Though there are certainly many tourist attractions in Dar, I opted for a more offbeat experience in the quiet and less visited Kigamboni district. Kigamboni is home to a vast, white-sand beach (called the ‘South Beach’), as well as many small resorts with restaurants and bars where you can relax, have lunch or a cocktail and even stay the night.
The problem with such a large city is traffic – Dar is infamous for its horrible traffic jams, causing a 30-minute drive to Kigamboni to quadruple. I was pleasantly surprised that it is possible to escape the traffic completely and reach Kigamboni by ferry from the downtown core (or vice versa).
The Kigamboni ferry terminal is in Dar’s Kivukoni district, east of the Zanzibar ferry. It is located near the Mzizima fish market and is a 10-minute walk from the National Museum. It operates daily, closing at midnight and sources report it opens again at 4:00-5:00AM.
The ferry is just 200 Tsh (10 cents) and 5 minutes to get across to Kigamboni. There are two ferries that run constantly, so fortunately the wait to get on a ferry is not long during peak times. I went back and forth, and in my experience I didn’t wait longer than 10 minutes to board. Keep in mind the ferries run on a “filled” basis, meaning they leave when they are full versus a set schedule – so leave plenty of time. This usually should not be an issue unless one of the ferries is down.
Heading from the city, the ferry terminal looks more like a parking lot – walk towards it and turn right towards the gates where you pay. Once you purchase your ticket, you can wait in a large outdoor room until the passengers from Kigamboni depart – then they will open the gate and you calk walk towards the ferry to board. Seating is first-come, first-serve.
Once you get across to Kigamboni, you will notice the traffic goes in a one-way system, so keep to your left to access a taxi or tuktuk. To get to the beach, you can take a tuktuk to Kijiji Beach Resort, or Kipepeo Beach for approximately 5,000 Tsh (2.50 USD/ 3 CAD).
You can also catch the dala dala bus for 400 Tsh (20 cents). The bus stand is approximately a 10-15 minute walk up from the ferry on the left hand side of the road; you won’t be able to miss the vans, but if you are lost you could ask anyone on the street (ninahetaji dala dala, lakini si’jui wapi – I need a dala dala, but I don’t know where). Make sure to tell the driver you want to go to the beach, as there are a few different buses, so they can make sure you get on the correct line and that you get off at the correct stop.
If you prefer taking a motorcycle taxi (boda boda), expect to pay 1000 Tsh (50 cents), but keep in mind there are high rates of road accidents in Tanzania so it is always a risk when taking them on the main roads.
Overall, I loved spending time relaxing at the beaches in Kigamboni, and I hope you enjoy your time there too!
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