Sam Smith

Sam Smith



October 30 2023

Pros and Cons of Working Remotely in Dar es Salaam

#Dar Es Salaam

#remote work



scenic view of dar-es-salaam


Dar es Salaam, the vibrant coastal city of Tanzania, known for its stunning beaches, bustling markets, and rich cultural heritage, has become an attractive destination for remote workers seeking a change of scenery. With its reliable internet connectivity and growing number of coworking spaces, working remotely in Dar es Salaam offers the opportunity to combine business with pleasure. As the economic hub of the country, the city provides plenty of networking opportunities and access to a diverse range of industries. In this article, we will explore the pros and cons of working fully remote in Dar es Salaam, delving into the benefits of the city's natural beauty, cultural immersion, and work-life balance, as well as considering the challenges of infrastructure, traffic, and potential distractions. So, whether you crave a workday by the sea or desire to explore the colorful streets during your downtime, let's uncover the advantages and disadvantages of embracing the remote work lifestyle in Dar es Salaam.

Pros of Working Remotely


scenic view of dar-es-salaam

  • Affordable Cost of Living

  • Dar es Salaam offers an affordable cost of living, making it an ideal place for fully remote workers. With a lower cost of living compared to many other cities around the world, remote workers can save money while enjoying a comfortable lifestyle. The city offers a wide range of affordable housing options, from apartments to houses, allowing remote workers to find a place that suits their budget.

    Not only is the cost of housing affordable, but everyday expenses such as groceries, transportation, and utilities are also reasonably priced. This means that remote workers can stretch their income further and potentially have more disposable income to spend on activities or investments.

    Additionally, Dar es Salaam offers a variety of affordable dining options, ranging from local street food to international cuisine. Eating out or ordering takeout can be a budget-friendly experience, allowing remote workers to explore the city's diverse culinary scene without breaking the bank.

    Overall, the affordable cost of living in Dar es Salaam is a significant advantage for fully remote workers. It not only allows them to enjoy a comfortable lifestyle but also provides an opportunity to save money for future endeavors or investments.

  • Good Air Quality

  • Dar es Salaam, the largest city in Tanzania, offers several advantages for remote workers, including good air quality on average. This provides a conducive environment for individuals who prefer to work from the comfort of their own homes or designated co-working spaces.

    Breathing in fresh and clean air is crucial for maintaining focus and productivity, and Dar es Salaam offers just that. The city is relatively less polluted compared to other bustling metropolises, allowing remote workers to enjoy a healthier working environment. With the absence of heavy smog or airborne pollutants, individuals can work without worrying about the negative impacts of poor air quality on their health.

    Moreover, good air quality in Dar es Salaam contributes to overall well-being, enabling remote workers to maintain a healthy work-life balance. The clean air encourages physical activity and outdoor pursuits during leisure time, such as jogging or enjoying a peaceful stroll along the city's beautiful coastline. The availability of clean air can also enhance the mood and mental well-being of remote workers, leading to increased job satisfaction and creativity.

    Additionally, the pleasant air quality in Dar es Salaam can have a positive impact on physical health. Remote workers can rest assured that the air they breathe while working from home or in co-working spaces is less likely to cause respiratory issues or allergies. This can result in fewer sick days and better overall productivity.

    In summary, the good air quality in Dar es Salaam is a valuable asset for remote workers. It not only provides a refreshing and comfortable working environment but also contributes to their overall health and well-being.

  • Ease of Doing Business

  • Dar es Salaam offers a great advantage for remote workers in terms of ease of doing business. The city is known for its affordable cost of living, making it an attractive option for individuals or companies looking to optimize their expenses. The lower costs allow remote workers to have a better work-life balance, as they can comfortably afford housing, utilities, and other essential services on their remote work income.

    Moreover, Dar es Salaam is renowned for its good air quality on average. This is crucial for remote workers who spend a significant amount of time indoors and value a healthy and clean environment. Breathing in fresh air can enhance productivity, concentration, and overall well-being, creating a favorable atmosphere to excel in remote work.

    Additionally, many remote workers have already chosen Dar es Salaam as their base, meaning there is an existing community of like-minded professionals. This provides opportunities for networking, collaboration, and knowledge-sharing, which can be invaluable for personal and professional growth.

    Furthermore, the city offers a business-friendly environment, with streamlined processes and supportive policies towards entrepreneurs. The local government has established initiatives to foster economic growth, making it very easy to navigate the bureaucratic procedures necessary to establish and run a remote business in Dar es Salaam.

