Dar es Salaam is the largest city of Tanzania and the largest city in eastern Africa by population (4.3 million inhabitants – 2012 national census), it is also Tanzania’s most prominent hub in arts, fashion, media, music, film and television. Dar es Salaam means ‘Harbor of Peace’. It faces the Indian Ocean and looks back on a long history of trading. Due to it’s eminent position it has become home to merchants and settlers with various origins. Being the first and most important stock exchange market it ranges as the leading financial center of the country, containing high concentrations of trade and manufacturing compared to other parts of Tanzania. Today Dar is responsible for the main export activities of the majority of the country’s agricultural and minerals, handling 95% of all international trade and servicing neighboring landlocked countries such as Malawi, Rwanda, Burundi, Congo, Uganda and Zambia.
Current exchange rate (September 2016): $1 USD = TSH 2,053
AIRPORT AND LOCATION
Dar es Salaam is the leading arrival and departure point for most tourists visiting Tanzania and the neighboring region. The Julius Nyerere International Airport is the principal airport serving the country. It is situated 12 km southwest of Dar es Salaam. Depending on their nationality, most tourists can obtain a Tourist Visa valid for three months upon arrival at the airport. The visa costs $50 USD. Bills older than 2006 are not accepted. There are banks, ATM’s and a bureau de change at the airport. However it is advisable to have a $50 or $100 USD upon arrival in order to avoid long waiting periods at the immigration.
For more information please visit the official immigration website. We recommend you to contact the nearest Tanzanian Embassy or Consulate in your country of residence prior to your visit.
Outside the airport there are authorized taxi drivers who charge around $30 USD (TSH 60,000) for the ride from the airport to the hotel (this tariff can increase at night). It is a convenient and safe way to reach your destination. Hotel Shuttles can also be arranged, but need to be organized with your hotel in advance.
Dar es Salaam has heavy traffic during the day, but after sunset the streets clear up and the city turns relatively quiet.
There are several ways to move around the city:
• taxis (the price should be negotiated in advance and can vary from TSH 10,000 to TSH 30,000 depending on the distance)
• Dala dala public buses (fixed fares TSH 400 -1,000)
• Bajaji (three-wheeled tuk-tuks, where you will have to bargain for the fares)
• Pikipiki or Bodaboda (motorbikes)
• the bus rapid transit system, operated by the Dar Rapid Transit Agency and also referred to as UDA-RT (Usafin Dar-Es-Salaam Rapid Transit; fixed price < TSH 1,000 payed before entering the terminal)
Dala dalas are the most affordable way to move around the city, however they are overcrowded and slow, constantly stopping for people to hop on and off these buses. They are run by a driver and a conductor who collects the fare and signals the driver when to continue the journey. Since the introduction of the motorcycle transit business most people prefer Bajajis or Pikipikis, which allows them to move around faster. The rapid busses are a convenient way to travel within the city, but the existing routs cover only a small part of the town.
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SAFETY AND DRESS CODE
Dar es Salaam is considered a rather safe place. You can safely walk around the city center and any crowded area during the daytime. Locals are curious, welcoming, very helpful and always willing to assist you. However, it is advisable to watch out for pickpockets at markets, bus stations or other crowded places. Walking alone in dark and deserted areas is not recommended. At night always take the safest transportation at your disposal (taxi or bajaji). Taxi drivers drive you to your destination and bring you back to your hotel upon request.
Although Dar es Salaam is a vibrant city and Tanzanians are modern in their social ways, it is advisable for women and men to dress conservatively. Tanzanians are extremely hospitable and tolerant and in spite of the fact that most people are religious (50% christian and 50% muslim), they are generally easy-going and very jovial. Still it’s wiser to avoid short and revealing cloth, kissing and cuddling in public and to smoke in the streets (especially during Ramadan). Always opt for the more comfortable, conservative clothes, which won’t make you stand out.
The main rainy season is from March until May. The secondary or “small” rainy season is around November. During these times there is an increased risk of malaria. Particularly risky are dusk and dawn when the mosquitoes are more active. Therefore avoiding mosquitoes bites by using repellant is strongly advised. If you choose to take malaria prophylaxis medication prepare yourself do so in advance and during your stay. Please consult your doctor for the appropriate medication prior to entering the country. The history of Malaria control in Africa dates back to the early 1900s. In Tanzania, malaria control efforts were initiated since the colonial era, hence Tanzanians have a high awareness of malaria and get tested very quickly. Malaria medicines are widely available at all pharmacies, so treatment is very easy and should be done promptly.
There is no risk of yellow fever in Tanzania. However the Government of Tanzania requires proof of yellow fever vaccination and you may be asked to show your vaccination card upon arrival at the airport as well as when arriving on the Zanzibar Ferry (even when travelling domestically between Dar and Zanzibar). Please check this list to see the countries with risk of yellow fever and countries requiring yellow fever vaccination.
Electrical sockets (outlets) are the “Type G” British BS-1363 type.
Aga Khan Hospital Ocean Road +255-22-2115151
Aga Khan Emergency Ambulance mobile +255-74-4777100
Police Emergency Number 112 (or also +255 22 2117362 in Dar es Salaam)
Ardhi University Telephone Number +255-22-2771272