Skip to content

10 tips to surviving 2 months in Dar es Salaam

April 16, 2013

As our internship draws to a close, we would like to say a big thank you to Rebecca and Doug for giving us such a fantastic opportunity to work in WK. We will miss the interaction and friendships with all the staff, the great coffee and cafe culture, as well as the lovely customers! Wish us luck on our trek up to the peak of Mount Kilimanjaro! We shall leave you guys with a list of tips to surviving 2 months in Dar es Salaam. Asante Sana for all the hospitality and kindness from the people of Dar! Tips are wholly based on our personal experiences. If you have other helpful tips, please feel free to share them with us.

10 tips to surviving 2 months in Dar es Salaam

  1. Clothes: Pack loose-fitting cloth pants and a sun hat/cap. Fit flops are handy for the muddy paths on rainy days. Anything else you can get cheap at Mwenge market or at Mlimani City.
  2. Transport: Know the dala dalas (public bus)! Don’t be intimidated by them – it is a cheap way to travel around Dar. It will be a mad scramble and tough fight to get up the bus especially at Mwenge or Posta. If you are 1 or 2 persons and going a short distance, take a piki piki (motorbike) instead. Bajajis are also a great and cheap way to escape the long traffic jams during peak hours – you just have to know how to haggle! The most important Swahili words to know are the numbers.
  3. Best meals we have tried: for Ethiopian** (Addis in Dar, 35 Ursino Street, off Bagamoyo Road), for Chinese* (Tai Huo San Zhuang, Jamhuri Street), for Mexican** (Verna’s, Blessing Street), for Burgers* (DJ’s Burgers, Old Bagamoyo Road, Lake Chala area), for Brazilian *** (Rodizio Brazillian Grill)

*Your pocket is safe

** Check your pocket

*** Make sure you have a full pocket

4. Local food: Mishkaki (grilled meat) and fried sweet banana, Chips Mayai, Tamarind Juice, Mendazi (sweet doughnut – buy it fresh at a bakery for only 100 Tsh! We discovered the best way to eat it is to put it in the oven for 3 minutes and eat it plain or spread nutella over it.)

5. Internet: There is free wi-fi at most 5-star hotels, including some areas at Seacliff. Remember to bring a cheap cell phone – simcards are available for about 500 TSH each. Wi-fi is also available at Wamama Kahawa at: 100mb for Tsh 3000 a day or 70,000 for 8gb for 4 mths.

6.    Activities: Mwenge for the cheapest clothes and shoes, electronics, food etc. Beside it, there’s a Mwenge Carver’s Market where you can get all the local arts and handicraft. Tinga Tinga Art Centre, near Oysterbay, where you can do your own painting for only 15,000 TSH – look for Abbas! (Don’t worry if you do not have any creative blood, he or a local artist will be on hand to guide you) Know the best places to chill at: Our personal favourites are Wamama Kahawa Coffee Roasters, Mediterraneo Hotel, Kunduchi Hotel (Dinner buffet – Indian style at 20,000 TSH per person) and Seacliff Hotel. For cheaper alternatives, simply have your own picnic at one of the beaches around. The island across White Sands is also a good option – go during the weekdays as you have to pay an entrance fee on weekends

7.   Clubs and nightlife: Sadly the clubs here are not up to standard but you can try New Maisha Club (cheap alcohol, pool tables, shisha). Fridays play International & East Africa hits. Saturdays are Ibiza nights. For more local flavor, check out Mbalewezi Beach Club. While Dar is generally safe, be careful when you are out at night! If you happen to be in town for the Nyama Choma Festival, don’t miss it! Usually happens in March.

8.  Zanzibar: One of the best things of Dar es Salaam is its close proximity to Zanzibar. A one-way ferry ticket costs about USD $35. Spend your day exploring many of their islands, or just a walk around Stone Town. At night, have your meal at Foradhani Gardens. The Zanzibar pizza and Zanzibar mix, paired with fresh sugarcane juice is a delight!

9. Best markets: Kariakoo and Kisutu market. Here is where your bargaining skills will be tested. Stall owners are very open to letting you try the fruits before buying. Try the sweet passion fruits and custard apples that are not often seen elsewhere (or at least where I lived). There is also a sugar cane stand opposite the Kisutu Market. Order the fruit salad, it is simply delicious! If you are feeling adventurous, head to the Kivukoni Fish Market (just a walking distance from Posta). As a guidebook says, “you will smell it before you see it.”

10. Best café and coffee in Tanzania: Without a doubt Wamama Kahawa Coffee Roasters located at Africana, Mbezi Beach. Clean environment, friendly service, great menu options, and aromatic freshly hand-roasted coffee beans.The caramel latte is a must-try! Don’t go home without a bag of freshly roasted coffee beans.

One Comment leave one →
  1. July 31, 2015 10:14 am

    Clubs and nightlife: Sadly the clubs here are not up to standard but you can try New Maisha Club (cheap alcohol, pool tables, shisha). Fridays …

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: