Long connection @ DAR

Old Oct 14, 18, 1:43 pm
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Long connection @ DAR

Hello. I have a 5-hour connection at the airport in Dar es Salaam from Zanzibar. Traveling with Swiss in business so presuming there's a lounge, but am more interested in knowing whether there is anything worth seeing in Dar. I arrive at 6:05 pm (so right as the sun sets) and depart at 11:20 pm. I'll check myself in online the day before. Thoughts?
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Old Oct 14, 18, 2:35 pm
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Originally Posted by iker View Post
Hello. I have a 5-hour connection at the airport in Dar es Salaam from Zanzibar. Traveling with Swiss in business so presuming there's a lounge, but am more interested in knowing whether there is anything worth seeing in Dar. I arrive at 6:05 pm (so right as the sun sets) and depart at 11:20 pm. I'll check myself in online the day before. Thoughts?
You can choose to spend 5 hours in the Tanzanite Lounge (featuring pleather chairs in yellow and orange plus a fake waterfall) or else spend that time in traffic on the highway into town.
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Old Oct 14, 18, 3:17 pm
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Originally Posted by B747-437B View Post
You can choose to spend 5 hours in the Tanzanite Lounge (featuring pleather chairs in yellow and orange plus a fake waterfall) or else spend that time in traffic on the highway into town.
Unfortunately, this is very accurate. While in theory you might be able to go somewhere downtown for an hour or so for a bite to eat / drink, it's not worth it in practice.

With a layover of that length, your best option really is to simply enjoy the, um, atavistic charms of the Tanzanite lounge, especially as it is soon to be replaced by whatever they put up in the new terminal that has been oh-so-long in coming. Extra points if you spot the rat that I regularly see scurrying around from under the chairs, ever attentive to the spare bit of lukewarm, soggy samosa that some poor punter has dropped.

Best of luck!
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Old Oct 15, 18, 1:43 am
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Agree with the others. Spend the time at the lounge - unless it happens to be a Sat or Sunday? In that case, you might be able to make a 1.5 to 2-hour stop at a hotel as traffic will be a lot better.
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Old Oct 15, 18, 3:06 pm
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Similar situation as the OP. flying on FlightLink Zanzibar to DAR, landing at 18:45. SWISS flight at 23:20. Swiss website says counters open only 3 hours before departure, so how would I get access to the Tanzanite Lounge. Would they possibly allow me to clear immigration and get there with online check-in printout of boarding pass?
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Old Oct 16, 18, 2:48 am
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Originally Posted by BangkokTraveler View Post
Similar situation as the OP. flying on FlightLink Zanzibar to DAR, landing at 18:45. SWISS flight at 23:20. Swiss website says counters open only 3 hours before departure, so how would I get access to the Tanzanite Lounge. Would they possibly allow me to clear immigration and get there with online check-in printout of boarding pass?
A couple thoughts:
  • Keep in mind that your FlightLink flight from ZNZ will arrive at Terminal 1 in Dar, which services the smaller/"safari" carriers including FlightLink, Auric Air, Coastal, Zanair, etc.
    • From there, you'll need to collect your bags and then take a 5 minute cab ride over to Terminal 2, where Swiss and the other larger airlines operate from. Despite the short distance, I would absolutely not recommend walking.
    • Note that this cab ride shouldn't cost you more than 10k TZS. Negotiate hard for this.
  • Bearing this in mind, you most likely won't be at Terminal 2 before 7:15 or so, assuming the FlightLink flight is on time.
    • I've never checked in quite that early, but have often checked in around 8pm or so with no issues, so I wouldn't be surprised if you'll be fine to check-in when you get there.
    • If not, it'll just be a short wait before the counters open. There are some seats to the right once you're through the initial check-in area security checkpoint.
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Old Oct 16, 18, 5:09 am
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Agree with everything W126Pilot says.
@W126Pilot: Isnt there still that Flamingo restaurant on the 1st floor of the T2 (with access from outside the airport) where you can kill time? I haven't been in there in quite a few years, but remember killing time there before when waiting for passengers to arrive. If so he could spend some time there if they wont allow him to check in more than 3 hours early.
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Old Oct 16, 18, 10:23 am
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Thanks Goaguy for the restaurant recommendation.

