Tanzania Road Network

By | December 18, 2022

The trunk roads of Tanzania.

The country has a network of 36,258 kilometers of road in 2018, divided into trunk roads (12,222 km) and regional roads (23,512 km). About two thirds of the trunk roads are paved, 8,211 of the 12,222 kilometers. Less than 10% of the regional roads is paved, namely 1,508 of the 23,512 kilometres.

According to wholevehicles, the road network of Tanzania is not very large, there are extensive areas without paved roads. Because the country is quite large, the main roads still form a fairly large network of more than 8,200 kilometers of paved road. Tanzania’s road network is fairly well integrated with neighboring countries, there is at least one paved road to all neighboring countries. However, the integration with Mozambique is a lot worse, since 2010 there is a paved road across the border, which, however, comes to a dead end on the Mozambican side.

Road management

In 2000, the national road authority TANROADS was established.

Trunk roads

Tanzania has a rapidly growing network of paved roads. The trunk roads are increasingly paved, although some routes also have long stretches of dirt road that are impassable in the rainy season. The main paved road is the Tanzam Highway (T1) from Dar es Salaam to the border with Zambia. In addition, there is a major paved road along the coast from Dar es Salaam to Mtwara and a major paved road from Dar es Salaam to the Kenyan border north of Arush, which is of great importance for tourism around Mount Kilimanjaro. The road network is least developed from the center to the west of the country, where almost all through roads are still unpaved.

The trunk roads are largely designed for a speed of 100 km/h. These are relatively high-quality designed roads with wide radii and a wide carriageway. Most major roads have emergency lanes for non-motorized traffic. Tanzania largely consists of highlands with relatively few abrupt differences in height, so that the higher roads can often be driven at a higher speed if the state of maintenance allows this.

Trunk roads in Tanzania
T1 • T2 • T3 • T4 • T5 • T6 • T7 • T8 • T9 • T10 • T11 • T12 • T13 • T14 • T15 • T16 • T17 • T18 • T19 • T20 • T21 • T22 • T23 • T26 • T27 • T28 • T31 •T35 • T36 • T37 • T38 • T39 • T40 • T41 • T42

Dodoma & Dar es Salaam

The capital Dodoma is located at a crossroads of four paved roads. Construction on the Dodoma Ring Road began in 2022. In Dar es Salaam the main approach roads have 2×2 lanes, in addition there is a Bus Rapid Transit system in the middle of these corridors. Sporadically there are level crossings. West of Dar es Salaam, the T1 has partly 2×3 lanes. However, there are no real highways in Tanzania. Although Dar es Salaam has the most modern roads in Tanzania, the road network is very underdeveloped for such a large city.

History

The T2 Chalinze and Segera.

The T17 to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area.

During the German colonial period, the first infrastructure of Tanganyika was realized, these were two important railways, the first being the Usambarabahn from the port of Tanga to Arusha in the north in 1911 and the Mittellandbahn (Tanganjikabahn) which ran from Dar es Salaam to Kigoma on the western border at Lake Tanganyika was created between 1905 and 1914.

During the British colonial period a network of roads was developed, probably at the time still completely unpaved except perhaps in Dar es Salaam. The main corridors at that time were from Dar es Salaam to the border with Zambia and a branch of it to the border with Malawi, the road from the border with Kenya via Arusha to Iringa and a road from Tabora to the border with Uganda west of the Lake Victoria. These networks were not well connected. Also, there was no north-south route along the coast and no north-south route in western Tanganyika.

After independence, Tanzania had a limited road network that was in poor condition. Two major projects were completed in the 1970s, the construction of the Tanzam Highway (T1) from Dar es Salaam to the Zambian border, and the parallel TAZARA Railway from Dar es Salaam to Zambia. However, the war with Uganda in the period 1978-1980 completely paralyzed Tanzanian public finances, so that there was little development in the country in the 1980s. The relocation of the capital from Dar es Salaam to Dodoma was partly due to this fact.

