Dar es Salaam
Eco-friendly travel guide to Dar es Salaam advises how to be a responsible tourist. Learn how to explore the attractions in a sustainable way and how to respect the local people and culture. Make your trip green by supporting locally owned hotels, organic restaurants and other businesses. Read more on how to protect the environment by making conscientious choices and how to travel green in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
- Air quality: 2.5 / 5
- Exploring by foot: 3 / 5
- Exploring by bicycle: 2 / 5
- Public transportation: 4.5 / 5
- Parks: 3.5 / 5
- Outdoor activities: 4 / 5
- Locals' English level: 4.5 / 5
- Safety: 3 / 5
- Accommodation: US$ 15 - $ 400
- Budget per day: US$ 40 - $ 700
- 1 Responsible Travel
- 2 Air Quality and Pollution
- 3 Respect the Culture
- 4 Top 10 Places to Visit
- 5 Explore
- 6 Eat
- 7 Drink
- 8 Activities
- 9 Accommodation
- 10 How to Get There
- 11 Moving Around
- 12 Sustainable Shopping
- 13 Recycling
- 14 Work and Study Abroad
- 15 See Also
Dar es Salaam is the largest city and former capital of Tanzania. The city is the largest in East Africa, and it is a commercial port on Tanzania’s Indian Ocean coast that grew from a fishing village. Dar es Salaam is home to a wide range of people and cultures and is known for its beaches, islands, seafood, and music; the city is brimming with a variety of activities for every type of tourist. There have been some reports of crimes against tourists, mainly robbery, so travelers need to be careful. There are several ways to ensure responsible travel in Dar es Salaam, with some being:
- Use public transport
- Choose an eco-friendly hotel.
- Don't eat at tourist restaurants.
- Try to avoid packaged things, ideally eat your snacks on the spot.
- Support local businesses by buying local goods.
- Use public transport
Air Quality and Pollution
The air quality in Dar es Salaam is moderate, as there are many pollutants in it. The contaminants are mainly from traffic emissions, energy production, and industry. The levels of air pollution tend to be higher during winter.
The pollution levels in Dar es Salaam are relatively high. At one stage, there were mushrooming heaps of uncollected garbage scattered all over the city. The waste collection process has not been effective, prompting health hazards to city residents. There have been some improvements as there are many dumpsites.
Water pollution is also relatively high in the city, with the improper treatment and disposal of liquid wastes being the major contributor to pollution. Some areas are not connected to a sewage system, and so raw sewage is discharged directly into the Indian Ocean without prior treatment. This leads to diseases in humans and destroys aquatic life. Several industries in the city release their waste materials into water sources, which increases pollution.
Respect the Culture
Dar es Salaam has many different cultures that are rooted in ancient cultures and traditions. The local population is well known for being friendly and polite to visitors, and there is a strong sense of national pride that resonates throughout the city. One of the universal beliefs is that the right hand is clean and appropriate for picking up food and greeting people. At the same time, the left is considered dirty and used solely for bathing and bathroom activities. So it is essential to remember to use your right hand when greeting people. Public displays of affection are highly frowned upon. Lastly, you should ask for permission before taking pictures of people. Some ethnic groups in the city believe that a camera's flash steals a piece of their soul, making an unauthorized photograph a traumatic affair.
Top 10 Places to Visit
Dar es Salaam is a beautiful coastal city and one of the best places to visit in Tanzania. There are several places to see where you can experience the city's beauty and culture as an international traveler. The city is located along the coast of the Indian Ocean and is known for its beaches, islands, seafood, and music. The city is brimming with a variety of activities for every type of tourist. Below is a list of the top ten places to visit:
- The National Museum of Tanzania: It is an association of five Tanzanian museums whose purpose is to preserve and show exhibits about Tanzania's history and natural environment. The museum documents the history of Tanzania concisely and engagingly. There is an enjoyable guided tour by a knowledgeable member of staff who provides a lot of interesting background information. The museum isn't so big, and it contains mostly pictures and personal belongings of the former president of Tanzania. The tour is enjoyable and simple to understand, making it understandable to people of all ages. There are several restaurants inside the museum.
