When to fly
Due to its proximity to the equator, the climate of Dar es Salaam is tropical with hot and humid weather making it a great year round flight destination. In the summer months every year, Des es Salaam hosts a Charity Goat Race which provides a day of entertainment for the whole family to enjoy such as goat racing, fancy dress, live music, arts and crafts and delicious food. The event is the largest of its kind in East Africa. The races raise money for charity and is a really special event.
The most popular time to visit is outside the rainy seasons which last from April to May and October to November, although the rainy season is when airfares are at their cheapest. The Months from December to March tend to be the hottest times and is when people are more likely to book their flights.
Although the 7th July is a national holiday across Tanzania and many enjoy the day off work, Dar es Salaam also becomes a hive of activity with the International Trade Fair. 18 different countries across the globe attend the fair resulting in over 1500 exhibitions being displayed at the Mwalimu J.K Nverrer Trade Fair Grounds. During this period Dar experiences a high volume of visitors and locals either end of the fair so accommodation and airline ticket prices may increase.
Dar es Salaam is often a stop-off point for people on international flights who are on their way to a safari holiday. However, there are some interesting attractions in the city itself, including the National Museum, the Makumbusho Village Museum, Mawazo contemporary art gallery and the Askari Monument. Dhow cruises to the island marine reserve of Bongoyo are deservedly popular. Travellers seeking an authentic taste of city life may want to check out the busy fish market, Kivukoni Front and Kariakoo Market. Oyster Bay, meanwhile, is an upmarket enclave of glamorous mansions and the location of Coco Beach, a good spot for a swim, drink or lunch.
Getting around Dar es Salaam
The public transport system in Dar es Salaam is limited. Dalla-dallas are small minivans with specific routes. They’re cheap and fairly easy to use, but a little geographical knowledge of the city helps. Taxis are privately owned (there are no official taxis) and prices should always be agreed before travelling.
Caution should be exercised, especially in busy areas such as Kariakoo Market, against pickpockets and bag snatchers. Muggings are not an infrequent occurrence in the city. Visitors should always keep money and valuables secure and out of sight, avoiding quiet areas and walking alone at night.
How to get from the airport to the city
The main airport in Dar es Salaam is Julius Nyerere International Airport (DAR), located about 7 miles (12 km) from the city centre. When hotel pick-ups are available, they may be the best way to get into the city. Otherwise, there are taxis, where the price should be negotiated beforehand, or city buses – bus stops can be found a five minute walk from the airport.