In 1995 Tanzania had approximately 3,000 kilometers of paved road. Around the year 2000 the main paved roads were the T1 from Dar es Salaam to the border with Tanzania, with the T10 as a branch to the border with Malawi. The T3 from Morogoro to Dodoma was also paved, but it is striking that this was the only paved road from Dodoma. Another important paved corridor was the T2 to the Kenyan border. At that time, however, large parts of Tanzania were not yet accessible by paved roads, the situation was particularly bad in the central part of the country, the west and the south.

By 2011, the network of paved roads had grown to 5,537 kilometers of paved road. On April 16, 2016, the Kigamboni Bridge, the largest cable -stayed bridge in East Africa, opened in Dar es Salaam. This is a toll bridge. Many trunk roads were paved in the period 2012-2020, during which time the share of unpaved trunk roads decreased sharply. In 2018, for example, the last section of the T5 between Arusha and Dodoma was completed as a paved road. In 2020, the situation was least developed in the central part of Tanzania.

Road numbering

Until the 1980s, Tanzania had a joint road numbering system with Kenya and Uganda. This system can still be found on some maps. An A system was subsequently introduced, which was replaced in 2007 by the current system of Trunk Roads (T) and Regional Roads (R). The Trunk Roads replaces the old system of A and B numbers, which clearly had British influences. The new Trunk Roads system also includes many unpaved roads. R-roads are almost always unpaved. It is unclear whether the signage was ever adapted to this.

Several road classes were defined in the 2007 Road Act. These were the national roads (trunk roads), regional roads and district roads (collector roads & feeder roads). The 2007 numbering went from T1 to T23. Later a series of trunk roads were defined up to and including the T42, these were mostly more secondary roads.

Routes

  • T1 Dar es Salaam – Morogoro – Mbeya – Tunduma (gr. Zambia): 920 km
  • T2 Chalinze – Segera – Arusha – Namanga (gr. Kenya): 645 km
  • T3 Morogoro – Dodoma – Singida – Lusahunga – Rusumo (gr. Rwanda): 1,115 km
  • T4 Mutukula (gr. Uganda) – Biharamulo – Mwanza – Sirari (gr. Kenya): 785 km
  • T5 Arusha – Dodoma – Iringa: 680 km
  • T6 Makambako – Songea – Mingoyo – Mtwara: 930 km
  • T7 Dar es Salaam – Lindi – Mingoyo: 475 km
  • T8 Mwanza – Nzega – Tabora – Rungwa – Mbeya: 900 km
  • T9 Biharamulo – Lusahunga – Kanyani – Sumbawanga – Tunduma: 1,015 km
  • T10 Mbeya – Kasumulu (gr. Malawi): 105 km
  • T11 Nyakasanza – Kobero (gr. Burundi): 60 km
  • T12 Songea – Mbamba Bay: 165 km
  • T13 Segera – Tanga – Horo horo (gr. Kenya): 135 km
  • T14 Singida – Babati: 160 km
  • T15 Himo – Taveta (gr. Kenya): 15 km
  • T16 Mikumi – Mahenge: ? km
  • T17 Makuyuni – Musoma: 430 km
  • T18 Manyoni – Tabora – Kasulu: 650 km
  • T19 Kasulu – Kigoma – Manyovu (gr. Burundi): 130 km
  • T20 Sumbawanga – Kasesya: 95 km
  • T21 Himo – Tarakea (gr. Kenya): 55 km
  • T22 Rungwa – Itigi – Mkiwa: 220 km
  • T23 Mpanda – Ipole: 260 km
  • T26 Dar es Salaam – Bagamoyo: 65 km
  • T27 Mpemba – Isongole: 50 km
  • T28 Kasumulu – Kyela: 25 km
  • T31 Nundu – Mlangali – Ludewa – Manda: 210 km
  • T35 Bagamoyo – Msata: 65 km
  • T36 Mwigumbi – Lamadi: 170 km
  • T37 Shinyanga – Mwanyomba – Karatu: 330 km
  • T38 Kasulo – Kayanga – Buchurago: 180 km
  • T39 Kayanga – Murongo (gr. Uganda): 110 km
  • T40 Songea – Nakawale (gr. Mozambique): 130 km
  • T41 Matai – Kasanga: 65 km
  • T42 Mangaka – Negomano (gr. Mozambique): 70 km

Signage

Little is known about signage in Tanzania, as far as it is placed.

Tanzania Road Network