Muggings occur very frequently, including sometimes on the street in broad daylight. If you are robbed, you have a few options. None of them are good. You can yell, “mwizi!” This means ‘thief’ in Swahili.
Dar es Salaam or House of Peace in Arabic was founded in 1862 by Sultan Seyyid Majid of Zanzibar on the site of the village of Mzizima.
Mzizima’s history dates back to the time when the Barawa people started to settle and cultivate the area around Mbwa Maji, Magogoni, Mjimwema, Gezaulole and Kibonde Maji Mbagara.
Present day Dar es Salaam’s origins have been influenced by a myriad of sultans, the Germans and the British.
The city started as a fishing village in the mid 19th century, is now Tanzania’s largest city, and has become one of East Africa’s most important ports and trading centers.
With its great atmosphere, mix of African, Muslim, and South Asian influences, picturesque harbour, beaches, chaotic markets, and historic buildings, it is well worth extending your stay beyond the time between flights.
Dar es Salaam is Tanzania’s financial and political hub despite having lost its status as official capital to Dodoma in 1973.
Dar es Salaam is the former capital and largest city in Tanzania. It is most populous city in the East Africa coastal region and a regionally important economic centre.
Located on the Swahili coast, the city is one of the fastest growing cities in the world.
Until 1974, Dar es Salaam served as Tanzania’s capital city, at which point the capital city commenced transferring to Dodoma, which was officially completed in 1996.
However, as of 2017, it continues to remain a focus of central government bureaucracy, although this is in the process of fully moving to Dodoma.
In addition, it is Tanzania’s most prominent city in arts, fashion, media, music, film and television and a leading financial centre, with the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange (DSE) being the country’s first and most important stock exchange market.
The city is the leading arrival and departure point for most tourists who visit Tanzania, including the national parks for safaris and the islands of Unguja and Pemba.
Dar es Salaam is also the largest and most populous Swahili-speaking city in the world.
Tanzania Ports Authority and PSPF Pension Twin Towers both in the background are the tallest in East and Central Africa.
It is the capital of the co-extensive Dar es Salaam Region, which is one of Tanzania’s 31 administrative regions and consists of five districts: Kinondoni in the north, Ilala in the centre, Ubungo, Temeke in the south and Kigamboni.
The region had a population of 4,364,541 as of the official 2012 census.
Dar es Salaam Region is divided into five administrative districts. All five are governed as municipal councils, and so all of the city’s suburbs or wards are affiliated with them. The regional commissioner is Paul Makonda.
Kinondoni is the most populated amongst the districts, with half of the city’s population residing within it. It is also home to high-income suburbs.
Masaki, Oysterbay and Ada Estate are the high-income suburbs located along the central beach. During the Colonial Era, they were the major European suburbs of the city. Now diplomats and expatriates reside in these areas.
Oysterbay Beach, also known as Coco Beach, is the only white sandy beach in Kinondoni and is the most famous in the area.
Many luxury apartments line the waterfront, accommodating the rapid growth of foreigners, mostly Europeans and Asians.
Mikocheni and Regent Estate are also suburbs within the district. According to the 2012 census, the Mikocheni ward had a population of 32,947.
Mikocheni is the home of some political figures, including the first president of Tanzania, Julius K. Nyerere and opposition party leader, Freeman Mbowe.
Msasani is a peninsula to the northeast of the city center. It is home to expatriates from the United Kingdom and other western countries. Msasani contains a mixture of traditional shops and western-oriented resorts and stores.
Mbezi Beach is the beachfront suburb located along the northern Dar es Salaam Beach. It is noted for its beautiful beaches with several tourist hotels, and also as the place of residence of people of high social status and some politicians.
Sinza, Kijitonyama, Magomeni, Kinondoni and Mwenge are more ethnically mixed than the areas above. The wards also have the most prosperous business climate outside of the central business district, with shops, bars, restaurants and hotels located there.
Kimara and Mbezi Louis are hilly, mostly upper class, suburbs far from the city. Due to the distance from the city center, it is quieter, with cooler weather.
Manzese, Tandale, Mwananyamala Kisiwani and Kigogo are considered low-income neighborhoods characterized by poor settlement planning, low quality housing and social services.
Ilala is the administrative district of Dar es Salaam where almost all government offices and ministries are housed. The Central Business District locally called Posta is located in this district.
It is the transportation hub of the city, as the Julius Nyerere International Airport, Central Railway Station and Tazara Railway Station are all within the district boundaries.
The residential areas are mainly middle to high-income, they are:
Upanga & Kisutu had the highest concentration of Asian communities within Dar es Salaam, with residents of Indian and Arabian descent.
These areas are also famous for the colonial houses and mansions built in Indian, Arabic and European styles.
Kariakoo is the shopping district of the city, perhaps the busiest and largest in East Africa. Shops, bazaars and merchants dot the streets, selling products from foodstuffs to hardware materials.
The Kariakoo Market, which is the largest, contains the only underground section of the city. It is the major supply point of the food consumed by all the residents of Dar es Salaam.
Tabata, Segerea and Ukonga are located a bit farther from the city center. They are growing to become among the busiest in terms of business and entertainment.
This has caused serious traffic congestion, which is said to be the worst in all of Dar es Salaam.
Ilala is among the middle income suburbs very near to the city center, and is marked by the Askari Monument. It contains some rival gang groups, whose activities include drug trafficking, money laundering, extortion and racketeering.
Most famous gang groups are recognized by the color of their scarf or bandanna. These are the black gang, red gang and blue gang, fighting for control and to maintain their territories and interests.
Temeke is the industrial district of the city, where the manufacturing centers, heavy and light industry are located.
The Port of Dar es Salaam, which is the largest in the country, is found here. Temeke is believed to have the largest concentration of low-income residents due to industry. Port officials, military and police officers live there.
Kurasini located on the Dar es Salaam Harbour, is the home of the Dar es Salaam Port, The Police College, Mgulani Police Barracks and the Dar es Salaam International Trade Fair Grounds.
Therefore the main residents are police officers and port officials.
Chang’ombe is one of the only higher income areas in Temeke. It has maintained this status due to occupation by African high colonial officers and some industry owners from the colonial era.
Chang’ombe is the home of the Dar es Salaam University College of Education, The National Stadium and Uhuru Stadium.
Temeke, Mtoni and Tandika are middle to low-income suburbs.
Mbagala and Kijichi are middle to low-income suburbs. Mbagala is the largest suburb in the whole district, and is also considered a slum.
Ubungo terminal is one of the main for the city and serves as a transportation link to most large Dar es salaam urban nodes.
The Dar es Salaam commuter rail goes from here to the city centre but it is not fast narrow gauge, and there are ten level crossings of roads along the route. Its also a hub of industry.
Kigamboni (South Beach) is a beach front suburb on a peninsula with beautiful, sandy beaches. It is home to a mixed population of lower and higher incomes.
There is demand from higher-income people to live in Kigamboni due to its low population density and proximity to the sea.
But this demand is constrained by the area being mainly accessible by ferry involving long waiting times for those wishing to cross in a private vehicle, although crossing the ferry on foot or bicycle is quite quick.
There are beach resorts in Kigamboni.
Dar es Salaam is the largest city in Tanzania. With a population increase of 5.6 percent per year from 2002 to 2012, the city is the third fastest growing in Africa, ninth fastest in the world, after Bamako and Lagos.
The metro population is expected to reach 5.12 million by 2020 and predicted to be as high as 76 million by the year 2100, making Dar Es Salaam the second largest city on earth after Lagos, by 2100.
According to the 2012 national census, the region had a population of 4,364,541, which was much higher than the pre-census projection of 3,270,255.
For 2002–2012, the region’s 5.6 percent average annual population growth rate was the highest in the country.It was also the most densely populated region with 3,133 people per square kilometer.
Dar es Salaam is Tanzania’s most important city for both business and government.
The city contains high concentrations of trade and other services and manufacturing compared to other parts of Tanzania, which has about 80 percent of its population in rural areas.
Downtown includes small businesses, many of which are run by traders and proprietors whose families originated from the Middle East and Indian sub-continent—areas of the world with which the settlements of the Tanzanian coast have had long-standing trading relations.
The Dar es Salaam CBD made up of Kisutu, Kivukoni, Upanga and Kariakoo areas is Tanzania’s largest city CBD. All three areas making up the downtown are found in the Ilala district.
Kivukoni has the city’s important fish market, the Magogoni fish market. Kivukoni also is the place where the Tanzania’s central bank, The Bank of Tanzania is located, so is the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange.
Kisutu has businesses and offices and is the location of Dar es Salaam central railway station, the PSPF Towers and the TPA tower. Kariakoo is the prominent shopping area with streets like Congo Street for clothing shops.
Uhuru street is for computer and electronics, Msimbazi for mobile phones.
Dar es Salaam has a problem with slums. According to a United Nations estimate, 70 percent of the city’s population lives in informal settlements.
The poorer residents crowd into downtown areas or large slums, many without running water or basic services. The more wealthy live in beachside mansions in the city’s northern districts.
Dar es Salaam has had a major construction boom. The PSPF Twin Towers with more than 35 stories is the tallest building in the city and the country.
Dar es Salaam has major infrastructural problems, including an outdated transport system and occasional power rationing.
Dar es Salaam is certainly not at the top of the list of places to see for most visitors to Tanzania. It’s often a necessary stop on their way to Zanzibar, the northern safari circuit, or home.
Dar es Salaam has its charm. Walks around the city center are a great way to get a feel for the culture and Kariakoo market can be an interesting place for the more adventurous.
It can also be a good base for visiting some of the nearby sites such as Bagamoyo, Bongoyo and Mbudja Islands, as well as to learn to scuba dive or go deep sea fishing.
For those looking for something more humanitarian, most international organizations are based in Dar and may be a good starting point if you wish to volunteer.
Most visitors to Dar arrive via Julius K. Nyerere International Airport, about 10 km west of the city center. Dar is flat and is bordered on the east by the Indian Ocean.
Dar es Salaam has a very humid climate and relatively stable temperatures, both in terms of night-to-day, and summer-to-winter. The driest and coolest season is June through early October.
Short rains occur November through February especially December, and long rains occur March through May, with monsoon season peaking in April. Temperatures are high November through May, highest in January.
Between December and February, in the dry season, temperatures can rise to the mid-30s (°C); due to the high humidity, discomfort can be very high.
You should seek shelter from the sun during the midday heat and use copious amounts of sunblock.
Best times to visit are June-Sept, after the rainy season, with milder temperatures and lower relative humidity.
On a natural harbour on the Indian Ocean, it is the hub of the Tanzanian transportation system as the main railways and several highways originate in or near the city.
The most common form of transport in Dar es Salaam are the public buses, called dala dala, which are often found at the major bus terminals of Makumbusho and Ubungo. Dala dalas are cheap and often overcrowded.
They are operated by a driver and a conductor, the conductor collects the fare and signals the driver to leave.
They tend to be overcrowded, with passengers sometimes hanging outside the door. Since the introduction of motorcycle transit business known as Bodaboda.
Most of the people prefer this type of transportation which allows them to get into the city faster compared to the minibuses which face a lot of traffic.
Dala dala minibuses are involved in many road accidents, accounting for a large percentage of the 4000+ yearly road deaths.
More types of transport are motorcycles and Bajaj a favourite for the tourist hoping to catch the east African sun.