    In terms of education, Dar es Salaam boasts high-quality educational institutions. This is beneficial for remote workers who may have families or are interested in continuing their education while working remotely. Access to good schools and universities ensures that their children receive a quality education, while remote workers themselves can pursue opportunities for further professional development.

    Lastly, Dar es Salaam has well-equipped hospitals and healthcare facilities. This is crucial for remote workers who prioritize their health and well-being. Knowing that reliable medical services are easily accessible provides peace of mind and reassurance, allowing remote workers to focus on their work without worry.

    In summary, Dar es Salaam offers remote workers several advantages when it comes to ease of doing business. Its affordability, good air quality, existing remote work community, business-friendly environment, high-quality education system, and good healthcare facilities are all compelling reasons to consider this city as a base for remote work.

  • Quality Education

  • Dar es Salaam boasts a wide range of educational institutions that provide excellent learning opportunities for remote workers and their families. From international schools to prestigious universities, there are plenty of options to choose from.

    Remote workers who prioritize education for their children can benefit from the high standards of education offered in Dar es Salaam. The city is home to several renowned international schools that follow globally recognized curricula, providing a seamless transition for expat families. These schools focus on providing a well-rounded education with a strong emphasis on academics, sports, and extracurricular activities.

    For adults seeking to enhance their own skills and knowledge, Dar es Salaam also offers a variety of educational opportunities. From language classes to professional development courses, the city is filled with institutions that cater to different learning interests and objectives.

    Working fully remote in Dar es Salaam allows individuals to take advantage of the city's excellent educational facilities and resources. Whether you're looking to provide your children with a top-notch education or to pursue personal growth and development, the quality of education in Dar es Salaam is a definite advantage for remote workers.

  • Access to Good Hospitals

  • Dar es Salaam offers access to high-quality hospitals, which is a major advantage for remote workers. Living in a city with well-equipped medical facilities can provide peace of mind, knowing that you have reliable healthcare at your disposal.

    Whether you encounter minor health issues or require specialized medical care, Dar es Salaam's hospitals are known for providing competent and efficient services. The city boasts several reputable medical institutions, equipped with modern technology and staffed by skilled professionals.

    As a remote worker, having access to good hospitals means that you can focus on your work without worrying about compromising on your health. In case of any medical emergencies or routine check-ups, you can easily find quality healthcare services nearby.

    Moreover, Dar es Salaam's hospitals are well-regarded for their affordability compared to other major global cities. The cost of medical treatment is relatively lower, ensuring that you can receive the necessary care without straining your budget. This financial advantage is particularly appealing for remote workers who may not have comprehensive health insurance coverage.

    In summary, the availability of good hospitals in Dar es Salaam not only ensures your health and well-being but also provides affordable healthcare options that are vital for remote workers. The peace of mind and accessibility to quality medical services make Dar es Salaam an attractive destination for those seeking to work remotely.

    Cons of Working Remotely


    scenic view of dar-es-salaam

  • Weak Freedom of Speech

  • While there are several advantages to working remotely in Dar es Salaam, it's important to acknowledge that the city has a weak freedom of speech. This means that individuals might not have the same level of freedom to express their opinions or share their thoughts openly without fear of repercussions.

    In a fully remote working environment, where communication and collaboration often take place online, this can pose challenges. Remote workers rely heavily on technology and platforms such as email, messaging apps, and video conferencing to share ideas, discuss projects, and express their viewpoints. However, with weak freedom of speech, individuals may feel hesitant to fully express themselves, leading to a potential suppression of creativity and collaboration.

    Furthermore, weak freedom of speech can also impact remote workers' ability to engage in open discussions and debates, which are often vital for problem-solving and innovation. It can create an environment of self-censorship, where individuals may feel compelled to withhold their opinions or ideas, limiting the potential for intellectual growth and progress.

    It's crucial for remote workers in Dar es Salaam to be cognizant of this limitation and find alternative ways to foster a culture of open communication and creativity within their remote teams. This could involve promoting a safe and inclusive environment where everyone feels encouraged to share their thoughts, opinions, and ideas without fear of reprisal.

    Additionally, remote workers can leverage technology such as secure and encrypted communication platforms to ensure privacy and protection while expressing their views. Building strong relationships with colleagues and clients, based on trust and respect, can also create an atmosphere where open and honest communication can thrive despite the constraints on freedom of speech.

    While the weak freedom of speech in Dar es Salaam may pose a challenge for fully remote workers, it's essential to approach it with awareness and adaptability. By finding alternative ways to encourage open communication and fostering a supportive work environment, remote workers can navigate this con and continue to thrive in their fully remote roles.

