Dar es Salaam
54 hotels in this place
Dar es Salaam was founded in 1862 by Sultan Seyyid Majid of Zanzibar on the site of the village of Mzizima. Mzizima's history dates back to the time when the Barawa people started to settle and cultivate the area around Mbwa Maji, Magogoni, Mjimwema, Gezaulole and Kibonde Maji Mbagara. Present day Dar es Salaam's origins have been influenced by myriad of Sultans, the Germans and the British. The city started as a fishing village in the mid 19th century, is now Tanzania's largest city, and has become one of East Africa’s most important ports and trading centers. With its great atmosphere, mix of African, Muslim, and South Asian influences, picturesque harbour, beaches, chaotic markets, and historical buildings, it is well worth extending your stay beyond the time between flights. Dar es Salaam is Tanzania's financial and political hub despite having lost its status as official capital to Dodoma in 1973. (less...) (more...)
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Points of Interest in Dar es Salaam
- National Museum. The national museum mainly shows photos and exhibitions on the development of human nature. A must go to see the skull of the Nutcracker Man (1.75 million years old) and the cast of the even older (3.6 million years) laetoli footprints.
- Makumbusho Village Museum. All of the houses within the village were constructed in accordance with the types of houses built by various ethnic groups throughout Tanzania. Ngoma dance shows are held from 2-6PM on certain days.
- Askari Monument.
- Zoological Gardens.
- Karimjee Hall. Former parliamentary building. Still in use for seminars.
- Azania Front Lutheran Church.
- Bahari Beach hotel, is about 20 km to the north of Dar es Salaam along New Bagamoyo Road. The hotel charges a small fee for non-guests.
- Kigamboni also known as "South Beach", is situated across the channel from the Zanzibar ferry. You can get to the other side by ferry, not the same as for Zanzibar. The ferry station is north of the Zanzibar ferry past the Kilimanjaro Kempinski Hotel near the main fish market. You walk onto the ferry which costs 100Tsh. The crossing takes about 5 minutes. Once across, you can hire a taxi to take you to the beaches, most of which are accessed through the various hotels along the coast. Public beaches have all been sold to developers. Hotels, such as the Sunrise, will charge a 5,000Tsh entry fee. 3,000TSh of which is returned to you in the form of food vouchers. Most hotels are about 5 km from the ferry and you should be able to get there for 10,000 to 15,000Tsh depending on your negotiating skills. There are also daladalas which ply the road to the beaches.
About Dar es Salaam
Dar es Salaam has a very humid climate and relatively stable temperatures, both in terms of night-to-day, and summer-to-winter. The driest and coolest season is June through early October. Short rains occur November through February (especially December), and long rains occur March through May, with monsoon season peaking in April. Temperatures are high November through May, highest in January.
Between December and February, in the dry season, temperatures can rise to the mid-30s (°C); due to the high humidity, discomfort can be very high. You should seek shelter from the sun during the midday heat and use copious amounts of sunblock.
Best times to visit are: June-Sept, after the rainy season, with milder temperatures and lower relative humidity.
Most visitors to Dar arrive via Julius K. Nyerere International Airport, about 10 km west of the city center. Dar is flat and is bordered on the east by the Indian Ocean.
For a great day trip, head out to Bongoyo Island. Bongoyo is a small, uninhabited island just off the coast. The boat to Bongoyo leaves from Mashua Waterfront Bar & Grill at Slipway, the upscale set of shops and markets on the Msasani Peninsula, just north of Dar es Salaam. A taxi from the city center should run you 8,000 Tsh. The first boat leaves at 9:30AM, with others at 11:30AM, 1:30PM and 3:30PM, with a minimum of four people. The ferry cost 25,000Tsh which includes a round trip plus the US$10 for the marine park fee. The return ferries are at 10:30AM, 12:30PM, 2:30PM and the last one leaves around 4:30PM. There is a small restaurant on the island which serves a variety of foods and drinks (grilled prawns, fish and chips, egg and chips, beer etc.). Another option is to buy food at the Shrijee's supermarket at Slipway. You can relax without having to worry about anyone stealing your things on Bongoyo. Take a hike around the island, snorkel in the clear waters to the southwest of the island (snorkeling gear may be rented on the island for 6,000Tsh per set per day) or just relax under a banda on the beach. Bandas are 5,000Tsh and a chair costs 1,500Tsh for the day. On the weekend, be sure to get on the first ferry if you want a banda, it gets very busy on Saturday and Sunday. When you come back, you can get ice cream or a meal at several of the Slipway restaurants and watch the sun set. You can also check out the Tinga Tinga paintings and other crafts at the market. Walk to the south (toward the Doubletree Hotel) from the main part of Slipways, past the boatyard, to find many cheaper market stalls.