North Americans and Europeans can obtain tourist visas upon landing in Dar es Salaam at a cost of US$50, US$100 for US passport holders, free for Romanians paid in US dollars.
However, some may prefer to get a visa before arriving. A visa can be obtained from the Tanzanian High Commission/Embassy. Fees are US$100 for US passport holders and you will need a passport sized photograph. Will be ready same day.
If you want or need a business visa, you will have to go to the Immigration Headquarters within 5 working days and pay another US$100. You will also need no fewer than four passport sized photos.
If the secretary at your company offers to take care of the procedure, do not forget to ask about the status. They might forget to tell you if something is missing.
At the airport, stand in the visa line, which is on the right hand side of the queue for passport control. It can get a bit hectic because several international flights arrive almost simultaneously, so ask others where the queue starts.
Once you’ve received your visa, there’s no need to stop at passport control, they issue the visa and stamp you in at the same time, so just walk through to the baggage claim area.
The Julius Nyerere International Airport is the principal airport serving the country with two operating terminals and one under construction; Terminal Three at Kipawa in Ilala Municipality.
Tanzania’s main airport is in Dar es Salaam, Julius Nyerere International Airport, formerly known as Mwalimu Julius K. Nyerere International Airport and Dar es Salaam International Airport.
The airport is 10 km from the city center and 20 km from the Msasani Peninsula. Most large hotels offer a pick-up and drop-off service upon request. As of 2015, a taxi cartel established at the airport.
Drivers will still come up to you as soon as you leave the airport building. Once you agree with a driver on your destination he will have to leave his personal mark with the cartel office.
Prices are fixed at $30 USD for non-residents for a ride to the city centre.
Avoid paying in US Dollars to get the best taxi prices. If you tell the drivers you have no US Dollars, but can pay in Shillings, you may be able to get away with paying the resident rate of 30,000Tsh to the city center, about half price.
There are a few ATMs at the airport that you can use to withdraw local currency. Sometimes, ATMs are out of cash and thus unusable.
You should carry a hard currency that can be exchanged at the airport Bureau de Change if necessary. Note that the Bureau de Change is not 24 hours.
If you want an even more decent price, walk to the main road and flag a taxi, it may be cheaper. This way, a taxi from the airport to the city centre should cost between 10,000TSh and 20,000TSh. Do not do this at night.
Fares may change/rise. Daladalas are also available if you walk out to the main road. Look for those marked POSTA, which is the main Post Office in the city center.
As of March 2017 a Daladala marked Ubongo or Simu2000 will get you to Ubongo bus terminal for 500 TSH. Hitchhiking is uncommon and most drivers will expect some form of payment from foreigners.
Getting back to the airport often entails a traffic nightmare, particularly around evening rush hour,which can last beyond 8PM because of the traffic jam.
There is one particular intersection between downtown and the airport that is impossible to avoid and is often backed up for over an hour.
Leave yourself a lot more time than you think reasonable for the trip; if you arrive too early for your flight’s check-in, there is a restaurant above the terminal that has okay food and good beer.
Also, the restaurant inside the domestic terminal after security has a variety of local beers for around 5,000 Tsh.
Dar es Salaam is served by the following airlines:
Turkish Airlines (Istanbul-Ataturk), 3 flights a week (Monday, Wednesday and Saturday) flights.
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (Amsterdam), daily flights with a stopover in Kilimanjaro.
Swiss International Airlines (Zurich), 5 flights a week (Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday) with a stopover in Nairobi, Kenya.
Middle East and Asia by:
Emirates (Dubai), Daily flights.
Oman Air (Muscat), direct flights 3 times a week (Friday, Sunday and Wednesday)and 4 times week via Zanzibar (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday)
Qatar Airways (Doha), 1019, Julius Nyerere International Airport, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, Daily flights.
Egypt Air (Cairo), 4 flights a week (Monday, Wednesday, Friday & Sunday). Offers lowest fares out of Europe, Americas & Asia to Dar es Salaam via Cairo. A Star Alliance Member.
South African Airways (Johannesburg), Twice daily flights.
Ethiopian Airlines (Addis Ababa), Daily flights (except on Monday) with a stopover in Kilimanjaro.
Kenya Airways (Nairobi), 3 daily flights with some stopping in Kilimanjaro.
Malawian Airlines (Blantyre & Lilongwe), 3 flights a week (Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday)
Mozambique Airlines or LAM – Linhas Aéreas de Moçambique, (Maputo), 3 flights a week (Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday)
Zambezi Airlines – Zambia, (Lusaka), 3 flights a week (Monday, Wednesday and Friday) between Lusaka-Zambia and Dar es Salaam.
Air Uganda, (Entebbe), 3 flights a week (Monday, Friday and Sunday) to Dar es Salaam, with flights to Kilimanjaro and Zanzibar also.
Comores Aviation, 3 flights a week (Monday, Wednesday and Friday)
Malawian Airlines’ (Blantyre)
Air Seychelles Ltd, (Seychelles) 02 flights weekly (Tuesday and Sunday) between Seychelles and Dar es Salaam
Domestic flights via:
These airlines provide almost daily service to and from Dar es Salaam to all major cities including Arusha, Mwanza, Mbeya, Zanzibar, Kilimanjaro and most national parks.
Air Tanzania. Also fly internationally to Johannesburg daily.
Air Viva, offers online booking. No need to re-confirm your reservation as they have an email-app which informs you about changes.
Precision Air, Along Nyerere/Pugu Road, P.O Box 70770, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, Internationally to Nairobi ,Comoros, Johannesburg and Entebbe
Coastal Aviation, P. O. Box 3052, 107 Upanga Road, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
Auric Air, T-14 First Floor, Haidary Plaza, Upanga/Kisutu street, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. provides daily service to all major cities, including Zanzibar Iringa Songea Dodoma and most national parks including Serengeti and Ruaha.
ZanAir, Zanzibar, Tanzania.
fastjet. Also fly internationally to Johannesburg three times a week (Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays)
Domestic flights are often late but generally reliable.
Buying Tickets, One can even buy flight tickets from travel agents and airline offices. When purchasing tickets for domestic flights with a credit card, travel agents will add-on a fee ranging anywhere from 3-6% of the ticket price.
To avoid the fee, pay for your tickets in cash. There are no additional fees when purchasing tickets for international destinations.
The Dar es Salaam commuter rail is an urban and suburban commuter rail network serving the commercial city of Dar es Salaam.
The city also hosts the head office of Tanzania Zambia Railways Authority (TAZARA) built in the late 1960s to early 1970s.
It hosts the offices and infrastructures of the Central Railway Line Operated by Tanzania Railways Authority, TRL both railways are used to commute within the city during the day to ease traffic congestion in the already overcrowded roads.
Tanzania Railways operates the Central Line from Dar es Salaam to Kigoma. The TAZARA Railway connects Dar es Salaam to Zambia.
The government has been introducing a bus rapid transport or metro bus system under Dar es Salaam rapid transit mwendo kasi flagship. The metro buses are managed by UDA or Usafiri Dar es Salaam.
The bus rapid transit system Phase 1 is completed and already in operation by the Dar Rapid Transit Agency, a government-private sector entity, and began operation on 10 May 2016.
It is branded as UDA-RT Usafiri Dar-Es-Salaam Rapid Transit. The first section runs between Kimara in the northwest to Kivukoni on the northern headland of the harbour.
Phase 1 was funded by the World Bank, African Development Bank and the Tanzanian government.
MV Kigamboni ferries are running between Kivukoni and Kigamboni in Dar es Salaam.
The Dar es Salaam commuter rail is an urban and suburban commuter rail network serving the commercial city of Dar es Salaam.
The city also hosts the head office of Tanzania Zambia Railways Authority (TAZARA) built in the late 1960s to early 1970s.
Also it host the offices and infrastructures of the Central Railway Line Operated by Tanzania Railways Authority, TRL both railways are used to commute within the city during the day to ease traffic congestion in the already overcrowded roads.
Tanzania Railways operates the Central Line from Dar es Salaam to Kigoma. The TAZARA Railway connects Dar es Salaam to Zambia.
The city has the country’s busiest port, The Port of Dar es Salaam handles 90% of the country’s cargo. Due to huge influx of cargo and the slow pace of expansion a new cargo port 60 kilometres (37 miles) north of Dar es Salaam is proposed at Bagamoyo.
Dar es Salaam has heavy traffic during the daytime, but after sunset the area is relatively quiet as much of the city’s nightlife is located in more residential districts away from the city’s mainly commercial centre.
The sprawling suburbs furthest from the city centre are generally populated by Tanzanians of African descent, with the exception of Oyster Bay, where there is a large population of foreign expatriates.
The edges of Dar es Salaam are spreading rapidly, severely taxing the transportation network, which aside from ferries, lacks any kind of mass transit facilities and raising the prospect of future urban overcrowding.
There are two trains running out of Dar Es Salaam from different stations. Tanzania Railway Limited is a train that travels through the center of Tanzania to Dodoma and further West, even up to Mwanza.
The train tends to be unreliable, not terribly pleasant, and thievery is a problem. Tourists should try to travel in groups, and/or buy out full occupancy, a first class cabin.
Keep the doors and windows locked, especially when sleeping. The train travels at walking pace much of the time, so it is possible to buy fresh fruit, eggs, and other items out of the windows all along the way.
Tazara runs a much nicer, though not much more on-time train to the south, which goes through part of the Selous Game Reserve, through Mbeya, and down to Kapiri Mposhi in Zambia, about 2 to 3 hours from Lusaka.
Tazara has a large train station just out on the edge of town. Visas for Zambia are available on the train. This is a nice but slow way to travel, as it takes about 2 days.
Bus travel is generally reliable if you pick the right company. It can be somewhat scary as Tanzanians seem to value arriving quickly more than arriving safely, Mungu akipenda, tutafika meaning If god wishes, we shall arrive.
If you’re traveling to Arusha, Kilimanjaro Express and Dar Express are the most popular bus companies and are the best option.
The buses are very nice, have a/c if at all, a bathroom, and speed varies on the bus which is taken.
The earliest buses are the fastest non safer option while the late ones around 10 am are more luxurious and take more time Buses leave from here early in the morning as well.
They then wait at the main bus stand for at least an hour. It is usually a full day trip to Arusha. Buses which leave at 8 am generally arrive at 6 pm
Taxis are available outside the stations for TSh5,000 or more for a taxi ride from downtown, depending on your negotiation skills. Here you can find buses to the majority of other cities.
Although there are many touts outside of Ubungo’s ticket area, they are mostly harmless. If you are put off by them, ask the taxi to take you inside the station for a small extra fee.
The ticket offices are located just outside the station, though you can buy the tickets from the bus if you have entered already.
This might be a better idea regardless, as you cannot tell the state of the bus from outside, nor how full the bus is,buses will only leave when completely full.
At Ubungo station, there is a small fee of Tsh300 to enter.
Some of the cheaper lines run buses which are remarkably dilapidated, uncomfortable, will take a very long time to fill up, and will likely have to stop more often on the way, assuming they make it at all.
Bus travel by night is not allowed, so most buses except for those to nearby cities will leave early at 6AM sharp ,be careful at the main gate as all the buses will go full speed out.
Keep valuables and bags containing valuables with you at all times during bus travel. It is not uncommon for bags placed on an over-head shelf to be stolen from the bus during a stop, especially if the passenger has stepped off of the bus.
