Dar Es Salaam City

Welcome to the biggest city in Tanzania

The name Dar es salaam means “haven of peace” in Arabic and was more fitting of Dar’s former status as a sleepy fishing village than this now booming metropolis. Located along the coast of the Indian Ocean, Dar es Salaam is the largest city in Tanzania and home to a wide range of people and cultures. Known for its beaches, islands, seafood and music, the city is brimming with a variety of activities for every type of tourist. With this Dar es salaam city tour you gonna understand better the city. About 45 km (28 mi) south of the island of Zanzibar. The city is the main port of entry to Tanzania and the transportation hub of the country.

Dar es salaam Population

It is the largest city in East Africa and the seventh-largest in Africa, estimated population of 6,275,315 in 2021. On the Swahili coast, Dar esSalaam is an important economic center and one of the fastest growing cities in the world.

Dar es salaam weather and Climate

In Tanzania The climate is tropical and coastal areas are hot and humid, while the northwestern highlands are cool and temperate. There are two rainy seasons; the short rains are generally from October to December, while the long rains last from March to June.

Dar es salaam map

Where is Dar es Salaam Located? What Country is Dar es Salaam in? Dar es Salaam Map | Where is Map

Is it safe in Dar es salaam?

Dar es salaam is very safe city to walk around in a day time, and even in a night time unless you got someone to lead you to the places and basically to the nightlife, Nevertheless there a lot of insight to see as well, most depend on your choices. However, Mount Kilimanjaro, the northern circuit of African wildlife and the island of Zanzibar, are the reasons why many tourists that visit Tanzania, miss to explore Dar es salaam city tour altogether.

It’s fun to explore Dar es Salaam city tour on your own, but tour guides offer expert knowledge and connections that you can’t get anywhere else. To make the most of your trip, choose from the experiences listed here and see Dar es salaam city from a new perspective. An expert guide can give you just the insider experience you’ve been craving.

What it is like to live in Dar es salaam?

Living in Dar es Salaam brings many advantages along with the tropical climate: the city has a friendly atmosphere, good services and relatively good job opportunities; there are still some downsides, which is good to know in advance.

Short history about Dar es salaam

Dar es Salaam (Haven 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 when the Barawa people started to settle and cultivate the area around Mbwa Maji, Magogoni, Mjimwema, Gezaulole, and Kibonde Maji Mbagara. 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 centres.

How do you get around in Dar es salaam

Flights Within Dar es Salaam

If you are arriving by air, you will likely land in Dar es Salaam. Be mindful that local airlines offering connections to other domestic destinations, such as Arusha or Kilimanjaro are notorious for their delays and cancellations, while flights to smaller towns such as Kigoma may be advertised but actually unavailable.As a rule of thumb, plan for flight delays and give yourself a day before catching your international flight back home. Private flights are available to connect to the National Parks, but their price tag is significantly higher.

Is there Uber in dar es Salaam?

Can you request a ride with Uber at Dar es Salaam Airport? Whether you’ve just landed or are preparing to leave Dar es Salaam, Uber is on hand to get you where you need to be.

Taxis

Tanzania‘s largest city is Dar es Salaam, an urban centre spread out along the Eastern coastline. Dar Es Salaam is notorious for its chaotic traffic, which can be a nightmare during weekday business hours. There are limited traffic lights, which rotate on an infrequent basis, meaning when you catch a red light you will be waiting for a while. Registered taxis are generally safe and easily accessible from the Dar airport for 50,000 Tsh (or 20,000 Tsh in smaller towns). In Dar Es Salaam, the white cars will be identifiable with a yellow stripe and a three-digit number along the side. It’s always best to determine the cost of your fare with the driver based on a flat-rate before departing. If your taxi passes through a toll stop, the toll is typically paid by the taxi driver, not you. Tuk-tuk’s and boda bodas (motor bike taxis) are cheaper options available throughout Tanzania, but are more dangerous than taxi cars in urban traffic. Many tuk-tuk and bike taxi’s are not registered, so be aware of the risk for theft and ATM extortion, particularly at night. Uber is relatively new to Dar es Salaam, providing a taxi alternative in the capital.

