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Where to Stay in Dar es Salaam?
The waterfront and harbour area of Dar Es Salaam are always busy as tourists inspect the local sights or prepare to take the ferry to [Zanzibar] while locals go about their working day. You’ll find some very luxurious hotels along the seafront stretch here including perhaps the best known, the Kilimanjaro Kempinski hotel, whose eight storeys command wonderful sea views. This hotel is a major landmark for Dar and acts as a meeting place for the well-heeled.
From the harbour it’s an easy stroll to most of Dar Es Salaam’s sights including the National Museum and the Village Museum. If you venture away from the city centre, especially around the warren of roads that sit south of the city’s university, you’ll come across lots of cheap hotels, or “gestis” as they are known. These can be very out of the way but you’ll be living life as a local would.
The beaches in the north of Dar tend to be busy and with lots of facilities while the southern coastal area is quieter, more secluded and with less in the way of bars and restaurants.
Dar es Salaam Accommodation Options
You can find a low-cost hotel for as cheap as a fiver a night in Dare Es Salaam if you ask the locals to recommend a gesti or you can pay upwards of hundreds of pounds a night at one of the five-star establishments that cluster around the waterfront. Budget options abound around Sofia Kawawa Street, just ten minutes from the city centre, but these are very basic. You’ll also find cheap hotels a bit further away from the centre in Oyster Bay, a popular location for backpackers.
For those flying into Dar Es Salaam in order to travel onwards by air to their final destination, there are some good budget options close to the airport.
To the south of the city, the South Beach resort in Kigamboni has lovely private balconies overlooking the ocean, a 22-seater Jacuzzi and pool, a popular sports bar and live music at the weekends. .
Dar es Salaam Hotel Recommendations?
There’s nothing like the satisfaction of a price well haggled and at The Peacock Hotel City Centre in central Dar Es Salaam you can get yourself rather a luxurious room for a mid range rate, should you have the persistence. For golfers, book a night at the Movenpick Royal Palm and you’re right next to a fabulous course as well as beautifully kept tennis courts. Even if you can’t afford to stay there, make sure you visit the “Kili”, the Kilimanjaro Kempinski, where the city’s movers and shakers do their deals over afternoon tea.
Transport in Dar es Salaam
Julius K Nyerere International Airport is about 10km west of Dar Es Salaam city centre. Most large hotels offer free pick up and drop off services but if you need to get a taxi arrange a price as they do not operate on a meter. The traffic in the city is alarmingly frantic during the day so driving around it is inadvisable. However, most big hotels will arrange a driver if walking around the sights is not an option. Minivans, or daladalas, are by far the most popular way to navigate the city. Their destinations are clearly marked on the front of the vehicle and they will stop at any point if you yell out. They can usually be found at the train station but ask anyone where to pick one up. All that said, walking is by far the most pleasurable way to see Dar Es Salaam, giving you a chance to take in the Indian, African and Arabic architecture, the bustling markets and the unique street life along the way.