Sometimes the touts for the shadier bus companies claim to be working for or selling tickets for the more reputable bus companies.
It is best to find the ticket office of a reputable bus company in the line of offices just outside of the bus stand.
It is not necessary to book a ticket in advance, but it is a good idea to do so during busy travel times Easter, Christmas. It is a good practice to verify the information on your ticket before leaving the counter.
The nearest dala-dala stand is also called Ubungo, just down the road, Leaving the bus stand, head left on Morogoro Road, going toward the city, watch for the people crowding at the dala stand a short distance along.
Dala-dalas to downtown will be marked Posta; people are typically happy to point them out to you if you ask.
Taxi prices from Ubungo are highest inside the stand, where there is a fairly strong cartel similar to the airport. However there are always taxis outside the stand as well, with whom better prices can be negotiated.
If you make a deal with a tout, and not directly with the driver sitting in the car the price will include a commission for the tout.
Your negotiating position will be affected by things like the weather, time of day, traffic, how many other taxis there are, whether you can bargain in kiswahili, whether you have lots of bags, etc.
Starting to walk to the daladala stand can show you’re serious about negotiating, actually going there and taking a dala will really save you money.
Walking around central Dar is a nice way to see the city and probably the best way to get around. In general people will leave you alone except for the occasional greeting.
There aren’t many sidewalks in Dar so exercise caution when walking along busy roads.
Cycling around Dar is possible but can be difficult and scary. You should be comfortable with cycling in high-congestion areas where traffic is slowed.
Tanzanians have little patience when driving and in their mind any vehicle smaller than theirs is responsible for getting out the way.
Cycling on the Msasani Peninsula is less hectic than in urban areas. Wear a helmet and hone your defensive cycling skills when cycling around Dar.
UWABA, the Dar cyclists’ association, is uniting cyclists to lobby for better or any bike lanes, traffic safety, and to improve the image of cycling.
At the moment cycling is associated with poor people who can’t afford motorised transport. Middle-class Tanzanians complain that their reputation will suffer if they are seen on a bike.
Some local tour groups offer guide bicycling tours around the city. This is a good way to get further afield and interact with the locals.
One company that offers bike tours in Dar is Afriroots, they have both Dar Reality Tours and Sunday tours that include a delicious lunch. Sign up for the Sunday tours on the previous Thursday.
For a countryside cycle trip, the Pugu Hills Nature Centre 12 km. from the international airport is a good opportunity, but you need to come with your own bike and make a booking if you plan to visit the place.
Car hires can be organized through most hotels. Tanzanians drive on the left. Like many developing countries, driving in Dar can be stressful, difficult and dangerous.
In addition to potholes, drivers must contend with aggressive taxis and dalla-dallas, poor driving skills by western standards.
Large potholes, uncovered manholes, few if any street lights at night, and thieves who remove any exterior part of your vehicle while you’re stopped at traffic lights.
During the rainy season you must also navigate through water covered roads that may hide deep potholes and around Tanzanians who dart out into traffic in an effort to get out of the rain, often with little children in tow.
In conclusion, driving in Dar should be left to those with driving experience in developing countries.
If you’re only driving in Dar, you can opt for a sedan which will be cheaper on gas and easier to park. You’ll still have to go slowly when you’re taking secondary roads, many of which aren’t sealed.
Dar’s city center is extremely congested from 9AM-6PM from Monday to Friday. There are few traffic lights and the streets are very narrow.
It’s dog-eat-dog, so offensive driving skills are a must as no one will let you pass if you just sit and wait at stops signs.
Streets are crowded with parked and moving cars, SUVs, lorries, scooters, and very muscular men pulling insanely overloaded carts. People can spend hours stuck in traffic jams, especially around Kariakoo Market.
There are a few roundabouts in the downtown, which the locals call keeplefties because they thought that the sign advising drivers to Keep Left when entering the roundabouts was the name of this fascinating Mzungu invention.
Mzungu is the Swahili word for white foreigners. It is not usually meant to be derogatory; it is derived from Mzungoko for detour or roundabout and means one who goes round in circles.
When parking on the street in Dar, find a spot to park, then lock your doors and leave. When you return, a parking attendant wearing a yellow florescent vest will approach you for payment.
The fee is 300 Tzs for one hour. The attendant should either hand you a ticket or it will already be on your windshield.
DO NOT leave without paying if there is a ticket on your windshield, because the attendant will been forced to make up for the missing money, and probably only earns 3000 Tzs a day at best.
Carjackings are uncommon but opening doors or jumping through open windows to steal valuables is not. Keep your windows closed and doors locked.
Reports have arisen of thieves aiming for golden and silver earrings at traffic lights, simply ripping them out.
When stopped at traffic lights or parked in unattended locations, thieves have been known to steal mirrors, paneling, spare tires and anything that is not either engraved with the license plate number or bolted to the vehicle’s body.
Choose your parking spots carefully and don’t leave valuables in plain sight.
You can either offer the parking attendant a small tip to watch your vehicle, 500 to 1000 Tzs, or find a secured parking lot, especially if your leaving the vehicle overnight. Hotels often provide such parking areas.
Tanzanians drive very fast and won’t hesitate to overtake in a blind curve or even when there are oncoming vehicles. Always be vigilant.
The number of drunk drivers involved in serious vehicular accidents has dramatically increased in recent months.
Although there are laws against driving under the influence, like many other laws they are poorly enforced, especially at night. Exercise caution when driving at night and around popular nightspots.
Anytime a dignitary or senior government official is traveling in Dar, police will stop traffic in all directions to ensure the path from their departure point to destination is clear.
This can result in extremely long waits and serious traffic congestion that can take hours to clear.
Whether you are driving or taking a taxi, ensure that you have factored in these frequent road blocks which could easily add one hour to your travel time to the airport.
A senior government official has suggested that the Government purchase helicopters to ferry officials and dignitaries to and from the airport and around town in a bid to reduce traffic congestion.
Needless to say that this request was not well received by representatives from the various donor countries and international aid agencies.
If you are involved in an accident with a pedestrian, drive to the nearest police station and advise them. DO NOT exit your vehicle and attempt to resolve the situation even if it looks safe.
If they need assistance use your cell phone to contact police for assistance.
Tanzanians are some of the nicest people you will meet in all of Africa, but they have been known to take matters, like most of Africans, into their own hands.
This is largely due to their mistrust of the police and the belief that anyone with money, e.g. rich foreigners, can buy their way out of a problem, which creates false expectations, and hostility.
There are no formal taxi companies in Dar-es-salaam nor are there any contact centers reachable 24 hours a day or at any time.
Taxi drivers are not associated to any public transport company, they run their own business but they are regulated by the government. Look for white license plates and a taxi number painted on the side.
Taxis also have official receipts. The cars have a recognizable paint job and always stay parked at specific points across the city in great numbers.
Some few of them even during the night, but can only be reached via personal mobile phones. Taxi fares are not fixed.
During the night, taxis are still available, but they remain at their usual corners around the city and can only be reached via their personal mobile phones.
Since most streets outside city center and even within lack any type of light source it is recommended not to walk down dark streets past alleyways to those corners where the taxis stay during the night.
This means service is unreliable service at times as the taxi driver is usually contacted by the tourist via cell phone.
You can risk getting stuck at potentially unsafe locations with no light and alone in a strange city unless you arrange to obtain the cell phone number of a reliable driver in advance to drive you by arrangement.
A price must be negotiated before you begin traveling, or the price will be considerably higher once you reach your destination.
It is not customary to tip your driver. While there are many friendly and honest drivers, some will try their luck and quote an outrageous price to anyone who looks wealthy.
Even if you can’t see another taxi around, don’t agree to it. Another taxi is sure to be just around the corner.
It is quite practical to begin walking in the direction you want to go. You’ll either find one on the side of the road or one will drive past, but it can be an iffy situation.
Cars owned by drivers are often very well maintained; taking a smooth air-conditioned trip around Dar is entirely possible if you know the right driver.
If you plan on hiring a taxi for a long journey, inspect the quality of the tires, some are extremely worn.
Don’t hesitate to tell the driver to slow down. Pole Pole in Swahili.
To/from the airport to/from the city center, the average price is 15000 Tzs. This can sometimes be negotiated down, especially if you pay in USD.
To/from city center to/from Msasani Peninsula, should run about 7,000 Tzs, more commonly 10,000.
For a small premium you can avoid very much trouble; you can reserve a taxi for the whole day or evening. This can be convenient as well as safer if you are visiting a number of places and doing some shopping.
You should be able to get that for 30000 Tzs.
Small, three-wheeled Indian vehicles, these are popular as they cost approximately half the equivalent taxi fare and are able to travel alongside the roads when blocked by the inevitable traffic jams.
They have a reputation for being rather dangerous, and some drivers appear to be too young for a driving license. Up to three people can fit in the seat behind the driver.
The most common form of public transportation in Dar is the mini-van which goes by the name daladala. These vans ply a specific route with the start and ending point clearly marked on the front of the vehicle.
At the main stations of Simu2000, Gerezani, Makumbusho etc. daladalas from each route stop to collect passengers at the same stop at the station.
It’s fine to ask someone where to find the daladala you’re looking for, the newspaper/phonecard sellers are often quite helpful.
You can jump on and off anywhere along the route by simply yelling out, Shusha.
Their popularity is due to their ready availability and low cost, (about TSh400/= per ride).
Cost varies by route, longer rides such as Kivukoni – Gongo la Mboto are Tsh450/=, Makumbusho – Tegeta are Tsh500/=, Gerezani – Tegeta are Tsh600/= and Simu2000 – Bunju are Tsh750/=.
The fare is indicated on the outside of the daladala, normally painted onto the door. However, tourists should be aware that drivers will pile in as many people as possible, there is no a/c, some drive like maniacs.
The overall condition of the vehicles is poor, with many frequently breaking down along the way.
Travelers should not hesitate to use them for getting around. Watch out for pickpockets as you get into and leave crowded vehicles.
Except for early in the day, daladalas often have change atleast more than most restaurants/dukas or stores, so it’s actually often a pretty good place to break a Tsh 10,000/= bill.
It helps if you know a little Kiswahili and are at least a little familiar with the city when using daladalas.
If you’re trying to get to the city center, hop onto any daladala marked Posta or Kivukoni. They all go to the central post office on Maktaba/Azikiwe St.
Since they tend to be very crowded, you should guard your belongings. This is especially true when you are at large bus stations such as Makumbusho.
Boarding daladalas in city centre stations Posta, Gerezani is a competitive undertaking during the evening rush.
It’s easier to avoid leaving the city center during the peak of the rush hour, 4:30 to 6:30PM. Often, if there are many people waiting for a certain daladala like the popular Makumbusho to Posta.
There is a scramble to get on, if you just wait for the next one you’ll have no problem getting on, and might even get a seat.
Pickpockets are at work at outlying daladala terminals after the sun sets. Have awareness of your pockets, especially when boarding a bus. Turn that awareness meter up if you are boarding from Posta or Gerezani.
The best part of using the daladala system is that locals will often strike up friendly conversations and are always willing to help you with your Kiswahili.
Travel by daladala can be quite enjoyable so long as you are on the correct route.
A nice daladala day trip is from town to Bagamoyo, about a 90-minute trek north of the city. The cost is TSH 2,200.
