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

by - 4/16/2024

 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

I'm participating in #BlogchatterA2Z

This blog post is part of the blog challenge ‘Blogaberry Dazzle’ hosted by Cindy D’Silva and Noor Anand Chawla in collaboration with Zariya Healings.

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  1. Even in Europe I found plenty of Indians wherever we went. I think we are all over the world, India has no place for us. hahahahhaa!

  2. I found this a useful post, as I haven't seen the movie and plan to see it now. Also, it's good to know what to avoid; as a tourist ones gets such little time to explore the place, so you want the best experience possible.

  3. Just noted what mistakes not to do when I will be planning for a trip to Tanzania. It is very true that be it Singapore, Thailand, Bangkok or even in case of Venice too I was shocked to see so many Indians - When you are at a different place you feel good when you get to see your people... I dont know about others but I like it. There are so many memories we store in mind when you explore different places. Loved your blog

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  5. I liked your last tip. Nowadays with Indians everywhere, we should feel at home wherever we go or whichever place we visit. Useful tips for those seeking to visit Dar.

  6. This post about the three things tourists should avoid doing in Dar Es Salaam is both informative and engaging! The tips on not staying in the city center, avoiding the busy port, and skipping the chaotic Kariakoo Market are very practical. It’s a great reminder that proper planning can make or break a trip. Thanks for the heads-up on what to avoid for a better travel experience in Dar Es Salaam!

  7. As helpful as your blog post is, I can't help find your photos cute and candid at the same time as if what you've written isn't true at all. hehe. Anyways, it is surely helpful for those who are looking for adventure to stay away from this place as it's really truly for business. - MommyWithAGoal

  8. I had no idea Dar Es Salaam had such a busy business vibe. Good to know about the high hotel prices in the city center! If I ever make it to Dar Es Salaam, I’ll definitely look for something closer to the beach to get more value for my money.