Mbudya Island is a smaller island just north of Bongoyo. To visit, take a taxi or bajaji to the White Sands Hotel, located near Kunduchi. Two-way tickets can be purchased for 10,000 Tsh per person, with a minimum of 4 people per boat, and there is an additional 10,000 Tsh park fee when you get to the island. The popular side of the island has beaches, bandas, a small bar, and a food pavilion (though the menu is very limited). Beers go for about 3,000 Tsh. There is also a somewhat nicer, though more expensive, bar on the northern end of the beach. The rest of the island is mostly rough cliff face, which can make for some interesting hiking, though this is not advised if you don't have good shoes and dependable balance (the rocks are very sharp and scrambling is sometimes required). The last boats back to White Sands leave between 4:30 and 5:00pm, though you can stay a bit longer if you are willing to take a smaller, overcrowded boat back to the Sea Breeze hotel, which is south of White Sands.
For a great excursion in the city to see the "real Dar," you should do an "Investour." Investours runs microfinance poverty tours, and you get to meet and talk to local entrepreneurs, see the Mwenge woodcarvers market in a behind-the-scences experience, and even have a local Tanzanian lunch with some of the craftsmen. Your fee is then used as an interest-free microfinance loan given to the entrepreneur of your choice—out of the ones you met during the day. Most people come to Dar without experiencing the true aspects of the city: abject poverty and the desire of most individuals from all over Tanzania to strike it big here. It is an important cultural part of Dar es Salaam, and an Investour should definitely be something you consider to do.
At Slipways, the Waterfront Bar and Grill is decent and is open long hours, but the best dining experience is on The Terrace, which generally opens around 7PM on weeknights and 6PM on weekends. The coffee shop next to The Terrace served pretty good food (and excellent coffee) as well.
There are quite a number of night clubs in Dar es Salaam. Probably the most popular in City Centre is Bilicanas, which is lively and sometimes not quite as full of prostitutes as the other clubs. It is popular with locals and ex-pats alike. Music is varied, depending on the night, from local to Congolese to dance to hip-hop. (The only time I've ever heard hip-hop played right before Aqua's "Barbie Girl"; the place goes nuts when they play the cheesy songs). California Dreamers is another nearby club, but it is too full of prostitutes to recommend. There are numerous other smaller clubs that can be fun, but harder to get to. On the Peninsula, Sweeteazy has great live bands, sometimes with their own dancers every Thursday (and Saturday?) evenings. There is always a mixed Tanzanian/expat crowd dancing. Cover charge is Tsh 10,000 but if you have supper there it's free!
Hiking is possible in the Pugu Hills, some 12 KM west of the airport. Selected villagers can assist as guide for a hike around the Pugu Hills or to the major cattle market of Dar es Salaam. Arrangements are through the Pugu Hills Nature Centre (). For directions to Pugu Hills see web site.
If you like to have a chillout evening, the Mediterraneo Lounge has a large collection of chill-out music. At the Mediterraneo Hotel & Restaurant Lounge you can enjoy the fantastic view of the Indian Ocean while sipping your favourite drink, and listening to the best lounge & chill-out music in Dar es Salaam. More in town and therefore somewhat less romantic but still beautiful, on the Peninsula, check out very attractive Coral Beach restaurant ($$$), right on the ocean, from where you can watch the sun set.
Massage Try High Care Massage at the Slipway for a very professionally organized place. There are signs for lots of other massage and spa centres around town. Two places favoured by ladies in landcruisers are Lemon on Haile Selassie Road (next to George & Dragon pub) or the Spot on Chole Road (opposite the taxi stand).
Movies There are modern cinema halls like Cineplex in Nyerere road at the Quality Centre Mall (which is the largest Cinema in Dar es Salaam), Century Cinemax at Mlimani City (tel. 0715 246362)and New World Cinema on Bagomoyo/Ali Hassan Mwinyi Road (tel. 022 277 1409)The latter hosts the annual European and Asian film festivals. You can buy DVDs on every corner but beware, many are defective Chinese counterfeits, poorly produced, and/or lack English translation.