Buses

Local buses (dala dalas) are a cheap way to get around Tanzania’s cities, at only 500 Tsh per ride, but will require some Swahili language skills. If you take a dala dala, expect to get ‘up close and personal’ with your neighbors as it will be a tight and bumpy ride. Be mindful of your wallet and cell phone on these buses. Overland buses are an economical option to travel from city to city across Tanzania, but they can be extremely long and uncomfortable journeys due to the poorly maintained roads. Don’t expect any A/C or a toilet on board – many overland buses are quite basic and have been known to break down on the side of the road.

You will have several opportunities to use a toilet or get food at various stops along the way and it’s a good idea to take your bag or backpack if you exit the bus.

Trains

Trains are a safe transit option to connect from Dar es Salaam to both Mwanza and Kigoma via Tabora. There is also a second railway service which runs all the way Southwest to Zambia.

Though the railway system is a more comfortable transit option than buses, they do require the luxury of time and have been known for their significant delays, which could leave you stranded at the connecting train station at night.

To plan ahead for this situation, it’s suggested to carry a cell phone with a local SIM to make emergency calls. It’s also recommended to safely stow luggage if you are traveling on a sleeper carriage and intend to get some shut eye. Never accept food or drink from a stranger, as there have been reports of drug-related thefts.

Self Driving

If you decide to self-drive within urban areas, you should know the rules of the road (or lack-there-of), parking regulations and potential risks. Car jacking is uncommon, but thieves have stolen valuables from unlocked vehicles and opened windows at traffic stops, so keep your windows closed and doors locked while driving.

For cross-country driving, it’s highly recommended to get a 4×4 vehicle with rental insurance and a local SIM card for outgoing calls in case your vehicle breaks down. Stretches of road between towns can be extremely isolated, so try to stay off the roads at night and plan accordingly with food, water and petrol.

Be aware that buses may attempt to pass you, and oncoming vehicles will come into your lane to pass other cars. In the event of an accident, drive to the nearest police station to report the incident.

What should you wear in Dar es salaam

You can buy clothes in Dar, Zanzibar and Arusha if necessary. Shorts are acceptable only while on safari for both men and women. Women should bring a wrap skirt (for over shorts) or wear capri-length or long pants to cover legs in villages and towns as revealing clothes can cause offense.

How many hours From Dar es salaam to Zanzibar

The distance between Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar Island is 77 km. How do I travel from Dar es Salaam to Zanzibar Island without a car? The best way to get from Dar es Salaam to Zanzibar Island without a car is to ferry which takes 3h 2m and costs $35 – $80 or the Flights approximately $100 takes 1 hour.

How to Bargain & Deal With Touts in Dar es Salaam

Like many other countries, touting and bartering are a way of life in Dar es salaam and all over the country. Find out how to hold your ground and barter with the locals with these tips. Tourists are usually the recipients of this forceful, often quite annoying form of selling, so don‘t think you won‘t be targeted by a keen salesman.

Experiencing Tanzanian Touting

Most touts will corner you the minute you jump out of your bus or safari vehicle.Remember, you are going to stand out in African marketplaces, so you will be spotted and followed with offers, deals and a large display of products.

Most touts will yell Mzungu (white traveler) at you until you respond.That will of course keep them interested and it will be hard to shake them. Another tactic is to introduce themselves and ask for your name. While this might sound harmless, before you know it you will have 20 people screaming your name, each offering a fantastic bargain.The deals are always inflated ridiculously above the product’s true worth.

How to Avoid Touts in Tanzania

The quick answer, you won‘t always be able to avoid touts, but a good way to lessen the constant nagging, is to learn Swahili.

Always remember Hapana Asante which is “No, Thank You” in Swahili. This should keep most touts at a distance.

They will be impressed you know basic Swahili and they will know you aren‘t going to be a typical tourist they can manipulate or convince.

The other tactic is to be forceful in your ‘No‘ and keep walking. Don‘t be rude, but make it clear you don‘t want the product they are trying to sell. Usually they will give up and won‘t continue to pester someone who‘s not interested in buying anything.

