Kilamanjaro Ferry to Zanzibar from Dar es Salaam.

How to Take the Ferry to Zanzibar from Dar es Salaam (2024)

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Last Updated on: 12th April 2024, 03:39 pm

Are you considering taking the ferry to Zanzibar from Dar es Salaam in Tanzania instead of a direct flight?

Great! You’re on the right post.

We travel to Zanzibar regularly and love spending some time in Stone Town upon arrival on the island so taking the ferry is a convenient choice.

As someone who’s navigated the vibrant waters between Dar es Salaam and the breathtaking shores of Zanzibar Island, I’ve found that hopping on a ferry is not just a mode of transportation; it’s part of the adventure.

Let me guide you through the tricks and tips of ferry travel to ensure your journey to Zanzibar is as majestic as the destination itself.

Key Takeaways

  • Checking the Dar es Salaam to Zanzibar ferry schedule ahead of time is crucial for seamless travel plans.
  • Know the ferry to Zanzibar from Dar es Salaam timetable to align your itinerary with ferry departure times.
  • Purchasing cheap ferry tickets can free up your budget for experiences throughout Zanzibar.
  • Understanding the logistics of transportation to Zanzibar ensures a stress-free trip to the island.
  • Prepare to be enchanted by the history, culture, and natural beauty of Zanzibar Island.
  • As part of the journey, relish the dynamic experience of ferry travel across the Indian Ocean.

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase from one of them I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you, which allows me to keep this blog up and running!

Planning Your Ferry Trip: What You Need to Know

If you’re plotting your course for this tropical getaway, there’s a trustworthy name in maritime travel you should know: Azam Marine.

Their Kilimanjaro Fast Ferries are synonymous with comfort and efficiency, making them my preferred choice for this passage.

Ferry Service Overview: Azam Marine – Kilimanjaro Fast Ferries

The renown of Azam Marine is well-deserved; the Kilimanjaro Fast Ferries slice through the waves, curtailing the journey to Zanzibar to just around two hours. This line stands apart from the cargo-laden vessels, delivering passengers rapidly to their island destination.

Given the choice, I always opt for these fast ferries to maximize my time in paradise.

Kilamanjaro Ferry to Zanzibar from Dar es Salaam.
Photo: Azam Marine.

Booking in Advance: A Must-Do

Let me caution you—this route is popular! Booking ferry tickets ahead of time is vital.

Whether through the convenience of an online ferry booking platform, at the Dar es Salaam ferry terminal, or through a certified agent, securing your passage early means you won’t miss out.

Do yourself a favor, prepare your passport details, and double-check them against your ticket to ensure your island-bound adventure isn’t hampered by preventable mishaps.

Departure Times and Duration

The Dar es Salaam ferry to Zanzibar has a set schedule. They depart at 07:00 am, 09:30 am, 12:00 pm, and 4:00 pm daily. While morning voyages are often as calm as the dawn, afternoon journeys can be greeted by the ocean’s vigor, a rougher dance with the waves.

For me, whether it’s the gentle hum of the morning or the lively pitches of the afternoon, each two-hour crossing has its own melody, a prelude to Zanzibar’s serenades.

Departure TimeExpected DurationSea Conditions
07:00 AM~2 HoursCalm
09:30 AM~2 HoursCalm to Moderate
12:00 PM~2 HoursModerate
04:00 PM~2 HoursRougher

To sum up, if you’re eyeing that heavenly stretch of sand and sea, remember that choosing Azam Marine’s Kilimanjaro Fast Ferries for the fast ferry Zanzibar to Dar es Salaam route and making an online ferry booking in advance is the way to go.

Trust me, it’s the preface to an enchanting tale waiting to unfold on the shores of Zanzibar.

Aerial view of Dar es Salaam harbour.

Understanding Ferry Ticket Options and Prices

Embarking on the ferry to Zanzibar from Dar es Salaam, I discovered a variety of ticket classes tailored to diverse travel preferences and budgets.

To help you navigate through your choices, let me share a breakdown of the ferry ticket options available, along with their accompanying costs. You’ll find whether you’re on the hunt for the cheapest ferry to Zanzibar from Dar es Salaam or a ticket that offers royal treatment, there’s a fare to fit your needs.

The affordability of the economy class makes it a go-to for budget-conscious travelers seeking the basics for their journey across the Indian Ocean.

In contrast, guests opting for business class enjoy added comforts such as an air-conditioned lounge and complimentary refreshments.

If you’re like me, happy to pay a little more for a premium experience, consider the VIP class, which offers superior seating and service. For the height of luxury, the royal class ushers you into an exclusive travel experience with top-of-the-line amenities.

ClassResident Price (TSH)Non-Resident Price (USD)Key Features
Economy25,00035Standard Seating
Business40,00045Air-Conditioned Lounge, Refreshments
VIP60,00050Priority Boarding, Superior Seating
Royal80,00060Exclusive Lounge, Premium Comfort

It’s essential to note that the Dar es Salaam to Zanzibar ferry price varies based on both class and residency status. The above prices serve as a general guide, though they mirror my own ticket-purchasing experiences.

Whether for the nostalgic ocean traveler or the island-hopping adventurer, the ferry to Zanzibar from Dar es Salaam cost can be comfortably factored into your travel budget, and purchasing your ferry tickets is straightforward, with payment accepted in Tanzanian Shillings or US Dollars.

Kilamanjaro ferry arriving in Dar es Salaam at dusk.

Pre-Departure Essentials

When gearing up for the scenic ferry service from Dar es Salaam to Zanzibar, I always begin with a comprehensive checklist to ensure nothing disrupts my journey.