Sports The Yacht Club on the Peninsula is a gorgeous place but requires membership fees. You can enter as someone's guest and swim (in safety) or boat. It, and other places around town, offer scuba-diving lessons. Gymkhana, on Gymkhana Road in town, has tennis courts and a nice golf course. Coco Beach is a public beach on the Peninsula which is very busy on weekends. Go any afternoon to see people relaxing, and eat local food. But don't walk on beach as muggings are too frequent. A few people surf here when waves swell a bit around the full moon. You can sometimes surf or kite surf at the beaches south of Dar, e.g. at Kasa Beach Hideaway (fantastic wide beach and surf-able waves in June). There's yoga three times a week (Mondays Golden Tulip Hotel, Thursday and Saturday at Dar Fitness Centre) and capoeira at 6PM at the Little Theatre (beginners on Mondays, intermediate Wednesdays), and tae kwon do also at the Little Theatre, Wednesdays at 6. Kickboxing is also available.
Culture Read weekly 'What's Happening in Dar' and 'Advertising Dar' to get all the news of what's going on, including weekend get-away specials. There are always events like dance and music performances, artist openings at painting and photography galleries, movie festivals etc. Alliance Francaise,Goethe institute, Iranian and Russian cultural centres offer special events along with some occasionally sponsored by Embassies.
- Graham, London. Mikadi Beach Lodge is 1 km from the Kigamboni Ferry and and excellent place to stay or enjoy the beach. Entrance is TSH3000 but an overnight is recommended
Due in part to the growth of the expatriate community and the increasing importance of tourism, the number of international restaurants has risen very rapidly over recent years. The city now offers a rich and internationalized diversity of cuisine, ranging from traditional Tanzanian Barbecue style options such as Nyama Choma (Roasted meat – served with rice or ugali) and Mishkaki (Shish kebab – usually barbecued and served with salt, hot peppers, chapati, fries, and rice on the side), and the long-established traditional Indian and Zanzibari cuisine, to options from all corners of the globe including Chinese, Thai, Turkish, Italian, and Japanese food. Restaurants like City Garden, Addis in Dar, and Best Bite are only a few of the most popular restaurants located in Dar es Salaam. Even fast food restaurants like Steers and Subway now have prominent places in the restaurant sector of Dar es Salaam. People who prefer neither fast food or traditional restaurants buy their food from street vendors, who usually sell good food for very affordable prices. Samosas are common street food items within the city. Primary and secondary school students are usually more likely to buy food from street vendors than other age demographics.
$ = Cheap (1,000–5,000Tsh for a meal for one)
$$ = Average (5,000–10,000Tsh)
$$$ = Moderate (10,000–20,000)
$$$$ = Expensive (20,000+)
Traditional Tanzanian food can be had on almost any street. From grilled meats (mishikaki) to BBQ corn on the cob, and chips and eggs (chips mayai). If you're looking for something a little more sanitary, there are a number of small hotels and restaurants that serve a buffet style meal at lunch time which offers a variety of Tanzanian stews, deep fried fish and chicken, and vegetables. Some good choices:
- Sammy'S Good Food, at Quality Center Mall, Pugu Road 1st Floor., ☎ 0765726697. Serves Indian food, Chinese, pizzas, burgers and a lot more. So eat, relax and have fun on the way to airport.
- Summy's (aka "Street Chicken"), Jamhuri Street NE of Morogoro Road.. Grilled marinated chicken, mishkaki, Indian food. ($).
- City Garden, on Garden Avenue, SE side, between Ohio Street and Pemba Road.. Fine outdoor ambiance, extensive menu, affordable prices, fast service, free bread, real butter, coconut sauces, death by chocolate. ($$).
- New Africa Hotel, on the corner of Sokoine Drive and Maktaba/Azikiwe Street..
- Chef's Pride, Chagga St.. A very popular local eatery with Tanzanian food, plus pizza and Indian. ($$).
- Royal Chef, on Lumumba Street at Morogoro Road.. Run by the same people as Chef's Pride but with a Zanzibar ambiance. ($$).
