In Dar there are so many nightclubs that visitors have a good choice of places to go to. However, the clubs change regularly and locals in Dar seem to change their preferences for different clubs. As of November 2004, the following are the best places to go out at night.
Sunday Night: The best place on a Sunday is probably Bilicanas. However, you should go around midnight or even later because it doesn't fill up until then. Slipway is good in the earlier evening because a great local band "The Tanzanites" play there
Monday: Dar is quiet on a Monday. However, if you want some local flavour, visit Magomeni and see the Taarab (arabic Zanzibari music). It is totally alien to our Western tastes but interesting nevertheless.
Tuesday: There is nothing really on in Dar on a Tuesday. If you are desperate to go out, go to California Dreamers, but that is a professional pickup joint and I would recommend that you steer mightily clear of it.
Wednesday: Bilicanas used to be the place, but recently it has become really quiet on a Wednesday. California Dreamers again is probably the liveliest, but it is really not advisable to go to.
Thursday: The weekend starts here! Start off the night by going to the Corner Bar in Masaki for some refreshments. Then you should visit either Much More or Bilicanas (Ladies Free night in both places).
Friday: Best night of the week. Start off at Garden Bistro and then head out to Much More until the early hours of the morning (6.30am!).
As of November 2004, there is a new disco you should check out. It is in the Masaki area and it is called Chui Bay Hotel. Excellent music and the night goes on till around 6am.
Saturday: California Dreamers is great on a Saturday. So is Much More and Chui Bay. Any of these places will give you a great night.
Dress Code: Just look Cool Man!
A live band plays nightly tunes to wind down to. Level 8 is located on the top floor of the excellent Kilimanjaro Kempinski Hotel in the heart of Dar es Salaam. There is a view of the bay through large windows. There is an outside terrace accessible from the inside, where you can enjoy the seabreeze and a nice cold Safari beer, or your favourite drink.
Prices are reasonable, ex. 1 Safari Beer = 3500TSh
Dress Code: None
You enter it from a very quiet street, and your senses are completely taken over by the noise and the smell, of young people dancing,talking laughing and drinking! Then there is a live show , and the lighting is the best. The dancers were outstanding - apparently sunday night is the best time...
Dress Code: casual - get body checked at the main gate..
Ok, this may seem bizarre but of all the great bars in Dar Es Salaam (and there are lots!) I prefer a bar that is run and frequented mostly by locals.
It is in Masaki district on Chole Road. It goes by the name of Royal Chole Social Club, The Corner Bar, The International School, or Bengas' Place (He is the owner).
There is always a welcoming smile there from the workers and irrespective of the time of day, you will always feel comfortable.
It is a local bar though. This means that it isn't air-conditioned, the bar is a bit of a shack, sometimes there's no electricity. But who cares when the chat is so good!
Ask for Mishikaki (kebabs) or Kuku ya Kinyege (Local Chicken). They are fantastic.
It closes at 11pm during the week and around 1am at the weekend.
Dress Code: No dress code. Just go the way you like.
Jolly Club is a nightclub for tourists.
California Dreamer is a discoteque. Lot of people every night after midnight. Billicanas is another place for music and beers.
Las Vegas is a Casino and bar. It's a hangout for prostitutes, so keep away if you don't like it.
The first day I took a taxi for sightseeing in Dar es Salaam, the driver went to Mandazi road. It's a busy and pleasant street in a poor area.
I took a photo from the taxi window by two men sitting by the table at the restaurant. When I came back later that night, the two men were still sitting there. They had never seen me before, but shouted "come and join us for a beer". So I did. They were funny guys.
I was at Q-bar one night. It's a well known nightclub with live music. The band plays American music from the 60th with a slightly African rhythm. I think both the band and the whole place is puffed up.
The guests at this place were mainly tourists and prostitutes. Entrance cost 4000 TSH (4 dollar). This is not the place to go if you like an African atmosphere.
Don't miss going to Club Billicanas in the downtown area, Mambo Club is located in Oysterbay area close to Karibu Hotel, Slipway, California Dreamer(CD), and Sugar Rays is the nice Sports bar.The pic shows Slipway where Live Bands and Dancing blazing till down.
People are so nice and you would love them.
Dress Code: No Dress Code
The Q-bar is a nice bar, with good food (especially the steak flambee) and it has three pooltables.*** The Bar es Salaam is ok aswell, it has just recently been renovated, they serve a small selection of food now, the chicken skewers are nice.*** The slipway, situated in Msasani, its a place overlooking the ocean, which has a couple of restaurants (barfood, japanese food, french food and a pizza place) and some shops, also a bakery. Good place to have some food, nice views.***Smokies tavern, is a popular place for tourists, its situated on top of smokies guesthouse, on a roofterrace.***
But most people will go to a hotel to have a bite to eat or to have a drink eg. Seacliff hotel, the Sheraton or the New Africa hotel, which has a casino inside.*** The probably most popular nightclub in Dar es Salaam is the CD's, or Californian Dreamer, is ok for Tanzanian standards, but too many 'malaya's' (hookers). ***The other club, bigger and better club then the CD's is, Billicanos, also in the city center of Dar. Its a lot bigger then the CD's, has a DJ, lightshows and some shows on stage. There are less hookers then the CD's, but they play more local music.*** An other club is the FM-club is more known by Locals, and visited more by the locals, its a smaller club then the CD's and they only play local music. FM is situated in kinondoni, donot go there alone as a tourist and use a taxi.
Dress Code: no dress code
Its situated out of town so there is plenty of parking - although taxi ride into centre late at night can be expensive - especially if you look like a tourist :-) . As for the place itself I like it after you have paid 10,000 Tz shillings ( $6 US) to get in !!! You used to get vouchers for free drinks , but on my last trip in December 2011 , that has stopped as well . I like the music and Tanzanian people are a friendly bunch overall. There is a barbecue at the back and the 'mishkaki and chips' I had was fresh and tasty ! Mishkakai is bbq meat ( goat or chicken) .
It goes on till late and as its outdoors you dont have the issue about air conditioned air and no issues with smoking as well .
I am waiting to get back there soon
Dress Code: I don't recall any dress requirement - I would say it's a pretty laid back place...
QBar's got live bands playing live music and good English line up of songs! Everybody knows the place especially the bajaji drivers.... Catch Banana Zorro - a local frontman and a good entertainer. Just watchout for hookers around, they wont do any good.
Maisha Club is near the Qbar and it's got local bands but I never heard them play English songs. They do reggae, and reggae.... and reggae... place got prostitutes too so beware!
Coco Beach has got a place (I forgot the exact place) with Karaoke every Wednesday near the shore. Good selection of local and English songs as well! Hookers are everywhere!
Runway is a discotheque with international customers until dawn... no bands, just music and less whores you can hardly know which ones are...just get ready for a ten thousand shilling entrance fee!
WARNING: DON'T TRUST THE PROSTITUTES, THEY CAN ROB YOU! AND DON'T EVER WALK IN THE DARK AREAS ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU'RE ALONE... IT'S VERY DANGEROUS!
Dress Code: Smart Casual
This is a very pleasant place to eat and drink. Very nice ambience, quite unique in Dar es Salaam. Live music some nights.
Dress Code: None
You should try this place, Key West in Dar es Salaam. It has a very relaxing atmosphere, a great ambience. Reasonable prices for food and drink. Live music on selected nights during the week.
Dress Code: none