The Best Beaches in Dar Es Salaam

| Photo by sarah birasa on Unsplash
Gill Lange

The hum and energy of Dar Es Salaam are just what one would expect from a large city. However, the city also has a softer, soothing side where ocean meets shoreline in beachy bliss. Here are some of the best spots to enjoy the pleasures of the ocean in Dar.

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Mingle with the locals

For a bit of everything and a taste of local life, Coco Beach hits the mark. Lying on the east side of the Msasani Peninsula, its long stretches of sandy beach are usually populated with smiling locals who come to unwind and take advantage of the good array of restaurants and bars. Its lively, holiday atmosphere means that it can get crowded at times, so it’s not for those in search of secluded tranquillity.

Sail off to a deserted island

Try a taste of Zanzibar on the Tanzania mainland at Mbudya Island Beach. Its peaceful sandy shores are lapped by warm, calm ocean water, while its lack of infrastructure gives it a deserted-island feel. Getting to the island requires a short boat ride, either from the White Sands Beach Resort or Msasani slipway. Once there, visitors can relax the day away and indulge in fresh lobster or fish and chips, washed down with a cold beer. Snorkelling is possible at low tide.

Swim your stress away

Escape the bustle of Dar for a day and take a boat trip to Bongoyo Island Beach. Quaint and uncluttered, yet still well serviced, visitors can enjoy sunshine, awesome swimming and a fresh seafood lunch under the shade of palm trees. Take along some cash as you’ll need to rent umbrellas and sunloungers. The food is fresh and well priced and the island, which is set in a marine conservation area, has a lovely chilled vibe.

Head off north

As an alternative to the popular Msasani Peninsula, try out Mbezi Beach, located north of Dar Es Salaam’s city centre. The lush, tropical surroundings are fringed by a pristine beach and lavish bungalows where many of Tanzania’s upper crust reside. Mbezi is also conveniently located close to other attractions in the area, such as the Karibu Art Gallery.

Work on your tan

If you want to avoid getting stuck in a traffic jam then it’s best to head off early to beautiful Kigamboni, or South Beach. Lying not far from the city centre, this beach is renowned for its great swimming conditions, lack of nasty rocks and its clean, sandy stretches. The shoreline is peppered with vendors and food stalls, meaning lunch and drinks are only a few steps away.

Float on the gentle waves

Bahari Beach is a soothing antidote to the bustle of Dar, where gentle waves nudge days by in tropical bliss. Quiet and beautiful, it’s the ideal spot to bury your nose into a book or simply lie back and absorb the dreamy surroundings. The local beach bar serves perfectly chilled cocktails and the nearby fishing village is fabulous for fresh seafood. For the more energetic, there’s a range of water sports to try out.

Explore natural beauty

Yet another gem that glitters along the coastline of Dar Es Salaam is Amani Beach, a gorgeous stretch of broad white sand. Visitors can find the perfect balance between outdoor leisure activities and natural, rugged beauty, where horses gallop into the sunset and surfers ride the waves.

Dance in the moonlight

With a name meaning ‘moonlight’, Mbalamwezi is best loved for its after-dark hours, when lunar rays hit the sand and set the night aglimmer. At this time of day, patrons kick off their shoes to dance in the sand, while a live band send tunes floating over the ocean. The beach also offers stunning views of Msasani Bay, tasty, well-priced food and a chilled party vibe that makes it quite charming.

Splash out in style

Jangwani Beach at the White Sands Hotel adds a touch of style to Dar’s pretty peninsula. This idyllic pamper playground ticks all the boxes for a day of tropical healing, where you can move from sunlounger to shaded lunch table with ease. The beach is just gorgeous, the setting is picture-perfect and there is plenty to see and do in the immediate surroundings.

Find some beach magic

Turquoise water, soft sand and sunny days that smell like coconut suncream are all elements of Kipepeo Beach. It’s a spot that locals frequent for a stress-free day, and this amazing beach seems to throw a magic spell over anyone who sinks their toes into its sand. Take a day to chill out and unwind at Kipepeo as the soothing powers of the ocean dissolve your worries away.

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