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Dar es Salaam

Well, I guess you do have to get used to it. At first glance, a visitor can become a little confused at the colourful ethnic mix, the hustle and bustle of the streets, and the completely different culture.

Yet it’s worth taking a second look at Dar es Salaam because this city has its own, quite special charm. Whether your strolling through one of the many markets like Mwenge, admiring the typical Tanzanian art at the Tinga Tinga Art Center, or watching the goings on in the harbour, Dar es Salaam can show its charm to great effect.

And, of course, the metropolis benefits from its great location by the Indian Ocean. Although not possible everywhere in the city, bathing is a must here too. For instance, South Beach presents a beautiful stretch of coast where you can find heavenly peace and quiet on pure white sands. You must also take a trip to Zanzibar a dream island with fantastic beaches. Or to Pemba, the smaller island and nature paradise beyond compare. Here you can let it all hang out and go diving and snorkelling in a beautiful underwater world.

And not least of all, Dar es Salaam is the perfect starting point for safaris through the fantastic reservations of Tanzania. This metropolis is not for those intending to go shopping according to Western ideals. Yet the local products are all the more interesting. Also the culturally interested won’t be rewarded with grand opera and great art museums. But they will find Africa in its pure form. Which is actually far more fascinating. One thing is certain: You are very easily captured by the magic of this city. Even if you’re only passing through. «Pole pole» is often heard by tourists, the Tanzanians’ way of saying «Take it slowly». Wise words that are worth taking to heart in this city.

City Facts

  • Location

    Largest city in Tanzania.

  • Population

    About 4.3 million

  • Size

    About 1590 km²

  • Public transport

    Buses and minibuses (dala dala); tourists mainly use taxis.

  • Climate

    Tropical climate. The climate is very hot and humid throughout the year. Above all in the summer months here from November to February, it can get unbearably hot and stuffy.

  • Best time to visit

    After the monsoon season in the winter months June to October, it is less humid, and temperatures drop to a pleasantly cool level at night.

  • Good to know

    In crowds and on markets: Beware of pickpockets!

  • Nice to know

    Dar es Salaam translates as «the abode of peace».

  • Airport

    Julius Nyerere International Airport, about 12 km southwest of the city.

  • Taxi

    Taxis are available outside of the terminal, but you’re recommended to let the hotel organise a taxi for you in advance. It’s a 15–20 minute ride to the centre.