Dar es salaam Tour
Tanzania Tourist Board – Dar-es-Salaam
Dar es Salaam, though not a major destination on the conventional tourist route, contains plenty of lively neighbourhoods and stunning sights. It casts a charm of its own, with a busy harbour, mélange of cultures, and colourful history. Spend a few days getting to know the Swahili coast’s Haven of Peace and learn why people sing its praises.
Begin at City Centre for a variety of attractions.
The harbour contains heavy ocean-going liners as well as traditional dhows, fishing boats and high-speed ferries to Zanzibar. You will find almost constant activity near the harbour, a virtual city within a city. Walk towards the east along Kivukoni Front. You’ll pass colonial structures side by side with highly-risen office buildings.
Hop on the ferry to Kigamboni – only 200 Tshs for a ride to the other side — to enjoy beautiful South Beach. Kigamboni is still contained within Dar es Salaam and it is even part of the same land mass. But make the brief trip across the harbour’s mouth and you’ll feel like you’re on a tropical island.
The lack of a bridge across the channel means that this part of town is not nearly as developed as the rest of the city. Village life is visible from the main road, the temperature automatically drops 5-6 degrees, and the noise and pollution of City Centre become a distant memory. A series of hotels along the beach ranging from budget to luxury offer many options for swimming and relaxing.
Adjacent to the ferry terminal on the City Centre side is the bustling fish market, recently renovated, the new structure attempts to impose some order to the very chaotic environment. Boats deliver their catches directly to the market, as glamour for the best prices, and fish flesh scales upon contact with sharp knives. The scent is overwhelming, but for vivacity and action, this is the place to be.
Stroll down leafy Shaaban Robert Street for its sheer beauty, but also for the cooler temperatures offered by colonial-era shade trees. Keep your eyes open for the peacocks that inhabit this corner of town. In fact you’re more likely to hear the shrill creatures than to see them.
While you’re there, swing by the National Museum, situated at the corner of Shaaban Robert Street and Samora Avenue. The museum is a hidden treasure, with exhibits of cultural, ecological and historical significance. The building itself is remarkable; it contains unique sculptures, colourful tiles and intricate carvings, and it is surrounded by a peaceful garden that occasionally hosts concerts and plays.
A short walk from the National Museum you’ll find the Botanical Gardens, situated adjacent to the Holiday Inn. Relax in the peaceful atmosphere and tropical beauty.
Continue towards the north and you’ll come to Ocean Road. The beaches here tend to be busy on weekends and holidays, host to weddings, picnics and romantic strolls though not much swimming. During the daytime, find some shade and enjoy the cool breeze – but best steer clear once dusk rolls around; it’s not the safest part of the town.
If you walk the length of the beach you’ll arrive at the Aga Khan hospital. Turn left on Ufukoni Road then head back towards town on Ali Hassan Mwinyi Road to discover Nyumba ya Sanaa next door to the Serena Hotel. Also called the Nyerere Cultural Centre, this multi-purpose centre houses a cafe, artisan studios, gift sellers, a travel agency, host to music concerts and traditional dance performances. Call ahead for a schedule of events.
If you’re feeling brave, you’ll definitely want to experience Kariakoo. Venture towards the tight streets and colourful buildings to get a good sense of the daily activities for thousands of Tanzanians. An enormous structure houses the largest covered market in Africa, but the neighbourhood’s interest is not limited to the market itself. The hive-like activity continues uninterrupted from dawn to dusk, as Kariakoo is also a crossroads – a major bus terminus, and a shoppers paradise. If what you’re looking for is not in Kariakoo, then it doesn’t exist in Dar es Salaam! It’s a lively area; but take care. Its lack of glamour is part of its allure; just keep in mind that pickpockets have their heyday in the crowded streets.
Head away from the town via Ali Hassan Mwinyi Road towards some of the more posh parts of town. Just after Selander Bridge, steer off towards the right on Kenyatta Drive to link up, with Toure Drive. Follow the coast to the end of the road at Sea Cliff Hotel near the tip of Msasani Peninsula and enjoy some spectacular views of the Indian Ocean.
On the western side of Msasani Peninsula you’ll find the city’s best option for ocean-side recreation. The Slipway is the collection of shops, boutiques, beauty salons, ice cream parlours, restaurants, apartments, pubs and even a bank. A crafts bazaar is a weekly highlight, setting up a shop on the plaza every Saturday and Sunday. Films are shown on weekend nights, and boats depart from here for day-trips to nearby Bongoyo Island.
Particularly, if you don’t have time to explore the rest of Tanzania, don’t miss a visit to the open-air Village Museum (also referred to as Makumbusho, the Swahili word for museum) located on the New Bagamoyo Road.
These well-kept grounds feature 18 furnished traditional houses from different ethnic groups throughout Tanzania. In addition, you can watch traditional dance performances on most afternoons, view a variety of agricultural techniques, observe artisans at work and refresh yourself in the cafe.
Continue north on New Bagamoyo Road and turn left on Sam Nujoma Road to find the Mwenge crafts market. There are plenty of treasures to choose from, but here the specialty is the intricate wood carving on display. Be sure to bargain hard!
Dar es Salaam can easily be used as a base for quick weekend trips.
Bagamoyo is only about an hour north of the city, and attracts visitors for its beaches as well as its historical significance. In Bagamoyo you can find oceanfront accommodation to fit any budget. Mikumi National Park is just a few hours away by car and Zanzibar is a quick 2-hour ferry ride (or an even quicker flight) away. For relaxing day trips to nearby islands, arrange transportation via White Sands Hotel or Bahari Beach Hotel.