International travel patterns are changing, so here are options to consider for your next journey to Iringa:
BKB travelers have a well-worn path from Minneapolis/St. Paul to Amsterdam, to Dar es Salaam with a short stop at Kilimanjaro. This has always been the most direct flight and the most expensive flight option. In recent years, the flight pattern alternates with a short stop in Zanzibar instead of Kilimanjaro on its way to Dar.
Travelers seeking lower cost fares have had success flying through Doha, Addis Ababa or Dubai. The downside is that these flights tend to be longer from start to finish. An upside is that they tend to arrive midafternoon, allowing groups time for dinner along the coast and a good night’s sleep before continuing the journey inland.
You can drive or fly the 500 kilometers inland to Iringa. Driving, you can take in the sights and have space on the bus for extra luggage if you’re bringing gifts for companions. The disadvantage of the road trip is that it takes 12 hours and the traffic is heavy. T-1 is the main highway across the country, clogged with semi-trailers hauling goods from the Port of Dar, as well as large buses. For most of the distance, the road is a two-lane highway. The speed limits through villages and towns are strictly enforced.
A second option is the Auric Air flight at 7 a.m. daily, arriving in Iringa at 8:30. It limits luggage to 40 pounds, with extra fees for excess weight.
Overnight in Dar
Wista’s Chalet is an affordable hotel where many BKB travelers stay before a road trip inland. It was chosen for its location near the highway to Iringa, about a half hour drive from the airport. Travelers who plan to fly to Iringa have often stayed at the Airport Transit Motel. When you arrive in Dar around 11 p.m. and need to be checking in again the next morning at 6 a.m., its close location is key to catching a few winks in between flights. (However, this summer road construction is complicating access.)
Travelers who want a few more amenities have been choosing the Blue Sapphire Hotel. The cost is higher than the transit motels, but the AC is more reliable, the shuttle service is dependable, and it’s just five minutes from the terminal.
Taking the Journey in Stages
Some travelers are opting to stay a day in Dar, to rest or to shop for supplies that can’t be found in Iringa. Some BKB groups are taking the long journey inland and back again in stages. One group this summer drove from Dar to Mikumi, taking an extra day for a hike in the Udzungwa mountains and staying overnight at Tan-Swiss before continuing to Iringa. Another group left Ruaha and drove to Tan-Swiss to overnight before continuing to Dar for their flight home.
Gratitude for Travel Coordinators
All these options can be discussed as your group plans its itinerary with our BKB Travel Coordinators. Jan Sower has been helping groups handle all the myriad details since 2015. Now Terry Lohman has agreed to join the BKB travel planning team as our second Travel Coordinator. Welcome, Terry!
Director of Bega Kwa Bega