Never do these three things in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, if you are a tourist

by - 4/15/2024

 Business trips and leisure ones are two different kinds of sojourns. That's why the visa is different too! The agendas are totally different and so are the important sites of the city. So there are a certain things one should always remember as a tourist.

Have you watched Thomas and Friends the movie: Big World, Big Adventure? If yes, then you must be very familiar with Dar Es Salaam. Their adventure around the globe begins from there and he also meets his cute girl engine Nia. For the uninitiated, Dar Es Salaam is one of the busiest ports on the Eastern coast of Africa. It's an important business centre and the largest city of East Africa. 

Our Hotel Lobby after checking out
So when we wanted to visit Tanzania, we made it our base, although we could have skipped it altogether. Our flight was from Delhi to Dar and back. We flew to Zanzibar from Dar and took a road trip from Dar to Mikumi National Park. I really wanted to explore this port city, so we planned an eighteen hour stay here, while on the way back from Zanzibar and before we left for our wildlife safari. 

We had dinner at an Indian Restaurant
However, those 18 hours were the biggest waste of time on this 2 week trip, as we could not do anything fruitful. So if you plan to explore this city in a jiffy, don't commit these mistakes.

1. Don't stay at the city centre. We payed way more money for a city centre hotel although I really wanted to be near the beach. The coast is quite far from the centre.

Outside one of the cargo company offices
2. Don't plan of exploring the port. The commercial ports are really crowded and busy and they DO NOT entertain any visitors. Photography is strictly prohibited and there is absolutely nothing to do if you come all the way from the city centre to witness the business transactions!

Swami Narayan Akshardham Temple
3. Don't visit the Kariakoo Market. That was the BIGGEST mistake of our trip. Everything was expensive in Zanzibar so we thought of shopping in Dar. However, Zanzibar is a tourist place and the amount, variety and quality of souvenirs you get there is unmatched. People guided us to shop for souvenirs in Kariakoo Market. However there was not a single stuff there that we could find of our choice and the market is 100 times more crowded and chaotic than Chandi Chowk Market. We wasted 4 hours of time and energy because we just could not make our way out.
Just outside our hotel, in the city centre
4. Don't expect any touristy feels. Dar has more Indians and people of Indian subcontinent than any other part of Tanzania and everyone is busy working. There's actually nothing touristy there unless you go to the beach or the nearby islands.

Our hotel room at the 14th floor

The wildlife vibes at the International Airport

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