Take a nice break
Many of the Dar es Salaam expats visit us at Kipepeo either for a drink and meal at the beach or for a quick overnight from Dar es Salaam. There are many other destinations that are perfect for Dar expat weekends and holidays away.
Our main recommendation is Mikumi National Park
West of the bustling town of Morogoro, and East of bustling Dar es Salaam city, Mikumi National Park is small reserve with some lovely scenery that offers a gentle game experience – ideal for a two-night stop and a good base for day-trips to the Udzungwa Mountains. Mikumi shares a border and its wildlife populations with the Selous Game Reserve, so you’ll find plenty here, including elephant, giraffe, wildebeest, zebra, warthog, impala and buffalo. The vast Mkata plain is often a good place to search for lion, whilst the lucky will spot leopard or even wild dog.
In fact, 80% of Mikumi National Park southeast of the Tanzam Highway is inaccessible to tourists. The Mkata River floodplain at the centre of the Park lies within the circuit that is open to tourists, and is comprised of open grassland interspersed with acacia woodland and lone baobab trees. The open horizons and abundant wildlife of the Mkata Floodplain is often compared to the more famous Serengeti Plains. The dawn is often hidden by misty swirls before the Sun pierces through to the bushy grasslands where zebra herds stand like soldiers standing watch for predators.
Indeed, Predators abound with Lions on the lookout for zebra, wildebeest, impala and buffalo herds that migrate across the Mikumi National Park.
Termite mounds with flat tops are also abundant, sometimes spotted in tree during rain seasons and create an odd scenery as giraffes forage in the isolated acacia stands that fringe the Mkata River. The same trees also provide a sun shelter for the elephants while Hippos are the star attraction in the pool situated 5km north of the main entrance gate, supported by an ever-changing cast of waterbirds: there are over 400 species of bird in Mikumi with such colourful common residents as the lilac-breasted roller, yellow-throated longclaw and bateleur eagle joined by a host of European migrants during the rainy season.
What’s more? The Mkata Floodplain in Mikumi National Park is perhaps the most reliable place in Tanzania for sightings of the powerful eland, the world’s largest antelope. The equally impressive greater kudu and sable antelope haunt the miombo-covered foothills of the mountains that rise from the park’s borders.
In short, Mikumi National Park offers some of the best wildlife viewing in Tanzania with the benefit of being extraordinarily close and accessible via Dar es Salaam, making it a favourite for ex-pats and Tanzanian citizens working in the busy city. That’s said, it is a quiet park with less crowds making for an intimate safari.
There are a few fairly simple camps here; all suitable for stopping at with your own vehicle and guide. The best in the area is probably Foxes Safari Camp with twelve en-suite tents. Though Kikoboga Camp is also good with 12 simple, clean cottages made of stone and thatch. There is also Vuma Hills which is only 15 minutes from the park entrance and has 16 spacious en-suite tents.
Travelling around Dar Es Salaam – options for public transport in Dar Es Salaam
The system of public transport in Dar Es Salaam is good making travelling around Dar Es Salaam a relatively simple process. However one of the main problems associated with the city is traffic problems during rush hour which can make travelling around Dar Es Salaam extremely tiring.
Taxis are the most expensive form of moving around the city; however with Uber and other car sharing companies opening in the city; prices are starting to fall. Taxis do not have meters and fares should be discussed beforehand. What you can do is ask for the price and then bargain your way to a better price. It is all about bargain in Dar es Salaam.
Don’t forget we can organise airport transfers with our trusted drivers at a set rate. This includes airport transfers.
Dalla Dallas are privately owned minibuses which travel along set routes and are the main mode of public transport in Dar Es Salaam.
This is the cheapest way to travel but on comfort level, not so much especially during the peak hours of the day where there are a lot of people on route. First and last stops are shown in the front window, but routes vary, so confirm with the conductor that the driver is going to your destination.
The Dar Rapid Transit (DART) project in Dar es Salaam is gradually taking over old dalla-dalla routes. The Kimara–Kivukoni line of the new system runs express buses between the city centre and Ubungo (Tsh650, about 20 minutes), stopping en route at both Ubungo Bus Terminal and Ubungo-Sheikilango, and in the city centre at Kisutu St, Old Posta Transport Stand and Kivukoni. Purchase your ticket at any station in advance of boarding.
If the DART is handy for your destination we would definitely recommend taking over a dalla dalla.
The passenger and vehicle Kigamboni Ferry operates daily from early morning until late evening between Kivukoni Front and Kigamboni, just across the channel, and the gateway to Dar es Salaam’s southern beaches and especially to us at Kipepeo.
There is now a bridge which takes you to the city – but we still prefer the ferry.
Another recent addition to the transportation in Dar es Salaam is the bajaji. These are motorised tricycles known as Tuk Tuks in south east Asia. Although now not allowed in the city centre you will see them travelling all over Dar Es Salaam. They offer you the flexibility of a taxi but at a significantly lower price.
Fun things to do in Dar es Salaam city on a tight budget.