From the stand in Bagamoyo you can take a bajaji or 3-wheeled golf cart to historic sites including 13th century ruins, a 19th century German garrison, and a very colorful seafood market on the beach.
Getting back to Dar es Salaam, you’ll be pushing your luck if you delay much past 5PM.
Dar es Salaam and paticularly the area of Oyster Bay is home to the brightly coloured and tourist-oriented Tingatinga painting style.
The Nyumba ya sanaa or House of Art is a cultural centre, workshop and shop dedicated to Tanzanian art, showcasing and promoting Tanzanian craftmanship.
Prominent Tanzanian sculptor George Lilanga has donated some of his works to the centre, including decorations of the building’s main entrance.
The music scene in Dar es Salaam is divided between several styles. The longest standing style is live dance music or muziki wa dansi bands such as DDC Mlimani Park Orchestra and Malaika Musical Band as examples.
Taarab which was traditionally strong in Zanzibar has also found a niche.
However, it remains small compared both to dance music and Bongo Flava, a broad category that represents the Tanzanian take on Hip Hop and R&B, which has quickly become the most popular locally produced music.
Traditional music, which locally is used to refer to tribal music is still performed but typically only on family oriented occasions such as weddings.
Recently there has been development of another music niche, a taste that is rising and to be prominent as BongoFlava known as Singeli with star singers such as Msaga Sumu and Man Fongo.
This rap scene is also present.
In the 1970s, the Ministry of National Youth Culture aimed to create a national culture, which stressed the importance of music.
Dar es Salaam became the music center in Tanzania, with the local radio exposing new bands and dominating the music and cultural scene.
With this ujamaa, or family, mentality governing culture and music a unified people’s culture was created, leading to the rise of hip hop music.
Throughout the years, the radio in Dar es Salaam has played a major role in the dissemination of music because many people don’t have television and cassettes are used over CDs.
Dar es Salaam has two of the five museums comprising the National Museum of Tanzania consortium, namely the National Museum proper and the Makumbusho Cultural Centre & Village Museum.
The National Museum is dedicated to the history of Tanzania; most notably, it exhibits some of the bones of Paranthropus boisei that were among the findings of Louis Leakey at Olduvai.
The Makumbusho Cultural Centre & Village Museum, located in the outskirts of the city on the road to Bagamoyo, showcases traditional huts from 16 different Tanzanian ethnic groups.
There are also examples of traditional cultivations, and traditional music and dance shows are held daily.
In 2016, there was a breakthrough discovery in Northern Tanzania by a scientist, from the University of Dar es Salaam, of footprints thought to be of a hominid that predates Homo sapiens.
Close to the National Museum are also the botanical gardens, with tropical plants and trees.
There are beaches on the Msasani peninsula north of Dar es Salaam and in Kigamboni to the south.
Trips to the nearby islands of the Dar es Salaam Marine Reserve are a popular daytrip from the city and a spot for snorkeling, swimming and sunbathing. Bongoyo Island can be reached by boat from the Msasani Slipway.
Further leisure spots are Mlimani shopping mall.
Dar es Salaam boasts of luxury hotels and beaches, some of the major hotels include the Movenpick, Kempinski Kilimanjaro, Peacock, Whitesands and many more.
Attractions in Dar Es Salaam
National Museum. The national museum mainly shows photos and exhibitions on the development of human nature.
Makumbusho Village Museum. All of the houses within the village were constructed in accordance with the types of houses built by various ethnic groups throughout Tanzania.
Ngoma dance shows are held from 2-6 PM on certain days. Buses to Makumbusho depart from the main post office, near the Askari Monument.
Zoological Gardens. Twenty-one kilometers southeast of the Kigamboni ferry. Admission US$20.
Karimjee Hall. Former parliamentary building. Still in use for seminars.
Azania Front Lutheran Church.
Bahari Beach hotel, is about 20km to the north of Dar es Salaam along New Bagamoyo Road. The hotel charges a small fee for non-guests.
Kigamboni also known as South Beach, is situated across the channel from the Zanzibar ferry. You can get to the other side by ferry, not the same as for Zanzibar.
The ferry station is north of the Zanzibar ferry past the Kilimanjaro Kempinski Hotel near the main fish market.
You walk onto the ferry which costs 100Tsh. The crossing takes about 5 minutes. Photography is officially prohibited on the ferry and at the ferry terminals, so be discreet.
Once across, you can hire a taxi to take you to the beaches, most of which are accessed through the various hotels along the coast. Public beaches have all been sold to developers.
Hotels, such as the Sunrise, will charge a 5,000Tsh entry fee. 3,000TSh of which is returned to you in the form of food vouchers.
Most hotels are about 5km from the ferry and you should be able to get there for 10,000 to 15,000Tsh depending on your negotiating skills. There are also daladalas which ply the road to the beaches.
Wonder Workshop, Karume Road, off Haile Selassie Road, Oysterbay, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, Karume Road, near TTCL. 08.30 – 18.00.
This is a highlight of the city, Wonder Workshop is a project started a couple of years ago to provide work to Tanzanians with a handicap.
Throughout the years the project has grown and nowadays 45 Tanzanians with a handicap make art out of recycled materials e.g Metal, wood, glass bottles, papers etc.
It is possible to walk around and see the people working in their workshops. There is also a shop in which you can buy all kinds of souvenirs or bigger items.
It is great to walk around and be able to shop for souvenirs and jewelry without being haggled by sales persons.
There is a variety of items and especially the welding section recycled metal is known all around the world.
People are amazing at the project which is run by a dutch lady at the moment.
To get there ask a taxi driver or a Bagagi driver for Karume Road, off Haile Selassie Road, Oysterbay, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania,Look for our car door sign on Haile Selassie Road, just before TTCL.
Opposite of Twiga Pub. Opening hours: Monday to Friday 8.30am – 6pm. Saturday from 10am – 6pm.
You may organize either a great day trip to Mikumi National park or 3 day safari to Selous, if you can afford it.
For day trip arrangement you leave Dar at 05.00am drive straight to Morogoro have your breakfast then proceed to Mikumi National park, spend the day exploring the park then start driving back to Dar at 03.30pm.
Price depend on the number of pax although $ 300 per person for 2 guests is reasonable for day trip.
Another great day trip, head out to Bongoyo Island. Bongoyo is a small, uninhabited island just off the coast.
The boat to Bongoyo leaves from Mashua Waterfront Bar & Grill at Slipway, the upscale set of shops and markets on the Msasani Peninsula, just north of Dar es Salaam.
A taxi from the city center should run you 8,000 Tsh. The first boat leaves at 9:30AM, with others at 11:30AM, 1:30PM and 3:30PM, with a minimum of four people.
The ferry cost 25,000Tsh which includes a round trip plus the US$10 for the marine park fee. The return ferries are at 10:30AM, 12:30PM, 2:30PM and the last one leaves around 4:30PM.
There is a small restaurant on the island which serves a variety of foods and drinks grilled prawns, fish and chips, egg and chips, beer etc.
Another option is to buy food at the Shrijee’s supermarket at Slipway. You can relax without having to worry about anyone stealing your things on Bongoyo.
Take a hike around the island, snorkel in the clear waters to the southwest of the island, snorkeling gear may be rented on the island for 6,000Tsh per set per day or just relax under a banda on the beach.
Bandas are 5,000Tsh and a chair costs 1,500Tsh for the day. On the weekend, be sure to get on the first ferry if you want a banda, it gets very busy on Saturday and Sunday.
When you come back, you can get ice cream or a meal at several of the Slipway restaurants and watch the sun set.
You can also check out the Tinga Tinga paintings and other crafts at the market. Walk to the south toward the Doubletree Hotel from the main part of Slipways, past the boatyard, to find many cheaper market stalls.
Mbudya Island is a smaller island just north of Bongoyo. To visit, take a taxi or bajaji to the White Sands Hotel, located near Kunduchi.
Two-way tickets can be purchased for 10,000 Tsh per person, with a minimum of 4 people per boat, and there is an additional 10,000 Tsh park fee when you get to the island.
The popular side of the island has beaches, bandas, a small bar, and a food pavilion though the menu is very limited.
Beers go for about 3,000 Tsh. There is also a somewhat nicer, though more expensive, bar on the northern end of the beach.
The rest of the island is mostly rough cliff face, which can make for some interesting hiking, though this is not advised if you don’t have good shoes and dependable balance, the rocks are very sharp and scrambling is sometimes required.
The last boats back to White Sands leave between 4:30 and 5:00pm, though you can stay a bit longer if you are willing to take a smaller, overcrowded boat back to the Sea Breeze hotel, which is south of White Sands.
For a great excursion in the city to see the real Dar, you should do an Investour. Investours runs microfinance poverty tours, and you get to meet and talk to local entrepreneurs.
See the Mwenge woodcarvers market in a behind-the-scences experience, and even have a local Tanzanian lunch with some of the craftsmen.
Your fee is then used as an interest-free microfinance loan given to the entrepreneur of your choice out of the ones you met during the day.
Most people come to Dar without experiencing directly these aspects of the city, abject poverty and the desire of most individuals from all over Tanzania to strike it big here.
It is an important cultural part of Dar es Salaam, and an Investour tour should definitely be something to consider.
For people who enjoy reality TV shows, this type of excursion is especially popular. Maybe the tour-givers are fans, too? You get to award the popularity contest winner, and send away the others.
At Slipways, the Waterfront Bar and Grill is decent and is open long hours, but the best dining experience is on The Terrace, which generally opens around 7PM on weeknights and 6PM on weekends.
The coffee shop next to The Terrace served pretty good food and excellent coffee.
There are quite a number of night clubs in Dar es Salaam. Probably the most popular in City Centre is Bilicanas, which is lively.
It is popular with locals and ex-pats alike. There is some prostitution, but it’s not a hot spot for it.
Music is varied, depending on the night, from local to Congolese to dance to hip-hop. The only time I’ve ever heard hip-hop played right before Aqua’s Barbie Girl, the place goes nuts when they play cheesy songs.
California Dreamers is another nearby club, but it is too popular with prostitutes to recommend. There are numerous other smaller clubs that can be fun, but harder to get to.
On the Peninsula, Sweeteazy has great live bands, sometimes with their own dancers every Thursday and Saturday evenings.
There is always a mixed Tanzanian/expat crowd dancing. Cover charge is Tsh 10,000 but if you have supper there it’s free.
It is possible in the Pugu Hills, some 12 KM west of the airport. Selected villagers can assist as guide for a hike around the Pugu Hills or to the major cattle market of Dar es Salaam.
Arrangements are through the Pugu Hills Nature Centre.
If you enjoy a chillout evening, the Mediterraneo Lounge has a large collection of chill-out music.
At the Mediterraneo Hotel & Restaurant Lounge you can enjoy the fantastic view of the Indian Ocean while sipping your favorite drink, and listening to the best lounge & chill-out music in Dar Es Salaam.
More in town and therefore somewhat less romantic but still beautiful, on the peninsula, check out very attractive Coral Beach Restaurant, right on the ocean, where you can watch the sun set.
Try High Care Massage at the Slipway for a very professionally organized place. There are signs for lots of other massage and spa centres around town.
Two places favored by ladies in landcruisers are Lemon on Haile Selassie Road next to George & Dragon pub or The Spot on Chole Road opposite the taxi stand.
