of you are probably unfamiliar with the ways to get around Tanzania I thought I’d blog about a few of my common means of transport.

The “dala dala”

photo-24The dala dala is probably the “easiest” way to get to town. In Arusha they are everywhere, and though there are sort of specific “stops” really they pick up and drop off people anywhere. It costs about .30 cents to get to town. If you’re going a big further it’ll cost more, but not by much. For instance, to go to Usa River (about 45 minutes away) it’s about .37 cents.

Now, original design probably intended these vans to seat about 12-15 people, however you will regularly have 20-25 people, unless it’s your lucky day. This includes the conductor, which is the man in charge of finding customers. He hangs out the door window and hits the van to tell the driver when to stop.

IMG_8857They also are decorated very interestingly, and always have something written on the back. Generally with spelling errors included.

6a00e5517ca26788340120a6ef099a970b daladala OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAt least here in Arusha, the dala dalas are color coded depending on where they go. For instance, to go home I take the “black” dala dala, which goes to “Njiro” There are also specific “stops” that have names… If you’re lucky someone has told you the name of where to get off, if you are totally clueless and you see where you want to get off you just yell “shusha” or “acha” which both mean stop. Then the driver will hopefully stop nearby where you wanted to get off.


There are many and they all meet downtown at “the stand” and depending on the color/what it says on the front is where they are going. Quite the convenient way to get around.

Stay tuned for the next update on Boda bodas, piki pikis and toyos!

 *side note – none of these pictures belong to me



5 thoughts on “Transport – Arusha Tanzania style (part 1 – Dala Dala)

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