- Bongoyo Island: It is an uninhabited island that is situated 2.5 km north of Dar es Salaam. This is the most frequently visited of the Dar es Salaam Marine Reserve's four islands. It is a popular day trip for both tourists and locals alike for snorkeling and sunbathing activities. The island has a very rocky shore and only two beaches. The entire island is covered in dense forest and has a few walking trails, so only a few people venture there. There are remains of a German colonial building in the middle of the island. The island is a great place to relax and is only a 30 min journey by boat from the ferry pick-up point. Visitors gain access to the beach on the north-western tip of the island, where the boats moor and where there are some huts, drinks, and food. The much longer but narrower beach along the north-eastern side has no facilities and is mostly deserted. Nothing is free on the island, as you even have to pay for using the sunbeds and the shades. There are several restaurants which are relatively expensive, so you can carry your food to save money.
- Askari Monument: A memorial to the Askari soldiers who fought in the British Carrier Corps in World War I. The monument is located at the center of downtown Dar es Salaam. The monument's main feature is "The Askari," a soldier's bronze statue. The soldier stands on a pedestal and has a rifle with a bayonet pointed towards the Dar es Salaam harbor. The monument has both political and social importance and is famous for its location and for the plaque displaying names of soldiers who fought in the World War. The area around is the home of most government offices and not too far from the statehouse too. There is also a lovely garden with colorful flowers around the monument.
- The Azania Front Lutheran Church: It is a Lutheran church that serves as a cathedral for the local diocese. It is among the most well-known landmarks and tourist attractions of the city. The church was built by German missionaries in 1891 and is in the city center, close to the ocean, facing the harbor. The architecture is gorgeous with a red-tiled roof, tiled canopies over the windows, and bright white walls. The church is also beautiful on the inside, and there are some services like mass being held. There are daily services in the mornings during weekdays that are very popular, and the church is usually filled to capacity. The people in the church are so friendly, warm, and welcoming.
- Makumbusho Village Museum: A simple place with the different traditional houses all over Tanzania, showing African singing and dance. They have all aspects of the country’s history as part of their itinerary as they cover everything from culture to independence history. There is so much to learn at the museum as there is information on all Tanzanian tribes and their culture, and the place is very historical, making it adventurous. There are many tour guides who are very friendly and informative. The entrance fee is very affordable.
- Nyumba ya Sanaa: Also known as the Mwalimu Nyerere Cultural Centre or Julius Nyerere Cultural Centre, is a cultural center, art workshop, and shop located that was established to promote local art and craftsmanship. The center is intended to support local artists and help them display and sell their works. The center also stages dance and music exhibitions, and it is one of the major tourist attractions in the city. Some of Tanzania’s famous artists started their careers at this center, with internationally acclaimed painter and sculptor George Lilanga being one of them. Lilanga decorated some of the buildings of the center, as well as its main entrance gates. The facilities are beautiful, and the people around are very welcoming. There are also a lot of impressive decorations and always look smart.
- Nyerere Bridge: Also known as Daraja la Nyerere Kigamboni Bridge, is a 680-meter-long bridge in Tanzania that connects the Dar es Salaam ward Kurasini from the east to the west of Kigamboni district across the Kurasini estuary. The bridge offers an alternative mode of transport from before when the only option was the ferry. The bridge has six lanes and two pedestrian or cyclist lanes with a width of 2.5 meters. There is a toll plaza for controlling and charging vehicles passing through the bridge. The road is smooth curvy, tempting to race, so you need to be aware of the speed limit to avoid speeding tickets. The bridge is more beautiful during the night time as there is perfect lighting, and the breeze makes it more lovely. The bridge is quite a milestone for the Tanzania government's outstanding development projects and an excellent investment.
- Tinga Tinga Arts Co-operative Society: An area mainly dedicated to art and painting. The atmosphere is calm, and there is a fantastic variety of artworks. The area is great for tourists to go shopping for authentic and unique Tanzanian art pieces. The people are welcoming and kind-hearted and have good customer care. Their prices are affordable. The painters mainly make multiple copies of one original art piece, but if you request an original and one of a kind piece, you can ask one of the artists to make one for you on order. You can haggle and bring down the price to 50%.