There are modern cinema halls like Cineplex in Nyerere road at the Quality Centre Mall, which is the largest Cinema in Dar-es-Salaam, Century Cinemax at Mlimani City and New World Cinema on Bagomoyo/Ali Hassan Mwinyi Road .
The latter hosts the annual European and Asian film festivals. You can buy DVDs on every corner but beware, many are defective Chinese counterfeits, poorly produced, and/or lack English translation.
The Yacht Club on the Peninsula is a gorgeous place but requires membership fees. You can enter as someone’s guest and swim in safety or boat. It, and other places around town, offer scuba-diving lessons.
Gymkhana, on Gymkhana Road in town, has tennis courts and a nice golf course.
Coco Beach is a public beach on the Peninsula which is very busy on weekends. Go any afternoon to see people relaxing, and eat local food. Don’t walk on the beach at night as muggings are too frequent.
A few people surf here when waves swell a bit around the full moon. You can sometimes surf or kite surf at the beaches south of Dar, e.g. at Kasa Beach Hideaway, a fantastic wide beach and surfable waves in June.
There’s yoga three times a week, Mondays Golden Tulip Hotel, Thursday and Saturday at Dar Fitness Centre, and capoeira at 6PM at the Little Theatre beginners on Mondays, intermediate Wednesdays, and tae kwondo also at the Little Theatre,
Wednesdays at 6. Kickboxing is also available.
Read monthly magazines such as What’s Happening in Dar, Advertising Dar and Tanzania in Your Pocket to get all the news of what’s going on, including weekend get-away specials.
There are always events like dance and music performances, artist openings at painting and photography galleries, movie festivals etc.
Alliance Francaise,Goethe institute, Iranian and Russian cultural centres offer special events along with some occasionally sponsored by Embassies.
Mikadi Beach Lodge is 1 km from the Kigamboni Ferry and an excellent place to stay or enjoy the beach. Entrance is TSH3000 but an overnight is recommended.
Wildlife safari options include budget camping safaris, lodge safaris, luxury tented camps and budget lodges.
For Cultural Experience Visit TCCH – Tanzania Centre for Cultural Heritage a place where you can experience and buy Tanzanian Art and Craft. Conveniently located in Quality Centre Mall on Nyerere Road on the way to the Airport.
For kangas or khangas, colorful, sarong-like pieces of cloth with Swahili sayings along the bottom, try Kariakoo market or the cloth market on the streets around it.
The market has moved a bit recently, but check around south end of Jamhuri St., where there are many textile shops.
Here you can also buy kitenge, twice the length of kangas and usually cut in half to form a complete outfit, for around Tzs 4000 each.
Try asking in here if you want something like a dress made to measure. Kariakoo is also a good place for fresh food. Watch out for pickpockets.
The wholesale textile markets are on Uhuru St. in the Mnazi Mmoja district near Kariakoo, although the number of people and the attention can be overwhelming for some visitors.
It helps to speak Swahili, and if you can, go during the week rather than on Saturdays.
Its a much more enjoyable experience on a weekday, since there are less people around you can chat with the sellers and there is less high-pressure haggling.
The Uhuru Street sellers are wholesalers, so unless you feel you’re being quoted a very inflated price, it is difficult to bargain.
Afro Fashion, Samora Avenue, Opposite Extelecom Building (Celtel Point) (Samora Avenue),. 9AM-5PM. T shirts, Batiks, Khanga, Masai Material,Kikoy, Tye & Dye Clothings,Arts & Crafts, Masai Beads, and other popular souvenirs.
Carvings and other touristy souvenirs can be found all over Dar. Remember that haggling is expected.
There is a fantastic craft market in Mwenge, the Mwenge Carvers’ Market. Here you can watch many of the artists make the crafts that are sold throughout the country although some crafts sold in Tanzania are imported from Kenya.
Prices range from expensive to extremely cheap. There are many stalls selling similar things, and if you are savvy, you might be able to pit the vendors against each other.
The perk of the Mwenge market is the sheer volume of crafts to choose from.
If you like the style of something at a specific store,they tend to carry items made by one or two artists, and you have some time, you can meet the artist and have them custom make something for you.
The market closes at dusk. Shopping around this time gets you the best deals.
There is a smaller market at Slipway, which is a good place to get Tinga Tinga paintings and large batiks as well.
Local paintings are often executed in a style unique to Tanzania, tinga tinga, named after the artist who founded the style, Edward Said Tinga Tinga.
Some good places to find them are at the Slipway market, and in the alley off of Haile Selassie Road on the Peninsula.
The alley is to the left of Shrijee’s Supermarket, look for the art sellers on Haile Selassie Road, and the alley is on the opposite side of the road.
There are also tailors, sandal-makers, and charity/craft/wholefood shops on this alley, not to mention the booze shop.
The Tinga Tinga artists’ collective itself is at the end of the alley, through a doorway, so don’t get too distracted by the smaller art shops outside.
November 2006, the brand new Mlimani City shopping complex opened. A Shoprite supermarket and a Game department store, both South African chains, are open for business seven days a week.
Although it is a fair distance from the city center, it can be reached by taking a dalla dalla or taxi to the Mwenge bus terminal, and walking approximately ten minutes further past the craft market.
If you run out of things to read, there are some surprisingly well stocked branches of the English language bookshop called A Novel Idea. See the Books section a little further down for a list of stores.
There is a good selection of electronics and appliance vendors on Samora Avenue.
There are a number of book stores near the Askari monument at Samora Ave & the Posta Road, selling mostly academic texts / school books.
A Novel Idea, Slipway. A local chain that sells a wide selection of imported English language books: novels, childrens’ books, reference, non-fiction. A pleasant place to spend a few hours.
THP Bookshop, 24 Samora Ave. Mon – Fri: 09:00 – 17:30, Sat: 09:00 – 16:00. Same location in downtown Dar es Salaam since 1966.
Stop by for a huge selection of local literary and academic works, as well as international bestsellers.
Mlimani City has a bookstore as well.
If you’re looking for an authentic shopping experience, a visit to Kariakoo market, especially on Saturday morning, could be just the thing. Kariakoo is the cheapest market in Tanzania.
If you want to buy cheap souvenirs, this is the place for you. If you’re a Muzungu or white person, shop owners will try to charge you much more that is worth.
But that will be cheaper than what you get in the city or everywhere else in Tanzania.
African necklaces should not be bought for more than 2000 shilings, the correct price is TS1000 but you won’t get that price easily.
Small drums should be bought for as much as TS4-5000 and soft stone products, hearts, plates, small animals, jewelry boxes etc should not be purchased for more than 10,000 shillings.
In Kariakoo you can also find cool yet useful presents, like kerosene lamps or pans, as in pan and brushmade from used metal,look for ones with commercial logos printed all over.
My favourite is a funnel made from a hair spray container. There are also nice baskets, stools, bowls etc.
This is not for everyone. The market is very crowded and for some the smells and noises can be overwhelming.
If you’re keen but hesitating, it might be best to find a Tanzanian friend or person familiar with the market to help you navigate around.
Do not bring any valuables and only bring a small amount of money that you wish to spend, as pickpockets work the area and in the commotion your watch, cell phone, mp3, sunglasses and wallet can be expertly removed, or your nice leather handbag slashed with a razor.
Even seasoned Kariakoo shoppers occasionally fall prey to these sophisticated teams of thieves.
Haggling is expected when purchasing almost anything in Dar.
Although it is true that most merchants quote much higher prices to tourists than locals, sometimes three times the price, negotiations should still be undertaken with respect and good humour.
Don’t expect to pay the same as a local and don’t be insulted when you aren’t. The reality is that you probably have more money in your pocket than many Tanzanians see in a year.
This also applies to backpackers. Remember the extra dollar or two you paid for that carving will most likely be used to buy food for the family. None of these merchants are rich.
If you think it’s too expensive leave and look elsewhere, but don’t call them thieves.
Ilala Market, mitumba is the Swahili word for second-hand stuff, the hand-me-downs of the developed world, and Ilala Market has some of the best and cheapest mitumba you can find in Tanzania.
Sweaters, jeans, shoes, bags, etc. With an extra emphasis on that etc. Also you can find handcrafted jewelry like bracelets, anklets, earrings, and such at good prices, making it a good place to buy simple gifts en masse.
There’s plenty of street food. Its stalls and kiosks are in tight, narrow quarters and it feels a bit claustrophobic, so it’s not ideal for all travelers.
Tanzanite, when it comes to expensive souvenirs, Tanzania has cornered the market with a gemstone that can only be found in Tanzania, hence the name tanzanite.
Shops selling this exquisite blue stone are located in all major cities and towns, especially those popular with tourists like Zanzibar, Arusha and Dar.
Your biggest problem will be knowing that what you’re getting is the real thing and worth the money you’re shelling out for it.
The rule of thumb is the darker the gem the more expensive it is, to a point. Too light or too dark colored tanzanite is genuine just not as sought after as the mid range stones.
But like all things there is much more to a stone’s value than just its color so do your homework if you plan on spending a lot on one of them.
Grading is on an alphabetical scale with AAA being the best and C being the least valued or consumer grade. Expect to pay as much as US $450 per carat for AAA.
The system is simple and universally accepted among miners and the gemstone dealers they sell to. AAA is the term reserved for the very finest pieces that they very rarely find.
Then comes AA, A, B, C. These represent the various levels of desaturation. Look for hue, tone, and saturation.
The numeric optimum range for tanzanite is 4(lighter)— 6(darker) on a 1-10 scale, where the stone is neither too light or too dark. AAA top grade stones lie in the 6 range.
If you’re new to this gem, buying from a reputable shop, such as Lothys at the Kilimanjaro Hotel Kempinski or Tanzanite Dream might be more expensive but you’re assured of what you’re getting.
Nonetheless, there are several other good shops around Dar where you can get nice pieces or simply buy the gems and have them set back home. Like all things, negotiating is key.
If you are a serious tanzanite buyer looking for quality and selection then you should definitely check out The Tanzanite Dream located just outside the city centre on the Mataka road behind the fire station.
Other reputable shops to buy best tanzanite are Gem Point, Royal Jewellers, Queens Jewellers located at Indiragandhi street, in the center of town.
Due in part to the growth of the expatriate community and the increasing importance of tourism, the number of international restaurants has risen rapidly.
The city offers a diversity of cuisine, ranging from traditional Tanzanian Barbecue-style options, such as Nyama Choma or Roasted meat served with rice or ugali and Mishkaki or Shish kebab,usually barbecued and served with salt, hot chili peppers, chapati, fries, and rice on the side.
Also the long established traditional Indian and Zanzibari cuisine, to options from all corners of the globe.
That includes Arab, Chinese, Thai, Turkish, Italian, and Japanese food. People who prefer neither fast food nor traditional restaurants buy their food from street vendors, who usually sell food at low prices.
Samosas or sambusas are common street food items within the city, as the area is largely influenced by the foods brought from India.
You can get all kinds of delicious meals in Dar. With a large native South Asian population, the Indian food is amazing. Although scattered all over the city, some of the best places are found in and around Zanaki Street.
Traditional Tanzanian food can be had on almost any street. From grilled meats or mishikaki to BBQ corn on the cob, and chips and eggs or chips mayai.
If you’re looking for something a little more sanitary, there are a number of small hotels and restaurants that serve a buffet style meal at lunch time which offers a variety of Tanzanian stews, deep fried fish and chicken, and vegetables.