- Durban Hotel. two streets past Royal Chef on the right. Excellent selection of Tanzanian, Chinese, and Indian dishes at reasonable prices. Excellent fish fresh daily. At night, however, single men may expect to be approached by prostitutes. ($).
- Local "hoteli's" or restaurants can be found on just about every major street. Most serve ugali, rice or chapati with beans, meat or fish stews, and mishitaki (grilled kebabs).
For something even more upscale, try the Sunday Brunch at the Kilimanjaro Hotel. The restaurant on the ground floor offers a wide variety of Western dishes but also includes several local favourites taken up a notch. It's not cheap, about 30,000 Tzs per person, but if you're interested in trying Tanzanian cuisine without risking gastrointestinal complications, it's your best bet. Please note: the buffet contains all you can eat smoked salmon of the highest quality, among other delicacies!
- 'Bimbis @ The Badminton Institute (Maratha Club) ($) multi-cuisine budget restaurant, near Elia complex, Zanaki Street, Kisutu, The restaurant is in central Dar, most nights it's busy with both ex-pats and Indians.
- 'Retreat Restaurant ($) located at the Pramukh Swami Street (Kisutu) near the Hindu temples, it serves only vegetarian dishes.
- Upanga Club ($) on Ali Hassan Mwinyi Road near Alliance Francaise (Upanga), is similar in style and cuisine to the Badminton Institute, and you also have to pay TZS 1,000 entrance as a non-member.
- A Tea Shop ($) just off of Libya Street, has great kebabs other Indian snacks. Plus delicious chai. K Tea Shop is also good.
- Alcove on Samora avenue is the place for you if you like Indian and Chinese food and especially if you're vegetarian.
- Red Onion ($$) across Maktaba Street from the YMCA, in the Haidery Plaza building. Has a wide selection of Indian dishes and a nice rooftop dining area. Very cold beers.
- Jambo inn Hotel on Libya street serving Indian, Chinese, English, BBQ, exotic seafood and fast food. A choice of 220 dishes in non-vegetarian and vegetarian and fresh juices available.
Peninsula and around
- Aroma Coffee House on Chole Road first right after passing the double tree road on your left. Bagels available daily!
- Anghiti ($$$) (near the US Embassy) on New Bagamoyo road just after the Kawawa intersection is excellent.
- Copper Chimney +255 22 270 1074 (on New Bagamoyo Rd) is also very good.
- Istana +255 22 761 1345, +255 786 264 858 (Ali Hassan Mwinyi Road) Malaysian and pan-Asian, serves an excellent buffet; cuisines change per day of the week. Often booked by wedding parties, especially on weekends.
- Khana Khazana +255 22 2771313 (on New Bagamoyo Rd) which offers excellent choice of Indian food.
Chinese, Japanese & South-East Asian
- Hong Kong Tai Yong Sun Restaurant, ☎ (+255)22-2136622. Serves delicious and authentic Cantonese Chinese dishes. Experts of fresh seafood dishes in town, nice comfortable settings with fast and friendly service.
- The New Africa Hotel has a popular Thai restaurant on the roof. Some nights it serves all-you-can-eat buffet.
- Oriental ($$$$) at The Kilimanjaro Hotel serves a variety of Japanese, Thai, Mongolian and Malaysian dishes. Still a good restaurant in town (it was my favorite ones). But around year end 2008 starting 2009 (probably due to management changes) the restaurant service started to be less attentive, the tables less groomed and prices increased. Still you can eat sushi and sashimi or maguro without worries.
- Osaka ($$$$) off of Toure, serves Korean and Japanese, including very good sushi, look for the sign on the left when heading towards Sea Cliff.
- Goong ($$$) serves authentic Korean food. Is on the first dirt road on the left gouing in to Slipway.
- Azuma ($$$) at the Slipway. Sushi.
- SweetEazy ($$$) at the Oyster Bay Complex on Toure Drive. Roof top as well as inside dining area. Live music some nights. Good bar.
- Garden ($$$) on Haile Selassie, on way to Seacliff past the new large Shoppers grocery store. Large, outdoors, shaded with good menu and music and dancing Friday and Saturday
- Thai Restaurant ($$$) on Chole Road. Large, outdoors, shaded with extensive menu. There is also a new Thai restaurant on Kaunda Drive just off of Bagomoyo Road. All dishes Tsh 6,000.
