The Tanzania-Zambia Railway Authority, popularly known by the acronym TAZARA, is a bi-national railway, jointly owned by the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania and the Government of the Republic of Zambia on an equal share-holding basis. The 1,860km-rail runs from Tanzania and East Africa’s major seaport of Dar es Salaam into the heart of Zambia’s Central Province, terminating at New Kapiri-Mposhi, where it is further linked by road and rail to Zambia’s capital city, Lusaka (about 200km), Zambia’s mining nerve centre, the Copperbelt province (about 100km) and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
TAZARA’s core business is freight and passenger railway transportation services. It is a major transporter of copper and other minerals out of Zambia and the DRC, but also conversely serves as a key conduit for all kinds of bulk imports from all over the world, including fuels, fertilisers, general merchandise, hardware, coke and other critical inputs into the mines and agricultural farmlands of Malawi, Zambia, Tanzania and the DRC, as well as Rwanda and Burundi through the Port of Mpulungu on Lake Tanganyika. With its sprawling interconnectedness and reach, TAZARA is poised to serve as a critical infrastructural backbone for the three regional groupings of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) and the East African Community (EAC).
In terms of passenger transportation, TAZARA not only eases mobility for some of the most disadvantaged rural communities in Tanzania and Zambia, but also provides a public railway service that is very predictable, reliable, safe and convenient. Amongst the million passengers that throng TAZARA every year between the two neighbourly and friendly countries are thousands of tourists that have conveniently shaped a triangular tour-circuit that takes them through Tanzania, Malawi and Zambia in one tourist sprint, luxuriating in some of the most unique and spectacular tourism opportunities the world can offer.