  • Limited Safety

  • While working fully remote in Dar es Salaam may offer convenience and affordability, one of the major downsides is the limited safety in the city.

    Dar es Salaam has been known to have safety concerns, including high levels of crime and theft. As a remote worker, it is important to be aware of your surroundings and take precautions to ensure your safety. It is recommended to avoid traveling alone at night and to be extra vigilant when walking in crowded areas or using public transportation.

    Moreover, the city has a reputation for not being safe for women. Instances of harassment and assault have been reported, making it essential for women remote workers to take extra precautions when moving around the city, especially during the evening.

    Additionally, Dar es Salaam may not be considered family-friendly, as safety concerns for children may be a priority. The city's infrastructure may not be suitable for young children, and there may be limited recreational activities or safe spaces for families to enjoy.

    It is also worth noting that road safety can be a concern in Dar es Salaam, with unpredictable driving behaviors, poorly maintained roads, and limited adherence to traffic regulations. If you plan to commute or use transport within the city, it is important to exercise caution and be aware of the risks.

    While these safety concerns may not directly impact your remote work, they can still impact your overall well-being and peace of mind. It is crucial to weigh these factors against the other benefits of working remotely in Dar es Salaam and determine if it aligns with your personal safety requirements.

  • Slow Internet

  • One major drawback of working fully remote in Dar es Salaam is the relatively slow internet connections. While the city does have some internet service providers, the speeds they offer might not always meet the demands of remote work.

    Streaming video conferences, uploading and downloading large files, or using bandwidth-intensive applications can be frustrating experiences due to the slow internet. This can lead to delays in completing work tasks and hinder productivity.

    Furthermore, slow internet can also be a barrier to maintaining effective communication with clients or colleagues, especially for remote workers who heavily rely on online platforms and video conferencing.

    However, it is worth noting that the internet infrastructure in Dar es Salaam is gradually improving. The government has been working on expanding broadband access and improving network speeds. Additionally, some co-working spaces and cafes provide faster internet connections for remote workers who require higher speeds.

    To overcome this challenge, remote workers in Dar es Salaam may consider investing in a backup internet connection or exploring the different internet service providers available to find one that offers better speeds in their area. It is also advisable to plan and schedule bandwidth-intensive tasks during periods of lower internet usage, such as early mornings or late evenings, when network congestion is minimal.

    Although slow internet can be a frustration, the potential benefits of living and working remotely in Dar es Salaam, such as the affordable cost of living, good air quality, and access to quality education, may still outweigh this drawback for many individuals.

  • Lack of Entertainment Options

  • While Dar es Salaam offers affordable living and a good quality of life in many aspects, one potential drawback for fully remote workers is the limited entertainment options available in the city. Unlike larger metropolitan areas, Dar es Salaam may not have a vibrant nightlife or an abundance of cultural activities to keep remote workers engaged during their leisure time.

    However, Dar es Salaam does offer some recreational activities such as visiting beaches and exploring national parks, which can provide a temporary escape from work. Additionally, there are a few malls, theaters, and restaurants in the city that can cater to the entertainment needs of remote workers. However, compared to other cities with more extensive entertainment options, the choices in Dar es Salaam may feel limited.

    Fully remote workers who thrive on a bustling city life and a wide variety of entertainment options may find themselves wishing for more in Dar es Salaam. However, for those who are content with a quieter and more laid-back lifestyle, the limited entertainment options may not be seen as a significant downside. Overall, it's important for remote workers considering Dar es Salaam as their base to weigh the lack of entertainment options against the city's other advantages and their own personal preferences.

  • Cold Weather in Winter

  • Dar es Salaam, while a great city for remote work in many aspects, does have its downsides when it comes to the cold weather in winter. The temperature drops significantly during this time, making it quite uncomfortable for those who are not used to colder climates. The chilling winds and low temperatures can make it difficult to stay focused and motivated while working from home.

    The cold weather also poses challenges for outdoor activities and exploration. The city's natural beauty and outdoor attractions may not be as appealing during the winter months, as the cold can make it less enjoyable to spend time outside. Additionally, if you're someone who enjoys outdoor workouts or jogging, the cold weather may limit your options and make it more challenging to maintain a regular exercise routine.

    However, it's important to note that not everyone may see the cold weather as a con. Some individuals might actually prefer cooler temperatures and find them invigorating. If you are someone who enjoys layering up and cozying up indoors during the winter, then the cooler weather in Dar es Salaam may not be a deterrent for you.

