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Located on the Indian Ocean coast, Dar es Salaam is Tanzania’s largest city (although not the capital). Founded in the 1860s, Dar is relatively modern compared with other coastal settlements. Aside from a few museums and their botanical gardens, we don’t find that there are many attractions in Dar itself, which is why we use it as more of a stopover location for no more than a night or two.

Dar is most often used when there is a beach experience incorporated into a Tanzanian itinerary. Dar is only an hour’s scenic drive from the beaches of the Tanzanian Coast, an area which we like, but tend to prefer Zanzibar’s beaches and activities. If your safari happens to end in Zanzibar or Mozambique, you will likely make a stopover in Dar before or after the beach portion of your safari. Most international flights will fly in and out of Kilimanjaro International Airport, so you’d likely skip Dar altogether if your itinerary does not include the beach. If you are arriving in Tanzania from Southern Africa, you may also find yourself with an overnight in Dar.

Our favorite properties in Dar es Salaam are Kempinski Dar es Salaam and The Oyster Bay.

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Jamie Mehrotra