Originally Posted by W126Pilot View Post
A couple thoughts:
  • Keep in mind that your FlightLink flight from ZNZ will arrive at Terminal 1 in Dar, which services the smaller/"safari" carriers including FlightLink, Auric Air, Coastal, Zanair, etc.
    • From there, you'll need to collect your bags and then take a 5 minute cab ride over to Terminal 2, where Swiss and the other larger airlines operate from. Despite the short distance, I would absolutely not recommend walking.
    • Note that this cab ride shouldn't cost you more than 10k TZS. Negotiate hard for this.
Interesting.

I am traveling with a fairly inexperienced traveler so wanted to keep it as simple as possible, so that's why I booked a flight ZNZ-DAR instead of the ferry. When I booked the Flightlink flight, I did not know the arrival terminal was different from SWISS and a cab ride away, I should have researched it. A Google Search shows that Precision Air lands at terminal 2 (same as SWISS), and people seem to think it is more reliable, so I might look into that for ZNZ-DAR instead. Thoughts on this, W126Pilot?

Last edited by BangkokTraveler; Oct 16, 18 at 3:23 pm
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Old Oct 16, 18, 10:50 am
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Originally Posted by BangkokTraveler View Post
Thanks Goaguy for the restaurant recommendation.



Interesting.

I am traveling with a fairly inexperienced traveler so wanted to keep it as simple as possible, so that's why I booked a flight ZAR-DAR instead of the ferry. When I booked the Flightlink flight, I did not know the arrival terminal was different from SWISS and a cab ride away, I should have researched it. A Google Search shows that Precision Air lands at terminal 2 (same as SWISS), and people seem to think it is more reliable, so I might look into that for ZAR-DAR instead. Thoughts on this, W126Pilot?
I wouldnt be worried at all about this. You did the right choice by going with air instead of the ferry. It is very easy and straightforward to get from T1 to T2.
T1 is the (very) old international airport, easy to navigate. Now it only serves domestic flights. You might actually find it even easier than arriving with Precision-air as it will be less crowded. You will probably arrive on a smaller Cessna-plane with max 20 other passengers. If you want, you can pick the baggage up straight off the cargo hold of the plane when you disembark and bring it with you into (and through) the terminal. Otherwise the airport ground staff will carry it inside the building for you on a cart where you can pick it. You are flying domestic so there is no check of paperwork, you just walk right through. On the other side you will have taxi drivers waiting to find customers, they usually show a sign with fixed prices for tourists, which are much higher than what locals pay. But even so, they probably wont charge anything more than $ 10 I think. As a rule of thumb, pay in TZS where possible, it is cheaper.
Its literally a 2 min drive from T1 to T2, but not safe to walk at night, mostly because you might get run over by a car.
Tanzanians are incredible friendly, I really wouldn't worry. But make sure you ONLY drive official taxis. Do NOT take any "private" taxis. In mainland Tanzania they are white and have white numberplates and a blue/green/yellow stripe down the side of the car. (In Zanzibar they have red numberplates as far as I recall).
Oh, and another note: Once you board the plane in Zanzibar, they will not let you carry any deodorant sprays or perfume. Not even in your checked in luggage. So let your expensive perfume/spray deodorants stay at home.

EDIT: I assume you meant to say you are coming from ZNZ (Zanzibar) and not ZAR?
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Old Oct 17, 18, 3:20 am
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Originally Posted by Goaguy View Post
Agree with everything W126Pilot says.
@W126Pilot: Isnt there still that Flamingo restaurant on the 1st floor of the T2 (with access from outside the airport) where you can kill time? I haven't been in there in quite a few years, but remember killing time there before when waiting for passengers to arrive. If so he could spend some time there if they wont allow him to check in more than 3 hours early.
I believe the Flamingo restaurant on the 1st floor of T2 has been closed for a while now, so I wouldn't count on it being available. There is a "burger" place by the parking lot that is almost always open, though. I wouldn't recommend the food, but it would at least be somewhere to sit and have a soda.

OP, I agree with @Goaguy that the taxi from T1 to T2 is not really a big hassle, so I wouldn't bother changing your flight to Precision, although you're correct that Precision does arrive at T2 instead. The domestic-international transfer situation at T2 has its own hassles to it, in fact.
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Old Oct 18, 18, 8:03 am
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We are toying with the idea of taking a morning ferry or flight from Stone Town to Dar on the day we leave or perhaps even the day before and check in at a hotel near the ferry terminus at Dar, such as the Hyatt Regency.

If we were to take the 5:40 pm Coastal Flight, by the time we arrive home in San Francisco, 36 hours will have passed, and this does not include the time it takes to get from wherever we end up staying in Zanzibar to the airport or check-in. Thoughts?
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Old Oct 18, 18, 11:38 pm
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Originally Posted by iker View Post
We are toying with the idea of taking a morning ferry or flight from Stone Town to Dar on the day we leave or perhaps even the day before and check in at a hotel near the ferry terminus at Dar, such as the Hyatt Regency.