    Ultimately, the cold weather in winter is a subjective con for those considering working remotely in Dar es Salaam. It's important to weigh this factor against the city's other benefits and decide whether it aligns with your personal preferences and needs as a remote worker.

  • Crowded Environment

  • One of the downsides of working remotely in Dar es Salaam is the crowded environment. The city is bustling with people, and it can sometimes feel overwhelming and claustrophobic. The streets are often packed with cars, buses, and motorcycles, making it challenging to navigate through the traffic, especially during rush hours.

    This crowded environment can also extend to other public spaces like cafes or coworking spaces, where you might struggle to find a quiet and comfortable spot to work. The noise and constant movement around you can be distracting and hinder your productivity.

    Moreover, the high population density in Dar es Salaam means that public spaces, such as parks or recreational areas, can feel overcrowded, especially during weekends or holidays. Finding a peaceful outdoor spot to relax and recharge might prove to be a challenge.

    However, it's important to note that despite the crowded environment, there are still quiet and serene areas in the city where you can retreat to find some peace and solitude. Exploring different neighborhoods or utilizing noise-canceling headphones can help create a more focused and productive remote working experience.

  • Challenges in Building Social Connections

  • Although English is widely spoken in Dar es Salaam, especially in professional settings, it may still pose a challenge for remote workers to engage in casual conversations or connect on a deeper level. Local dialects and languages, such as Swahili, are prevalent, and not everyone may be fluent in English. This language barrier can hinder the process of building social connections and leave remote workers feeling isolated at times.

    - Limited social activities: Compared to larger cities, Dar es Salaam may lack a variety of social activities and entertainment options. While there are recreational venues, parks, and restaurants, the overall offering may not be as extensive as in other metropolises. This limited range of activities can make it harder for remote workers to find like-minded individuals and participate in social events.

    - Cultural differences: Another challenge in building social connections as a remote worker in Dar es Salaam is understanding and adapting to cultural differences. The Tanzanian culture, with its unique norms and traditions, may differ significantly from what remote workers are accustomed to. Navigating these cultural differences and finding common ground can take time, patience, and open-mindedness.

    - Limited networking opportunities: Compared to major business hubs, Dar es Salaam may have limited networking opportunities for remote workers. While there are professional events and conferences, they are less frequent and may not cater specifically to remote workers. This can make it challenging to expand professional networks and find mentorship or collaboration opportunities.

    Despite these challenges, it is important to note that building social connections is not impossible in Dar es Salaam. With an open and proactive mindset, remote workers can seek out like-minded communities, attend local events, join professional organizations, or even explore online networking platforms to expand their social and professional circles.

  • Unsafe for Women

  • While Dar es Salaam has its advantages for remote workers, it is important to acknowledge that the city has safety concerns for women. Women may find it challenging to move around the city alone, especially at night. Instances of harassment and assault have been reported, making it necessary for women to take extra precautions while living and working in Dar es Salaam.

    This could include avoiding traveling alone after dark, being aware of their surroundings at all times, and taking taxis or rideshare services instead of walking alone in unfamiliar areas. It is essential for women to prioritize their safety and take measures to protect themselves while navigating the city.

    However, it is important to note that these safety concerns are not unique to Dar es Salaam and can be found in many cities around the world. By being aware of the potential risks, taking precautions, and staying informed about safety updates in the city, women can still enjoy the benefits of working remotely in Dar es Salaam while ensuring their well-being.

  • Language Barrier

  • People don't speak English well and this can pose a challenge for remote workers in Dar es Salaam. While English is widely spoken and understood in urban areas, it may still be difficult to communicate effectively, especially in more rural or less developed parts of the city. This language barrier can possibly lead to misunderstandings, miscommunications, and delays in work progress. Remote workers may need to spend extra time and effort to ensure clear communication with their colleagues or clients in Dar es Salaam. It is important to be patient and understanding when working with individuals who may not have a strong command of the English language.

  • Not Family Friendly

  • Dar es Salaam may not be the most ideal destination for those working remotely with their families. While the city has its perks, it can be lacking in terms of family-oriented activities and amenities. There are limited options for children's entertainment and educational facilities. The city may not have as many parks or playgrounds as other cities, and the ones that do exist may not be well-maintained or safe for children.

    Moreover, the streets can be crowded and chaotic, making it challenging to navigate with young children. The lack of pedestrian-friendly infrastructure and the heavy traffic can make it difficult to enjoy outdoor activities or simply take a leisurely stroll with your family.

