Lay over in Dar Es Salaam

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Oct 17th, 2010, 09:57 AM
  #1
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Lay over in Dar Es Salaam

We are flying out of Zanzibar to Dar Es Salaam airport at 5:00 P.M. and our flight home doesn't leave until a little after midnight.........anyone have any suggestions on something to do during that time? I have read that you do not want to wander around at night, but really do not want to sit in the airport for 7 hours before our 23 hour flight.....
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Oct 17th, 2010, 12:11 PM
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You can take a taxi into town for dinner and taxi back... about $20 each way.
Just remember to allow minimum 2/hrs for check-in/security for the homebound flight.
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Oct 17th, 2010, 09:01 PM
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I'd agree that you don't want to spend 7 hours in the Dar airport. You can go to the Slipway. It's by the water and has shops and several restaurants. Another place would be to the Kilimanjaro Hotel Kempinski; they also have several restaurants, but are more expensive. Be aware that the traffic at 5pm will be bad. It will be a shorter trip back to the airport, though. Find a taxi driver with a rate schedule to all the hotels; that way, you won't be overcharged.
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Oct 17th, 2010, 09:26 PM
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Thank you sandi and Shaytay... You read some much online about how unsafe it is after dark there, so you all think this is safe? And is the Slipway open after dark?
Thanks
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Oct 18th, 2010, 07:50 AM
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After dark isn't a good idea most places.
Why you should taxi to/from.
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Oct 18th, 2010, 08:45 AM
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Shannon, If you decide to go into town, you must allow a lot of time for taxi return depending on the day of the week. When we arrived in DAR at midnight, the taxi to town was only about 20 minutes. On the day we departed, the taxi to town would have taken over 2 hours. You must be extremely mindful of the day of the week and the time of day that you will be making your taxi trip.

Flying out of DAR was our only minor hassle this past January at end of our safari. We arrived at the International airport about 4:30 PM from Mafia Island. Our KLM flight did not depart until after midnight. There are no airline lounges at this airport, no place that is air conditioned to wait. We were told to go to the Flamingo “hotel” in the airport by the Coastal Airline staff. As it turns out, the Flamingo isn’t a hotel – it’s a restaurant. I think they usually have air con, but this day it was broken (?). They are liberal enough to allow travelers to sit for hours and hours in the restaurant for the price of a few drinks and a sandwich. It quickly became the unofficial KLM departure lounge and appears that this is standard. The kick is --- KLM does have a wonderful, air-conditioned lounge at the DAR airport. You just can’t get to it until after you clear security at the gate – and the gate doesn’t open until 2 hours prior to the flight. This was our only snafu. We could have chosen to go into Dar to a hotel, but we were repeatedly warned of how long the taxi drive could take - hours. We trusted this information as we had seen the incoming traffic on the day we departed for our first camp. It was virtually at a standstill.
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Oct 18th, 2010, 12:13 PM
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TC and sandi
Thank you, I guess we will probably end up at the Flamingo also, would hate to miss the flight home!! Well, I will have a deck of cards and if its the unofficial KLM lounge maybe we can get a card game going on or something.....wonder why someone hasnt tapped this potential goldmine yet with something to do close to the airport!
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Oct 20th, 2010, 11:16 PM
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If you've got 6 or 7 hours, that's plenty of time to get to a hotel/restaurant in town, even factoring in "rush hour." Having spent a little time at the Flamingo, I wouldn't recommend it for any length of time. And yes Shannon57, it would be nice if someone would build a hotel with day rooms and restaurants near DAR!
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Oct 21st, 2010, 06:21 AM
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Having spent a little time at the Flamingo, I wouldn't recommend it for any length of time.

ShayTay, While I agree with your theory, in practicality, it just wasn't worth the hassle of going into town. We landed at about 4:30/5:00pm, by the time we collected our equipment and got from the Coastal Airline building to the main terminal for International flights, its was nearly 6:00PM. The KLM gate opens and check-in/security, etc. takes place 2 hours prior to our midnight departure (about 10pm). At that time, one can get to the big KLM lounge with drinks, food, Internet, etc. That only left a 4 hour gap. So even if it only takes an hour each way to get to town, that only leaves one with 2 hours to spend at a hotel or restaurant there. Taking a day room for 2 hours wasn't a value. My fear was that it could take more than an hour each way -- leaving little or no time in Dar. While sitting at the Flamingo for 6 hours is far from ideal, it is at least cool, the drinks are good, the food was o.k., there's a clean loo, and there were lots of other travelers in the same predicament with which to chat or play cards. The staff was quite nice - never pushing for us to purchase more drinks or food. Our waitress basically left us alone, sitting in our little corner with a drink and our books.

I agree completely that there is an opportunity waiting for some enterprising person near the DAR airport. What I don't understand is why KLM doesn't just open their lounge at a reasonable time. It would only require the service of a couple of employees for about 4 or 5 extra hours. How much could that cost in Dar?
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Jun 9th, 2015, 01:20 AM
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Hi there everyone - I found this so helpful.. I too have a long lay over in Dar and if anyone can explain where the Flamingo restaurant is - I would appreciate it.. ie - when you come in from Domestic flights after international baggage drop off...
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Jun 9th, 2015, 05:53 AM
  #11
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Cyndi....just ask at the airport. Anyone can guide you. I think I remember it being up a long flight of open air stairs and we had to drag our bags up. It's in the International terminal which is a separate building from domestic. Coastal Air took us across to that terminal in a golf cart. The driver should be able to give you directions.
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