- Fun City Kigamboni: It is a water park that is a great place to take your kids for a day. There are many games for both children and adults. There are different kinds of rides for the little ones, toddlers to adults, and not forgetting the swimming pools with various rides. The swimming pool for adults has waves like an ocean, and the swimming pool for children has a vast area and games for children to enjoy more. There are restaurants, clean toilets, and ample space for parking. The entrance is reasonable for everyone to experience. The surrounding area is filled with beautiful nature that includes trees, plants, and greenery. The place is pretty clean, including the toilets.
- Pande Game Reserve: It is a great game park that is very good for walking safaris as it has a good collection of bird species and butterflies as well as a lot of walking trails and cycling trails. The game reserve is made up of a very well reserved green and a thick forest. The site comprises two small, forested areas on the outskirts of Dar es Salaam. There are four distinct tree-species collections in the park. The remaining forest is surrounded by fire-maintained grassland and secondary scrub. Parts of the game reserve flood seasonally.
Dar es Salaam is the largest city in Tanzania and home to a wide range of people and cultures. The city is known for its breathtakingly beautiful beaches, islands, seafood, and music. The city has many activities that can be enjoyed by all types of tourists. There are also countless historical and cultural sites to see to ensure that you have the best possible memories from the city. The choice to visit Dar es Salaam is, without a doubt, a great one, and it will be worth your time and every cent spent. Keep reading to be able to find out more about this fantastic tourist destination.
- Botanical Garden is a simple and beautiful park that is great for a quick stroll through or to sit and relax. The park is tranquil and peaceful. The park is relatively small, but it is clean and well maintained. There is a lovely old man ready to give you a tour. There is no entrance fee, but the name is misleading as it more of a park than a botanical garden. The staff is friendly, and they are always ready to give a brief tour, which helps understand the trees as many of them are indigenous to the area.
- Upanga Jamatkhana Gardens is a well-kept park with beautiful greenery where you can go relax and unwind, enjoying the cool breeze amid the scorching coastal sun. There are many beautiful trees and a lot of gorgeous greenery that adds to the relaxing atmosphere. There are also many beautiful flowers and birds. The park is excellent for taking a walk and for both romantic and family picnics. The park is an ideal location for taking memorable pictures.
- The Pugu Forest Reserve: It is a forest reserve near Dar es Salaam, adjacent to the Kazimzumbwi Forest Reserve. Together with Kazimzumbwi, the Pugu Forest is part of what is considered to be one of the oldest forests in the world. The area is made up of a large number of common species of animals and plants. The forest reserve is beautiful and has many great trails for hiking. Entry is charged, and once you pay, you are assigned a guide who will go around the park with you. It is possible to go around the park without a guide, but the tour is better with a guide as there are some beautiful trails that are known by locals that you might not be able to find them on your own. One of the most popular routes goes through bamboo forests up to a fantastic viewpoint 277 meters above sea level. The climb is not an easy one, and you should make sure you dress for it- trekking shoes, especially as the view at the top is worth it. There is also a beautiful campsite in the bamboo forest where there's a lot of work being done to improve the facilities. The reserve is considered to be the best place for outdoor activities, hiking and camping experience.
- Mbudya Marine Reserve National Park: It is a beautiful place, especially if you are looking to chill unbothered on a beautiful island beach. The place is gorgeous and very good for game drives. There are two beaches in the Marine Reserve. To get to the second beach, you have to follow the trail, which is incredibly beautiful and passes through a little forest with a lot of deep wells. The second beach is not as big as the first one but stunning, and you will enjoy the whole beach by yourself as few or no one goes there at all, but it is pretty safe. The marine reserve is near to the city, and it is an easily accessible destination, making it suitable for a couple of hours and good for the kids to have a bath in the water. The water on both beaches can get deep sometimes, and it is advisable to take necessary precautions to avoid accidents. The major downside is that the area is a bit dirty and there are very few toilets. It is recommended that you carry your own food and water with you and you will not have to rely on the local people as the hygiene is not very good. There are tables that you can pay a reasonable amount to use.
Coco Beach is a gorgeous beach that is a very good place to spend a lazy afternoon or an intensive night. The beach is public and has fresh air, swimming, and there are some fried cassava and skewers available for sale. The beach is safe for swimming as it is not deep. There is a bar that serves very tasty and cheap barbecue chicken and local beers at a very reasonable price. This is the most famous local beach off Msasani Bay, and it is mostly crowded during weekends and on public holidays. There is no entrance fee, and local foods are available at affordable prices.
