"My first taste of Africa" Top 5 Page for this destination Dar es Salaam by Bwana_Brown
Dar es Salaam Travel Guide: 159 reviews and 349 photos
My two visits to beautiful Dar es Salaam took place almost 35 years ago and, ever since, the city has held a special place in my heart because it was the first time I had set foot on the African continent. Dar more than met my expectations, with its quaint and historic character and 'small city' appearance nestled among palm trees beside the Indian Ocean! I'm glad of that first impression in August, 1972 because I had volunteed to work for 2-years in Africa after graduating from university, and I was on my way to Luanshya, Zambia to take up my assigned posting. My second experience with Dar es Salaam came just over a year later, October-November 1973 when I decided to do some solo exploring by way of a major hitch-hiking/bus trip from Zambia through Tanzania to Kenya and back. This page details my experiences on those long-ago trips.
I'm glad I visited Dar when I did - I see that the latest statistics from Wikipedia put its population at about 2,500,000 versus the roughly 400,000 when I made my trips, no wonder it seemed like a small city then! Dar es Salaam was known as Mzizima ('healthy town' in the local language) in 1859 when the first European, Mr. Albert Roscher from Germany appeared on the scene in what was then German East Africa. The present name, which means 'Abode of Peace' in Arabic, became official only a few years later in 1866 when the powerful Sultan of Zanzibar decided it was more appropriate. Dar es Salaam has always been the most important city in Tanzania, but it lost its official status of the capital of the country shortly after I visited, when that title was bestowed on the city of Dodoma located on the inland plateau area. However, I'm happy to see that this is still a destination in Africa that continues to attract many tourists as they sample this friendly part of the continent.
- Pros:Still my favourite 'African'-flavoured city
- Cons:Not many when I was there, can't say now!
- In a nutshell:To me, it was the quintessential African city experience
The narrow streets of old Dar es Salaam seemed to be crammed with small stores selling all sorts of African curios.... more travel advice
This map, taken from my 1971 Michelin Map #155 of Central and South Africa (with Madagascar) shows that my 'home' base... more travel advice
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