Dar es Salaam Airport Guide
The Julius Nyerere International Airport in Dar es Salaam is the largest airport in Tanzania and is located southwest of the city. Trips to and from the Airport can be unpredictable due to weather, road conditions and traffic. Therefore, plan conservatively and ask locals about the conditions on the day.
Located 16 kilometers away from the city, you can use taxis to access it. The fare is about $25 or Tsh100,000. But it’s a good idea to arrange airport transfers in advance. No shuttle buses are available at the airport.
Main hub Tanzania
The airport is the busiest hub in the region and offers daily flights to other Tanzanian cities including Dodoma the capital, Mwanza, Arusha, and Zanzibar. Smaller flights are also available to connect the national parks and game reserves including Serengeti, Ruaha, and Selous.
To help you plan your overnight stay or stopover, here is a brief Dar es Salaam Airport guide:
What to Expect
There are two terminals at the airport, Terminal 1 and Terminal 2. The temperatures at both terminals can get quite high so dress in clothing that does not attract heat. The space at both terminals is not enough for milling travelers, so there is not enough seating for everyone at the airport. Travelers have noticed unhygienic conditions at the terminals so ensure to insist on clean cutlery if your order food the airport terminals.
There are dysfunctional flight display boards and no Wifi. And any overhead announcements are not well amplified.
Public transport by road
The airport is well serviced by public transport as city buses connect you to downtown Dar es Salaam with bus stops at every 600 meters. The services run day and night and the trip to the city takes roughly 40 minutes at the cost of Tzshs.200.
Most hotels provide their own shuttle bus services to their guests so make sure to contact the reception desk In advance. You can get a taxi to any destination in the city and visitors are advised to seek bargains as the taxi drivers can be quite unscrupulous. Some taxis are also not metered so fares can be quite steep. Average taxi fares range from Tzshs 20-25000, and the trip to the city can take 30 minutes depending on traffic snarls.
Getting a visa
Getting a visa at the airport is easy but it can get a bit delayed during busy days, so set aside some two hours for immigration in the event anything goes wrong. Some of the large airlines usually hand out the arrival form while in transit, but more often than not, you will fill your paperwork at the immigration desk. Be sure to carry a pen as it could be scarce at the counter. When it is time to pay for your visa make sure to have the exact figure preferably in US dollars as getting change could be problematic.
Government bureaucracy in East Africa can sometimes delay processing documents. So you may find yourself having to wait unnecessarily long. So make sure to bring along your food and drinks as the open shops at the terminals do not stock sufficient snacks or are not open outside of regular business hours.
That does not mean the airport is without amenities. You can get some drinks within the departure terminal at the Duty-Free shops.
It is easy to change currency at the airport as this is a must-have facility at almost all airports of the world. Several booths line up at the arrivals terminal. If you’re going to need cash, you may have to wait until your arrive downtown.
There is a conference hall that is used by airport staff for hosting meetings, training, and seminars. A business lounge is also available at the airport.
There are no hotels at the airport, but the major hotels in the city can quickly connect you using their shuttles.
Also check our article Budget Travel to Dar es Salaam to know more about Dar es Salaam.