by AdminSoa
August 6, 2014

While more and more international carriers are now flying in to Kilimanjaro Airport on the outskirts of Arusha, many visitors to Tanzania will still find that Dar Es Salaam (or Nairobi in Kenya) are their likely landing point.

Dar es Salaam Airport (DAR) is Tanzania's main airport, and sees more than six million people per annum touch down. Despite this, it is a reasonably small airport without the amenities that well-travelled visitors might be used to.

Nevertheless, landing in a new country can be a frightening experience.

Never fear! We've put together a few helpful tips to ensure your landing and transfer is a smooth one.

Getting a Visa on Arrival on Dar Airport

Getting a visa on arrival at Dar Es Salaam Airport couldn't be easier. As the country's #1 airport, Dar is well set up to process visas on arrival.

Despite this, it can take quite a bit of time on busier days, so budget up to two hours for immigration in case anything goes wrong.

Some airlines will hand out the arrival form on board, but more often than not, you'll have to start filling out your paperwork at immigration. It's definitely handy to have your own pen in this case, as the airport will not always have them available.

When it comes time to pay for your visa, be sure to have the exact amount in USD. It is especially important to bear in mind that Tanzania does not accept US currency printed before 2006 due to a past counterfeiting problem.

Learn more about how to apply for a Tanzanian visa on arrival.

Waiting at Dar es Salaam Airport

As a smaller airport, Dar Es Salaam Airport does not have a huge variety of amenities. In fact, the majority of African airports are relatively sparse in this regard.

For this reason, if you're expecting a long wait at the airport, it pays to bring along your own drinks and snacks. What few shops are in the terminal are not open outside of normal business hours, which can be a problem if you've got a night layover.

That's not to say the airport is without amenities. There are some food and drink options within the departures terminal, as well as the obligatory Duty Free stores.

Currency exchange is available, but it's important to note that there are no ATMs once you clear security. If you're going to need money, take it out on the land side of the airport.

The airport is heavily air-conditioned, so it might be worthwhile bringing a coat.

Parking and Taxis on Dar Airport

Dar es Salaam Airport is located 12km outside of Dar Es Salaam proper.

While there is rarely a shortage of taxis eager to take you into the city, it's generally safer to have us arrange something for you. Taxis from the airport run in the range of $25 to $40 USD one way.

Traffic jams are a big problem in Dar Es Salaam so, if you're planning on heading into (or out of) the city, be sure to budget extra time in the morning and in the afternoon.

Flying to Kilimanjaro or Arusha from Dar Es Salaam

Unless you have a special interest in exploring Tanzania's largest city, it's often easier to simply arrange a connecting flight to either Arusha or Kilimanjaro Airport.

A number of airlines provide cheap domestic flights, including Precision and FastJet. Alternatively, ask your Shadows of Africa tour agent to arrange a flight for you.

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