Fast reply didn't work, so have a slow one.
Presumably ricduncombe is now unstressed, and the journey is over. Could you post what you did do?
I have just travelled through Tanzania (my second visit) acting on very fragmentary evidence. Web resources were too scattered, and too hard to find. As with the whole of the 5 weeks, I had to bluff and gamble; I ended up on a lot of bus links.
MV Victoria is still running quite reliably on its standard overnnight schedule, with three return crossings per week.
Buses connect everywhere, but can be slow and rough. There is no need to travel via Kenya at all. A Kenya visa allows multiple entry, but a Tanzania one doesn't.
Fri.27.5.11: Bus Kampala (Uganda) - Bukoba. MV 'Victoria' overnight to Mwanza.
Sat.28: Bus to Tabora. Train overnight to Mpanda.
Sun.29: Train overnight to Tabora.
Tues.31: Bus to Dar es Salaam.
Wed.1.6: Apply for Mocambique visa, visit station.
Thurs.2: Collect visa. Fast ferry to Zanzibar. Slow ferry overnight to Dar es Salaam.
Fri.3: Dar es Salaam.
Sat.4: Bus & taxi to Kasumulu emigration border to Malawi.
I bought the ticket from Tabora the night before, when there were only 5 seats left.
I bought the ticket from Dar 2 days in advance.
The other way of linking Mombasa and Dar is via a coastal fast ferry. AFAIK it runs daily.
In Bukoba, there was a 6.00 bus to Dar.
In Mwanza, there was a 6.00 bus to Dar.
In Tabora, there was a 6.00 bus to Dar.
From Dodomo there are several buses per day to Dar.
Dar bus terminal is well out of the city centre, and is large and confusing; trust a tout: rapid navigation onto the best available service.
Likewise, Mwanza bus terminal is well out of the city centre. You can get there by minibus.
The Dar - Kigoma train runs twice per week, with only third class (the first-class carriage attached is for staff).
It connects with a Tabora - Mpanda train (only third class).
Tabora - Mwanza has lost its passenger train (from 2009?), as buses are available.
Roderick B Smith
Rail News Victoria Editor