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Dar es Salaam Tanzania Cruise Port Guide


From the minute one arrives in the town of Dar es Salaam, the feel of the Big Mountain is at hand. Mt. Kilimanjaro!

Cruise ships dock at different berths in the harbor. The port has no dedicated terminal for cruise vessels yet.

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Monthly Climate Averages for Dar es Salaam Tanzania



Dar es Salaam sits on the Indian Ocean on the east coast of Tanzania. It is the country's largest city and former capital and from here you can get a train inland to Arusha in the north, to Lakes Tanganyika and Victoria, and to Zambia for whom the port operates as an outlet for its copper exports. While you are here you can visit the Kariakoo market, the Botanical Gardens, National Central Library and the National Museum of Tanzania which has notable collections dealing with east African archeology and history.

Dar es Salaam (which means "haven of peace" in Arabic) was founded in the 1860s as a summer residence for the sultan of Zanzibar. It was developed by German colonists and became the capital of German East Africa in 1896. The city fell to British control in 1916 but it became the capital of a newly independent Tanganyika in 1961 and when Tanganyika and Zanzibar were merged to form Tanzania in 1964. In 1974, Dodoma was designated the new capital of Tanzania.

The Zoological Gardens, the National Museum, the Village Museum.

Tours Excursions Transportation:

Walking around central Dar is a nice way to see the city and probably the best way to get around. In general, people will leave you alone except for the occasional greeting. There aren't many sidewalks in Dar so exercise caution when walking along busy roads.

It pays to compare your cruise line tours here.

Nearby Places:

Kigamboni, or South Beach, is located across the channel from the Zanzibar ferry. Public beaches have been purchased by developers, so most of the beaches are maintained by hotels that charge an entry fee. South Beach Resort is a popular hotel on the beach, as are the resorts of Amani and Ras Kutani.

Shopping and Food

There is a fantastic craft market in Mwenge, the Mwenge Carvers' Market. Here you can watch many of the artists make the crafts that are sold throughout the country (although some crafts sold in Tanzania are imported from Kenya). Prices range from expensive to extremely cheap. The market closes at dusk.


The currency of Tanzania is known as the Tanzanian Shilling (TSH, /=). One US dollar is worth about 1100 Tsh.

In general, stores, restaurants, and hotels in Tanzania expect payment in Tsh. Exceptions include payment for travel visas, entry fees to national parks (which must be paid in US dollars by non-residents), and payments for safaris and Kilimanjaro treks, which are generally priced in US dollars (though payment will be also accepted in other currencies). On Zanzibar, prices are generally in US dollars (including the ferry fare from Dar es Salaam to Zanzibar), and non-residents are required to pay for hotels with foreign currency (although the hotel will change Tsh for you).

Credit Cards can only be used in large hotels, resorts, and with certain travel agents. In short, Tanzania is still a cash society.

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Tanzanians speak Kiswahili and, to some extent, English. (As elsewhere, English is more commonly spoken in larger cities and tourist destinations.)

Internet cafés are more and more common throughout Tanzania. They are easy to find in major urban areas, like Dar es Salaam and Arusha.

Emergency Services: 112

Opening Hours and Holidays:

Shopping hours Mon-Fri 0830-1200 and 1400-1800, Sat 0830-1230. Some shops open on Sunday.

1 Jan New Year's Day.
12 Jan Zanzibar Revolution Day. 
Mar Birth of the Prophet.
Good Friday. 
Easter Monday.
26 Apr Union Day.
1 May International Labour Day.
7 Jul Saba Saba (Industry's Day).
8 Aug Nane Nane (Farmer's Day).
Eid al-Fitr (Ramadan).
14 Oct Nyerere Day.
Eid al-Adha.
9 Dec Independence and Republic Day.
25 Dec Christmas Day.
26 Dec Boxing Day

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