""Researching" Dar-es-Salaam" Tanzania by Hekima
Tanzania Travel Guide: 2,868 reviews and 7,761 photos
I lived in Dar for about 7 months back in 2003. I went there to write my final thesis paper for completing my university studies.
Since I was on a student budget, I did not travel to any other place, but I enjoyed my time very much, because I made special friends in my neighborhood, and beeing the first time in Africa back then, discovering an African city was already adventure enough ;-)
Like in any bigger city in developing countries traffic is busy, loud and of course dangerous. Since taxis can be quite pricy, I made my way around in so called 'Dalla Dallas', the local name for mini bus. Buses are operated by private owners and usually carry religious or funny phrases on the back window. Though operated privately, there are official routes, each bus carrying a colour or two, indicating the relevant districts of the city. Also, each bus carries a sign with the two final destinations. Anyway, I always found my way around, since the 'conductas' are very eager to get passengers. They literally hang out of the window or car and call the destinations during full speed. So if you wanna hop on, just wave. Fare is collected on the bus. You wanna get off, just say 'shusha', and thats it.
Back in 2003 the buses had no limited number of passengers...you can imagine. Anyway, I was used to crowds from China, still, packing a minibus where there are no handles.....
When I visited in 2006, things improved a lot. They had a brand new car park where many buses depart/arrive. And when the seats are full, thats it. There are fines if they are caugh with passengers 'standing.
The fare is rather cheap and the trip is fast, though, since people own more and more cars, the traffic in the center gets annoying and slow.
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