Dar es Salaam is the largest city in Tanzania and the hub for many international flights. Although not the capital city (that honour goes to Dodoma), Dar es Salaam is a busy African city heaving with people, traffic and normal daily life.
|Airports||Julius Nyerere International Airport (JRO)|
There is a huge range of food and beverage options available in Dar to suit most tastes. You can eat for a reasonable price assuming you are willing to eat at local street stalls and restaurants which include Tanzanian and Indian food. Establishments geared towards the Western community are quite expensive but do offer a nice change of pace if you have been in East Africa for awhile.
|Budget breakfast||Many hotels will include a simple breakfast in the price of the room. Otherwise, check local stalls for cheap breakfast options, Tanzanian style||$0.43 - $1.28|
|Budget lunch||Assuming that you avoid the tourist haunts and expat restaurants, you can find good local food at sit down cafes and street stalls||$0.85 - $3.42|
|Budget dinner||Local restaurants may only have two or three types of dishes, so ask what is available before choosing your location||$1.71 - $4.27|
|Beer .5L||Most East African beer is sold in .5L bottles and establishments will have beer available at any time of day||$1.28 - $2.14|
|Beer .5L (retail)||There are small shops all over the city that will sell you beer to take away. You may have to put a deposit down on the bottle||$0.85|
|Soda and water||The tap water isn’t safe to drink, but you can easily buy water and sodas at any small shop in the city||$0.43 - $0.85|
|Konyagi .5L bottle||By far the cheapest alcohol in town, this local spirit tastes most like cheap gin and can be purchased at every shop and restaurant that sells alcohol||$0.85 - $2.56|
Being right on the Indian Ocean and so close to the Equator, Dar es Salaam is a hot and often humid climate. Regardless of the time of year you travel, remember to pack your sunscreen even if you don’t easily burn elsewhere in the world. June to August is the nicest time of year to visit. The weather is slightly cooler and humidity levels are bearable. There is little or no rain during this time of year making it easier to move around and enjoy the city.
|Month||High F||Low F||Precipitations(INCH)|
If possible, it’s best to avoid the long rains that occur from mid March until the end of May. During these months, streets flood becoming impassable and downpours can last all day. Short rains occur in November and December creating a very humid environment. Though the rains end, the humidity lasts until the end of February.
With the beauty of Tanzania drawing tourists from all over the globe, Dar es Salaam has become a layover city for travelers, though rarely the final destination. Because of this, budget accommodation aimed at tourists is not in abundance but you will find many cheaper options used by the local population that are perfectly acceptable for tourists. Alternatively, you can find five star hotels in the nicer areas of the city geared towards Western expectations.
Hotel prices in Dar es Salaam do not fluctuate a great deal as there isn’t an obvious tourist season in the city. (You will find seasonal price fluctuations throughout Zanzibar and the National Parks though.) Hostels are rare. There is a rundown YMCA and a few hostels that are run by charities but cater more towards volunteers who are staying for a few months.
It can be hard to book budget hotels online due to the lack of computer and internet access in the smaller establishments. The city is full of hotels of all budget ranges, and comfort levels though, so it isn’t hard to find a hotel once you arrive. However, taxi drivers aren’t always very helpful and will rarely advise on budget accommodations. It’s always helpful to have a few hotel names to offer if your driver isn’t able to help you. When looking at hotel rooms, check for a mosquito net for your bed, working fan or air conditioning and running water as lower budget hotels are sometimes missing some or all of these items.
|64.98 - 75.49|
|90.78 - 133.78|
|Hostel Bed||2.40 - 18.18|
Traveling within the city is easily done by “bajaji”; three wheeled motorcycle carts that can carry a maximum of three passengers for a very reasonable price. Due to their size, a bajaji can move through heavy traffic more easily than a bus or car. There are local buses that run throughout the city but they are always overcrowded and they don’t run on a set schedule. Although Dar es Salaam has not been seen as a tourism hot spot, it is worth a short visit. If you are not moving on to Zanzibar, Dar es Salaam has some beautiful beaches and there are island day trips available for reasonable prices.
|Taxi from airport to city center||4.27 - 8.54|
|Public bus in Dar es Salaam||0.13 - 0.26|
|3 km taxi ride in Dar es Salaam||5.13 - 6.41|
|3 km 3-wheel motorcycle taxi||2.56 - 2.99|