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Dar es Salaam

Dar es Salaam is Tanzania’s largest city and main port.

Dar es Salaam

Dar es Salaam: in detail

Although Dodoma, in the middle of the country, is Tanzania's designated capital city, Dar es Salaam remains Tanzania's social and commercial heart, as the country's largest city and main port. Many travellers fly into and out of Dar, as it's usually called, when visiting southern Tanzania or the Indian Ocean islands of Zanzibar, Pemba and Mafia. (If you're visiting northern Tanzania you'd more likely fly to Kilimanjaro International Airport, before travelling to the northern parks and wildlife areas of Tarangire, Manyara, Ngorongoro and Serengeti.)

From Dar airport, we'll often be able to arrange for you to connect straight through to your safari or beach lodge, but occasionally an overnight stop here is needed. Then visitors are often surprised how much they enjoy the place.

Dar isn't one of Africa's most beautiful cities; many parts of it are dusty and poor. Yet it's a vibrant and interesting corner of modern Africa. Colourfully clad people jostle with vehicles and bicycles in the streets, whilst street-stalls sell anything from wooden carvings to matching sets of luggage.

Whether you're visiting prior to a Tanzania safari, or en route back from a Mozambique beach retreat, the city has a handful of good international-style hotels, which include:

To start or end your trip in style - the exclusive Oyster Bay is arguably the best hotel in Dar. With only 8 suites, the food and service is up there with any of the top safari lodges.

In the centre of town, the Moevenpick Royal Palm Hotel is probably one the city's best larger hotels.

The Southern Sun (formerly the Holiday Inn) is also conveniently located in town, and with an outdoor pool is a pleasant stop over hotel.

About half an hour's drive from the airport, the Sea Cliff, is a reliable and pleasant hotel which stands right beside the ocean.

Meanwhile, for something much smaller and simpler, but near to a buzzy open-air square with a modern market and restaurants, head for the Slipway.

If you have a little longer in and around Dar, and can stay for two days, then think about spending a few days at one of the two lovely beach retreats in the Ras Kutani area.

Where to stay in Dar es Salaam

Our suggestions for places to stay in Dar es Salaam

Southern Sun Dar

Southern Sun

Expert Africa books the Southern Sun in Dar es Salaam as a reliable overnight standby for our travellers passing through the city.

82% (179 reviews)
Serena Hotel Dar

Serena Hotel Dar

The Serena Hotel in Dar in Das es Salaam is one of the city's reliable fixtures - part of a well managed group.

79% (61 reviews)
Oyster Bay

Oyster Bay

North of downtown Dar es Salaam, the Oyster Bay feels like an exclusive hideaway, with its contemporary design.

98% (54 reviews)
The Slipway

The Slipway

The Slipway Hotel in Dar es Salaam is located on the waterfront in a small complex with restaurants and shops.

81% (27 reviews)
Hyatt Regency Hotel

Hyatt Regency Hotel

The Hyatt Regency Hotel in Dar es Salaam is situated in the centre of Dar and has the facilities you would expect of a high-quality international hotel

79% (16 reviews)
Sea Cliff Hotel

Sea Cliff Hotel

The Sea Cliff Hotel is a smart international hotel in Dar, offering comfortable accommodation and fine views across the Indian Ocean.

80% (10 reviews)
Four Points by Sheraton Dar es Salaam

Four Points by Sheraton Dar es Salaam

A typical Four Points by Sheraton hotel, this city hotel provides comfort and style in central Dar es Salaam, offering the perks and familiarity of the Marriott brand.

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