Having all travel documents in order is paramount. I make certain to have my passport, ferry ticket booking confirmations, and if necessary, a Yellow Fever certificate in my passport holder.

This is because the coastal havens you’re about to embark upon, such as the beautiful Zanzibar, sometimes require additional health documentation due to their unique ecological landscapes.

Gathering Necessary Documents

As a seasoned traveler, I’m well aware that documentation is key for international travel, especially for ferry services in regions like East Africa.

I make it a point to double-check my passport’s validity; it should extend well beyond my intended stay. Visas are equally significant, and most travelers opt for the convenience of e-Visas or Visa on Arrival, which can be seamlessly processed at the Zanzibar ferry or the Dar es Salaam ferry terminal.

The mantra is— better safe than sorry!

Arrival Time and Security Checkpoints

Timing is everything. A minimum of thirty minutes before departure isn’t just a suggestion—it’s critical for a stress-free boarding procedure.

What could be worse than watching the ferry to Zanzibar from Dar es Salaam casting off as you run down the dock because security took a tad longer?

At checkpoints, be prepared to showcase boarding documents and have personal items scanned. Safety is the priority, so cooperation is key.

Porter Services and Baggage Handling

Arriving at the bustling Dar es Salaam ferry terminal, I’m often greeted by amiable porters ready to assist with my luggage. They navigate the crowd with ease and I find their services indispensable.

💵 Remember, tipping is customary and greatly appreciated for their hard work.

As for my luggage, I’m vigilant to keep valuables on my person while larger items get stowed away securely. By keeping an eye on my possessions’ storage location, the ferry trip to Zanzibar becomes less worrisome and far more enjoyable.

Document TypeCarry OnCheck-In Luggage
Passports and VisasYesNo
Ferry TicketYesNo
Health CertificateYes, if applicableNo
An open passport full of stamps.

Navigating the Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar Terminals

On my first trip involving the ferry from Dar es Salaam to Zanzibar, I was immediately struck by the hustle and bustle of the Dar es Salaam terminal.

As soon as I set foot there, porters and taxi drivers eagerly approached, offering their services. If you prefer to navigate your own way through, a polite but firm “hapana” will convey that you don’t require assistance.

I found it best to complete any payment transactions for the Dar Zanzibar ferry within the safety of the main office before making my way to the waiting area.

The ferries offer diverse seating arrangements, from the basic indoor economy to the VIP sections, and even outdoor spaces perfect for basking in the scenic ocean views.

🐬 And if you’re as lucky as I was, you might just spot dolphins during the Dar es Salaam to Zanzibar ferry trip.

Remember to select a seat that suits your preference for viewing or comfort.

Upon arrival at the Zanzibar ferry terminal, it’s essential to have your Yellow Fever certificate (depending on your home country) on hand for immediate inspection by health officials.

Following the arrival procedures, the next steps involve retrieving your baggage and navigating the local taxi services to transport you to your next destination.

You may be able to arrange a hotel transfer through your resort. Otherwise, we recommend booking a rental car via Discover Cars.

🚙 Wondering whether you should rent a car in Zanzibar? Read our guide to find out!

It’s crucial to haggle politely for a fair fare, keeping in mind transport tips I had gathered before the trip.

  • Anticipate the porter and taxi offers and decide beforehand if you’ll utilize their services.
  • Manage ferry payments within the terminal office for safety and convenience.
  • Choose appropriate seating on the ferry to enhance your travel experience.
  • Have necessary travel documents ready for inspection at Zanzibar’s port.
  • Use negotiation skills to agree on taxi fares, considering local transportation rates.

Here’s a quick reference for some of the transport options and costs I jotted down to aid fellow travelers:

ServiceDescriptionCost (in TSH)
Porters at TerminalCarrying luggage to ferry5000 per bag
Taxi to AccommodationFrom Zanzibar port to hotelVaries by distance
Local TransportationDala-dala shared minibuses2000 – 3000

In my experience, being informed about the transport tips and rates helped me navigate the terminals with ease, ensuring my journey to and from Zanzibar was as smooth as the serene waters of the Indian Ocean.

Stone Town harbour full of ferries and boats.

Ferry to Zanzibar from Dar es Salaam FAQs

How long is the ferry ride from Dar es Salaam to Zanzibar?

The ferry ride from Dar es Salaam to Zanzibar typically takes around 2 to 2.5 hours, offering a scenic journey across the Indian Ocean.

How much is a ferry ticket to Zanzibar from Dar es Salaam?

Ferry ticket prices from Dar es Salaam to Zanzibar vary based on the class of service. On average, prices range from $35 to $50 for economy class, while business and VIP classes may cost between $50 and $90.

Where is the ferry terminal in Dar es Salaam?

The ferry terminal in Dar es Salaam for trips to Zanzibar is usually located at the Dar es Salaam Maritime Gateway. Confirm the exact location before your journey as terminals may vary.

How do I cross from Dar es Salaam to Zanzibar?

To cross from Dar es Salaam to Zanzibar, you’ll need to take a ferry from the designated ferry terminal. Purchase your ticket, go through the boarding process, and enjoy a comfortable voyage to the enchanting island of Zanzibar.

Which is the best ferry to Zanzibar?

Several ferry companies operate between Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar, including Azam Marine and Sea Express. The best ferry for you depends on your preferences, budget, and the class of service you desire. It’s advisable to check schedules and reviews to choose the one that suits your needs.


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On Your Way to Zanzibar

The journey to Zanzibar by ferry is more than just a means of transportation—it’s the first chapter of an extraordinary adventure.

From the bustling Dar es Salaam ferry terminal to the scenic arrival in the heart of Stone Town, every step is an opportunity to immerse yourself in the vibrant culture and stunning landscapes that make Zanzibar a world-renowned destination.

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