- Oliveto ($$$$) at the Movenpick serves upscale Italian food with a bit of a twist.
Peninsula and surrounding
- Saverio's ($$) has Italian-style pizza, pasta dishes and good calamari and gamberi (calamari and shrimps) fried dish.
- Mediterraneo Hotel & Restaurant ($$$) You can find here a wide choice of Italian/Mediterranean dishes, homemade pasta and delicious seafood dishes, plus a view of the Indian Ocean. Around 30' by car from Dar es Salaam.
- Shooter's ($$) Steak & burgers. off Old Bagamoyo Road at Namanga junction.
- Noah's Ark ($$) Italian restaurant. off Old Bagamoyo Road at Namanga junction. Excellent pizza baked in a woof-fired oven
- Zuane ($$$) Italian. Nice atmosphere, indoor (a/c) and outdoor(covered porch) seating in converted house with large garden. Good for family dinners or big groups. Excellent red snapper filet!
Zuane, actually, is the best Italian restaurant in Dar es Salaam. They serve pizzas as good as you can have in Italy, thanks to Cristian (the Chef) ability, wood oven, choice of first quality food and last but not least of the best fresh mozzarella in Dar made in Tanzania! Pasta, meat dishes and cakes are also delicious.
- Addis in Dar ($$$) (on Ursino Street, in the Regency Estates neighborhood) A superb little-known and out of the way restaurant is. This Ethiopian restaurant offers excellent food costing about Tzs 13,000 per dish. They serve chicken, beef, lamb and vegetarian dishes (mostly stews, but some come without sauce) on a bed of injera, a moist and springy Ethiopian flatbread. The decor is fantastic and the atmosphere is excellent as well, with a rooftop dining area. Try the Ethiopian honey wine before your meal and the beautifully-presented coffee after. Often fills up so book ahead particularly if you are in a group. Phone 0713 266-299 or 0756 888-488.
- Rehovot Ethiopian Restaurant ($$) on Ali Bin Said, a side road off of Bagomoyo Road. Very close to Twiga Pub. You can see the sign for it on Bagomoyo Road, between Namanga/Kimweri and Haile Selassie. This is a new restaurant. Owned by an Ethiopia/Tanzanian couple. Really good food and simple but pleasant Ethiopian decor, in a kind of garden yard. We finished up with real Ethiopian spiced tea. They also sell Ethiopian clothes and played fantastic Ethiopian music on a good sound system. Teruwork formerly cooked at Addis in Dar. Phone 0713 764-908 or 0784 235-126.
- Al-Basha ($$) is the best middle-eastern food in Dar. They have two locations. City center on the corner of Morogoro and India Street and at the Mayfair Plaza in Mikocheni near the US Embassy.
- Nargila ($$) (difficult to reach by taxi) don't go for dinner – go for appetizers (hummus is great), the extensive drinks menu, hookahs and the belly dancer. Oysterbay, near the Ugandan High Commission (you must tell taxi this or he will never find it). Owned by an Israeli woman, apparently the place to go for all the Jewish holidays. Phone +255756547754.
Café and Bistros
SeaCliff Village and Slipway (peninsula), Harbor View Suites Mall (Samora Ave), and the Steer's Complex (Ohio Street) have multiple fast-food type restaurants in one place, as well as shopping. Limited menus of pizza, burgers, Indian, sandwiches, ice cream, etc.
For upscale meals, visit the Dar es Salaam Serena (formerly Mövenpick, even more formerly: the Royal Palm Hotel), the Holiday Inn, Kilimanjaro Hyatt Regency Hotel in the city center.
All of these hotels offer excellent fixed-price breakfast buffets, which often include sparkling wine, and can be a good value if you are hungry or want to escape for a while.
- Zens Bar & Restaurant open every day from 6.30AM to 11PM. Located in Mikocheni “B” at Exclusive Resort Opposite St. Laureate Int. School, Kwa Warioba, Msikiti street. +255 22 278 0440 EXT.126
- Spurs SeaCliff Village. ($$$) Good burgers, steaks, Mexican food, salad bar (nothing particularly amazing, but quite possibly the only salad bar in Dar), milk shakes, ice cream desserts. Lots of wealthier families bring their (often noisy) children here, as there is a play area.
