Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania: First Impressions
Updated: Dec 15, 2021
Hello fellow travelers,
After the laid-back beach vibes of Zanzibar, it was time to explore the city life of Dar es Salaam, which translates to "Abode of Peace."
In case you are new here, we are Will and Katy. We are a travel couple that is traveling around the world. Today we share with you our first impressions of the city of Dar Es Salaam in 2021.
We are staying in the heart of the city, across from a park that feels like they have something happening in it almost every day! Now, this wasn’t the original place we booked. We got scammed by the host of the apartment we originally booked and paid for! Which left us with no place to stay when we arrived on the mainland. Will shares that whole saga in our first impressions Youtube video, you can click below to watch. ⬇️
Aside from that incident, and after running around that first day to find a place to stay, we have enjoyed this city. There are plenty of delicious food options, at a very affordable rate! This area of Tanzania is heavily Indian-influenced. There are currently over 50,000 people of Indian origin in Tanzania. "Many of them are traders and they control a sizeable portion of the Tanzanian economy. Indians have a long history in Tanzania starting with the arrival of Gujarati traders in the 19th century." As much as we would love to visit India, we are still not able to, so it has been nice to be able to eat delicious Indian food meanwhile!
In addition to the food in the restaurants being affordable, the actual fruits and vegetables in the markets are also so affordable! For example, we bought a papaya and 4 passion fruits from Kisutu Central Market for only $1.74! One papaya alone in the US would cost $3-4. You can walk down almost any street to find a fruit/vegetable vendor or a stand where you can buy a cup of cut-up fruits, like jackfruit, which we tried for the first time!
We will be staying here through the Christmas season, and although it will be weird to NOT be celebrating back home with friends and family, we thought we should make the most of it and get in the Christmas spirit by shopping for Christmas decorations! We went to the "Largest Market in East Africa", Karikoo, in search of items that would get us in the Christmas spirit. After setting up our little spot in our hotel room and slowly seeing Christmas decorations going up on the local malls, it is finally beginning to look a lot like Christmas!
This week felt very festive, not only because of our Christmas preparations but because we were here to celebrate Tanzania's Independence Day!
Now there are things we didn’t know we would experience on our travels before we ventured out, this being one of them! We were in Armenia for their Independence Day, and we ended up being here in Tanzania for their independence day as well. It was on December 9th, but the festivities began as soon as the clock struck midnight with fireworks going off right from the park across the street! So we had a great view from our hotel!
The next day we went to their main stadium, Benjamin Mkapa Stadium, since we heard there would be an event, but once we arrived it was mainly Tanzania's leaders sharing speeches and a parade of cars going through. However, we were able to see their football stadium and we hope to be able to attend a match while being here.
Well, we’ve only explored right here in the center of the city so far. We have so much more to see. We plan to explore the beaches here on the mainland, see how they compare to Zanzibar and so much more!
What could possibly be next?