Visit Dar es Salaam
About Dar es Salaam
Dar es Salaam is one of the fastest-growing cities in Africa, with a fast growing population.
The skyline is studded with glittering new malls, hotels and office blocks towering above peeling temples, mosques and churches in the old city. It’s the country’s beating economic heart, but once the day’s business is over, dining, dancing and music take over to create a sultry nightlife.
The best tips for this city are to avoid trying to go anywhere at rush hour and to set your watch to slow and you’ll do just fine.
Try to arrive between June and September to avoid the rainy season that cause even more chaos on the roads, and you’ll enjoy milder temperatures and less humidity too.
TimeDar es Salaam is GMT+3 with no Daylight Saving Time.
CurrencyThe currency is the Tanzanian Shilling (Tsh) and changing money isn’t a problem in urban areas. Hotels usually have a poor rate, banks tend to be slow, so Forex bureaux are the best bet. Credit and debit cards are not widely accepted outside hotels, so limit to withdrawing cash from an ATM in a safe place.
WeatherBeing close to the Equator, the weather maintains a pretty constant and humid 30 degrees Celsius, occasionally dipping to 20 degrees or so. Most rain comes in March to May, with monsoon season peaking in April, and short rains again in November and December. The pleasantest time is June to early October.
ElectricityTwo types of electrical sockets are used: the square 3-pinned UK variety and the fat round 3-pin version (types G & D), with a voltage of 230V.
CommunicationsThe internet and telecoms facilities are growing rapidly so the city is pretty well covered. Internet cafes are popular and there are perhaps 20 free Wi-Fi hotspots in the city, with Wi-Fi in top end hotels too.
Public TransportPlans to create a Dar Rapid Transit (DART) system have been on the cards for more than a decade, but haven’t reached the roads yet. Traffic is a nightmare, and minibus taxis are overcrowded and dilapidated. There are motorbike taxis for the brave but the roads are potholed and traffic unruly. Taxi drivers run their own businesses and park at specific points across the city. If you find a reliable driver, keep his cellphone number handy.
Airport to City Center
Julius Nyerere International Airport is 10km from the centre, and most large hotels offer a transport service on request. Since 2015, a taxi cartel has fixed the price to the city at $30 USD.
Getting back to the airport is often a challenge, particularly in the evening rush ‘hour’ that can last beyond 8pm. Leave a lot more time than you ought to need.