Dar es Salaam Budget Travel Guide

Dar es Salaam is one of Africa's tour departure hubs.

Visit Dar es Salaam by Departing From…

Dar es Salaam is a convenient access point and popular travel gateway, for African Safaris to Tanzania's famous Northern Safari Circuit game parks and the exotic Zanzibar Islands. Most travelllers start or end their Tanzania travels in Dar, as Dar es Salaam is fondly called, or stopover in the city en route to East African safari highlights.

About Dar es Salaam - Tanzania

Dar es Salaam, "haven of peace" in Arabic, is Tanzania’s most affluent city and its political, trade and travel hub, despite not being the capital city. The modern city of Dar es Salaam is located at a natural harbour on the Indian Ocean and retains a certain charm and character from its humble beginnings as a fishing village. Traditional dhow vessels and handcrafted canoes bob beside cargo ships in the bustling harbour where fishermen go about their daily lives and fresh seafood is offered up.

Dar es Salaam is home to a large expatriate community and features a cosmopolitan fusion of cultures, with Arabic, Indian, British and German colonial influences, as well as its strong Swahili roots. One of the best aspects of the city is its friendly locals who make visitors feel welcome. 

Dar es Salaam Highlights

The city boasts several great beaches, bustling markets, a picturesque port, colourful shops, museums and historic buildings to keep visitors entertained. Tanzania's largest city, Dar es Salaam, offers a diversity of international and local cuisine at its numerous restaurants, street cafes and stalls, ranging from Asian to traditional Tanzanian barbecue style dishes. The bright colours and pervasive aromas of spices, cooking, fresh flowers and sea make a lasting impression on the senses. Specific sights in central Dar es Salaam include:

  • Tanzania's National Museum hosting famous fossils found in Olduvai Gorge by Richard and Mary Leaky
  • The Village Museaum and St Joseph’s Cathedral
  • Askari Monument erected in 1927 by the British in memory of African soldiers that died in WWI
  • The Botanical Gardens and see the Clock Tower
  • Kariakoo Market, Swahili shopping district and waterfront area
  • Tropical beaches north and south of the city and offlying islands

Dar es Salaam Quick Facts 

  • Home to over 3,5 million people and growing steadily
  • East Africa's second busiest port, after Mombasa in Kenya
  • This is one of East Africa's safest cities
  • Still serves as the seat of government, although Dodoma is the capital
  • The port city only grew in 1891 when it became Germany's colonial capital 
  • The city was under British rule from 1916 to 1961 when Tanzania gained independence 

Experience Dar es Salaam

Taste new flavours, dance to live music and be intrigued by the colours, sounds and smells of this prospering city.

The city is home to a vibrant music scene incorporating various styles, such as live dance music bands, traditional Taarab from Zanzibar and, R&B and Hip Hop styled "Bongo Flava". Dar es Salaam is the place where the popular Tingatinga painting style developed during the latter half of the 20th century in the Oyster Bay area. Numerous international restaurants have opened over recent years giving rise to a wide selection of globally diverse cuisine, along with the rich traditional Tanzanian, Zanzibar and Indian flavours of the city.

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Google Map of Dar es Salaam

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