Whether Dar es Salaam is your transit stop or your final destination there are a lot of fun things you can do to keep yourself busy during your stay, I will list down as many places as I can that are worth seeing that will make up for an excellent pass time.

The city has a very rich history with its establishment  in 1865 by Sultan Majid Bin Said of Zanzibar who wanted to build a new town near the Mzizima market place (which was a popular commercial ground). The name ”Dar es Salaam” itself  is Arabic for ”House of peace”. Throughout the years it went through declines and rises until in the early 2000s where the city experienced one of the fastest African urbanization rates as businesses were opened and prospered.

Okay we didn’t sign up for a history class, if you want to learn more about Dar es Salaam you can easily get information via the internet. Lets go to the fun part now!


1) Mbudya Island

This is where all the cool kids hang out! Mbudya island is popular with the youth crowds, and some popular parties are held on the island(so I’ve heard cause I dont party). The beach is beautiful with diamond white coloured sand, and the water sparkles with a Persian turquoise blue. You can take short boat rides from many points within the city, such as along the Dar es Salaam harbor, the Slipway hotel, Kunduchi beach hotel, and you can even arrange a fare near the White Sands hotel, your choice!


2) Kivukoni fish market

Once you get over the fishy smell the fish market is an intriguing and interesting place to visit.  You can witness the blend of cultures and business in a traditional Tanzanian setting. You can also get different varieties of fresh sea food. I personally enjoy the freshly cooked Shrimps, prawns and the boiled octopus they prepare there. Since the market is near the city centre it is easily accessible.  The best time to visit is from noon to early evenings.


3) Coco Beach

Coco beach is also one of my favorite spots to hang.  I love the ocean, so any place near the ocean is a green check in my book. Coco beach has a beautiful scenic view of sandy white beaches and crystal blue waters. But ill be honest the only reason I go there is for the fried cassava and skewers.  If you really want to get a taste of local treats then Coco beach is a place to be. Although I’ll have to warn you the security within the area isn’t very good so make sure you have a local with you and I would suggest your visits to be during the day, the darker it gets the riskier it gets. Take care!


4) National museum and house of culture

The national museum dates back to 1934 when it was first established by the Governor of Tanganyika( now Tanzania) sir Harold Mach Michael. It was open to the public in 1940. The museum was originally intended to be a memorial museum for King George V, in fact  to this date one of the cars of the King is still on display. There are different exhibits, such as archeological artifacts section, past and modern art and vintage sections.

Flexing in the modern art section


5) Askari monument

The Askari monument statue is not far from the national museum, they are both located within the City centre. This iconic monument was unveiled back in 1927 as one of the three statues that were displayed throughout the former British Africa. This Bronze statue now tarnished to black depicts an ”Askari” (meaning soldier in Swahili) in world war 2 uniform and his bay out pointing towards the harbor. The figure is very much visible at the Samora Avenue roundabout and the Maktaba street. In fact the statue is located at the exact centre of downtown Dar es Salaam.


6) Makumbusho village museum

This is a cultural museum showcasing 16 different Tanzanian ethnicities. The spot is definitely for the cultural enthusiasts. The museum has numerous traditional houses from different ethnic tribes. You can also request a cultural show, purchase souvenirs, and a tour guide who can take you around the property. You get to take pictures and even go inside the houses.

photo source: Lonely Planet


7) Mwenge wood carvers market

The Mwenge wood carvers market is the best place to get the cheapest and best quality products, both commercial and antiques. . What I love about this place is not only are the prices aff0rdable but they are also negotiable. A little heads up about security though is that you should be cautious with your surroundings and dont go strolling around alone, either bring a tour guide or a trusted local with you.


8) Mlimani City

Mlimani City is probably the most popular mall in Tanzania. It was actually the first indoor air conditioned mall in the country. It is home to several retail stores, restaurants, movie theatres (Century cinemax), and brand shops such as Mr. Price (South African brand), Choppies, Mac cosmetic store and many other international brands. There is also a popular club restaurant called Samaki Samaki. The place lights up after dark especially during the weekends, it serves for amazing night life with bands playing on weekend evenings starting from Thursday.


9) Dar es Salaam Zoo

This is one of the few hidden treasures in Dar. The zoo itself is located in Kigamboni, a part of  the city that is only accessible through a ferry or via the bridge (which is also a sight to see). The zoo property has left its natural fauna and flora untouched, giving it a unique and authentic feel. The place is rarely packed which means it serves as an awesome date spot (wink wink!) or if you just want some peace and quite.

The Kigamboni bridge. (photo source: The Citizen Tanzania)


10) Wet ‘n’ Wild

I knew id be tired by the time I got here so I wanted to save the best for last. Wet ‘n’ wild is the largest water park in the Eastern and Central Africa offering a wide variety of activities spreading over 6 acres of land. There are water slides that stand up to 6 stories high (so cool!). The water park has everything for everyone, Children’s water play, sports ground, restaurants, go-kart and a quad bike track (first and only in Tanzania). The park is definitely a family friendly spot.


If you plan to extend your stay in Dar es Salaam we can help organise a city tour for you, but we can also provide custom services based on your own personal interests and where you want to visit. Please do not hesitate to get in touch. Take care and safe travels!

Your Rafiki blogger here,

Signing out!

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