Dar es Salaam: worth visiting?

Jan 12th, 2006, 10:06 PM
Original Poster
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Dar es Salaam: worth visiting?

My Tanzania trip is shaping up. We will end the first leg ((9 days)on July 5 at Arusha. Then we will travel south, perhaps to Selous, spending about 5 days there. I can fly directly from Arusha to Selous OR I could stop and spend a day in Dar.

So, my question is this: is it really worth stopping in Dar for one night? Especially on such a short trip? Usually I am not a fan of cities, and a night there would break up the trip a bit. "We" includes my wife and teenage daughters. Would I really be missing something special?
nhulberg is offline  
Nov 13th, 2006, 09:57 PM
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I'm disappointed that no one answered, because I have exactly this question.

Did you stop in Dar and was it worth it?

I have a safari booked in Feb finishing with 5 days in Zanzibar. Because of BA flight times from Dar to LHR I have an extra day to spend (2 nights) before flying out at 9 am. I was thinking of takign the ferry to Dar, having 2 nights and a day there. But would it be better to have the extra day in Zanzibar, then just overnight in Dar?
enthusiast is offline  
Nov 14th, 2006, 05:28 AM
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enthusiast -

You kind of answered your own question. The extra day on ZNZ.

There is a very early flight from ZNZ to DAR, specifically for this BA connection, so you may not have to overnight in DAR. But if you prefer not to get up in the middle of the night to get from your beach resort, than o/n in DAR.

However, you can spend your last night in Stone Town, which is only a 10-min ride to the airport for that early early flight to DAR.
Nov 14th, 2006, 05:39 AM
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personally, if the choice was one city night vs one extra safari night.....i would take an extra safari night. However, if your transfer to Selous is really late in the evening...and you are going to miss the evening drive, i would say spend the night at Dar.

Nov 14th, 2006, 07:10 AM
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I always try to add a day in the major cities, which gives me a more realistic picture of how people live than I get on safari, and I have had very interesting days in Johannesburg, Maputo, Harare, Windhoek, Nairobi, etc., but I haven't been to Dar. I'm not sure there are any must-see sights in Dar, but I find the local markets and colonial buildings (and there may be a few in Dar) worth visiting -- but, for the markets, you will need a local guide.
thit_cho is offline  
Nov 14th, 2006, 08:46 AM
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I lived in Dar for three years so I have a soft spot for it. I remember my arrival: When the plane emptied of travelers at JRO and only a handful of passengers continued on to the coast, it lent to the rest of that trip the unmistakable air that we carried on to a backwater--my first indication that I would like Dar. Throughout my stay I continued to think it a stroke of good fortune that Dar was overlooked. Residents refer to Dar as "Bongo" or "the Brain" because in order to survive there you have to live by your wits. ("Bongo" is thought to date from the 1979-81 war with Uganda when there were acute shortages of everything.) Life remains a far from easy existence for Dar's three million some populace. The only reason for stopping would be to gain a deeper understanding of Tanzania.
MamaTembo is offline  
Nov 14th, 2006, 08:13 PM
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Thank you for the responses.

I guess it is a tough question for anyone to answer because it depends on what the person is looking for from their travels. To me, it seems a pity to touch down at a city and pass up the opportunity to visit, when I may never pass that way again. But I wondered if there was a good reason why everyone else seemed to pass straight through.

I'm interested that Thit Cho says for local markets, we'd need a guide. Is that for information, safety, translation...? Would it be easy to hire a suitable guide on arriving there?

MamaTembo's comment is resonating with me: "The only reason for stopping would be to gain a deeper understanding of Tanzania."

I think that pretty much makes up my mind to spend the day in Dar.

Any more info gratefully received. (BTW, I'm 50s and travelling with my husband)
enthusiast is offline  
Nov 15th, 2006, 06:50 AM
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I generally find that a guide makes me feel safer and much more comfortable, at least in certain cities, and can help me navigate through the maze. Plus, its a nice way to put a few dollars in someone's pocket.
thit_cho is offline  
Nov 16th, 2006, 09:46 AM
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I spent a lot of time in Dar and while I liked it, I don't think it's worth spending time in - it's much less interesting than other African cities I went to. You could go to Stonetown in Zanzibar for the night but if you want to do some shopping, it's a lot cheaper in Dar.
sarahandflo is offline  
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