How to get to Bongoyo Island
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Bongoyo, a much-loved island getaway, lies off the Msasani Peninsula, about four miles north of Dar es Salaam. Idyllic white-sand beaches with thatched umbrellas, crystal clear waters that are perfect for a relaxing swim or snorkeling, exotic marine life inhabiting the surrounding coral reef, and nature trails that wind their way through the baobab trees – Bongoyo is home to a myriad of extraordinary experiences just waiting to be discovered. And when you’ve worked up an appetite, you can head over to the open-air snack bar serving cold drinks and fresh barbecued seafood.
To get there you have to take a boat from the Slipway Center where you pay a fee for the day, board a boat, and they’ll deliver you to Bongoyo and bring you back at a later time.
The boat ride costs $20 per person (or the equivalent in Tanzanian Shillings), and the ride takes about 30 minutes.
The problem is that, they won’t depart unless there are 4 people or more. So if there’s not enough people for the 9:30 am departure, they won’t leave until 11:30 am (unless you pay more to accommodate 4 people) – can be a pain.
Hotels near Bongoyo Island
When you first arrive on the island, a man comes around with a menu to take your order for lunch at the one restaurant available. You must order in advance to give the cooks time to catch the fish and prepare the food, and lunch times are set at 12:30 and 1:00.
Boats leave the Slipway pier, located in Msasani, the peninsula of Dar es Salaam. Departure times are 9:30, 11:30, 1:30 and 3:30. Return times to come back to the mainland are 10:30, 12:30, 2:30 and 5:00. The one way trip takes about 30-40 minutes, depending on how rough the waves are. It costs 36,000 shillings, or $22, to go, which includes a round trip boat ticket and fees for the island.
Private boats are also available for hire. They can take you to the other hidden beaches, and often provide lunch and snorkeling. There a glass bottom boat tours that can be arranged from the stores near the Slipway pier.
Bongoyo Island FAQ
|Region||Dar es Salaam|
|Time zone||UTC+3 (EAT)|
Prices – Ferry rides are 35,000 TZS (about $20 USD) per person. Shade banda rentals are 5,000 TZS (about $3 USD) each.
By Feery; The ferry to Mbudya Island departs from the Slipway pier in Dar es Salaam. The boat ride costs around 40,000 TZN ($17.40) and the journey takes around 45 minutes each way. The ferries depart twice in the morning (9:30 am and 11:30 am) and the last ferry returns to the Slipway at around 4:30 pm.
Bongoyo Island is located in an area that travelers like for its seaside. You’ll find 75 hotels and other accommodations within a few miles for a convenient home base.
Ramada Resort by Wyndham Dar es Salaam is one of the top choices for your stay based on our traveler data, and this 4-star hotel offers free WiFi and free parking. It’s located 2.3 mi (3.7 km) from Bongoyo Island. Other good options within 5 miles include White Sands Resort & Conference Centre and Seascape Hotel.
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