Dar es Salaam began as a small fishing village, and has grown to a bustling modern city, major port, and center for business and culture in East Africa. This is a cosmopolitan city where you'll find a range of influences, including Islamic and South Asian elements along with native Tanzanian culture. From enjoying the sights of the harbor to markets and discovering great street food along with fine dining, there's a great deal to explore in Dar es Salaam.
From lounging at the beach to exploring scuba diving or deep sea fishing, you'll want to take advantage of the city's picturesque waterfront.
Experience the city's rich culture at venues like the Makumbusho Village Museum, including dance and other performances.
Find one-of-a-kind souvenirs at the Wonder Workshop, where disabled artisans create art out of recycled materials, or check out the lively markets.
Enjoy the area's spectacular wildlife with a safari to nearby Mikumi National Park, or a more extensive side trip to Selous Game Reserve.
The city is home to a thriving dining and nightlife scene, with live music and dance clubs a favorite of locals and visitors alike.
The weather is warm and humid year round, with daytime temperatures averaging between 82 and 87. Most visitors come during the drier season, between June and October.
The Julius Nyerere International Airport (DAR), Tanzania's main airport, is located about 6 miles west of the city. A taxi ride to the city should cost about Tsh15,000.
There are two train options through Dar es Salaam, including Tanzania Railways Limited, with connections to Dodoma and more. TAZARA Railway runs a scenic route through the Selous Game Reserve and on to Zambia.
Highways connect Dar es Salaam to most major centers in the region and nationally, including the A-7 to Morogoro. The Tanzam Highway runs from Zambia to Dar es Salaam along the the Cairo-Cape Town Highway.
Kilimanjaro Express and Dar Express are two of the largest bus companies with service to Dar es Salaam, offering connections to Arusha and beyond.
Stay in the conveniently located Hotel Slipway, with value-priced rooms and standard amenities. The Dar es Salaam Serena Hotel offers modern luxury with ocean views.
City Center - this is where you'll find the historic part of the city, along with a busy retail area.
Msasani Peninsula - this geographic peninsula is where you'll find many of the city's upscale neighborhoods, along with restaurants, shopping, and dining options.
Mikocheni - this neighborhood in the central area of the city is home to a busy retail area along with some mid-priced bars and restaurants.
The city is served by the Dar es Salaam commuter rail service as well as a rapid bus transit system. Fares start at Tsh800.
You'll know taxis by their white license plate, with a taxi number usually painted on the side of the car. Be sure to locate a taxi and get a phone number to call during the day for any evening trips. Typical fare in town costs about Tsh7,000.
The streets are not always in good condition or well lit at night. Combined with dense traffic and you may decide a car isn't worth your while. Companies include Europcar and Solidarity Car Rentals, and a rental starts at Tsh51,000.
The Slipway mall offers upscale stores and a craft market. There are other artisan markets in the Msasani Peninsula. The Kariakoo Market, full of bargains, is in the central part of the city.
Village Supermarket, Ten to Ten, and TSN Supermarket are located across the city. A dozen eggs costs about Tsh6,900.
You'll love the delicious South Asian cuisine at Chapan Bhog, with meals starting at Tsh6,000. Mamboz Corner BBQ offers classic East African barbecue with main dishes starting from Tsh4,000.