If we were to take the 5:40 pm Coastal Flight, by the time we arrive home in San Francisco, 36 hours will have passed, and this does not include the time it takes to get from wherever we end up staying in Zanzibar to the airport or check-in. Thoughts?
The Hyatt Regency is not a very interesting hotel in itself. It mainly caters to business travelers, not tourists. Sure, if you want to sip cocktails in their overpriced bar, you can do so. Nor is the area it is situated in very interesting. (I was at Hyatt last night for a business event, actually)
How many days are you spending in Zanzibar? And what would be the purpose of a longer stay in Dar es Salaam? If you want to see the true side of Dar es Salaam, Hyatt would be a good pick. But personally, I wouldnt go there just to relax for a day.
If you are coming to relax for a day before leaving, look at some of these hotels instead.
- Slipway Hotel, Oysterbay https://www.hotelslipway.com
- Seacliff Hotel, Oysterbay Sea Cliff Hotel Dar es Salaam -
These two are not in the city centre, and both are a lot more enjoyable in my opinion. If you are arriving in Dar es Salaam in the morning, it would be easy to get to them, about 15-20 min drive. And going to the airport from here at night is not much different than from Hyatt, would add around 10-15 min max. Slipway is a bit unique as the hotel has an area with a lot of small local shops and some restaurants that you can spend time at. Slipway is usually a must-do for tourists that visit Dar es Salaam.
Please note that taking the ferry is a lot more chaotic and time consuming than flying. You may be asked to show up at the ferry 45-60 min before departure and find yourself in a very crowded area. If you do choose to take the ferry, make sure you go with AZAM, they have the best ferries. The water at times can be rough in the afternoons, usually more calm in the morning.
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Old Oct 20, 18, 3:46 pm
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Originally Posted by Goaguy View Post
The Hyatt Regency is not a very interesting hotel in itself. It mainly caters to business travelers, not tourists. Sure, if you want to sip cocktails in their overpriced bar, you can do so. Nor is the area it is situated in very interesting. (I was at Hyatt last night for a business event, actually)
How many days are you spending in Zanzibar? And what would be the purpose of a longer stay in Dar es Salaam? If you want to see the true side of Dar es Salaam, Hyatt would be a good pick. But personally, I wouldnt go there just to relax for a day.
If you are coming to relax for a day before leaving, look at some of these hotels instead.
- Slipway Hotel, Oysterbay https://www.hotelslipway.com
- Seacliff Hotel, Oysterbay Sea Cliff Hotel Dar es Salaam -
These two are not in the city centre, and both are a lot more enjoyable in my opinion. If you are arriving in Dar es Salaam in the morning, it would be easy to get to them, about 15-20 min drive. And going to the airport from here at night is not much different than from Hyatt, would add around 10-15 min max. Slipway is a bit unique as the hotel has an area with a lot of small local shops and some restaurants that you can spend time at. Slipway is usually a must-do for tourists that visit Dar es Salaam.
Please note that taking the ferry is a lot more chaotic and time consuming than flying. You may be asked to show up at the ferry 45-60 min before departure and find yourself in a very crowded area. If you do choose to take the ferry, make sure you go with AZAM, they have the best ferries. The water at times can be rough in the afternoons, usually more calm in the morning.
Thank you for your input. We haven't figured everything out. Essentially, we arrive into Zanzibar after a 12-day safari. Thoughts are either landing in Stone Town and doing two days on a beach up near the Mnemba Atoll or connecting to a Coastal flight that would bring us up to Pemba. The snorkeling in the north of Pemba is supposed to be better. After two days (roughly 48 hours later), we would head back to Stone Town for 1-1/2 days. Thought is to stay at the Hyatt in Stone Town. Then we would either fly back to Dar and head into the city to spend the day -- or even leave the night before. The ferry terminus in Stone Town isn't far from the Hyatt. And the Hyatt in Dar is similarly close.

I saw the two hotels whose links you provided. We saw both places. But we do want to see some of Dar and there are a couple of museums which seem interesting.

We would rent a hotel room through the morning after we leave Dar for Zurich, so that we can shower before we head to the airport for our 11 pm flight. We have a long day ahead of us to get back to SFO. And we have to double connect through Zurich and London so we don't have the luxury of showering mid-way through because of the way the flights work (or in our case don't work).
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