But these folks are persistent, so prepare for a few minutes in saying ‘No‘.

Bartering in Tanzania

If you decide you do want to buy something from these street sellers, learn how to bargain. The prices you are inflated and the sellers will try to take as many crisp notes from your wallet as possible. Negotiation and bartering are culturally allowed and expected. But what you think will be a good deal, will most likely be a standard price. Don’t forget to barter on your taxi fares too otherwise you be charged double.

It‘s quite common for a person to buy a product, only to find it cheaper around the corner. But this is Africa, local people are in need of your dollar and will work hard to get it.

Tanzania has a lot of poverty, so if you do decide to barter with local touts, decide on a price that is fair, and don‘t try to force the price too low. Many of the locals don‘t have what many travelers have, so operating in a respectable and honest way means you will be greeted with a smile and a good deal. You get a wonderful reminder of your trip, and they get to feed their family or send their kids to school. It’s a win-win!

Where to Stay in Dar es Salaam

On average, 3-star hotels in Dar es Salaam cost $55 per night, and 4-star hotels in Dar es Salaam are $81 per night. If you’re looking for something really special, a 5-star hotel in Dar es Salaam can be found for $210 per night, on average.

Luxury Hotels: On the harborfront, the Hyatt Regency Dar es Salaam, The Kilimanjaro is one of the city’s top hotels. Amenities include a spa with a sauna and steam room, two restaurants, a lounge with an outdoor terrace, and a harbor-view infinity pool. Many rooms have water views.
Mid-Range Hotels: A few blocks away from the Hyatt, Southern Sun Dar es Salaam has an outdoor pool and is only a five-minute walk to the National Museum and botanical garden.
Also with an outdoor pool, and in a quiet neighborhood near the beach, the Protea Hotel by Marriott Dar es Salaam Courtyard is an older colonial-style hotel with friendly staff and cozy rooms. Both these hotels include breakfast in their rates.

Beautiful Islands near Dar es Salaam
Tanzania boasts an assortment of islands, scattered around its coastline and in the Indian Ocean. Whether you are looking for an island with eco-friendly adventures, indigenous culture or white sandy beach, you’ll surely find the best one that will suit your style in Tanzania. For an ultimate East African island escape, here are some of the best islands near Dar Es salaam:

Bongoyo Island

The beautiful island of Bongoyo lies off the coast of Dar es Salaam, about 30-minute boat ride. It is a popular island for day trips, snorkelling and sunbathing. You can trek across the island to the Shark’s lagoon, visit the magical beaches or explore the diverse marine life and coral on the island. Don’t forget to have a taste of fresh and delicious seafood at the beachfront restaurant on the island. It’s an ideal place with beautiful scenery, where you can relax and enjoy the tranquillity of nature.

How do I get to Bongoyo Island from Dar es Salaam?

The easiest way to get to Bongoyo Island from Dar es Salaam is to hop aboard a ferry at the Slipway. The first ferry leaves the Slipway at 9:30 am, and the last boat returns at 5 pm. The crossing usually takes around 30 minutes.

Mbudya Island

Find yourself surrounded by pristine white-sand beaches and shimmering turquoise waters on an idyllic island paradise. Just a 15-minute boat ride from the busy cityscape of Dar es Salaam will take you to Mbudya Island where you can unwind in thatched huts and treat yourself to fresh seafood and refreshing beverages, accompanied by the soothing sounds of the ocean. Lounge on the beach and soak up the sun, go for a swim, or enjoy a snorkeling adventure – there are many ways to have a great time at this popular day-trip destination.

Where can I board the ferry to Mbudya Island?

The ferry to Mbudya Island departs from the Slipway pier in Dar es Salaam. The boat ride costs around 40,000 TZN ($17.40) and the journey takes around 45 minutes each way. The ferries depart twice in the morning (9:30 am and 11:30 am) and the last ferry returns to the Slipway at around 4:30 pm.

How much will it cost to rent snorkeling gear?

You can rent snorkeling equipment on Mbudya Island for around $15. The gear includes snorkels and fins. With clear waters that harbor numerous species of marine life, the island is a prime destination for some underwater exploration.