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Where To Stay In Dar Es Salaam

Dar es Salaam Serena Hotel is located in a secure environment in the heart of the Central Business District, just steps from prime nightlife, dining, businesses, shopping and cultural attractions. The Hotel is only a ten-minute drive from Dar es Salaam International Airport, minutes from the northern and southern beaches and walking distance from the city centre.

For any questions about Dar es Salaam Serena Hotel, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. We invite you to complete the following information in order for our team to be able to respond to you in a timely manner.


contact details

Ohio Street
P.O BOX 791
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

T: (+255 22) 2118114
F: (+255 22) 2113981
E: sales.daressalaam@serenahotels.com | daressalaam@serenahotels.com

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Dar es Salaam Serena Hotel places you at the heart of the business district with immediate access to nightlife, dining, business, shopping and cultural attractions. The hotel is just a 12-kilometre drive from Dar es Salaam International Airport, minutes from the northern and southern beaches and walking distance of the city centre.

About Dar Es Salaam

Dar es Salaam ‎ (meaning ‘Haven of Peace’), is the largest city in Tanzania (population estimated at over 4 million), the third-fastest-growing city in Africa and the ninth-fastest- growing in the world. Though Dar es Salaam lost its official status as Tanzania ‘s capital city to Dodoma in 1973, it remains the centre of the permanent central government bureaucracy and continues to serve as the capital for the surrounding Dar es Salaam Region.

Situated close to the equator and the warm Indian Ocean, Dar es Salaam experiences generally tropical climatic conditions, typified by hot and humid weather throughout much of the year. Annual rainfall is approximately 1,100 mm (43 in) per annum and in a normal year there are two distinct rainy seasons, 'the Tanzania long rains' which fall during April and May, and 'the Tanzania short rains' - during October and November. Dar, as it is popularly known, is full of historical buildings, many of which date back to German and British colonial times.

Spanning two sweeps of bay, looking out over the Indian Ocean, Dar es Salaam is relaxed in atmosphere and can easily be navigated on foot (the guided city tour takes around 2 hours). The best place to begin a tour is at the very heart of the city: the Askari Monument, erected in memory of the African troops who fought in World War I. Head south, and you come to the harbour and the site of the imposing Lutheran church, one of the first buildings constructed during the German occupation. Along the waterfront, street-vendors sell peanuts, candy and stalks of sugarcane. At the end of the Kivukoni Front is the Kivukoni Ferry, which shuttles people, produce and vehicles across the harbour to Kigamboni, a large fertile peninsula where mangoes, pawpaws, cassava, bananas and coconuts grow right down the edge of the beach. Ocean Road leads away from the ferry along the water’s edge, home to the bustling Kivukoni Fish Market, where you can buy red snapper, lobster, prawns, squid, barracuda and shellfish straight from the sea. State House lies past the fish market along Ocean Road. Built in 1922 on the foundation of the old German palace, it is a well-maintained government residence offering a blend of African and Arabic architecture. North of Ocean Road are the Botanical Gardens, home of the Dar es Salaam Horticultural Society and one of the few places in the world where you can see coco-de-mer palm trees growing other than in the Seychelles. Across the street is the National Museum, an interesting cultural centre built in 1940. Heading south around the bay is St Joseph’s Cathedral, with its distinctive red-tiled spire, and Dar’s oldest surviving building, the Old Boma (1867), which was built to house the guests of Sultan Majid.

Eating out in Dar is a cosmopolitan experience: traditional Tanzanian food can be had on almost any street, ranging from grilled-meat kebabs to corn-on-the-cob (some of the best street food is found on Zanaki Street). As to restaurants, choices include: Italian, Chinese, Japanese, South-Asian, Indian, Ethiopian and Middle-Eastern.