- Karembezi Cafe SeaCliff Village. ($$$) Good salads and soups as well as steaks, excellent fish platter which is for two people but can be shared by 3 if ordering other stuff as well. You have the Indian Ocean views and it can be very pleasant and sometimes windy. Service is good but can be slow over the weekend.
- The Blues Bar & Restaurant (Along Sam Nujoma Road at Mawasiliano Towers, Ground Floor), ☎ +255 22 212022 or +255 787 254 754. International cuisine and variety of cocktails $$$.
- Chef's Pride near the budget hotels in the Indian quarter. It caters mostly to tourists, but is very reasonably priced and has a good local menu.
- Milap is a vegetarian Indian Restaurant with very cheap prices.
- Subway near the YWCA that is air-conditioned, and a nice treat if you're hankering for some food of a western nature. Try the BMT.
- YWCA near the Cathedral, has a delicious and cheap canteen where you can order a traditional Tanzanian meal for under Tzs 2,000.
- YMCA the other side of the cathedral to the YWCA. Along the same lines as the YWCA but has a wider range, it does food in the evenings (the YWCA does not), and it serves alcohol (it's the only budget place in the city center that does).
- Steers Complex on Ohio street has several restaurants in one area. Burgers, pizzas and Chinese stir fry.
But the best place to eat, both in terms of price and atmosphere, is on the street. Places to try include the corner of Morogoro road and Jamhuri street, or the large open space in front of the Dar Express bus company ticket office. Chipsi mayai (chips in an omelet) should be about 1000 or 1200 shillings.
Some great places to eat fresh, inexpensive, tasty local food outdoors, but under shade, where you will be served from vats are:
- Chinese Restaurant on the corner of Samora and Mirambo (it also serves more expensive Chinese food in the basement)
- Holiday Out on Garden, just past the Southern Sun hotel which used to be called the Holiday Inn. There are three separate places serving food here.
- Steers Out on Samora, just east of Steers.
All serve vegetarian (beans, rice, cooked bananas, greens, other) for around Tsh 2000 or with meat (beef, chicken, lamb, fish) around Tsh 4000. The clientele is mainly young Tanzanians with office jobs, many of whom speak English. All three of these restaurants are a few minutes walk from Mirambo where many Embassies are.
You should only drink bottled water. A 1.5 litre bottle will cost you 1,000 shillings in a store or on the street, depending on the brand (and 2000 or more at restaurants), but you can also drink tap water if you've purified it with iodine tablets or boiled it (at least 3–5 minutes at a rolling boil). "Seepage" from the sewer pipes into the water pipes is quite common.
Kilimanjaro, Serengeti and Safari (the latter being a stronger beer, 5.5% alcohol) are local beers and popular with Tanzanians and foreigners. These are typically 1100-1400 shillings apiece for 500ml bottles in local spots, but can cost 3000 or more at some bars and restaurants.
Imported beer available in Dar include Tusker, Ndovu, Stella Artois, Castle Lager and Heineken. The African imports (Tusker, Ndovu) are not that much more expensive than local beers, but the European beers can be three to four times the price of domestics.
Konyagi is a popular local gin, and its variant Konyagi Ice is comparable to hard lemonade and other sweet drinks.
Krest, bottled locally by Coca Cola, offer Club Soda, Tonic Water and Bitter Lemon drinks. Stoney Tangawizi (ginger ale but stronger in taste) is one of the more popular soda drinks. Sodas come in glass bottles and you'll usually be asked to return the bottle or pay extra to take it, but they don't usually like that.
All of the large hotels have full bars with air conditioning. Many offer 2-for-1 happy hour specials in the late afternoon/early evening.
- Florida Inn near the UN building by the ferry port, offers South African Castle (which Tanzanians insist on pronouncing "Castel") on tap, as well as nice air conditioning and a pool table upstairs.
- New Protein Bar, down the street from Chef's Pride. Good food and cheap. Sidewalk seating. The only bar in the Indian section of Dar near the budget hotels.
