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Dar es Salaam Nightlife

Dar es Salaam’s nightlife scene isn’t huge, but it has a friendly, raw energy that makes it well worth exploring. The scene is more down-to-earth than sophisticated with big screen sports common even in upscale bars. Men should be warned that the attention they receive from single women might not be entirely un-mercenary. Still, Dar by night can be a lot of fun, particularly if you head to the one of the venues playing Taarab, a fast-paced Swahili music style that blends Tanzania’s tribal music with Arab influences. While crime isn’t particularly high in the city, it’s best to travel by taxi at night.

Bars in Dar es Salaam

Garden Bistro

As the name suggests, Garden Bistro is also a restaurant, which comes in handy as the drinks tend to flow until late. But it is a nightclub too, with drinkers kept going by the odd skewer of mishkaki or slabs of barbecued meat. Although door policy means men must be wearing more than shorts to enter, the bistro is an otherwise unstuffy and pleasant place to lose an evening, down the far end of the Msasani Peninsula.

Address: , Haile Selasie, Dar es Salaam,

Level 8

On the eighth floor of the Hyatt Regency Kilimanjaro Hotel, this roof terrace bar is arguably Dar es Salaam’s most elegant. With excellent views across central Dar and the harbour, Level 8 also has live music on most nights. An eclectic crowd of well-heeled locals and expats from all over the world gather here, drinking seabreezes and cold beer as the sun goes down.

Address: , Kivukoni Street, Dar es Salaam,
Telephone: (0764) 701 234.

The Slipway

The Slipway is perhaps the best place in Dar to watch the sun go down. Its location on Msasani’s western coast means it’s one of the few places where the sun sets over the water. A small shopping complex on the quayside by day, it has an attractive cluster of bars and restaurants that make it equally popular in the evening. The Waterfront is also a popular spot for dusk drinks, as is the Slipway Pub nearby. Altogether, the area is one of the calmer, easier places to spend the sundown in the city.

Address: Msasani Peninsula, Yacht Club Road, Dar es Salaam,
Telephone: (022) 260 0893.

Clubs in Dar es Salaam

Club Bilicanas

Still Dar es Salaam’s most popular nightclub, Club Bilicanas is packed Thursday to Saturday and busy on most other nights too. The music policy is charmingly eclectic (expect anything from Congolese dance music to the latest in Euro cheese), with live music on some nights. Many locals dress up to the nines to hit the glass panelled dancefloor, but Bilicanas is brash, unpretentious and fun.

Address: , Indira Gandhi Street, Dar es Salaam,

Live music in Dar es Salaam

Mango Garden

Those after a Saturday night shake can do much worse than Dar’s Mango Garden with bands covering a wide variety of the city’s most popular musical styles. Key sounds to look out for are Bongo Flava, a local spin on current US R&B, and Mchiriku, an extremely fast-paced but tuneful street style that’s slightly more raw and down-to-earth.

Address: , Mafeke Street, Dar es Salaam,

Travertine Hotel

The Travertine’s Sunday night shows are one of the best places to hear live music in Dar es Salaam. With bands playing Taarab music (a heady mix of frenetic percussion and elaborate, tuneful vocals), the place gets packed with a largely local crowd. Patrons here take their music seriously enough, but also come to dance until they drop.

Address: , Mpiji Street, Dar es Salaam,

Classical music in Dar es Salaam

Dance in Dar es Salaam

Theatres in Dar es Salaam

Music and Dance in Dar es Salaam

Culture in Dar es Salaam

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Featured Hotels


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.

Hotel Sapphire

Centrally located, the Hotel Sapphire is a clean and pleasant budget option with 63 rooms to choose from. All come with either queen-size or twin beds as well as cable TV as standard. Marble floors help cool the sleeping quarters, while large bathrooms, Wi-Fi and coffee and tea making facilities ensure guests have everything they need. Best of all though are the extremely helpful staff and the rooftop bar, which gives great views across the city.

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.