- Uhuru Monument is a landmark monument and tourist attraction in a public historical garden in Dar es Salaam. It is a white obelisk with a replica of the Uhuru Torch mounted at its top. The landmark is located at the Mnazi Mmoja Park in the city center and is partly fenced. There is no access to the monument because of the fence, and you only see it from outside of the perimeter wall. The monument is beautiful, and you are able to take many beautiful and memorable pictures.
- Askari Monument is a memorial to the Askari soldiers who fought in the British Carrier Corps in World War I. The monument is located at the center of downtown Dar es Salaam. The monument's main feature is "The Askari," which is a bronze statue of a soldier. The soldier stands on a pedestal and has a rifle with a bayonet pointed towards the Dar es Salaam harbor. The monument has both political and social importance and is famous for its location and for the plaque displaying names of soldiers who fought in the World War. The area around is the home of most government offices and not too far from the statehouse too. There is also a lovely garden with colorful flowers around the monument.
- The Azania Front Lutheran Church is a Lutheran church that serves as a cathedral for the local diocese. It is among the most well-known landmarks and tourist attractions of the city. The church was built by German missionaries in 1891 and is in the city center, close to the ocean, facing the harbor. The architecture is gorgeous with a red-tiled roof, tiled canopies over the windows, and bright white walls. The church is also beautiful on the inside, and there are some services like mass being held. There are daily services in the mornings during weekdays that are very popular, and the church is typically filled to capacity. The people in the church are so friendly, warm, and welcoming.
- The National Museum of Tanzania: It is an association of five Tanzanian museums whose purpose is to preserve and show exhibits about Tanzania's history and natural environment. The museum documents the history of Tanzania in a concise and engaging manner. There is an enjoyable guided tour by a knowledgeable member of staff who provides a lot of interesting background information. The museum isn't so big, and it contains mostly pictures and personal belongings of the former president of Tanzania. The tour is enjoyable and simple to understand, making it understandable to people of all ages. There are several restaurants inside the museum.
- Makumbusho Village Museum: is a simple place with the different traditional houses all over Tanzania, showing African singing and dance. They have all aspects of the country's history as part of their itinerary as they cover everything from culture to independence history. There is so much to learn at the museum as there is information on all Tanzanian tribes and their culture, and the place is very historical, making it adventurous. There are many tour guides who are very friendly and informative. The entrance fee is very affordable.
There are several traditional foods in the city that enhance the experience of being a tourist. Several restaurants and street vendors sell different dishes that you could try, whether it is out of curiosity or so that you can have a story to tell later.
Traditional Local Restaurants
One of the best things about traveling worldwide is trying the various local cuisines available in that area. In most cases, traditional restaurants are the best place to experience local foods' taste, and maybe even a bit of the culture behind said dishes. Numerous conventional restaurants around the city serve excellent varieties of Tanzanian dishes. Below is a list of the most famous traditional restaurants in the city.
- Akemi Revolving Restaurant is Tanzania’s first Revolving Restaurant that in Dar es Salaam’s tallest building. The restaurant is beautiful and has breathtaking views of the city with a magnificent and elegant interior. The food is terrific and mouth-watering, and the chef prepares so many different things with fantastic flavor. They have a top-notch wine selection, and the service is also exceptional. There are pricing options for those on a tight budget or those looking to spend a lot of money.
- The Waterfront is a classy restaurant with a broad menu that is made up mainly of traditional cuisine. All tables are protected from the sun, and the benches are very comfortable and equipped with pillows. Their most popular dish is the tender goat meat dish, served with deep-fried and dried bananas with vegetable salad. The prices are comparable to other restaurants of the same caliber in the city.
Vegetarian and Vegan
- 56 Chapan Bhoq is a simple Indian confection and pastry shop with over fifty different kinds of pastry, all vegetarian. The restaurant has a traditional Indian feel, and the food is known for its excellent spicy food, as is common with Indian restaurants. They specialize in fast food and have a take-out option for those who do not want to sit inside the restaurant.
