How to Travel by TAZARA trains from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania to New Kapiri Mposhi, Zambia.. The Tazara Railway, also called the Uhuru Railway or the Tanzam Railway, is a railway in East Africa linking the port of Dar es Salaam in east Tanzania with the town of Kapiri Mposhi in Zambia‘s Central Province. The single-track railway is 1,860 km (1,160 mi) long and is operated by the Tanzania-Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA).
|Nelson Mandela Road, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania Kapiri Mposhi, Zambia
The governments of Tanzania, Zambia, and the People’s Republic of China built the railway to eliminate landlocked Zambia‘s economic dependence on Rhodesia and South Africa, both of which were ruled by white-minority governments. The railway provided the only route for bulk trade from Zambia’s Copperbelt to reach the sea without having to transit white-ruled territories. The spirit of Pan-African socialism among the leaders of Tanzania and Zambia and the symbolism of China’s support for newly independent African countries gave rise to Tazara’s designation as the “Great Uhuru Railway”, Uhuru being the Swahili word for freedom.
The project was built from 1970 to 1975 as a turnkey project financed and supported by China. At its completion, the TAZARA was the longest railway in sub-Saharan Africa. TAZARA was also the largest single foreign-aid project undertaken by China at the time, at a construction cost of US $406 million (the equivalent of US $3.06 billion today).
TAZARA has faced operational difficulties from the start and was kept running by continued assistance from China, several European countries, and the United States. Freight traffic peaked at 1.2 million tons in 1986, but began to decline in the 1990s as the end of apartheid in South Africa and the independence of Namibia opened alternative transport routes for Zambian copper. Freight traffic bottomed out at 88,000 metric tons in Fiscal Year (FY) 2014/2015, less than 2% of the railway’s design capacity of 5 million tonnes per year.
Arrive Early at the Station
Remember that you will need to purchase your ticket either a few days before the journey or on the actual day of travel. Therefore, you need to choose the most convenient booking office, from where you will also buy your ticket.
If you have not bought your ticket in advance, but have made an advance booking, you need to arrive at the station earlier, say an hour or two before the Expected Departure Time (EDT).
In terms of getting to the station where you intend to board from, it is advisable that you ensure that you get on the earliest bus that would deliver you to that station at least two hours before the indicated EDT. Our experience is that many passengers make mistakes by using public buses that depart late or delay along the way and end up reaching the boarding station too late and find the train has already left. This is the case for passengers connecting from Lusaka and the Copperbelt to New Kapiri-Mposhi. It is also the case in Dar es Salaam where road traffic congestions are rife.
You have no control over public transport; neither does TAZARA have that control. Therefore, play it safe. Look for the earliest and fastest means of transportation to get you to the boarding station.
- First-class: 4 people in each compartment
- Second class: 6 people in each compartment
- Super seater: 1 personal per seat.
- Third class seats: Sharing seats
- Restaurant car: A restaurant and a bar lounge
- Electricity sockets in all the cars and inside the compartments.
- Clean toilets with a shower provision.
- Good food and drinks (Make sure you take the Zambian fish!).
- Wide corridors serving the passenger compartments.
- A viewing window inside and outside the compartments.
- Clean bunks and bedding.
- A cooling fan in the compartments.
Tickets and Reservations Contacts
Reservations and Currency exchange
1 USD = 2100 Tanzanian Shillings (Tshs)
1 USD = 8.6 Zambian Kwacha (ZMK)
Dar es Salaam Station: Salma +255 713 354 648, June +255 715 469 239
New Kapiri Mposhi Station: Mr. Sinkala +260 966 529 753
Lusaka Booking Office: Ms. Splendour Mweemba +260 979 484 980
We advise you book your seat in advance at any of the following stations (Please note that reservation enquiries will only be attended to during working hours, i.e. 07:30 – 17:00hrs (CAT and EAT) from Monday to Friday):
Dar es Salaam:
Senior Passenger Services Officer: Mr Loningo +255 756 776 761, +255 623 882 162
Booking Office: General Line, +255 222 861 163
Station Master: Ms Maneno +255 767 099 064, +255 787 099 064
Lydia Makukula +260 978 721782
Lusaka Area Office, TAZARA House, Kamwala:
Ndola Office, Minet House, Buteko Avenue:
Norah Mwape +260 955 110668
If for some reason you cannot be satisfactorily assisted by any of the above contacts, please contact Mr. Peter Sichinga, Marketing Manager at Head Office on email firstname.lastname@example.org or Cellphone +255 715 508 304.
TAZARA Trains Schedule
Kilimanjaro ordinary train departs Dar es Salaam for New Kapiri Mposhi every Tuesday and arrives on Thursday. The train then leaves New Kapiri Mposhi for Dar Es Salaam every Friday and arrives on Monday.
Mukuba express train departs Dar es Salaam for New Kapiri Mposhi every Friday and arrives on Monday. The train then leaves New Kapiri Mposhi for Dar Es Salaam every Tuesday and arrives on Thursday.
TAZARA Trains – Rovos Rail Luxury train from Jo’burg to Dar Es Salaam
The arrival dates may vary depending on whether there are any delays along the railway or not