Sammy’s Good Food @ Quality Center Mall, Pugu Road 1st Floor.
Serves Indian food, Chinese food, pizza, burgers & lot more. So eat, relax & have fun.
Try Tanzania local dishes in these places below:
Summy’s or Street Chicken, Jamhuri Street NE of Morogoro Road. Grilled marinated chicken, mishkaki, Indian food.
City Garden on Garden Avenue, SE side, between Ohio Street and Pemba Road. Fine outdoor ambience, extensive menu, affordable prices, fast service, free bread, real butter, coconut sauces, chocolate to die for.
New Africa Hotel on the corner of Sokoine Drive and Maktaba/Azikiwe Street.
Chef’s Pride Chagga St. A very popular local eatery with Tanzanian food, plus pizza and Indian.
Royal Chef on Lumumba Street at Morogoro Road. Run by the same people as Chef’s Pride but with a Zanzibar ambiance.
Durban Hotel two streets past Royal Chef on the right. Excellent selection of Tanzanian, Chinese, and Indian dishes at reasonable prices. Excellent fish fresh daily. At night, however, single men may be approached by prostitutes nearby.
Local hoteli’s or restaurants can be found on just about every major street. Most serve ugali, rice or chapati with beans, meat or fish stews, and mishitaki or grilled kebabs.
For something even more upscale, try the Sunday Brunch at the Kilimanjaro Hotel.
The restaurant on the ground floor offers a wide variety of mainstream Western dishes but also includes several local favorites adapted, meaning less oil/fat and less use of spices.
It’s not cheap, but is for those interested in trying Tanzanian cuisine without risking gastrointestinal complications sometimes experienced by the uninitiated.
The buffet contains all you can eat smoked salmon of the highest quality, among other delicacies.
Bimbis at The Badminton Institute (Maratha Club) Multi cuisine Budget Restaurant,Near Elia complex, Zanaki Street, Kisutu, The restaurant is in central Dar, most nights it’s busy with both ex-pats and Indians.
Retreat Restaurant located at the Pramukh Swami Street (Kisutu) near the Hindu temples, It serves only vegetarian dishes.
Upanga Club on Ali Hassan Mwinyi Road near Alliance Francaise (Upanga), is similar in style and cuisine to the Badminton Institute, and you also have to pay TZS 1,000 entrance as a non-member.
A Tea Shop just off of Libya Street, has great kebabs and Indian cuisine snacks. Plus delicious chai. K Tea Shop is also good.
Alcove on Samora Avenue is the place for you if you like Indian and Chinese food and especially if you’re vegetarian.
Red Onion, across Maktaba Street from the YMCA, in the Haidery Plaza building. Has a wide selection of Indian dishes and a nice rooftop dining area. Very cold beer.
Jambo Inn Hotel on Jamhuri Street serving Indian, Chinese, English, BBQ , exotic seafood & fast food. A choice of 220 dishes in non-vegetarian and vegetarian, fresh juices are available.
Mamboz Corner BBQ on Libya street serving the famous chicken Sekela and more and must try exotic juices.
Aroma Coffee House On Chole Road first right after passing the Doubletree Road on your left. Bagels available daily.
Anghiti near the US Embassy on New Bagamoyo Road just after the Kawawa intersection is excellent.
Copper Chimney on New Bagamoyo Rd is also very good.
Istana, Ali Hassan Mwinyi Road Malaysian and pan-Asian, serves an excellent buffet; cuisines change per day of the week. Often booked by wedding parties, especially on weekends.
Khana Khazana, on New Bagamoyo Rd which offers Indian cuisine with many excellent choices.
If you are for Chinese, Japanese & South-East Asian, try these places:
Hong Kong Tai Yong Sun Restaurant serves delicious and authentic Cantonese Chinese dishes. Chefs expert in preparation of fresh seafood dishes, best in town, nice comfortable setting with fast and friendly service.
The New Africa Hotel has a popular Thai restaurant on the roof. Some nights it serves an all-you-can-eat buffet.
Oriental at The Kilimanjaro Hotel serves a variety of Japanese, Thai, Mongolian and Malaysian dishes. A good restaurant in town. You can eat sushi and sashimi or maguro without worries.
Osaka off of Toure, serves Korean and Japanese, including very good sushi, look for the sign on the left when heading towards Sea Cliff.
Goong serves authentic Korean food. Is on the first dirt road on the left going into Slipway.
Azuma at the Slipway. Sushi.
SweetEazy at the Oyster Bay Complex on Toure Drive. Roof top as well as inside dining area. Live music some nights. Good bar.
Garden on Haile Selassie, on the way to Seacliff past the new large Shoppers grocery store. Large, outdoors, shaded with good menu and music and dancing Friday and Saturday.
Thai Restaurant on Chole Road. Large, outdoors, shaded with extensive menu. There is also a new Thai restaurant on Kaunda Drive just off of Bagomoyo Road. All dishes Tsh 6,000.
If you want to enjoy Italian try these places:
L’oliveto at the Movenpick Royal Palm serves North African (Egyptian) cuisine, and cuisine spanning the Mediterranean to Spain, and upscale Italian food.
Saverio’s has Italian-style pizza, pasta dishes and good calamari and gamberi, a calamari and shrimp fried dish.
Mediterraneo Hotel & Restaurant, You can find here a wide choice of Italian/Mediterranean dishes, homemade pasta and delicious seafood dishes, plus a view of the Indian Ocean.
Shooter’s Steak & burgers. Off Old Bagamoyo Road at Namanga Junction.
Noah’s Ark, Italian restaurant. Off Old Bagamoyo Road at Namanga Junction. Excellent pizza baked in a wood-fired oven.
Zuane Italian. Nice atmosphere, indoor and outdoor with a covered porch, seating in converted house with large garden. Good for family dinners or big groups. Excellent red snapper filet.
Zuane, actually, is the best Italian restaurant in Dar es Salaam. They serve pizzas as good as you can have in Italy, thanks to Chef Cristian’s ability, wood oven, choice of first quality food and last but not least of the best fresh mozzarella in Dar made in Tanzania. Pasta, meat dishes and cakes are also delicious.
Addis in Dar, on Ursino Street, in the Regency Estates neighborhood. This little known and out of way restaurant is superb. Addis is an Ethiopian restaurant that offers excellent food costing about Tzs 13,000 per dish.
They serve chicken, beef, lamb and vegetarian dishes, mostly stews, but some come without sauce on a bed of injera, a moist and springy Ethiopian flatbread.
The decor is fantastic and the atmosphere is excellent as well, with a rooftop dining area. Try the Ethiopian honey wine before your meal and the beautifully presented coffee after.
Often fills up so book ahead particularly if you are in a group.
Rehovot Ethiopian Restaurant, on Ali Bin Said, a side road off of Bagomoyo Road. Very close to Twiga Pub. You can see the sign for it on Bagomoyo Road, between Namanga/Kimweri and Haile Selassie.
This is a new restaurant. Owned by an Ethiopian/Tanzanian couple. Really good food and simple but pleasant Ethiopian decor, in a kind of garden yard. We finished up with real Ethiopian spiced tea.
They also sell Ethiopian clothes and play fantastic Ethiopian music on a good sound system. Teruwork formerly created dishes for Addis in Dar.
Al-Basha is the best middle-eastern food in Dar. They have two locations. City center on the corner of Morogoro and India Street and at the Mayfair Plaza in Mikocheni near the US Embassy.
Café and Bistros
Green Masai Restaurant & Cafe in Vikawe Street, Regent Estate, Mikocheni. This is a new restaurant, bar and coffee shop, owned by an Italian family.
Here you can taste a dish of pasta or grilled meat and fish in a relaxing green garden or in the makuti lounge. You can visit just for a drink or a coffee.
Internal parking is available, and if needed the staff will be pleased to call a taxi or a bajaj to pick you up after.
Access from Shoppers Mikocheni: take Ursino Street, turn right at the 1st street, then left in Chato Street; go straight until you see a container bar, and turn right into the street on the opposite side, go straight, turn left at the 1st street and go on until you see the place on your left.
Access from AAR Hospital on Chato Street: go straight and turn at left at the 1st street, then right at the 1st street; go on until you see the place on your right.
Belvedere; Bistro, Bar & Deli, Vijana Tower, Fire Station Road, Upanga. 11am-11pm. Upscale dining in a luxurious environment, Belvedere offers the quintessential experience for a modern twist in Dar es Salaam.
Mediterranean, Indian & oriental cuisines are all offered, with the luminous centralized bar, elegant lounge, private dining room – Belvedere has it all! +-TSH25,000.
SeaCliff Village and Slipway (peninsula), Harbor View Suites Mall, Samora Ave, and the Steer’s Complex, Ohio Street has many fast-food eateries in one place, as well as shopping.
Limited menus of Indian food, pizza, burgers, sandwich shops, ice cream and confectioners.
For upscale meals, visit the Dar es Salaam Serena formerly Mövenpick, even more formerly: the Royal Palm Hotel, The Holiday Inn, Kilimanjaro Hyatt Regency Hotel in the City Center.
All of these hotels offer excellent fixed-price breakfast buffets, which often include sparkling wine, and can be a good value.
Akemi Restautant. Tanzania’s only rotating restaurant. Located at Ohio road in Golden Jubilee Towers in the city center.
Zens Bar & Restaurant open every day from 6.30AM to 11PM. Located in Mikocheni “B” at Exclusive Resort Opposite St. Laureate Int. School, Kwa Warioba, Msikiti street.
Spurs SeaCliff Village. Good burgers, steaks, Mexican food, salad bar nothing particularly amazing, but quite possibly the only salad bar in Dar, milk shakes, ice cream desserts. Lots of wealthier families bring their often noisy children here, as there is a play area.
Karembezi Cafe SeaCliff Village. Good salads and soups as well as steaks, and an excellent fish platter which is for two people but can be shared by 3 if ordering other items as well.
You have the Indian Ocean views and it can be very pleasant and sometimes windy. Service is good but can be slow over the weekend.
The Blues Bar & Restaurant, Along Sam Nujoma Road at Mawasiliano Towers, Ground Floor,. International cuisine and a variety of cocktails.
Budget Meals can be found here:
Chef’s Pride Near the budget hotels in the Indian quarter. It caters mostly to tourists, but is very reasonably priced and has a good local menu.
Milap is a vegetarian Indian restaurant with very cheap prices.
Subway near the YWCA. Air-conditioned and all of the usual offerings. Great, quick served subs and other treats.
YWCA near the Cathedral, has a delicious and cheap canteen where you can order a traditional Tanzanian meal for under Tzs 2,000.
YMCA the other side of the cathedral from the YWCA. Along the same lines as the YWCA but has a wider range of fare, it has meals in the evenings, the YWCA does not serve alcohol. It’s the only budget place in the city center that does.
Steers Complex on Ohio street has several restaurants in one area. Burgers, pizza and Chinese stir fry.
The best place to eat in terms of best price and atmosphere, is on the street. Places to try include the corner of Morogoro road and Jamhuri street, or the large open space in front of the Dar Express bus company ticket office.
Chipsi mayai or chips in an omelet should be about 1000 or 1200 shillings.
Some great places to eat fresh, inexpensive, tasty local food outdoors, but under shade, where you will be served from vats are:
Chinese Restaurant on the corner of Samora and Mirambo. It also serves more expensive Chinese food in the basement.