Kipepeo Beach and Village are located in the outskirts of Tanzania’s largest city, Dar es Salaam city. Short drive and ferry trip takes you straight into the Dar es Salaam city centre.
The largest city in Tanzania, Dar es Salaam boasts cultural diversity with a variety of shopping, entertainment and dining scenes.
Our beach at Kipepeo is perfect for a Dar Es Salaaam hotel break as we offer the beautiful beach along with our close proximity to Dar Es Salaam city. Many of our guests at Kipepeo find it hard to leave our beautiful sun kissed beach; however for those who wish to explore further we are always happy to help with suggestions and ideas.
We have put together a list below of activities which can be enjoyed on a budget by travellers to Kipepeo and Dar Es Salaam City.
Explore the National Museum of Dar es Salaam City
If you’re a history aficionado, start your day on a high note by visiting the National Museum of Dar es Salaam to learn more about the history and culture of the country. You’ll have an opportunity to see the history of the country through pictures; there are also interesting presentations on the cradle of mankind – Olduvai Gorge with prints of human’s first ancestor’s footprints. You can also learn more about the British and German colonial eras. There are several collections of antiques displayed at the museum including arts and crafts. The museum has a new extension – the House of Culture, a venue for musical concerts and an art gallery.
Entrance fee is 6500 TZS approx. $3 (adult) | 2600 TZS approx. $1.20 (children)
Visit Oyster Bay
Oyster Bay is also known as Coco Beach, and it’s located on the Msasani Peninsula. This is a great place to hang out with the locals and enjoy a wide range of street food snacks and live music. The open area on the beach is frequently used for entertainment events such as parties and concerts. You can get a taxi from the city centre to Coco beach for about $6.
Enjoy the Best-Grilled Chicken in Dar
Mamboz Corner BBQ is a street-side BBQ restaurant known for serving the best-grilled chicken in town. The restaurant serves a variety of grilled chicken such as lemon chicken spicy gujarr chicken and chicken sekela. If you have not had a taste of Urojo, also known as Zanzibar mix, you can order a plate here.
Price: From $3 to $10
Visit the Village Museum
The Village Museum features several traditional Tanzanian huts decorated in traditional styles from the whole country. This is a great place to learn more about the cultural heritage of the country. Traditional dance and music take place daily. You can purchase some souvenirs and handcrafts, which are made by the villagers who have traditional skills in pottery, weaving and carving.
Entrance fee is 6500 TZS approx. $3 (adult) | 2600 TZS approx. $1.20 (children)
The dance and music performance costs 2000TZS (adults) and 1000 TZS (children)
Enjoy your time in Dar Es Salaam city,
Dar es Salaam is the best launch pad and gateway for Tanzania safaris. Many of the best and most reputable safari operators base themselves in Dar es Salaam because tourists can simultaneously enjoy a beach holiday and the city sights here while waiting for safari. What’s more, it’s the perfect place to relax and reflect on your safari when you return.
Two friends and I stayed at Kipepeo Beach & Village before we started our overland safari with Acacia. I picked this place as I thought it would be easier with starting the safari: and it was… just what we needed after 18 hours of traveling too. (Jessica E, Australia) Trip Advisor.
From Dar es Salaam, you are much closer to Tanzania’s South and Western wildlife parks. While the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater are the best known conservation areas, visitors often overlook Southern Parks such as Selous and Ruaha which are highly regarded among passionate wildlife enthusiasts. These parks actually offer a wider choice of activities at much better value for money than the Northern parks. Similarly, in the West of Tanzania the Mahale and Katavi parks, though more expensive to reach, contain a distinctly more unique safari experience. Indeed, Tanzania has such a varied countryside that every safari is a different experience but from Dar es Salaam you have better access to this variety with a wider choice.
A popular Southern choice is Africa’s largest and oldest game reserve: Selous. The riverine green landscape of Selous boasts dense bush, lakes, and rivers that sustain huge quantities of wildlife that can be explored via some of the best boating and guided walks of any of the Tanzania safaris. Ruaha Park on the other hand shows off a dry red soil across ancient plains where your safari will see vast buffalo herds contend with prides of lions. Ruaha also hosts the highest concentration of elephants in Africa that is sure to make your safari an incredible experience.
Tanzania Safari Guide
In the West, Katavi National Park remains a rare pristine wilderness favoured by passionate wildlife and Tanzania safari enthusiasts. Katavi offers a much wilder experience with options for camping and walking among the big game the Park is known for. On the banks of Lake Tanganyika (from where the mainland of Tanzania gets it names), Mahale Mountains National Park is another tremendously wild safari option with an abundance of life that includes the most renowned chimpanzee experience in Africa.
Generally, Tanzania safaris in the South and Western parks are where you can get a much wilder experience where you may not even see another safari vehicle during your trip. You will return from your safari both enlightened and tired. And where better to replenish with a little R&R than a Dar es Salaam beach holiday. Dar es Salaam’s Kipepeo Beach is the perfect gateway to prepare your Tanzania safari and, when you return, to reflect on your experiences with a chilled cocktail on the pristine ocean beach.