Auf zwei, drei oder vier Rädern – die Öffis in Mwanza, Tansania. PART 2

On two, three or four wheels - the public transport in Mwanza, Tanzania. PART 2

After the "sprint" and the Mishkaki as locomotion, the second part is about the Bajaj and the Dala Dala .


As soon as I no longer pursue the same goal alone, the Bajaj is worthwhile from a purely financial point of view. However, the small three-wheeled auto rickshaws are also the slowest of all means of transport. Also known as the tuk-tuk in certain parts of the world, the Bajaj weaves tirelessly along the tarred main roads as well as the sandy and washed-out back roads.

At the city's crossroads and hubs, Bajajs are piling up to await their next customers. During the drive from our house to the destination of our choice, a pleasantly decelerating feeling creeps into the body. The Bajaj is the best choice to let your eyes and thoughts wander far and wide. 20 minutes and 13 kilometers later, four of us are allowed to pay 7000 TSH (2.80€) and are happy to stretch our limbs again.


By far the most used and widespread choice of transportation is the Dala Dala. Similar to a bus network, the minibuses run on various routes throughout the city. Hundreds of minibuses start their daily work just before sunrise and keep them moving well after sunset. The routes can be roughly recognized by the colored stripes between the sometimes original and creative decorations. Although they all have the same start and finish, the routes differ, true to the motto the journey is the destination . In order not to lose your way as a customer, you will be given permanent support.

The Dala Dalas are permanently in a crew of two men. In addition to the Dereva (the driver), the Conda (from English conductor – companion), who is permanently hanging out of the side window , takes care of customer service. At the specified stops and also every now and then, the Conda likes to loudly describe to the waiting people where his Dala Dala is going. Once boarded, depending on the time, the journey can fill the entire range from private taxi to complete overcrowding. In order to be able to get off at the desired location, you still need an open ear. Before each stop, the Conda mentions the next destination and, without reply, then instructs its driver to continue driving. We don't even have to try to find a kind of stop button.

Unlike the negotiable price of the Bajaj or Boda Boda, the price of the Dala Dala depends on the distance traveled. For the same stretch of boda mentioned above, we are allowed to give a 500 TSH coin (0.20€) to the conda. After all, it is not surprising that the Dala Dala is the mode of transport of choice .

by Marwin Kleine

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