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Dar es Salaam is rarely the main tourist destination in Tanzania. This is usually just a necessary arrival point on the way to the safari. But in this city it is best to get acquainted with the local culture. Walk around the markets (only very carefully), wander through the streets, talk with the locals. Africa is represented in all its diversity.
African airports do not have a special level of service or technological sophistication. Their main task is to let through some number of passengers. But in what conditions these passengers find themselves at the airport is another question.
Dar es Salaam Airport is not different from other typical African airports. There is no Internet, there is no place to be especially comfortable with any level of comfort, you should not expect miracles from the staff as a service. During arrival, long lines are possible due to the slowness of employees. This is all normal for Tanzania, so do not be surprised.
The airport is 10 km away from the center. And you can drive, for example, by taxi. It’s better to negotiate the payment in local currency: so the drivers will understand that you are a little price-conscious and you won’t be fooled. A trip to the center will cost about 15 dollars, if counted from Tanzanian shillings, and if you agree in dollars, they will tell you the price twice as high.
A taxi outside the airport will take you even cheaper. In this case, it will be possible to get to the center for 4-8 dollars. But keep in mind that it’s best not to do like that at night.
From Arabic Dar es Salaam can be translated as "House of the World", and this is a completely fair definition of the city. Its formation was influenced by many local rulers, as well as the frequent "guests" of the city, the Germans and the British. Once it was just a fishing village. Now Dar es Salaam has become the largest city in Tanzania and one of the most important shopping centers in East Africa.
Dar es Salaam is a large and bustling city. If you suddenly get tired of all this fuss, you can always escape to Bongoyo Island. It is close enough so that it can be easily and quickly reached. But at the same time, it is far enough from the center to get rid of city noise.
Bongoyo is an ideal place for swimming, getting the perfect African tan and complete relaxation. The beach is rather narrow but long. If you take a little walk along it, you will find almost deserted places without extra people.
Despite such a pompous name, this is not a museum, but rather a shopping center. At the same time, all the goods in local stores are somehow part of the culture of Tanzania. Here you can find all sorts of authentic figures, traditional clothes, even local products. So tourists can not only get acquainted with African culture, but also take it with them as a souvenir.
In the city called “House of the World”, it’s easy to guess, that food also fell under the influence of different cultures. So if you are really afraid of the exotic, you will still find some familiar dishes, from Arabic to Mediterranean.
For example, try a local kebab. In Dar es Salaam it is called Mishkaki. Most often it is made from beef, goat meat or chicken. And you can often buy it right along the road from one of the open barbecue facilities.
From Tanzanian cuisine, you may be surprised at the strange taste of Ugali. This is corn or cassava flour mixed with water to the state of either a bun or mashed potato. A hot dish is served with gravy and usually eaten by hand.
Baobabs can be an unusual snack, but one of the most interesting. They are considered superfood, rich in all imaginable vitamins and other goodies. And after you should drink coconut water, which is cheaper than a regular mineral water here.