Dar es Salaam
Dar es Salaam is the country’s largest city and most important port. A sprawling mass of higgeldy, piggeldy buildings spread along the coast and dotted with palm trees, the city is always busy with hooting horns and lots of traffic. From the air, very few tall buildings can be seen and most of the city’s roads are simply built dirt tracks.
With the efficient internal air schedule, very few tourists spend long in Dar connecting directly to internal flights to one of the southern or northern game reserves. Those visitors who do spend time in Dar are usually regional visitors from Southern or Eastern Africa on self-drive holidays. The airport is large and well kept and a hub for reaching Zanzibar and Pemba Islands and the main link to most of the game parks in the south – Selous Game Reserve, Ruaha National Park and Mikumi National Park. Direct flights arrive from Europe on a regular basis but the schedule is limited to certain days of the week.
There are a number of good hotels in the city as well as some privately owned facilities and bed/breakfasts of a high standard. Local religion is predominantly Muslim which explains why there are less drinking spots than one may expect in a coastal city.
North of Dar lie two major resorts inlcuding Kunduchi Beach and Mbezi Beach. Although the resorts are popular for regional visitors and have attractive, sandy beaches they do not match the beach at Bagamoyo, 50km further north.
To the south of Dar es Salaam and across the harbour are found the newer lodges which are somehow more appealing to the modern traveller being less of a large, old fashioned hotel. Access across the harbour is by motorised ferry, an exciting activity in itself and surprisingly efficient considering the volume of traffic always queued up to make the crossing.
A good surfaced road runs for around 7km after leaving the ferry before turning off onto a bumpy, dirt road which takes one through small local villages towards the beach resorts. These beach areas can also be accessed by a short 15min private charter flight from Dar-es-Salaam domestic airport.
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