Peninsula & Around
- Zens Bar & Restaurant Zens Bar has a wide selection of drinks in a tranquil atmosphere. Find us in Mikocheni “B”at Exclusive Resort Opposite St. Laureate Int. School, Kwa Warioba, Msikiti street. CALL US AT: +255 2202780440 Ext.126
- Q Bar, ☎ +255 22 211 2667. Haille Selassie Road, Oysterbay area. A large bar and restaurant which can get crowded and noisy when major football games are shown on giant screens or on Friday night when there is live music. Daily drink specials. Famous as prostitute hangout. Large crowd of locals and foreigners (usually men).
- O'Willies Irish Whiskey Tavern, ☎ +255 22 260 1273. At the Peninsula Hotel, near the Slipway. Tanzania's only Irish pub. Founded by affable Irishman Justin in late 2006. Excellent selection of import beers, especially Guinness, however, local beers are quite expensive, typically around Tsh. 3000. Good food, including Irish stew and fish & chips. Extremely popular with the local expatriate community-- a great place for meeting people. Outside deck overlooking the Msasani bay with pleasant ocean breezes and a good view. Inside, karaoke, salsa dancing lessons, and trivia on some nights (trivia usually on Monday nights).
For kangas (or khangas), colorful, sarong-like pieces of cloth with Swahili sayings along the bottom, try Kariakoo market or the cloth market on the streets around it. The market has moved a bit recently, but check around south end of Jamhuri St., where there are many textile shops. Here you can also buy kitenge, twice the length of kangas and usually cut in half to form a complete outfit, for around Tzs 4000 each. Try asking in here if you want something like a dress made to measure. Kariakoo is also a good place for fresh food. Watch out for pickpockets.
The wholesale textile markets are on Uhuru St. in the Mnazi Mmoja district near Kariakoo, although the number of people and the attention can be overwhelming for some visitors. It helps to speak Swahili, and if you can, go during the week rather than on Saturdays. Its a much more enjoyable experience on a weekday, since there are less people around you can chat with the sellers and there is less high-pressure haggling. The Uhuru Street sellers are wholesalers, so unless you feel you're being quoted a very inflated price, it is difficult to bargain.
- Afro Fashion, Samora Avenue, Opposite Extelecom Building (Celtel Point) (Samora Avenue), ☎ 2124066/0784243735. 9AM-5PM. T shirts, Batiks, Khanga, Masai Material,Kikoy, Tye & Dye Clothings,Arts & Crafts, Masai Beads, and other popular souvenirs.
Carvings and other touristy souvenirs can be found all over Dar. Remember that haggling is expected.
There is a fantastic craft market in Mwenge, the Mwenge Carvers' Market. Here you can watch many of the artists make the crafts that are sold throughout the country (although some crafts sold in Tanzania are imported from Kenya). Prices range from expensive to extremely cheap. There are many stalls selling similar things, and if you are savvy, you might be able to pit the vendors against each other. The perk of the Mwenge market is the sheer volume of crafts to choose from. If you like the style of something at a specific store (they tend to carry items made by one or two artists), and you have some time, you can meet the artist and have them custom make something for you. The market closes at dusk. Shopping around this time gets you the best deals.
There is a smaller market at Slipway, which is a good place to get Tinga Tinga paintings and large batiks as well.
Local paintings are often executed in a style unique to Tanzania, "tinga-tinga", named after the artist who founded the style, Edward Said Tinga Tinga. Some good places to find them are at the Slipway market, and in the alley off of Haile Selassie Road on the Peninsula. The alley is to the left of Shrijee's Supermarket – look for the art sellers on Haile Selassie Road, and the alley is on the opposite side of the road. There are also tailors, sandal-makers, and charity/craft/wholefood shops on this alley (not to mention the booze shop). The Tinga Tinga artists' collective itself is at the end of the alley, through a doorway, so don't get too distracted by the smaller art shops outside.
In November 2006, the brand new "Mlimani City" shopping complex opened. A "Shoprite" supermarket and a "Game" department store, both South African chains, are open for business seven days a week. Although it is a fair distance from the city center, it can be reached by taking a Dalla Dalla or taxi to the Mwenge bus terminal, and walking approximately ten minutes further past the craft market (see below).
If you run out of things to read, there are some surprisingly well stocked branches of the English language bookshop called A Novel Idea. See the Books section a little further down for a list of stores.
There is a good selection of electronics and appliance vendors on Samora Avenue.
There are a number of book stores near the Askari monument at Samora Ave & the Posta Road, selling mostly academic texts / school books.