- Chowpatty Da is a lacto-vegetarian restaurant that has a combination of Chinese, Indian, and Italian cuisine. There is a large variety of vegan options, and other dishes can be made vegan upon request. Some of the most ordered dishes include pani puri to a light plate of idli or a full-on paneer butter masala. The food is delicious and relatively affordable, so this restaurant is a must-visit.
- Mlima Sayuni Art and Vegetarian Restaurant is a vegetarian restaurant with many vegan options, including a cake. The meals on the menu have to be ordered at least one day before, to give them enough time to prepare them; otherwise, you will find the daily special with a fresh juice. They serve seasonal and regional, healthy whole food meals, and some of the ingredients are fresh out of the owner's organic garden.
- Kind Earth Eatery is a Jamaican-influenced vegetarian restaurant with a majority of the dishes being either vegan or made vegan. The restaurant also serves raw food, gluten-free options, freshly squeezed juices, and cakes. They have two separate kitchens for the vegetarian and vegan section, the restaurant's original portion. The ingredients used are fresh, with vegetables are grown within the country. The general environment is beautiful, tranquil, and inviting. They do not serve alcohol in the restaurant, but guests can order a bottle from the wine bar next door. The most famous dishes include; pumpkin soup, seaweed salsa, seitan steak, raw salad, and carrot cake.
Street food is found in several places across the city and is something that you must try. There are both street-side vendors and restaurants that specialize in street food. The most preferred location to get street food is either in mobile stands or simply by the roadside. There are various delectable dishes that you should try before leaving Dar es Salaam, and these include:
- Mishkaki is a type of burned meat. Mishkaki is essentially East African shish kebab, made from cow, goats, and chicken.
- Ugali is cornmeal or cassava flour mixed with water and turned into a stiff circular sphere.
- Changu, a meaty white fish
- Baobab seeds
Dar we Salaam is a rather hot city, although as is expected, there are times when it is cold. As is expected, there is a high need to stay hydrated during summer due to the high temperatures. The high temperatures dictate the beverage of choice as people prefer to drink something that would cool them down. There are numerous cold non-alcoholic drinks to choose from in the city, excluding water. Beverages of choice on a hot day include but are not limited to have soft drinks, lemonade, milkshake, vegan shakes, and even iced tea or coffee. Tea is relatively widespread, regardless of the temperatures outside; however, tea consumption increases significantly when it's cold. There is even a local tree brew that is enjoyed by locals. Other choice beverages on cold days include coffee and warm milk.
Alcohol consumption is high in Dar es Salaam as there is the general belief that drinking a moderate amount of alcohol is refreshing and good. There are several bars across the city where people meet up after a long day at work or on weekends for a relaxed evening of drinks with friends. Other people enjoy the occasional drink at home, mostly whiskey or wine. There are both local and international brews available for purchase in both bars and supermarkets. The various types of alcoholic beverages include wine, gin, vodka, and cocktails, to name a few. Local beer brands include Serengeti beer, Kilimanjaro Beer, Ndovu Special Malt, to name a few.
The tap water in Dar es Salaam is not safe to drink, and you should always boil it first or bring bottled water. To avoid health problems, use only bottled or filtered water for drinking and brushing your teeth. A 1.5-liter container costs less than 1 USD.
Organic foods are foods that are grown without artificial nutrients, pesticides, or other chemicals. Eating organic has become a widespread trend where people are very selective about what they put in their bodies. Several organic cafes attract patrons of all ages who are careful about nutrition. There are many cafes in the city that cater specifically to this group of people. Below is a list of some of the organic cafes that one could try in the city
- Kind Earth Eatery
- Woodberry Cafe
Beer or bia in Swahili is a significant part of the Dar es Salaam society, and local brands hold a strong sense of national pride among the Tanzanian population. The local beer brewing industry in Dar es Salaam is rather dominant. They make various local beer types to meet the demand, which is relatively high as the locals are very proud and fond of their local beer. There are several breweries around the city, such as:
- Darbrew Limited
- Tanzania Breweries Limited
- Serengeti Breweries Limited
Numerous activities can be done as you explore Dar es Salaam. The city is frequently visited by both local and international tourists, although it is a hidden gem that the rest of the world is yet to discover. The activities are designed to ensure that no one is left out, and people of different interests can still enjoy and have a great time. Some of the most popular activities include hikes, bike riding, visits to the many beautiful gardens and lakes, to name a few. Some of the activities are in the city center while others are just on the outskirts. It is essential to carefully plan your itinerary to ensure that you get the best out of what the city offers.
