Dar es Salaam can be a fun place to explore especially when you know what to do, where to go and what places to explore. Although, mostly seen as a transit destination to travel over to Zanzibar or one of the many national parks in Tanzania, the city of Dar es Salaam is barely explored by tourists coming over from around the world.
Whether you have been living in Dar es Salaam for a long time, or are just visiting this rapidly developing city for just a few days, we have come up with a brief guide to help you enjoy the city of Dar like the way it should be. So, gear up and get ready for an exhilarating ride around the city of Dar es Salaam!
1) Bargain at the Markets of Kariakoo
We all have been to air-conditioned malls, and splurged money at branded shops, which has kept us all deprived of the pleasure that comes from bargaining. So while you are in Dar es Salaam, make sure to brush your bargaining skills a little by exploring the markets of Kariakoo. Dubbed as the busiest street market in Tanzania, Kariakoo sells everything ranging from fresh fruits, to fabrics, kitchen utensils and hardware items. However, it is recommend to be extra careful with valuables and personal belongings, as the area is quite notorious for pick pocketing.
2) Buy Masaai Souvenirs
If you are visiting Dar es Salaam for a short trip or are planning to go abroad and take a few souvenirs with you that are a true replication of the Tanzanian culture, we suggest you visit a Masaai market to buy them. From hand painted ceramic bowls to handcrafted wood sculptures and beautiful jewellery embellished with colourful beads, Masaai crafts make perfect souvenirs to gift your friends and family members, and the wide range of Masaai products give you tons of options to choose from.
3) Visit the Kivokoni Fish Market
If you love seafood and would do anything to satisfy your seafood cravings with a fresh catch, we suggest an early morning visit to the Kivokoni fish market would be totally worthwhile. The pungent smell of freshly caught fishes may turn you off a little, but the vibrant colours, and the exciting auctioning would totally make up for it. Also, you might get a chance to see and buy some rare deep sea monsters you would have never seen or heard of before!
4) Add a Rustic Look to your Room with the Dhow Furniture
Dhow furniture is exclusively carved from reclaimed pieces of sailing boats that have spent a number of years in the Indian ocean. In case you love handcrafted pieces of furniture that hold a mysterious story behind them, we suggest you should go shopping on the Chole Road to buy some authentic pieces of Dhow furniture.
5) Spice up your Wardrobe with Colourful Khangas
Tired of the plain boring and colourless clothes that have always dominated your wardrobes? Well, it is time to take a stroll down the Uhuru Street and buy some colourful Khangas to add some spice and colour to your wardrobes. Khangas are unstitched pieces of cloth that are designed with beautiful African prints. So, while you are at Dar es Salaam, buy some Khangas and look for a clothes fundi (tailor) to get them stitched into some funky dresses, jumpsuits, trousers or just about anything!
6) Tantalize your Taste Buds with Local Food
Why not give your taste buds something new to enjoy, with some great Swahili food. Ugali (maize flour porridge) with beef stew and vegetables would make a perfect lunch if you wish to eat something that is simple but full of flavour. Alternatively, if you are a meat lover, we would suggest you should try some Nyama Choma (roasted meat) or some Mishkaki (skewered pieces of barbequed meat). Or if you are looking for a light evening snack, why not have a bowl of freshly cooked Zanzibar Mix that is prepared from deep fried fritters, boiled potatoes and pieces of Mishkaki thrown in a generous amount of coconut milk curry, topped with chilli sauces and chutneys. Dar es Salaam gives you a variety of local food options to satisfy your hanger pangs with!
7) Cruise Down the Indian Ocean
The coastal city of Dar es Salaam, situated right in the heart of the Indian ocean, allows tourists a wonderful opportunity to cruise in the clear blue waters for fishing or just excursion. From zooming through the Indian Ocean in style in an expensive raft boat, to experiencing the joy of sailing with the local fishermen in a traditional dhow boat, the options to explore the waters surrounding the city of Dar es Salaam are countless. So, make your choices and get ready for an exciting and thrilling ride down the Indian Ocean.
The metropolis of Dar es Salaam is usually ignored as a tourist destination, however, the fact that the city of Dar has is a rapidly developing metropolitan that still has its cultural roots well integrated, makes it a unique destination to explore the Swahili culture, while enjoying a modern city life. So, this year in case, you are still deciding where to spend your vacations at, or if you are visiting Dar es Salaam, and are worried how to spend your days, there you have a brief guide to get to know the city of Dar es Salaam much better.