Opened in 1940, the Museum and House of Culture Dar es Salaam (next to the Botanical Gardens and formerly the National Museum) features traditional craft items, headdresses, ornaments, musical instruments and witchcraft accoutrements. The museum also houses finds from Olduvai Gorge, most importantly the fossilized skull of Zinjanthropus or ‘nutcracker man’.

The city offers a wide range of shopping malls (Haidery Plaza, Mayfair Plaza, Mlimani City Shopping Mall, Oyster Bay Hotel Shopping Centre, Shoppers’ Plaza and The Slipway Complex to name but a few). Good buys include; semi-precious Tanzanite jewellery, Makonde wood carvings, soapstone sculpture, musical instruments, basket ware, Maasai beadwork, sisal mats, brightly coloured sarongs known as kangas (for women) and kikois (for men), spices, curios and paintings. There are a number of markets, the largest and most colourful being Kariakoo Market, which offers a huge variety of clothes, foodstuffs, spices and traditional medicines. It gets its name from the British Carrier Corps, which was stationed here during World War II. 6km north of the city centre, Dar’s white sandy beaches with their swaying palms and pounding surf begin. Oyster Bay is the nearest beach to the city and is ‘the place to be’ at weekends. The coastline about 25km north of Dar and east of New Bagamoyo Road is lined with resorts and is a popular weekend resort. The coastline south of Dar gets more attractive, tropical, and rural the further south you go, and is an easily accessible getaway. The beach begins just south of Kigamboni, which can be reached in a few minutes by ferry.

About Tanzania

The United Republic of Tanzania (Jamhuri ya Muungano wa Tanzania) is located in East Africa, bordering the Indian Ocean, between Kenya and Mozambique. Tanzania’s climate is predominately tropical. Coastal areas are usually hot and humid, but on the beaches a sea breeze cools the air considerably. The average day temperature is 30°C. Tanzania has two rainy seasons – the long rains from late March to June and the short rains from November to January. The long rains fall in heavy downpours, often accompanied by violent storms, but the short rains tend to be much less severe. The hottest time of the year is from December to March, before the long rains begin. The coolest months are June, July and August, when the weather is often overcast. In high-altitude areas such as Kilimanjaro and the Ngorongoro Highlands, temperatures can fall below freezing.

Tanzania has over 120 ethnic groups. Mainland - African 99% (of which 95% are Bantu consisting of more than 130 tribes), other 1% (consisting of Asian, European, and Arab); Zanzibar - Arab, African, mixed Arab and African. Kiswahili or Swahili and English are the official languages and English is the primary language of commerce, administration, and higher education). Arabic is widely spoken in Zanzibar as well as many local languages throughout the country.

The landscape of the country is made up of plains along the coast, a central plateau and highlands in the north. Kilimanjaro (5, 895 m) is the highest point in the country and in Africa. Tanzania is bordered by three of the largest lakes on the continent: Lake Victoria (the world's second-largest freshwater lake) in the north, Lake Tanganyika (the world's second deepest) in the west, and Lake Nyasa in the southwest. The game parks of Tanzania have been set aside by the government as wildlife and botanical sanctuaries that enjoy a high degree of protection and management. 25% of Tanzania is gazetted as national parks and reserves making conservation a major element in land use. Tanzania has more than 20 game reserves including the world’s largest, the Selous. Five game reserves have been declared and there are about 50 game-controlled areas totalling more than 120,000 square kilometres. Forest reserves make up 15% of the country. World Heritage sites in Tanzania include Ngorongoro Conservation area, Selous Game Reserve and Serengeti National Park. Tanzania’s forests offer over 50 tree species and 200 species of shrubs. The East African plains support some of the last great herds of wildlife left in the world, offering a greater number and diversity of species than any other continent: Tanzania offers over 80 major species, including ‘The Big Five’ (elephant, lion, buffalo, rhino and leopard), and 600 species of butterfly. From glacial mountain to savannah plain, semi desert to tropical rainforest, Tanzania’s botanical versatility supports more than 1,000 bird species.

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