- A Novel Idea, Slipway, Oysterbay Shopping Centre, Shoppers Plaza, Steers fast food complex on Ohio Road, ☎ +255 22 601088. A local chain that sells a wide selection of imported English language books: novels, childrens' books, reference, non-fiction. A pleasant place to spend a few hours.
- "Mlimani City" has a bookstore as well.
If you're looking for an authentic shopping experience, a visit to Kariakoo market, especially on Saturday morning, could be just the thing. Kariakoo is the cheapest market in Tanzania. If you want to buy cheap souvenirs, this is the place for you. If you're a Muzungu (i.e. white person) shop owners will try to charge you much more that is worth. But that will be cheaper than what you get in the city or everywhere else in Tanzania. General rules: African necklaces should not be bought for more than 2000 shilings (the correct price is TS1000 but you won't get that price easily), small drums should be bought for as much as TS4-5000 and soft stone products (hearts, plates, small animals, jewelry boxes etc.) should not be purchased for more than 10,000 shillings. In Kariakoo you can also find cool yet useful presents, like kerosene lamps or pans (as in pan and brush) made from used metal – look for ones with commercial logos printed all over. My favourite is a funnel made from a hair spray container. There are also nice baskets, stools, bowls etc.WARNING: This is not for everyone. The market is VERY crowded and for some the smells and noises can be overwhelming. If you're keen but hesitating, it might be best to find a Tanzanian friend or person familiar with the market to help you navigate around. DO NOT bring any valuables and only bring a small amount of money that you wish to spend, as pickpockets work the area and in the commotion your watch, cell phone, mp3, sunglasses and wallet can be expertly removed, or your nice leather handbag slashed with a razor. Even seasoned Kariakoo shoppers occasionally fall prey to these sophisticated teams of thieves.
Haggling: Haggling is expected when purchasing almost anything in Dar. Although it is true that most merchants quote much higher prices to tourists than locals, sometimes three times the price, negotiations should still be undertaken with respect and good humour. Don't expect to pay the same as a local and don't be insulted when you aren't. The reality is that you probably have more money in your pocket than many Tanzanians see in a year. This also applies to backpackers. Remember the extra dollar or two you paid for that carving will most likely be used to buy food for the family. None of these merchants are rich. If you think it's too expensive leave and look elsewhere, but don’t call them thieves.
Mitumba is the Swahili word for second-hand stuff, the hand-me-downs of the developed world, and Ilala Market has some of the best and cheapest mitumba you can find in Tanzania. Sweaters, jeans, shoes, bags, etc. With an extra emphasis on that etc. Also you can find handcrafted jewelry (bracelets, anklets, earrings, and such) at good prices, making it a good place to buy simple gifts en masse. There's plenty of street food. Its stalls and kiosks are in tight, narrow quarters and it feels a bit claustrophobic, so it's not ideal for all travelers.
When it comes to expensive souvenirs, Tanzania has cornered the market with a gemstone that can only be found (mined) in Tanzania, hence the name Tanzanite. Shops selling this exquisite blue stone are located in all major cities and towns, especially those popular with tourists like Zanzibar, Arusha and Dar. Your biggest problem will be knowing that what you're getting is the real thing and worth the money you're shelling out for it.
The rule of thumb is the darker the gem the more expensive it is. Light colored Tanzanite is genuine just not as sought after as the darker stones. But like all things there is much more to a stone's value than just its colour so do your homework if you plan on spending a lot on one of them.
Grading is on an alphabetical scale with AAA being the best and B being the lightest and cheapest. Expect to pay as much as US$450 per carat for AAA. If, like most visitors, you're new to this gem, buying from a reputable shop, such as Lothys at the Kilimanjaro Hotel Kempinski or Tanzanite Dream might be more expensive but you're assured of what you're getting. Nonetheless, there are several other good shops around Dar where you can get nice pieces or simply buy the gems and have them set back home. Like all things, negotiating is key.
Some reputable shops to buy best Tanzanite are Gem Point, Royal Jewellers, Queens Jewellers located at Indiragandhi street, in the center of town.
If you are a serious Tanzanite buyer looking for quality and selection then you should definitely check out The Tanzanite Dream  located just outside the city centre on the Mataka road behind the fire station.
This article is based on Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike 3.0 Licensed text from the article Dar es Salaam on Wikivoyage.