Welcome to Dar es Salaam

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Situated by the Indian Ocean, this is Tanzania’s busiest city and former capital. The name, that translates to Bandari ya Salama (Harbour of Peace), was given to it by Arab merchants in the 1800s. Come to think of it, the name is actually very fitting. With the ocean on one of its border, this is a very nice place to be if you are in search of the perfect wave and all the seafood you can imagine. The sunsets and sunrises that you can experience in the city are unbelievable, they are truly peaceful and beautiful.

Sunsets at Mbudya in Dar es Salaam
Now not to give the impression that Apart from the beach nothing else happens. On the contrary, with more than 4 Million residents, Dar (that’s what most residence call it) is a very busy city. With something for everyone, it is a place where no one can get bored.
Tanzanian Shillings (Tshs) are the country’s currency though you can use dollars in some hotels, shops and restaurants. Also it is quite easy to change your dollars to tshs, all you have to do is find a bureau de change (which have better rates) or a bank.
Kiswahili is the nation’s official language with a good number of people being able to understand standard conversational English (this is truer in major cities than in rural areas). Learning a few Swahili phrases will make it easier for you to get around but you could always wing it and go with the flow. Well unless you are dealing with service providers who do not have fixed prices such as taxis, bajajs or motorbikes. They always rise their prices if they believe you are foreign or have no idea where you are going. So if you can, always ask someone else how much a trip costs before you actually head out and try to bargain first.

A view of Azikiwe Street in Posta with
views of maktaba square and B. Mkapa Towers
Most offices are situated at Posta, New and Old, while most trading is done in Kariakoo. There are a number of malls currently which house local and international brands (No, we do not have a Starbucks, McDonald’s nor Chipotle) as well as smaller establishments that are at every street corner to sell you from bottled water to air time vouchers.

Music concert in Dar es Salaam
The restaurants cater to most tastes out there, with some of the dishes requiring a little bravery in order to be enjoyed. If you are a night owl, then don’t fret, the city has a large number of clubs, bars and lounges. In an area called SINZA there is actually a running joke that says after every house there is a bar. So you can never go wrong there.
Dar es Salaam is a place that you can fall in love with, all you need is to find what works for you and go for it.


'Mtage is an adventurous, fun loving foodie, with a passion for random road trips. A dreamer that gets lost in her fantasies, but makes it back with the most awesome ideas. Always searching for the perfect sunrise'. find Mtage on twitter @mtage.

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