Dar es salaam, Tanzania is the former capital and largest city in Tanzania. It is the most populous city in the East Africa coastal region and a regionally important economic center. Located on the Swahili coast, the city is one of the fastest growing cities in the world.
The city is the leading arrival and departure point for most tourists who visit Tanzania, including the national parks for safaris and the islands of Unguja and Pemba.
Through her Dar es salaam International Airport also known as the “Julius Nyerere International Airport” many international flights and domestic flights inbound and outbound transferring the largest number of travellers a year – seems busy?!
Yes, Dar es salaam is the busiest City its her Airport. The most busiest time is the Mid Night at Dar es salaam International Airport from 23:00hRS to 04:45AM there are several International flights landing such as KLM, Ethiopian Airlines, Kenyan Airways, Oman Air, Qatar Airways and Rwandan Air to list the few. Below is the up-to-date details on what to expect and what you should do about it.
Visas On Arrival.
Tanzania is among the top best provider of Visas on arrival at all International border entry through her Airports as well as border traffic control ports. Currently because of many big plans landing at Mid Night the process of attaining Visas it takes longer than how it was; approximately one needs more than 2 hours give or take for Visa to be approved.
Tanzania Travel Diary recommends many visitors who are coming from countries in which United Republic of Tanzania has an Embassy or representative to apply Visa while abroad. This will leave fewer passengers who are truly in need of visas on arrival; those whom in their countries there are no Tanzanian Embassies or Consular Representatives. This would eventually lead to have few people and takes probably less than 1 hour then.
Important you should note, Visa applications on arrival is 50$ paid mostly in Cash using the New US Dollar Bills from 2003. This price is 100$ only to US Citizens.
To know if you qualify for Visa on Arrival Applications read here.
Check In To New Flights – Transit.
Another nightmare is how to do transit after landing. You should if you are transit in Dar at Mid Night your boarding pass is the important thing. From anywhere your coming if your boarding pass final destination is not Dar es salaam and you are only transiting here then you are in safer side because you might not even have to leave the plan for those less than 1 hour stops. Even if you leave the plan, the airline will take care of your transit and your bags as well.
But for those who booked multiple flights and they have another flight originating after arriving in Dar they need to keep note on the following. You will need a Visa, if you next fight is less than 2 hours after landing then do not book it because Visa applications and bag collection takes longer than that. If you already have your visa you will still need more than one hour.
Currently we are using the Terminal I which is small and easier to move. After collecting the Bags get out of arrival gets and walk 50 meters or less to your right and you will see departure gate, go and check in. If you next fight is probably 4 hours later you can stop at Tasty or Flamingo and get a coffee or chicken as well.
Local SIM Cards Registration.
Its more than easier to get. Right after getting off the arrival gate on your right there are local network operators booths. I am personally recommending Zantel and Halotel to travelers because of how great they cover both Tanzania Mainland and Zanzibar Island. Many recommend Vodacom and Airtel which are yes great but their data subscription is expensive as well as they don’t cover much of Zanzibar Island except the Stone Town.
Getting a local SIM Card is actually less than 1$ Dollar. They will need to take copy of your passport as well as taking a picture of you on arrival to register.
TAXI and Other Transport Modalities.
On the left side after landing there is a table of Airport TAXI in which a route starts at 20$ depending how far you go. Many operates routes to the CBD Charging 30$.
Another alternative after landing you can switch yiir UBER or TAXIFY number to the local SIM Card you have registered and get yourself a transport that way.
Also can walk few meters outside the Airport North and exit Airport to the main road. There are bus stops, to go into CBD just cross to the other side and stop KIVUKONI/MNAZI MMOJA bus. I would not recommend this options to anyone new unless you have experience with Tanzania and probably know little Swahili. Its hustle way, but if you arrange with local guide then you can do it with him/her.
Money; ATMs over Cash.
The most difficult questions is how much do one really need. Should you bring cash dollars or other currency? – No. At our Airport there are ATMs and you can get cash using any international credit card. You should only know, our ATMs can deliver 400,000 Tanzanian Shillings on bulk at one withdraw and in a day you can not withdrawl more than 1,000,000 Tanzanian Shillings using same credit card. Hence you should know many hotels and business do accept payment in credit cards.
Finally, I am getting sleepy. Let me know if there is anything I did not wrote about and should have been in this article.