Holiday Out on Garden, just past the Southern Sun Hotel which used to be called the Holiday Inn. There are three separate places serving food here.
Steers Out on Samora, just east of Steers.
All serve vegetarian (beans, rice, cooked bananas, greens, and more other for around Tsh 2000 or with meat (beef, chicken, lamb, fish) around Tsh 4000.
The clientele is mainly young Tanzanians with office jobs, many of whom speak English. All three of these restaurants are a few minutes walk from Mirambo where many Embassies are.
Drinking in Dar
You should only drink bottled water. A 1.5 litre bottle will cost you 1,000 shillings in a store or on the street, depending on the brand and 2000 or more at restaurants, but you can also drink tap water if you’ve purified it with iodine tablets or boiled it.
At least 3-5 minutes at a rolling boil. Seepage from the sewer pipes into the water pipes is quite common.
Kilimanjaro, Serengeti and Safari the latter being a stronger beer, 5.5% alcohol are local beers and popular with Tanzanians and foreigners.
These are typically 1100-1400 shillings apiece for 500ml bottles in local spots, but can cost 3000 or more at some bars and restaurants.
Imported beer available in Dar includes Tusker, Ndovu, Stella Artois, Castle Lager and Heineken.
The African imports Tusker, Ndovu are not that much more expensive than local beer, but European beer can be three to four times the price of domestics.
Konyagi is a popular local gin, and its variant Konyagi Ice is comparable to hard lemonade and other sweet drinks.
Krest, bottled locally by Coca Cola, offers club soda, tonic water and bitter lemon drinks. Stoney Tangawizi or ginger ale but stronger in taste is one of the more popular soda drinks.
Sodas come in glass bottles and you’ll usually be asked to return the bottle or pay extra to take it, but they don’t usually like that.
All of the large hotels have full bars with air conditioning. Many offer 2-for-1 happy hour specials in the late afternoon/early evening.
Florida Inn near the UN building by the ferry port, offers South African Castle which Tanzanians insist on pronouncing Castel on tap, as well as nice air conditioning and a pool table upstairs.
New Protein Bar, down the street from Chef’s Pride. Good food and cheap. Sidewalk seating. The only bar in the Indian section of Dar near the budget hotels.
The Slow Leopard A great bar and restaurant to go and get a cold beer and a great burger. The best place to watch sport in town especially rugby.
Zen’s Bar & Restaurant Zens Bar has a wide selection of drinks in a tranquil atmosphere. Find us in Mikocheni “B”at Exclusive Resort Opposite St. Laureate Int. School, Kwa Warioba, Msikiti street.
Q Bar, Haille Selassie Road, Oysterbay area. A large bar and restaurant which can get crowded and noisy when major football games are shown on giant screens or on Friday night when there is live music.
Daily drink specials. Famous as prostitute hangout. Large crowd of locals and foreigners, usually men.
O’Willie’s Irish Whiskey Tavern at the Peninsula Hotel, near the Slipway is now the Cape Town Fish Market
Kibo is another popular spot.
Jackie’s Bar & Restaurant, Haille Selassie Road, Oysterbay is more laid-back.
The cost of accommodation can vary from 10000 Tzs a night for very basic rooms to hundreds of dollars for the Holiday Inn Hotel.
The YMCA near Posta daladala stand is the main place to stay and meet fellow backpackers. It fills up quickly.
Pop Inn Hotel, Sofia Kawawa Street, single from 10000 Tsh, double from 15000 Tsh. Some might think it a dump of a place with tiny, grimy, windowless rooms.
It’s the cheapest in town, and it seldom gets fully booked. Due to the rising price of oil, the inn has increased the prices per room per night to 10.000 for a single; double or triple: 15,000.
Conveniently located 10 minutes walk from the city center. Lockpads are available, but bring a lock with you.
Tamarine Guest House, Sofia Kawawa Street, single from 10000 Tsh, double from 15000 Tsh. Slightly nicer than the Pop Inn, often fully booked. Lockpads. Ten minutes walk from city center.
Safari Inn, around Libya Street, has singles with private bathroom from usd 20000Tsh per night with simple breakfast. 30000Tsh per night for double with fan. 35000 for AC.
The hotel has an Internet café, and there are restaurants nearby.
YWCA, just next to the YMCA, offers singles with fan and shared bathroom for 10,000 TSH per night and family rooms, which also can be rented by one person, with a small fan for 8000 TSH.
Rooms and bathrooms are clean. Basic breakfast is included. They are developing a reputation for not honoring reservations, based on a local situation of enough cheap accommodations and many no shows. Can be noisy.
YMCA, round the corner from the YWCA, opposite the new Holiday inn on Makataba Street. Rooms are 20’000 / 25’000/- for single / double, less if you are a Tanzanian resident.
Econo Lodge, close to the Safari Inn, has nice single rooms with private bathroom for 20000 TSH per night.
Jambo Inn Hotel, on Libya Street close to Econolodge, double room with a fan with private bathroom for 26000 TSH per night, single 20.000 TSH. In hotel Internet and restaurant.
This place is the primary favored backpacker hotel in the centre. Good restaurant, slow Internet connection.
Holiday Hotel, Located on Jamhuri Street. An old colonial-era building that has been managed by the same Indian family for three generations.
Singles with shared bath for around 15,000, en suite doubles for 25,000. Has alot of character but is a bit run down and the mattresses are old in some rooms.
CEFA Hostel If you don’t want to spend too much and get a clean room with a good service, this hostel will serve you well. Situated in Mikocheni B, on Old Bagamoyo Road, breakfast included, starting from $25.
The hostel is run by CEFA, an Italian NGO that helps finance its rural development projects in the inner part of the country with the proceeds.
Very kind staff, Wi-Fi connection available free for guests, a wonderful terrace with a view of the sea, excellent Italian meals for less than $4.
The place usually is booked up quite quickly so it’s better to book in advance.
Passionist Fathers House is in Mikocheni B near the CEFA hostel, 35.000 TSH for a single, 50.000 TSH for a full breakfast for two. Rooms have mosquito nets, showers, air conditioning, wireless Internet connection and very friendly staff.
They also have a safe car park. Mikocheni B is to the north of Dar es Salaam.
Q Bar and Guest House, Haille Selassie Road, Oysterbay area. A little further out of town in the Oysterbay area. Q Bar and Guest House has very clean rooms starting at USD $35, and a nice backpacker room for USD $15.
Downstairs there’s a large bar and restaurant which can get crowded and noisy. Football games and other events are shown on giant screens; Friday night there is live music.
Transit Motel Ukonga. Located close to the Dar Es Salaam International Airport. Handy for guests with early departure flights. Small but clean houses with private showers, nice split ACs in each room. Rate from US$30.0 per room per night, B&B.
Transit Motel Airport. Located close to the Dar Es Salaam International Airport. Handy for guests with early departure flights. Clean houses with private showers, split ACs in each room. Rate from US$30.0 per room per night, B&B.
Sophia House, Hotels and Apartments , Located in City Center next to Peacock Hotel. Self service apartments that come with free laundry, breakfast and Internet. They usually charge $45/day.
Hotel is clean and has good staff, each room has self contained baths and some rooms even have electric heating stovetops/hotplates to cook your own food. Every floor has a shared kitchen.
Dar has many inexpensive guest houses outside of the city centre, particularly in the area south of the university.
If you feel like experiencing the real Dar as most of its residents do, ask for help finding a cheap “gesti” and be prepared to go off the beaten track.
If you’re coming or going by bus there’s a number of basic gestis in the Sinza area just around the corner from Ubungo bus terminal. A taxi driver should be able to help you find one in your chosen price range.
There are plenty of expensive hotels in and around Dar but here are some modern hotels which are reasonably priced:
The Peacock Hotel in Dar Center is an air conditioned hotel with some luxurious rooms. For $80 after a small bit of haggling, you will have a double room overlooking the park. The hotel has a restaurant but no swimming pool and wireless internet access.
Next door to the Peacock is the Starlight Hotel, which isn’t luxurious but very secure. You can get a double room for under $40.
Heritage Motel. Located on Bridge Street, just off Samora Avenue and near the Zanzibar ferry station. New hotel with very clean rooms starting from US$66. Includes breakfast at the Lebanese restaurant downstairs.
Rainbow Hotel On Morogoro Road just down the street from Heritage Motel. Similar to Heritage, but a little cheaper and less upscale. Clean rooms. Opened October 2010.
Fully appointed en-suite rooms from US$45; upper floor doubles (from $65) have excellent harbor views. Second floor restaurant has good Indian meals. Roof deck with panoramic city views. Free Wi-Fi. Very friendly staff.
Harbour View Suites. Harbour View Suites on Samora Avenue occupies the top floors of a modern office building. Rooms are large and very comfortable and have a fully fitted kitchen. Rates start at US$110. Excellent breakfast for US$7.50.
On the ground floor a well stocked supermarket, an Italian pizza and coffee house for take-outs and a subway sandwich shop. Internet access in all rooms and in the business center.
About 5 km north of the US Embassy, on New Bagamoyo Road, is the Peacock Hotel, formerly Millennium Towers Hotel. An a/c room at this 5 star hotel can be had, with a bit of haggling, for $75, including breakfast and internet access.
Although this beautiful hotel has a swimming pool, a number of bars and restaurants, a small shopping mall right next door, and a cinema within walking distance, be warned that there is nothing else worth seeing or doing within 5 km.
Traffic can get so bad at certain times of the day that going anywhere, especially by dalla dalla, requires Herculean patience, copious amounts of water, and a copy of War and Peace, which should be just about right for the ride to and from the hotel.
Mediterraneo Hotel & Restaurant, is in Kawe about 15km north of the city center, overlooking the Indian Ocean. Rooms have: air conditioning,television, safe locker in the room. The swimming pool is 10 m from the beach, and there is a free Internet point in the reception area, and wireless access around the bar & the lounge area.
Exclusive Lodge is in the heart of Mikocheni situated at Msikiti Street opposite St. Laureate International School, Kwa Warioba. 10km from the Mbezi beaches, 20km from the airport and 10km from the city center.
All rooms have a mini-bar, a TV set with satellite channels, ironing board and mosquito nets.
Slipway. On the peninsula. Rooms for $90. In a small complex of shops and restaurants.
Pugu Hills, a 6 hectare Nature Centre, just 12 KM from Dar es Salaam airport. There is a pool and hiking opportunities. The Centre also has a short 1 KM nature trail on the premises.
For overnight stay there are 4 lovely elevated bandas in the forested area which cost 80 to 100USD including breakfast for 2 persons. Camping with your own tent is possible for 10USD per person.
South Beach Resort. The South Beach Resort is situated in Kigamboni along the South Coast of Dar es Salaam, 8 km from the East Ferry Terminal. Amenities include a/c, a private balcony overlooking the Indian Ocean, satellite tv, and in-room safes.
Also swimming pool, 22 seater jacuzzi, pool tables, sheesha, sports and beach bars. Weekends offer great music and great atmosphere. Water sports such as jet skiing and beach sports such as volleyball are also available.
Weekdays & offdays as low as $65. Double bed & breakfast is $100. SBR also offers camping facilities for $10/night and cabana rentals for $30 per couple per night.
Triniti GuestHouse. Triniti is a home away from home located in the Peninsula. Only a few minutes from downtown, you feel a total different vibe. Mostly because of their magnificient omnipresent garden.
