Planning a Trip to Dar Es Salaam

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Overview

Nestled on the Indian Ocean coast, Dar es Salaam is Tanzania’s largest city and logistics hub. The title Dar belongs to Dodoma, a drab administrative city located inland and best avoided. The city of Dar es Salam is a typical African city, full of energy and people strutting in the bustling streets. 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 and is now one of the famous tourist spots in Tanzania boasting of most important ports and trading centres. Despite its name, which means “abode of peace” in Arabic, Dar es Salaam is the main port of call for most of the visitors. It is an ideal place from where both the wilderness areas and the beaches of Tanzania and Zanzibar can be seen and explored. The architecture of Dar es Salaam showcases Swahili, colonial and Asian influences which makes it perfect place in Tanzania for the travelers. From busting streets to chaotic traffic, Dar may not be of everyone’s taste but its s sure to proffer its travelers with true African culture and lifestyle. With implementation of modern facilities and style Dar es Salam has now become a tourist hub in the city of Tanzania.

Places To visit In Dar Es Salaam

National Museum & House of Culture

Opened in 1940 as a memorial to King George V, the national museum and house of culture takes you on a journey that displays Tanzania’s past. The museum houses ethnographic displays on traditional crafts, customs, ornaments, and musical instruments, as well as a small collection of vintage cars, including the Rolls Royce used by former president, Julius Nyerere.

Village Museum

Located 10 km north of the city center, the village museum in Dar es Salaam displays traditional dwellings from some of Tanzania's 120 ethnic groups. The museum hosts number of entertainment events such as tribal dance and other cultural activities which makes it an ideal spot in Tanzania.

Askari Monument

Made in Bronze, the Askari monument depicts and Askari soldier in a World War I uniform, the bayonet of his rifle pointing towards the nearby harbor. This monument remembers the African troops that battled as the Carrier Corps during World War I.

Old Boma

Built from1866 to 1867 by Majid Bin Said, Old Boma is the oldest enduring building in Dar es Salaam. This building in Dar was constructed to accommodate the visitors of the Sultan whose place was just next door. The unique features of the building is what that attracts the travelers and makes it a famous tourist attraction in Tanzania.

St. Joseph’s Cathedral

Built by German missionaries from 1897 through 1902, this Gothic style Roman Catholic Church is the seat of the Dar es Salaam archdiocese. The cathedral features stained-glass windows, shingled spire as well as the vaulted interior which attracts tourists from all walks of life. The cathedral contains many of the original German inscriptions and artwork, including a carved relief above the main altar.

Botanical Gardens

Established in 1983, botanical garden in Dar es Salaam is home to Horticultural Society. You can admire an enchanting mix of indigenous and exotic plants including purple bougainvillea, blue jacaranda, scarlet flame trees, and red hibiscus.

Mbudya Island

For those who are looking to escape the busy street life, Mbudya Island in Dar es Salaam is popular tourist attraction in Tanzania that is visited by people from all walks of life. Mbudya Island is the perfect place to go in Dar es Salaam for a relaxing respite of beautiful beaches, clear waters, and amazing seafood.

Best Time To Visit Dar Es Salaam

The city of Dar es Salaam is a year round destination that is visited by the travelers all throughout the year. Though the equatorial weather remains nearly the same throughout the year, it is believed that the best time to visit Dar es Salaam is during June to October, and mid-December to March which is the dry season.  For wildlife lovers, it is the best time to visit Dar es Salam as the weather remains cool and pleasant and you can witness wild beasts strolling in the lush green grassland. During the dry season that lasts from June to October, rainfall is rare so you can be mostly assured of clear, cloudless skies, lots of sunshine and sapphire blue Indian Ocean waters. 

Things To Do In Dar Es Salaam

Let the experts guide you to the best of this mesmerizing destination

Visit Kariakoo Market

Walking around Kariakoo market is a unique experience which should not be missed. The buzz, the variety of products, and the large number of small shops, make the place very lively. If you plan to go shopping in this market, make sure you do some bargaining to get the best deals.

Take the ferry service

The ferry ride is one of the best things to do in Dar es Salaam as it proffers the travelers a great view of the city from water, and as you pile on with all the locals you get to know more about the cultural experience too.

Enjoy your day at Fish Market

Located right by the ferry terminal, the fish market is the most common tourist spot in Dar es Salaam that is frequently visited by the travelers. People gather from around the city to purchase the fresh catch of the day. From fish buying/ selling to fish eating section, this place offers a unique experience.

Camping at Mikadi Beach

Located on the south side of the river, Mikadi Beach is where the Dar es Salaam locals go to party at the weekend. It is the most happening and common tourist spot in Tanzania which has many travelers from across the world.

Shop at Uhuru Street

Dar es Salaam is a great place to get some Africa fabrics if you’re in need of any souvenirs. And the best place to go is Uhuru Street in the city centre that is perfect place in Dar es Salaam for shopping purpose. The famous Kanga Shop in Uhuru Street provides all sorts of good fabric that can be brought at a reasonable price.

Take a Tuk-Tuk Ride

Your trip to Dar es Salaam would be incomplete with taking at least one tuk tuk ride. Cheap, plentiful and lots of fun, taking a tour in these tuk tuks across the city is one of the best thing to do in Dar es Salaam.

Enjoy Local cuisine

The city of Dar es Salaam is melting pot of fascinating culture and lip smacking African cuisine. Sampling some of the local treats therefore is a must while you’re in the city. From sugar cane juice, to tamarind treats, Dar es Salam have it all.

Visit State House

The impressive state house is another city landmark that has garnered tourist from all over the world. Built in the late 1890s, the State House was the original residence of the German Governor. Although it is closed to the public, state house is still an eye catching attraction in Dar es Salaam.

Take a stroll on the Temple Road

If you are walking around downtown Dar es Salaam, take a stroll down Temple Road where you’ll find a selection of religious temples. Temple road is famous religious site in Dar es Salaam and all you can do there is, visit some of the temples that are situated at the road.

Explore Bagamoyo Town

Located north of Dar es Salaam, Bagamoyo town is an ancient East African trade port and is one of the famous tourist attractions in Tanzania. You can go on a day trip to Bagamoyo and explore the ancient ruins, old churches and mosques and tour one of Tanzania’s only college of arts known as Chuo Cha Sanaa.

Popular Packages

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Northern Tanzania With Zanzibar
(10 Nights / 11 Days)
On Request

Arusha(1N) → Lake Manyara(1N) → Ngorongoro (2N) → Serengeti National Park(2N) → Zanzibar (3N) → Dar Es Salaam(1N)

How to Reach Dar Es Salaam

By Air: The nearest international airport to Dar es Salaam is Julius Nyerere International Airport that is based in the city of Dar Es Salaam and is connected by major international airlines. From there you can hire a taxi or cab to reach your desired destination.

By Road: There are plenty of busses that ply daily to and fro to the city of Dar es Salaam. Ubungo Terminal is the central station in Dar es Salaam as most buses leave from there. Choose the right bus operators for your journey by bus to Dar es Salaam.

By Train: Dar es Salaam is the hub for all rail travel in Tanzania and is easily accessible via rail.  Tanzania Railway Limited operates a train which travels through the center of the country. Tourists should try to travel in groups, and/or buy out a first class cabin for safety reasons.

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Tarangire National Park

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Serengeti National Park

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Ngorongoro

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