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Budget Travel Guide – Dar es Salaam

The big, bustling capital city of Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania,  is an exciting, urban destination in this east African country. Travel lovers should visit Dar Es Salaam to experience the magic of Tanzania in a unique way, enjoying its urban life, cultural tours,  heritage sites, and pristine beaches. However, as a consequence of the lockdown, some might not have a huge budget for their travel plans. Here is a budget travel guide to have an amazing and unforgettable time at Dar Es Salaam!


  • Travel
    • Fly directly to Dar Es Salaam, as flights to bigger cities are cheaper.
    • Install and use taxi apps, such as Uber, Bolt, and Taxify, which have specified prices and provide affordable travel opportunities.
    • Using public transport is a good idea (although one must always wear a mask and sanitize as frequently as possible). Tourists can opt for a Bajaj, which is a motorized tricycle (also known as a Tuk-Tuk), a ferry, or Dalla Dallas, which are minibuses that travel on set routes.
    • A safe, cheap, and eco-friendly way to travel is by bicycle, but this may not be feasible for crowded areas in the city.


  • Prices
    • By making bookings online, in advance, tourists can enjoy discounts and reduced prices, as well as avoiding any last minute inconveniences.
    • Before paying anywhere (getting a taxi, hiring a guide, signing up for a tour), the visitor must negotiate and confirm the price they will eventually be paying.
    • A quick Google search can go a long way. One should try to find out the prices for important things beforehand, in order to avoid getting ripped off.
    • Paying via cash allows tourists to avoid paying ATM and bank fees.


  • Food
    • Supermarkets and malls sell imported items, which are easily available in the tourist’s home country as well. Instead, one should try to buy from local stores and vendors, thus supporting the local economy, and getting a more authentic experience of the country. By buying fruit and vegetables that have been grown in Tanzania, tourists can feel closer to the nature of the land they are visiting.
    • In Dar Es Salaam, tourists can easily buy fruits such as coconuts, avocadoes, berries, guavas, watermelons, oranges, mangoes, pineapples, passionfruit, and bananas, vegetables including cauliflower, onions, chillies, peppers, cabbage, beans, lettuce, and carrot, and a variety of herbs and spices.
    • Street food is an excellent alternative to expensive restaurants and fast food chains, as it provides the exquisite flavors of Tanzania, and allows tourists to enjoy the diverse cuisine, with its Swahili, Turkish, Arabic, Indian, Portugese, and British influences, and the use of spices such as lemongrass, cumin, garlic, ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, vanilla, cloves, cardamom, pepper, and coriander.
    • Famous street food includes Uji (porridge), pani puri (hollow chips filled with potatoes, chickpeas, and spices), ginger tea, sugarcane juice, Kuku Paka (spicy curry), biryani, pilao, samosa (fried filled triangles), sweet potatoes, kebabs, Muhogo (deep fried cassava), Mandazi (sweet doughnuts), and meat skewers.


  • Spots
    • Travellers can visit Pugu Hills Forest Reserve, home to cheetahs, leopards, hyenas, mongooses, giraffes, baboons, elephants, pangolins, jackals, galagos, warthogs, colobus monkeys, and impalas. Visitors can trek up to a cave that is seen as sacred by the local Zaramo people, and the great bat caves which are home to the  Tanzanian woolly bat, Hildegarde’s tom bat, and horseshoe bat.


    • The National Museum of Tanzania has an entrance fee of $3, which might not be much for most budget travellers. Here, tourists can find ancient Chinese pottery, fossil discoveries, a sacred fig tree, old Tanzanian wood carvings, prehistoric rock art, ancient relics and coins, paintings of important figures such as President Julius Nyerere, indigenous ebony masks, a car that belonged to King George V, cars such as Aston Martin, Rolls Royce, and Mercedes Benz which were once owned by Julius Nyerere, and artefacts from colonial rule!


    • One can visit the Askari Monument, a memorial for the soldiers who fought in World War I for the British army. The bronze statue holds a rifle pointing towards the harbour. The plaques have inscriptions in Arabic and Swahili.