A Guide to Dar Es Salaam Neighborhoods and Their Residents

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Most of us judge each other based on how we look, where we work, who our friends are, and even where we live. As a result, different residential areas in Dar es Salaam have gained unique stereotypes that greatly influence peoples decisions to live there. For instance, if you are familiar with Dar neighborhoods and meet someone who lives on Mwaya Road in Masaki, you’ll probably think that they are wealthy, foreign educated, and possibly snobby. However, while Masaki is an area with many expats, diplomats and high-income earning Tanzanians, there are people from all socio-economic backgrounds that live in the area – but the ‘posh’ reputation still persists.

Reputation matters

The reputation of a neighborhood will affect the housing and renting prices, and influence your options when you are trying to find a place to live. For example, with Masaki because the neighborhood is considered posh, it’s becoming incredibly expensive to live there, and less and less middle-income earners can afford rent. While more and more rich and ‘bougie’ people want to move in.

So instead of believing stereotypes, we asked ZoomTanzania staff to share with us what they know about certain neighborhoods in Dar es Salaam. Here’s what they had to say:

1. Masaki/Oysterbay

Demographic

  • Affluent/posh area of Dar es Salaam
  • For wealthy/affluent people
  • High expat population
  • Many ambassadors & high ranking foreign missions staff reside here

Lifestyle

  • Many ‘Posh’ restaurants of different cuisine including local, Italian, Thai, Chinese, continental, bakeries/café’s
  • Many up-market bars/lounge options with average local beer cost of  TZS 5000 & food TZS 10,000
  • Expensive costs of living (schools, shopping, hospitals etc)
  • English is spoken almost as much as Swahili in the area
  • Security personnel @ homes and businesses is commonplace
  • Cars
    • Luxurious sedans/saloons
    • 4wd SUVs
    • Pick-up trucks
  • Streets & neighborhood more planned than most DSM areas

Housing

  • Avg 2-bedroom apt rent
    • $1500 unfurnished
    • $2500/$3000 fully furnished

Find apartments to rent in Masaki here.

2. Mikocheni

Demographic

  • Central to south/north/east/west of Dar es Salaam; highly accessible
  • Increasing in inhabitants and in popularity as a residence for mid-high income earners

Lifestyle

  •  A step below Masaki/Oysterbay regarding living expenses
    • Avg drinks price @ a high end bar = TZS 4000
    • Avg meal cost = TZS 7000 / TZS 8000
  • More local-semi local bars/restaurants than high-end bars/restaurants
  • More company offices than in Masaki/Oysterbay; more commercial in this respect
  • High number of retail shops
  • Major road passing through connecting it to North & South Dar es Salaam (Mwai Kibaki road)
    • High traffic during peak hours (caused by the conduit that is old Bagamoyo road)
  • Streets are generally planned between residential and non residential areas
  • Generally safe location to live in with rare occurrences of crime

Housing

  • Avg 2-bedroom apt rent
    • TZS 3,000,000 (unfurnished);
    • TZS 5, 500,000 fully furnished
  • Increase of apartments blocks being built

Find apartments to rent in Mikocheni here.

3. Bahari Beach

Demographic

  • Predominantly residential
    • Both young & old family homes
  • Mid-high income earners
    • Mid – senior managers
    • Retirees, pensioners
    • Expats

Lifestlye

  • Not congested but noticeable increase in residents, leading to an increase in cars, shops, eating options, and public transport services
  • Public transport
    • Buses now reach ‘Ununio village’, arguably the ‘border’ of Bahari beach & Bunju
    • Bodaboda & bajaji options are also readily available
  • Car ownership is ideal due distance from more prominent/active urban areas
  • Safe area with very low crime rate

Housing

  • Large plots, often expensive
    • Price of land has doubled over last 8 yrs
  • Avg price of 2-bedroom house/apartment (rent)
    • TZS 500,000 – 700,000 (non-furnished); TZS 1,500,000 for furnished

Find apartments to rent in Bahari Beach here.

4. Tegeta

Demographic

  • Mostly families and retired couples who are able to afford large plots and don’t need to frequently commute to downtown
  • Increasing number of young professionals and small business owners who are looking for affordable yet quality housing

Lifestlye

  • Attributes are similar to Bahari Beach apart from:
    • More congested and accessible to areas with new Bagamoyo road running through it and Twiga cement factory within its vicinity
    • More traffic
    • More commercial
      • Banks (akiba, crdb, nbc)
      • Offices
      • Shopping centers
      • Shops

Housing

  • More availability of lower cost housing; more low-income earners
  • Avg price of house/apartment (rent)
    • TZS 400,000 – 600,000 (non-furnished); TZS 1,500,000 for furnished
    • Lower cost housing options from TZS 200,000 – 400,000 in Tegeta compared to Bahari Beach

Find apartments to rent in Tegeta here.

