How to Get From Dar Es Salaam to Zanzibar

By Mark Wiens 7 Comments

You have 2 Options:

1. Ferry from Dar Es Salaam to Zanzibar

To get to Zanzibar from Dar Es Salaam by ferry, it’s best to purchase your ferry ticket a day ahead of time, especially in the peak travel season. The Dar ferry station is located on the waterfront in downtown, right off Sokoine Dr.

View Dar Es Salaam to Zanzibar Ferry in a larger map

There are two main ferry companies offering fast ferry services from Dar Es Salaam to Zanzibar: Azam Marine Coastal Ferries and Fast Ferries. These two companies sort of blend together and it sort of works best to just take whatever ferry at your preferred time, not worrying about the company.

There are a number of boat choices to choose, including the Sea Star, Sea Bus, Sea Express, and the Kilimanjaro, depending on the time you wish to depart.  All of the ferries are fine options, however, if you get a chance, take the brand new Kilimanjaro boat by Azam Marine. The top deck is shaded, the chairs are comfortable, and there are even beanbags to lounge on!

Check out their official sites for timetables and latest ticket prices.

Ferry Time: 2- 3 Hours

Cost: about 35 USD50 USD for non-residents

Note: The water can be rough, usually worse returning from Zanzibar to Dar. If you are prone to sea sickness, you might want to consider taking a flight.

Zanzibar Ferry Terminal
Taking the ferry

Arriving at the Zanzibar Ferry Terminal

Arriving at the ferry in Zanzibar, you will have to pass through immigration and then proceed out of the official port. There will be a crowd waiting to haggle with you and take you to various hotel choices in Stone Town. If you are not interested, it’s a very easy walk to get to the main area of Stone Town.  Take a right on the road outside of the terminal, walk for about 1 km and soon you will arrive in the heart of Stone Town.

Zanzibar Ferry Terminal
Zanzibar Ferry Terminal

2. Flights from Dar Es Salaam to Zanzibar

A flight from Dar Es Salaam to Zanzibar might only cost a small amount more than the ferry, but it will get you there very fast without having to deal with rough seas.

Here are the main airlines to research and find the best prices:

Flight Time: 15 Minutes

Cost: around 40 – 60 USD

Note: Sometimes visiting the airline office in Dar Es Salaam is beneficial in getting the best price.

Arriving at the Zanzibar International Airport

The Zanzibar International Airport is a small friendly airport located a few kilometers from the main city center of Stone Town. The easiest way to get to Stone Town is to take an official taxi which charges a standard rate of 10 USD (14,000 TSH).

Have a great time in Zanzibar and don’t forget to drink some coffee at Jaws Corner Zanzibar and eat some wonderful Zanzibari Pilau.

7 comments. I'd love to hear from you!

  • Charisse

    6 years ago

    We are going to Tanzania arrival 7/1/2018 leaving 7/14/2018. My son is in Mbeya and we are planning on going to Kilimanjaro first then do a few days of Safari. Is it better to do Zanzibar in the beginning of our trip of after the safari then head off the Mbeya. Hotels in Zanzibar you recommend for 6 to 7 people

  • ritha balige

    7 years ago

    i real like the hospitality i will visit the place as soon as possible with my friends

  • Arwa

    8 years ago

    Thanks for the info!

    If i want to take the ship to Zanzibar can i pay TSH instead of dollar ?

    • BREEZY

      7 years ago

      yes you can but should be equivalent to the amount of dollar

  • frank njiru

    8 years ago

    Highly educative and offers very useful tips on season travelers like me

  • David Mutunga

    8 years ago

    Thanks good advice.

  • wayne

    11 years ago

    Hi There.
    i will be coming through to dar in the coming day via 4×4 and would like to visit zanzibar.
    is there a secure place to leave my vehicle in dar. will possibly stay over on zanzibar one night.

    thanks and regards.