Off to Dar es Salaam

In a few days I’m leaving for Dar es Salaam, to help run the baseline survey for a “randomised land rights” project in the slums of the city. I’ll be away for about two months.

I’d welcome any general advice on living in Dar or on field work!

My posting frequently will inevitably plummet during this time. Ranil and I are going to try and arrange for some more guest posts to offset this. For more general (read: pretentious and thesaurusrific) writing on my travels, you can check the blog that I kept in Malawi: Stranger in a Strange land.

7 thoughts on “Off to Dar es Salaam

  1. Ranil Dissanayake

    January 20, 2010 at 6:04am

    Excellent! See you soon.

    Dar restaurants worth trying (either from experience or reputation):

    Addis in Dar for Ethiopian
    Zuane – remember when Al Fresco was the height of Italian cooking? I got a midnight suckling pig roast from Zuane a while back, and the pizza is good
    Osaka – Pretty, pretty good Japanese.
    Kempinski – really good sushi and otherwise decent eats.
    Chef’s Pride – fantastic mishkaki, huge servings.
    Patel’s – Indian food, takes forever apparently, but meant to be very good.

    Anyway, sure there are hundreds more. There are good bookstores in Dar, but all sell books at the European RRP, so they’re not cheap. It’s a chain called A Novel Idea

    Coming from Europe I don’t think you’ll be as excited by Mr. Price, Shoprite and the cinema as I habitually am. But there are two cinemas, one showing the latest normally crap American or European films (Harry Potter), and the other showing the latest Bollywood gems (Hari Putar).

    There’s a fried chicken joint called ‘Marry Browns’ (I think this is a very large misprint for ‘Mary Brown’s’ near the cinema, too.

  2. Ian

    January 20, 2010 at 6:09am


    Have fun in Dar. Most people think it is kind of boring, but I rather like it. Mikumi National Park is close by and Bagamoyo is a nice day trip on the weekends. I also enjoy wandering around in the city center with all the old Indian and Arab architecture. Also, the Addis in Dar restaurant, on Ursino Street near Kikwete’s new house, is one of my favorites.


  3. Amani

    January 20, 2010 at 7:08am

    I would second the Addis in Dar recommendation. If you’re looking for art or souvenirs, check out the carvers market next to the Mwenge daladala (bus) park, across from the University of Dar es Salaam. There are also a number of excellent beaches around the city, although not all of them are safe for swimming. Kipepeo was my favorite, but it’s a hike and you have to take a ferry.

    You should not miss out on Zanzibar-although the island is in the middle of an epic power failure right now. I’ve heard that the power might come back on at the end of the month. In Stone Town, The Pyramid Hotel is a fairly cheap and very authentically Zanzibari place to stay (beware of the call to prayer from the Mosque up the street at the crack of dawn). The owners can also help to arrange a spice tour of one of the island’s spice plantations. For restaurants, I would hit Monsoon. You cannot beat the spiced dishes and the atmosphere. You should also head north to relax on the stunning beaches. For that, I’d recommend Nungwi Beach. It is pristine and quiet, with snorkeling, dhows, and nice, cheap hotels.

    If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to email me or leave a message on my blog. I lived in Dar for six months, and I miss it like crazy. It’s very underrated, and there’s actually a ton to do if you know where to look. Enjoy your trip!

  4. Ranil Dissanayake

    January 20, 2010 at 7:49am

    Amani – I’m not such a fan of Monsoon – tourist hell. Decent food, but it takes forever. Best Zanzibari food in town is in Al Sheibany.

    Also north coast beaches are too crowded for my tastes; best spots are Matemwe and the East coast.

    We’ll prob not have power here until next month, unfortunately.

  5. D. Watson

    January 26, 2010 at 3:35pm

    Purely as an aside, as I was boarding the bus to go home from work the other day, I thought its electronic marquee said it would take me to Dar es Salaam. I chalked it up to a long day’s reading, including this post which is the only place I had read that city name.

  6. noel

    January 29, 2010 at 1:05pm

    Even better than Addis in Dar in my opinion is the new Rehobot which is run in the backyard of a couple in Namanga. The woman used to be a chef at Addis in Dar and now runs her own very homey joint. You actually just walk through their living room to go to the bathroom. great environment, same food and half the price!

    How long are you here? Will you go to Sauti za Busara in Zanzibar? Biggest music festival in EA.

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