    Additionally, safety can be a concern, especially during the evenings or in certain areas of the city. It's important to exercise caution and be mindful of your surroundings when out with your family.

    Considering the limited family-friendly options in the city, it may be challenging to find a suitable work-life balance while also ensuring your family's happiness and well-being. It's crucial to research and plan ahead to find suitable housing and schools that meet your family's needs and make your experience of working remotely in Dar es Salaam more enjoyable for everyone.

  • Hostility towards LGBTQ+

  • Dar es Salaam, like many other parts of Tanzania, remains a challenging environment for LGBTQ+ individuals. The country's cultural and religious attitudes towards homosexuality can be hostile and even discriminatory. LGBTQ+ individuals may face social stigma and discrimination, making it difficult to find acceptance and support in the community.

    For remote workers who identify as LGBTQ+, this can have a significant impact on their overall well-being and the enjoyment of their work-from-home experience in Dar es Salaam. The lack of acceptance and understanding may lead to feelings of isolation and exclusion, affecting mental health and productivity.

    Furthermore, LGBTQ+ individuals may need to be cautious and mindful of their personal safety in a society that is not fully accepting. Discrimination and harassment based on sexual orientation or gender identity are not uncommon, which can create an unsafe environment for LGBTQ+ individuals.

    Moreover, the lack of legal protections for LGBTQ+ individuals can further exacerbate the challenges they face. There are no anti-discrimination laws that specifically cover sexual orientation or gender identity in Tanzania, which leaves LGBTQ+ individuals vulnerable to mistreatment in various aspects of their lives, including the workplace.

    As a fully remote worker in Dar es Salaam, it is essential to consider the potential hostilities towards the LGBTQ+ community and the impact it may have on your personal and professional life. It is important to prioritize your safety and well-being while assessing whether this location is the right fit for you.

  • High Prevalence of Smoking

  • While working fully remote in Dar es Salaam can offer many benefits, one of the downsides is the high prevalence of smoking. Smoking is quite common in the city, and you may come across people smoking tobacco in public places, including cafes, restaurants, and even in outdoor areas.

    For non-smokers, this can be a significant disadvantage as it may affect the overall environment and potentially pose health risks. Secondhand smoke can be bothersome, especially if you prefer to work in outdoor spaces or try different local cafes for a change of scenery.

    If you are sensitive to smoke or have respiratory issues, it might be challenging to find smoke-free environments conducive to focus and productivity. It's important to keep this aspect in mind if you choose to work remotely from Dar es Salaam.


    scenic view of dar-es-salaam


    In conclusion, Dar es Salaam offers several advantages and disadvantages for individuals working fully remotely. On the positive side, the city is known for its affordability, making it an attractive option for remote workers seeking a cost-effective place to live. Additionally, the air quality in Dar es Salaam is generally good, which can contribute to a healthier and more productive work environment.

    Another benefit is that many fully remote workers have already established a presence in the city, creating a supportive community and potential networking opportunities. The ease of doing business in Dar es Salaam should not be overlooked either, as it can make administrative tasks and setting up a remote work arrangement relatively straightforward.

    Furthermore, Dar es Salaam offers a high quality of education and good hospitals, providing peace of mind for remote workers with families or health concerns. This can contribute to a higher standard of living and overall well-being.

    However, there are also several drawbacks to consider. Firstly, the limited freedom of speech and absence of a democratic system may not align with the values and expectations of some remote workers. Additionally, the city's safety can be a concern, with potential risks and incidents that may impact personal well-being and peace of mind.

    Another challenge for remote workers is the relatively slow internet speed, which can hinder productivity and communication. Furthermore, the lack of diverse recreational activities and a feeling of overcrowding may not provide the ideal work-life balance for everyone.

    Moreover, the difficulty in making friends and the language barrier, as English proficiency is not widespread, can be isolating and may dampen the social experience of living and working in Dar es Salaam. The potentially dangerous roads and prevalence of tobacco smoking are also additional factors to consider.

    Furthermore, Dar es Salaam may not be considered safe for women, and the city's attitude towards the LGBTQ+ community may be unwelcoming. These issues can further impact the overall work and personal experience of remote workers in the city.

    In conclusion, while Dar es Salaam offers certain advantages such as affordability, good air quality, and a supportive remote work community, it is essential for remote workers to carefully consider the drawbacks. The limited freedom of speech, safety concerns, slow internet, lack of recreational activities, and cultural challenges may not be suitable for everyone. Ultimately, individuals must evaluate their priorities and preferences before deciding to work remotely in Dar es Salaam.

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