Next to the Ugandan Embassy. They have 12 unique rooms which vary from 75000TSH (single), 90000TSH (double) or 105000TSH (En Suite). All rooms include A/C, large and comfy bed, mosquito net, fridge, tv, free internet Wi-Fi all around the site and freshly renovated bathrooms.
The Lighthouse Beach Resort. The Lighthouse Beach Resort is situated in Kigamboni, 40 km from the ferry between Dar es Salaam city center and Kigamboni. It has 6 bungalows, a restaurant, a bar and a panoramic rooftop.
It has a private beach where it is possible to organize activities for all the family. This accommodation is advised also for couples and tourists looking for a quiet place away from the busy life of the city.
Best Western Coral Beach Hotel. The hotel is Steps away from the breathtaking Indian Ocean and beach, you can take a swim in the outdoor pool.
Unwind in the sauna or hot tub and get energized in the fitness center, with a treadmill, bicycle, elliptical, and a weight machine.
You can see Indian Ocean, and lounge on the sands of hotel’s private beach.
Best Wester Plus Peninsula Hotel. The hotel is Located near Coco Beach and the National Museum of Tanzania, this stylish hotel features airy, modern rooms with free Wi-Fi, flat panel TVs and coffeemakers.
Guests enjoy complimentary parking, free hot breakfast and free airport shuttle service. Amenities include a restaurant, cocktail bar, coffee shop, fitness center and spa.
Dar also has its fair share of hotels which cater largely to foreigners traveling here for work.
The rates for these hotels are typically near or start slightly above the maximum per diem accommodation rates for NGOs such as the United Nations or USAID. As with most things in Tanzania, there is often room for negotiation.
The Paradise City Hotel Tanzania
Hyatt Regency Dar es Salaam, The Kilimanjaro. On the harbour, located conveniently in city centre, this luxury hotel offers rooms for USD$225 and up. Great breakfast buffet, and a world class spa with Thai masseuses.
Southern Sun. A bit far from city centre but still fine for walks during the day.
Movenpick Royal Palm. On Ohio Road at the edge of city centre. Billets KLM and British Airways flight crews.
Holiday Inn , near Posta.
Sea Cliff Hotel. Includes a beautiful pool and gym with sea view. It also includes an outpost of the excellent Alcove Restaurant, serving food similar to the one downtown.
Alexander’s Hotel, 1216 Msasani, Gordon.
Pippa: Gourmet restaurant. Boutique hotel, relaxed elegance. Satellite TV, wireless and Internet connection, safe location, fully stocked mini-bar, tea and coffee, air conditioned, poolside rooms.
Golden Tulip. Along Toure Drive on the way to Sea Cliff. Nice pool-side bistro.
If you want to escape the city, there are a few upscale hotels just outside of Dar.
White Sands Hotel Just off the road to Bagamoyo, New Bagamoyo Road, about a 45 minute drive from the city center, without all of the traffic of course.
Some people may like this option as there are several scuba diving schools situated in and around the hotel.
Jangwani Sea Breeze Resort.
Eclipse Group of Hotels.
There are also some good hotels on the South Coast via the Kigamboni ferry. The beaches here are better than north of the city and have long expanses of white sand next to turquoise waters.
Amani Beach Hotel is around 30km from Dar es Salaam and between a mid price and a splurge and prices start from $167 per bungalow which sleeps two adults and includes breakfast.
There are only 10 beach bungalows so it feels quite exclusive and private and each bungalow overlooks the ocean with a big terrace and hammock. Two extra beds can be put in the bungalow for a small additional fee.
Lots of facilities are available on site like a tennis court, petanque swimming pool and nature walks but you’ll need to book horse riding, massages and village walks with a bit of notice.
The best thing about Amani Beach Hotel is the environment, beautiful tropical gardens with monkeys running around, fish, eagles soaring overhead and there is even turtle hatching on the beach in season.
Ras Kutani This is part of the Selous Safari Company and is more of a safari lodge on the beach than a hotel. It is within easy reach of Dar es Salaam next to Amani Beach with a private landing strip.
It has 9 ensuite cottages and some bigger suites on the hill all made with traditional materials. It is a very peaceful and totally relaxing place with an almost deserted long sandy beach in front.
A little bit further away, you can find a beautiful place called The Lighthouse Beach Resort. With a relaxing home away from home atmosphere you can enjoy this 2.5 km beach.
The place is built to fit in to the environment, and you can enjoy the beautiful view from the rooftop terrace.
Tanzania is one of the least policed countries in the world. Rapes and murders often go unreported and little data exists to suggest how common these crimes are.
Domestic violence and sexual harassment, which often goes well beyond verbal cat-calling, are extremely common. Foreign female students have documented multiple accounts of sexual assualt and/or rape.
These cases often go unreported/under-reported by universities with study abroad programs in Tanzania, and of course by the Tanzanian authorities themselves.
Walking alone at night outside the most exclusive areas talk about Oyster Bay, the Slipway, Sea Cliff, etc. is extremely inadvisable for foreigners.
Men stand a high chance of being mugged, women of being mugged and/or sexually assaulted. Dar is often very poorly lit. The city experiences a great many power outages. This makes lone women particularly vulnerable.
Most travelers who are in Dar on a short stay will, fortunately, not face these challenges.
Similarly, most expatriates who live in Dar are sequestered well enough with cars, security guards, in upscale neighborhoods, etc. not to have to worry about this sort of thing.
The most common crimes, and the biggest risk for most travelers, will be muggings and petty thefts. Muggings occur very frequently, including sometimes on the street in broad daylight.
Sometimes, but not always, the victim gets roughed up. Foreign students at the University of Dar es Salaam have been mugged at machete point.
Never carry your wallet anywhere easily accessible, a back pocket, an outside flap of a backpack or purse, etc.
Avoid walking on the beach like Cocoa Beach while carrying valuables, as many of these places are invisible from the road.
Dar can be a friendly place, and you can certainly have an enjoyable visit there, but avoid carrying valuables as you may draw problems.
You can walk in the city in the evening but as it gets darker and you see fewer people on the street, take the hint and exercise caution. It might be better to take a taxi.
If you are noticeably foreign, remember that many people will assume you have valuables and may be an easy target.
Parking in dark sectors of the beach is a bad idea as thieves and junkies crouch in the dark waiting for the unaware foreigner to park, turn-off the engine and leave the car to have a nice view of the Dar night from the beach.
Thugs plan which to be stolen or have valuables stolen by a waiting unseen groups, in the case of a male foreigner or assault and steal in the case of a female foreigner. For a female foreigner, do not attempt.
Parking in a place without a guard creates the serious risk of having lights or other car parts extracted.
It is not uncommon for people to try to steal things through open windows, while you are waiting for lights to change, or to open unlocked doors and either get in or swipe something.
Some people have had passersby attempt to snatch purses off their laps while sitting in the back of a taxi at an intersection.
There is a major police station at Selendar Bridge on Ocean Road and other police posts in various other places.
If you don’t follow the driving rules or sometimes even if you do, you will spend time and money, either discussing with them their price or more formally in the police station.
Police here ask for lifts regularly to get places but you are not obliged to take them if you feel uncomfortable.
There is a great deal of corruption in Tanzania. Skin color, bribes, and connections to known elites in town still, unfortunately, hold a lot of sway.
A number of visitors have reported being pickpocketed in crowds at the Posta daladala stand. If you’re walking past this it’s best to cross the road to avoid the crowd.
If you’re getting a daladala be aware of your possessions, be particularly aware of people stopping suddenly in front of you, this is sometimes done to block you in while someone behind you goes through your bags.
Other well known pickpocket sites are the ferry to Kigamboni, the Mnazi Mmoja dala stand, the trinket stalls on Samora Av and Karriakoo Market.
There’s no reason to avoid these areas just be aware of your possessions when you are there, particularly bags. Using razor blades to cut into bags to remove items is quite common and really annoying.
If you are robbed, you have a few options. None of them are good. You can yell, “mwizi!” This means thief in Swahili.
If you do this in a crowded place, you will very likely incite a mob to form. The mob might corner the thief and detain him until the police arrive.
They might also beat up the thief very badly, possibly to the point of death. Theft carries huge risks in a culture where people possess very few material goods.
The social punishments for stealing can be brutal beatings or, in some cases, death. Weigh the worth of your $40 cell phone or purse against the potential results of fomenting a stir.
If you are in a crowded place like the downtown Posta daladala stand, for example, you will, at the very least, create a gigantic scene.
Probably cause someone to be beaten, and have to spend a day dealing with the Dar es Salaam police department in sweltering, inefficient conditions including asking you for a bribe to “speedup” the case or as facilitation to deal with the case.
Much more practical just to exercise extreme care with how you carry your belongings, and to avoid carrying valuables (i.e. anything you can’t afford to lose) altogether.
Be careful when taking taxis at night, particularly if you are alone, where possible use a driver you know or ask someone to call a taxi for you.
If staying in Dar for an extended period of time, try to get the phone numbers of the first fair, seemingly trustworthy cabbies you encounter. Keep using them.
If you are living in Dar without a car, this will greatly increase your safety.
Taking buses at night and walking in poorly lit areas alone or in small groups particularly of women, noticeable foreigners, or other people who might look like easy targets is a great way to increase the risk of something bad happening like mugging, rape, etc.
Split taxis when possible. Some travelers have narrowly escaped potentially violent muggings and/or rape and others were not so fortunate.
Remember that, generally speaking, the more you stand out, the higher your risk factor will be. It is possible to have a wonderful time in Dar, if you make yourself aware of these risks and adapt accordingly.
Guide books neglect a great deal of this common sense information when it comes to Tanzania.
There are quite a number of Internet Cafes in Dar located in different places, but CybeBase Internet Cafe is the most popular especially for visitors CybeBase Internet Cafe is located along Shekilango Road in Sinza.
Zanzibar: There is a ferry to Zanzibar which leaves four times a day. The price varies from $35 to $45 per person and takes 2-3+ hours.
The one that costs $45 takes you to Zanzibar in one and a half hour. The cheaper one takes 3 hours and is often overcrowded.
Tickets can be bought from the docks near the German church and all tickets for tourists, regardless of which ferry you want to travel on, are bought from the flying horse ticket window.
Although it is improving, watch out for touts, scams, and pick-pockets in this area. Buy your tickets only from the ticket windows.
Although you might manage to save some money by getting a resident rate, you could also get into a lot of trouble without a resident permit.
Watch out for the 7 Hour Ferry Ride Booth: Some taxi drivers will take you on purpose to this booth where a crew of friendly liars will help with your bag and assure you that you are at the right place for individuals.
They charge $35 but may fail to mention that it is also a freight ferry which is a very slow boat that takes freight and vehicles as well as people and takes more than 7 hours to arrive.
Morogoro: About three hours from Dar es Salaam, one can visit the NGO APOPO in Morogoro on the way to Mikumi National Parc.
This organization started in 1998 to train giant rats to help remove land mines in Mozambique and recently started investigating the potential use of this low-cost technology for the detection of TB pathogens.
Mafia Island: About 30′ flight from Dar es Salaam domestic airport Mafia Island these well-preserved islands host antiquities dating back to the eleventh century.
Its reefs are known for excellent diving and snorkeling.
Saadani or Mikumi National Park: You may go for safari in these national parks, they have a lot to offer you, contact Shrike Safaris.