Yoga and Retreats
Yoga is traditionally a Hindu discipline that focuses on physical, mental, and spiritual practices or disciplines. It has become quite famous globally, including Dar es Salaam, and some of the most visited yoga studios include:
- Ndovu Special Malt
- Brahma Kumaris Raja Yoga
- Mosque Fitness Centre
There are many different accommodations types across Dar es Salaam. As an individual, you get to decide which one you prefer based on your needs, tastes, and budget. This section will look into some of the accommodation options that are available for tourists to select from
There are several eco-friendly hotels in the city which aim for the sustainability of the environment. These hotels tend to offer safe, non-toxic, and energy-efficient accommodation. Other characteristics include using renewable energy, organic soaps, energy-efficient light fixtures, and recycling programs. A few of the most popular ones are:
- Mosque Fitness Centre
- Hotel la Gemma
Hostels and Guest Houses
- Hunch Backpackers Hostel is a simple and affordable hostel that is close to the area's tourist attractions. There are 25 rooms, with some of them being double and others single. The rooms are equipped with a variety of essential amenities to ensure guests have a comfortable stay. They also have complimentary Wi-Fi, a library, and an outdoor pool.There is also a dry cleaning service, and luggage storage is just some of the hostel's available services. The hostel is under a 25-minute drive from Julius Nyerere International Airport.
- Saadani Tourist Center – Hostel is a classy hostel close to Msasani Bay Beach and Mwenge Carvers Market. Some of the available amenities include a business center, dry cleaning/laundry services, and a 24-hour front desk. There is also a shuttle from the hotel to the airport is provided for an additional charge. Pets are not allowed in the hostel. They also have a bridal suite for those on their honeymoon.
Those who intend to stay in Dar es Salaam for a long time will be very expensive as they charge per day. Some several flats and apartments are available for rent for at least a month. These are more affordable as they charge a flat rate and buy your food, which lowers costs. Those traveling as a group will find these most convenient as it is possible to share the flat rate cost instead of paying per head or per room in hotels and motels.
Some families rent out a part of their home to tourists, known as couch surfing. This trend has grown in Dar es Salaam. It offers the host family an opportunity to make extra money and the tourist a chance to experience Tanzanian culture through family life. Several websites connect tourists with people who are willing to open up their homes.
There are numerous campsites for those tourists who want to rough it, which offers a sense of adventure by giving people the full outdoor experience, including the fresh night air and the magnificent night skies. Below are some of the more popular campsites:
- Mwandege Campsite Resort
- Pugu Hills Forest Reserve
- Mikadi Beach Camp
How to Get There
Several modes of transport can be used to travel to Dar es Salaam, with the most convenient for you being dictated by where you are coming from, be it a local or international area. People from surrounding cities usually travel to the city by bus or train. While those coming from further away commonly use aeroplanes.
The Julius Nyerere International Airport (DAR), Tanzania's main airport, is located about 6 miles west of the city. There are airport-shuttle buses, taxis, and rental cars that can be used to travel to and from the airport. Taxi rides are the cheapest option.
Long-distance buses are also a standard mode of transport with the locals. Kilimanjaro Express and Dar Express are two of the largest bus companies with service to Dar es Salaam, offering connections to almost all Tanzania cities. Some of the cheaper lines run buses which are unreliable, uncomfortable and will stop more often on the way, assuming they make it at all. Bus travel by night is not allowed, so most buses except for nearby cities will leave early at 6 am sharp.
There are two train options through Dar es Salaam, including Tanzania Railways Limited. The TAZARA Railway runs a scenic route through the Selous Game Reserve and on to Zambia. Trains tend to be unreliable, not pleasant, and thievery is a problem. Tourists should try to travel in groups, and buy out the first-class cabin. The train travels at a walking pace much of the time, so it is possible to buy fresh fruit, eggs, and other items out of the windows all along the way. The train station just out on the edge of town, and you can get a visa for Zambia on the train. This is a nice but slow way to travel, as it takes about two days.
Hitchhiking to Dar es Salaam is relatively easy. When hitchhiking, it is crucial to have a map as there are some areas where hitchhiking is impossible, and you want to avoid those. It would be best if you also brushed up on your Swahili to be able to communicate easily.
