Dar es Salaam is the largest city in Tanzania, and the country’s commercial capital, located along the coast of the Indian Ocean. The once-upon-a-time sleepy fishing village has gradually transformed into a tourists’ haven of peace. The multicultural appeal of the Indian, Arabic and African influence have given the city a vibe that is hardly resisted by visitors. The city is filled with picturesque beaches, a rich culture, sumptuous meals, vibrant nightlife and more.
With the many things to do in the city, it can be a daunting task to choose where you visit and where to ignore. Thus, we bring you some of the fun things you can do in Dar es Salaam.
There is no better way to witness the Tanzania culture than visiting the 15 acres Village Museum. The traditional tribal houses are fully furnished with local features, and surrounded by fields of crops. The local artists provide entertainment for visitors in the form of cultural activities and tribal dances, while artisans display their carving, weaving, and painting for you to appreciate.
The bustling chaos of the Kivukoni Fish market gives an opportunity to meet the locals, discover the variety of fresh fishes and a great place to try delicious seafood. The market is set in a local setting where business combines with tourism to give you a unique marketplace experience. You can even capture moment fishers going about their businesses along the docks. The 7-am fish auction held daily is something you should watch out for if you want a little action.
The Kunduchi ruins will bring out the explorer in you, as it gives you the opportunity to find very archaic Arabic graves from the 19th centuries, pillar tombs, and even a 15th-century mosque. You’ll find the remains of Chinese pottery around the ruins, which proves the trading links between Asia and East Africa in the olden days.
The locals called Mwenge Wood Carver’s Village, Makonde and it is located in the centre of Dar es Salaam. The wood carver’s village features a wide variety of beautiful items created uniquely by the artisans. You’ll find a range of wooden masks, fabrics, beaded necklaces, sandals, and paintings. Unlike some tourist markets around the world, the sellers here do not to hassle customers.
Leave behind the hustling and bustling of the city and sail to the charming Mbudya Island with a motorboat. The white sand beaches, turquoise waters, thatched huts (bandas) and snorkelling are some of the things you will see when you get to the island. Satisfy your appetite with a freshly prepared barbecued accompanied with cold drinks – sold by the locals on the island.
The Askari Monument is a bronze cast soldier in a World War I uniform with his rifle pointing to a harbour. This soldier’s status commemorates the African troops who fought as the Carrier Corps in WWI. The monument marks the centre of downtown Dar es Salaam, you can visit take some beautiful selfies here.
Azania Front Lutheran Church is an iconic landmark in the city built in 1898 by the German missionaries. The building is whitewashed, and its rooftops are designed with a red-tile belfry. You can use the gardens for your relaxation and meditation. You can even worship with the locals on Sundays or their service days.
The Slipway Shopping Centre is a unique shopping experience with a variety of interesting stores that reflect both the local and international character. You can shop at the range of trendy stores that pack in everything from designer labels to local designs. There are several restaurants and hip bars where you can wind down after exploring and shopping.
Dar boasts a variety of nightlife spots – vibrant bars and restaurants night owl looking for fun and adventures. From the Maisha Club, Corner Bar and Club Bilicanas to Level 8 and the Kilimanjaro Casino at Hyatt Regency, you’ll surely enjoy yourself from the evening until the early hours of the morning. You can catch up with friends over a cocktail or listen to some interesting live music at a restaurant, bar or lounge. Alternatively, you can visit the clubs where the nightlife usually heats and dance the night away.
Food – there is a huge range of culinary experiences