Tanzania has a number of lakes which are used for water transport both internally and externally for instance Lake Victoria, Lake Nyasa and Lake Tanganyika. Main routes connect Zanzibar and Pemba with Dar es Salaam, Tanga, Bagamoyo and Mombasa, Kilwa Kivinje, Lindi, Mikindani, Mtwara and Msimbati with other coastal towns and Mafia and the mainland.
Ferries operate on Lake Victoria, Lake Tanganyika and Lake Nyasa and between Dar es Salaam, Zanzibar and Pemba. There’s a US$5 port tax per trip. While all of the lake ferries are slow and crowded, travelling with them offers an authentic glimpse into local life. The Lake Tanganyika and Lake Nyasa routes are also very scenic, sliding slowly past mountains and lake-shore villages.
The official route between south-western Tanzania and Mozambique is via Malawi on the Songea between Mbamba Bay and Nkhata Bay and then from Nkhata Bay on to Likoma Island.
There are small boats that sail along the eastern shore of Lake Nyasa between Tanzania and Mozambique. However, Lake Nyasa is notorious for its severe and sudden squalls and going this way is risky and not recommended.