Herewith my valuable tips, hints, images and best-kept secrets when flying in Tanzania.

I have always wanted to create a blog for pilots to share their flying experiences from around the world. Here you can share your airport experiences, valuable tips, flight videos, images, accommodation do’s and don’ts, restaurants reviews, and any other best-kept secrets that only pilots know.

By allowing pilots to tell their story, I believe that we can promote safety together.

I would like to start by sharing my experience flying in Tanzania.

In 2012, I was privileged enough to be asked to relief a pilot, flying the Dornier 228 in Tanzania. The aircraft was based in Zanzibar, flying schedule on popular routes between Zanzibar (HTZA), Dar Es Salaam (HTDA), Arusha (HTAR), Tanga (HTTG) and Mtwara Airport (HTMT).

Off course, needless to say, I jumped at the opportunity. So, without further ado, herewith my fun facts, tips and hints.


Here are some fun facts that I learned during my time in Tanzania that you can share with your passengers the next time you fly in or around Tanzania:

  1. The highest free-standing mountain in the world, Mt. Kilimanjaro, is located in Tanzania, this is also the highest mountain in Africa. On a clear weather day, you can see the tip of Kilimanjaro when flying between Dar Es Salaam (HTDA) and Arusha (HTAR).     
  2. Tanzania houses the world’s largest volcanic crater, Ngorongoro.
  3. Tanzania has the largest concentration of animals per square kilometer in the world.
  4. The famous lead vocalist of the English band ‘Queen’, Freddie Mercury was born in Stone Town, Zanzibar. And, by the way, his real name is Farrokh Bulsara.
  5. And last but not least, it is said that during Roald Dahl travels through Tanzania, the idea behind the famous children novel, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was borne.


1. Capital:


2. Currency:

Tanzanian shilling

3. President:

John Magufuli

4. Official languages:

Swahili, English

5. Current Local Time

GMT +1

6. Passport, Travel Documents, Visa and Work Permit

For more information, click here to access the Tanzania Immigration Office. All my documentation and certification was arranged by the contracting operator, please follow up with yours before applying.

7. Validation

A validation of your license will be required when flying within Tanzania for an extensive period, herewith a helpful link, once again, please follow up with your operator before your tour.

8. Money tips

Tanzania loves dollars. Dollars are widely accepted, sometimes even preferred over local currency. Euros are acceptable but not as much as dollars. Should you need to exchange, I found that the best exchange rates were at the airports and banks forex offices, hotels usually have a worse rate than banks.

As everywhere else, the best and safest option is to have your cheque or credit with you. Mastercard is accepted on some ATMs, while withdrawals with VISA are always possible.

Please remember to inform your bank prior to your departure, otherwise your bank might block your card, due to security measurements.

9. To take into account when flying in Tanzania

We had an incident where we were on the runway threshold and cleared for take-off, when an aircraft taxied onto the runway in front of us as we were about to give power. This won’t be the first or the last time and incident happens. Always, be vigilant.

Please remember that there are pilots from different cultures and nationalities flying in Tanzania. Not everyone flying in Tanzania’s first language is English, they may fail to interpret information in the same manner, or they may lose situational awareness.

Respect your fellow aviators and ground support team, speak clearly and keep a look-out at all times.


Airport name: Julius Nyerere International



Elevation (ft): 182

Fuel Available: Avgas and Jet

Runway Surface: Asphalt

Longest Hard Surface Runway (ft): 9843 x 150, 05/23

Approaches: ILS/DME VOR

ATIS: 119.0

Tower: 121.8 / 118.3

Approach Control: 120.0 / 119.6

Radar: 120.0 / 119.6

Note: To confirm details on current airport chart before your flight.


  • The airport is approximately 10 km WSW from town, traffic is heavy. Confirm travel time with your driver prior to your flight.
  • Airport security X-Ray scanners are sensitive and it does take time to get through security, add additional time to your travel time.
  • The apron for General Aviation is not at the main terminal, study your airport chart prior to operating into and out of HTDA.
  • Herewith a link that I found with additional operating procedures within the TMA that I believe will be helpful.


Airport name: Abeid Amani Karume International



Elevation (ft): 54

Fuel Available: Avgas and Jet

Runway Surface: Asphalt

Longest Hard Surface Runway (ft): 9915 x 148, 18/36

Approaches: VOR/DME NDB

Tower: 121.200

Approach Control: 121.200

Note: To confirm details on current airport chart before your flight.


I loved living in Zanzibar, the local people were helpful and friendly.

Travel between town and the airport is quick and efficient. There are taxis available at the airport, confirm rates with your colleagues that are familiar with the area and prices as they are different for ‘locals’ and ‘foreigners’.

I bought all my groceries from the local supermarkets. Prices were reasonable and our driver assisted in buying fresh produce on my behalf at the local market – once again, prices are different for ‘locals’ and ‘foreigners’.

Stonetown’s night market is a must! It’s a fun place to visit when staying in or close to Stone Town. There is always a good mix of locals and tourists. Zanzibar Pizza is a must try. I also enjoyed the seafood and sugar cane drink. Try and buy from the smaller stalls as the food is fresher. Plenty of choice and there is so much to try that it’s worth arriving hungry!


Airport name: Arusha



Elevation (ft): 4550

Fuel Available: Avgas and Jet

Runway Surface: Asphalt

Longest Hard Surface Runway (ft): 5381 x 98, 09/27

Approaches: NDB

Tower: 118.4

Note: To confirm details on current airport chart before your flight.


The BEST TOASTED CHICKEN MAYONNAISE SANDWICH that I ever tasted was at the local airport shop. Cool drinks and water were affordable and there is a local restaurant where crew will meet in-between flights to relax and catch up on the daily gossip :)


Airport name: Tanga



Elevation (ft): 129

Fuel Available: No fuel

Runway Surface: Tarmac

Longest Hard Surface Runway (ft): 4160 x 102, 06/24

Approaches: NDB

Tower: 122.1

Note: To confirm details on current airport chart before your flight.


Airport name: Mtwara



Elevation (ft): 371

Fuel Available: Jet

Runway Surface: Asphalt

Longest Hard Surface Runway (ft): 7408 x 98, 01/19

Approaches: NDB

Tower: 118.1

Note: To confirm details on current airport chart before your flight.

Sharing my story brought back so many wonderful memories. I hope that it will inspire you to sharpen your pencil and share your story.

Happy flying and continue to dream big! Dreams are transformed into thoughts and thoughts result in actions. So, never stop dreaming, the reality is closer than you think!

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