Hired private cars are another popular way of traveling to Dar es Salaam, although they are quite expensive.
Dar es Salaam is a large city with many things to do and places to explore. Moving around the city is relatively easy as the city's public transport system is well-maintained and efficient. In most cases, hiring a taxi or a rental car is the best way to move around. Below are several other ways you can move around the city.
Walking around central Dar es Salaam is a great way to see the city and probably the best way to get around. There aren't many sidewalks in the city, so you need to exercise caution when walking along busy roads.
Cycling around Dar es Salaam is possible but can be difficult and scary as you will be cycling in high-congestion areas where traffic is slowed. Tanzanians have little patience when driving, and in their mind, any vehicle smaller than theirs is responsible for getting out of the way. Wear a helmet and hone your defensive cycling skills when cycling around Dar es Salaam. Cycling is associated with poor people who can't afford motorized transport, so it is not popular. Some local tour groups offer guide bicycling tours around the city, and one such company is Afriroots.
There are currently no electronic vehicles in Dar es Salaam.
There are various types of buses that move around the city, the Dalla-Dallas is the longest-serving bus service, and they can be unreliable. The Dar Rapid Transit project in Dar es Salaam is gradually taking over old dalla-dalla routes and runs across the city. Tickets can be purchased at any station in advance of boarding.
Tram, Train and Subway
The Dar es Salaam commuter rail, informally known as Treni ya Mwakyembe, is an urban and suburban commuter rail network serving the city. The train was established to travel within the congested city. The train is reliable, fast-moving, and affordable.
There are many shopping centers in the city whereby tourists and locals alike can go shopping. It is more sustainable to shop in local shops and ensure that you stick to one shop and try to spread the wealth by visiting different shops.
There are several markets across the city that are dedicated to selling fresh food. They sell both local and international food, processed or unprocessed. Some of these markets include
- Mabibo Fresh Food Market
- Village Supermarket Masaki
- Buguruni Market
Several flea markets across the city offer both an exciting shopping experience and a chance to mingle with the locals. Most of them sell various things, mostly souvenirs at reasonable prices. However, they tend to double the price when selling to tourists. These include:
- Buguruni Market
- Segerea Market
- Mkombozi Textile
Second Hand Stores
The trend of second-hand stores has caught the world by storm; numerous stores have opened where people can buy things they wouldn't usually afford for less than half the price. The most common ones in Dar es Salaam are:
- Moali International - Second Hand Clothing
- Nord Star Tanzania Mitumba
- Mastex Limited
There are several eco-friendly fashion labels in Dar es Salaam. These labels deal mostly with producing clothes using 'green' materials, while a few offer care and recycling services to old clothes. The most prominent label is Endelea.
Tanzania has no culture of sorting out solid waste before disposal, and Dar es Salaam is no exception. Solid waste is collected and transported by contracted private companies to the dumpsite, where it is burnt as a way of getting rid of it.
The city has a strong and effective waste management system as they turn waste materials into fuel. The city is not completely clean, though, as there will always be those who don’t sort their waste, and there will always be some landfill.
Work and Study Abroad
The economy in Dar es Salaam is fast-growing, meaning there are many employment opportunities, including those that accommodate foreigners. Getting a job in the city is doable, as long as your potential employee can prove that you are the best fit for the position. There are many universities in the city that are open and encourage the enrolment of international students.
The University of Dar es Salaam facilitates and manages many institutional bilateral agreements, many of which provide students and staff mobility with our partner institutions through their international office. Being an exchange student is a great chance to broaden your academic horizons and get to know another country.
An au pair is a young foreign person who helps with housework or childcare in exchange for food, a room, and pocket money. The concept of Au pairs is rising in popularity. There are several vacancies across the city with requirements that vary according to the family. Several agencies and websites connect potential Au pairs with families that need them. One of these websites is "great au pair." Being an au pair can be a great way to learn about the Tanzanian language and culture.
Several voluntary organizations across Dar es Salaam are always open for volunteers. You can look up volunteer opportunities in the city. Some of the most popular volunteer organizations include:
- Medical Volunteering
- Human Rights Advocacy
- Women’s Programs volunteer