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World Travel Guide > Guides > Africa > Tanzania > Dar es Salaam

Dar es Salaam Weather

31°C

Local time Dar es Salaam

Currency

TSh

Getting around Dar es Salaam

Public transport

For short journeys within Dar es Salaam, there is a choice between 30-seater ‘Coaster' buses or dalla-dallas, which are smaller minibuses. These both run when full and can be awkward to try and board with luggage. Dalla-dallas are cheap but can be unsafe, as drivers race each other to pick-up points to collect new passengers. The names of the first and last stop are shown in the front window or hollered out by the driver's assistant, who also collects the fares. Main terminals include New Posta in front of the main post office on Maktaba Street, Kariakoo on Msimbazi Street, Kivukoni on Kivukoni Front and Stesheni on Algeria Street, near to the Central Line railway station.

Taxis

Taxis are distinguished by their white number plates. Fares are not fixed or metered so you must negotiate the best deal before setting off. You can find taxi ranks throughout the city, usually in front of larger hotels, bars, clubs, restaurants or landmark buildings. Shared taxis are relatively rare.

For a cheaper alternative for short distances, consider hailing a tuk-tuk. These are fully enclosed, if sometimes shaky, two-seater motorbike taxis that resemble motorised rickshaws.

Driving

Most companies insist that you hire a 4-wheel drive vehicle if driving outside the city. However, unless you are familiar with driving in East Africa, it is unusual to take a self-drive tour: most people hire a driver or join an organised safari.

Tanzanians drive on the left. The speed limit within urban areas is 30-50kph (19-31mph). Drivers and front-seat passengers must wear seat belts.

Car hire

There are a handful of car hire agencies in Dar, including Avis (tel: +255 22 276 1277; www.avis.com) and Green Car Rentals (tel: +255 22 218 3718; www.greencarstz.com).

Bicycle hire

The main roads are often sealed in, so cycling can be very dangerous, but many of the secondary roads are safer. Mountain bikes are virtually essential and should be brought from home as hired bikes tend to be of poor quality. Bicycle Africa (www.ibike.org/bikeafrica) organises cycling tours throughout Tanzania.

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Tiffany Diamond Hotel & Spa

This clean and airy hotel in the centre of the city has much going for it. Spacious air-conditioned rooms come with complementary Wi-Fi satellite TV and great showers while suites have more room and large Jacuzzi baths. The Shaba Lounge on the 10th floor has views of the harbour and a small but fully-equipped gym sauna and spa are good for unwinding.

Hyatt Regency Dar Es Salaam, The Kilimanjaro

Providing a slice of serenity in this busy and bustling city, the 5-star oasis of The Kilimanjaro offer views over the open Indian Ocean as well as an affable, rooftop infinity pool if the beach seems a little too far away. The 180 large rooms mix African and European features and come with refreshing rain showers, king-size beds, satellite TVs and high speed internet. There are also two excellent restaurants on-site that dish up international fare and local specialties, as well as a lively lounge with an outdoor terrace. Its luxury wellness centre offers spa treatments, saunas, steam rooms and a gym.

DoubleTree by Hilton

In the chic Slipway section of the city, the DoubleTree by Hilton is a wonderful waterfront stay that overlooks Oyster Bay. Its spacious, regal-looking rooms are styled with African art and aristocratic furnishings, and all come with complementary internet, LCD TVs, refined bathrooms and the finest Egyptian cotton sheets. With a swimming pool and three restaurants on-site, the whim of every guest should be catered for.

Dar Es Salaam Serena Hotel

The Arabic touches and European elegance of this 5-star palace are just a few meandering minutes from the city centre. Its 230 rooms offer luxury in abundance with king-size beds, much needed air-conditioning, cable TV and separate sitting areas. The hotel also has enough bars, lounges and restaurants to form a break away village, but visitors are usually too busy relaxing in the swimming pool and wellness centre to worry about such fantasies.

New Africa Hotel

Right in the heart of the city, just a few streets from the waterfront, the New Africa Hotel is a modern and well equipped bolthole that offers large, comfy beds, flat screen TVs and Wi-Fi. While only some rooms afford views over the harbour, the excellent rooftop restaurant gives superb vistas for all enjoying its tasty Thai tucker. There is also an on-site casino for those that like a roll and the hotel's dimly lit bar tends to pack out on a Friday night.

Hotel Nikko Tower

Just a short walk to the ferry terminal, Hotel Nikko Tower is great for either a swift stay before heading to Zanzibar or for a longer budget break in Dar. Clean and colourful rooms have large TVs, free Wi-Fi and decent double beds and there is a simple fitness centre on the top floor. The on-site sports bar has a decent happy hour and shows live games on a large screen.