5. Mbezi

Demographics

  • Mid-high level income earners

Lifestyle

  • Increase in inhabitants as seen through increase in:
    • Social entertainment (bars/restaurants)
    • Supermarkets
    • Alcohol sellers
    • Home appliance stores
    • ATMs
    • Information transportation (bajajis & motorbikes)
  • Secure; relatively low crime rate
  • High car ownership, leading to increased fuel needs resulting in more fueling stations in the area
  • Recreational options are on the increase.

Housing

  • Mostly residential; The last 2 years have seen an increase in offices in the area
  • Planned & unplanned residential areas
  • Apartment buildings are on the increase
  • Avg price of 3-bedroom house/apartment (rent)
    • TZS 2,100,000 (non-furnished); TZS 1,500,000 for furnished
    • Lower cost housing options from TZS 200,000 – 400,000 in Tegeta

Find apartments to rent in Mbezi here.

6. Msasani

Demographic

  • Low – high income earners

Lifestyle

  • Narrow streets & ‘alternative routes’ that pass through the area.
  • Many small retail shops, with some semi local eateries (Arizona, BBQ village)
  • Mixed types inhabitants
    • Young and old Families
    • Bachelors/bachelorettes

Housing

  • High-end to low-end housing (often in close proximity) ranging from TZS 400,000 to TZS 2,500,000
  • Cramped, unplanned
  • Both residential and commercial

Find apartments to rent in Msasani here.

7. Kinondoni

Demographic

  • Predominantly for middle income earners
  • Mostly young professionals, small business owners and young families

Lifestyle

  • A mix of planned & unplanned areas; a lot of mushroomed settlements
  • High petty crime rate
  • A great number of retail stores, local food restaurants, and small markets
  • Highly congested, with a lot of traffic
  • Accessible (close to Town, Namanga, Mikocheni, Masaki)

Housing

  • Housing’s mostly for middle income earners, ranges from TZS 250,000 to TZS 800,000

Find apartments to rent in Kinondoni here.

8. Kijitonyama

Demographic

  • University Students
  • Young families
  • Senior bachelors/bachelorettes

Lifestyle

  • Minimum daily spend 10k
  • Consumption in in retail quantities, not wholesale (low spend)
  • Safety by numbers – less isolated spaces are more safe than isolated areas

Housing

  • TZS 300,000 to TZS 400,000 rent for 2-bedroom house for a mid-income individual
  • TZS 150, 000  to TZS 250,000 for life starters i.e. entry level/1st time employees

Find apartments to rent in Kijitonyama here.

9. Sinza

Demographic

  • Wide range of people, from university students and entry-level employees to large families and retirees

Lifestyle

  • Incredibly lively at all hours of the day, high levels of noise and activity
  • A saturated amount of retail shops, local food stands and restaurants, budget hotels and wholesale shops
  • Roads are in poor condition, lots of narrow streets, and a lot of littering
  • Houses are congested
  • High rate of petty crime, though ‘outsiders’ more likely to get robbed than residents

Housing

  • High availability of cheap housing; rent as low as TZS 80,000
  • Average renting prices range from TZS 150,000 to TZS 400,000

Find apartments to rent in Sinza here.

10. City Center

Demographic

  • Middle to high income earning professionals, usually, in banking, finance, business and political sector

Lifestyle

  • Large number of apartment complexes to rent from
  • Close to most services like banking, restaurants, retail stores and grocery shops
  • High level of noise pollution due to proximity to busy roads, though quiet at night
  • Some residential areas are more quiet and less congested
  • A number of public parks and spaces to play sports

Housing

  • Expensive, and ranges from TZS 1,500,000 to TZS 5,000,000 depending on apartment size and location in  city center

Find apartments to rent in City Center here.

Find the neighborhood that’s right for you

When looking for a place to live, the location you pick is just as important as the house or apartment you choose. Feeling comfortable in the neighborhood you live in, will greatly influence your standard of living. So, now that you have some idea of what popular neighborhoods in Dar es Salaam are like, start looking for apartments and houses that will make you feel at home!

 

Iman Lipumba
A digital storyteller, experienced in creating content that improves website visibility on search engines, enhances the user experience, and nurtures brand loyalty. With a background in the social sciences, an expert in researching complex ideas, and communicating them in engaging language to multiple audiences.