Dar es Salaam
Dar es Salaam is Tanzania's capital city and lies nestled on the Indian Ocean coastline. The culture is a mix of African, Arabic and Indian. Dar's roots are in the Swahili culture. It's hustling, bustling seaport on the coast of Tanzania accessing one of the most important sea routes on earth - great to visit for a few days in between safaris.
Dar es Salaam Highlights
Traditional, coastal Dar es Salaam is the capital of Tanzania and is situated along a natural harbour on the Indian Ocean. "Dar" is an eclectic, multicultural city where visitors can indulge their senses in the bustling city centre markets or simply laze around on one of the many beaches. Although strongly influenced by African, Arabic and Indian cultures, Dar is still tightly woven with its Swahili roots.
Dar is the country's wealthies city and there is plenty to do from national musuems to local markets and even a thriving local music scene, anything is possible in Dar! Boasting an international airport, Dar is often used as a stopover city for the safari circuits and the island of Zanzibar.
- Dar es Salaam means "Haven of Peace" in Arabic.
- Started as a fishing village in the mid 19th century, is now Tanzania's largest city, and has become one of East Africa's most important ports and trading centers.
- A mix of African, Muslim, and South Asian influences, picturesque harbour, beaches, chaotic markets, and historical buildings.
Oyster Bay Hotel suites reflect modern day Africa in a timeless setting – balmy, equatorial, coastal, Dar es Salaam. Whether guests are staying for a few nights or just passing through, a stay at Oyster Bay hotel becomes yet another highlight of the holiday.
How to Get there
The international airport at Dar es Salaam International Airport is the domestic hub of both local and internation flights. There are other major airports (Arusha) but Dar is the most convenient if you're heading to Zanzibar Island. The majority of flights, both local and international, depart from Terminal Two. The smaller charter flights generally depart from Terminal One which is located roughly 700 metres down the road.
The main bus station is located at Ubungo, 8 km west of town. The majority of busses and coaches depart from Ubungo. The Dar express and Royal Coach run daily express busses to the safari capital of Arusha which take roughly 10 hours. The main train station is located 6km southwest from the city centre and serves all the major regions.
The main passenger routes by boat are between Dar, Zanzibar and Pemba. There is also another route between Dar and Mtwara. There are express ferry trips to Zanzibar which only take 1.5 hours. The slow ferries are more cost effective but do take double the amount of time.
Dar es Salaam Attractions and Activities
Combing modern with traditional, Dar is a city of flavour and it's well-worth spending a few nights getting to know the area.
Here are just a few things to do in Dar es Salaam:
- Dive in the coral reef gardens of Bongoyo and Mbudya Islands
- Visit Wet "N" Wild theme park or Water World at the beach. Boasting water slides, video arcades and a host of water slides, it makes a great family destination.
- Catch a traditional Swahili dance at the Mwalimu Julius K Nyerere Cultural Centre.
- Visit one of the many pubs in the city centre which provide a friendly and welcoming atmosphere
- Educate yourself about the origins of mankind at the National Musuem which contains human fossils and insight into the Zanzibar slave trade.
- Inspect the Kunduchi Ruins which house the ruins of a 15th century Mosque and a few tombs.
- Stroll around the Village Musuem where there is a collection of authenticaly constructed villages depicting life in the various regions of Tanzania.
- Walk around the Botanical Gardens dating back to the German Colonial era.