While travel lovers try to stay safe from the coronavirus, a good pastime in this period of social isolation can be planning an exciting trip for when travel restrictions are lifted. Dar es Salaam, the bustling and beautiful city of Tanzania, is a great place to visit once the pandemic is over! As the largest city in East Africa, this gorgeous location should be on every traveller’s wish list. Here are 5 places that every tourist must visit!
The National Museum
Established in 1934, the National Museum of Tanzania is one of the best spots in Dar Es Salaam. Learning about the history, heritage, and culture of a region is a very important element of any vacation, so a trip to the museum is necessary! The National Museum is home to ancient Chinese pottery, fossil discoveries, a sacred fig tree, archeological artefacts, old Tanzanian wood carvings, prehistoric rock art, ancient relics and coins, paintings of important figures such as President Julius Nyerere, and indigenous ebony masks. Guests can also find artefacts from British and German colonial rule, a car that once belonged to King George V, and cars such as Aston Martin, Rolls Royce, and Mercedes Benz which were once owned by Julius Nyerere. The enriching experience also allows guests to find ethnographic collections on indigenous Tanzanian cultures. A visit to the National Museum gives tourists the opportunity to learn about Tanzania’s diverse cultures, and history of colonial rule and slave trade. Guests can also buy souvenirs and keepsakes from the gift shop!
The Askari Monument
The Askari Monument is a popular destination in Dar Es Salaam. This is a memorial for the brave askari soldiers who fought in World War I for the British army, and the main bronze statue holds a rifle pointing towards the harbour. The plaques have inscriptions in Arabic and Swahili. Located at the roundabout, this historical spot is popular with tourists. In 1916, British settlers removed the statue of the German Governor, Major Hermann Weizmann, which first existed on this same pedestal. As the landmark is surrounded by a garden, this pleasant spot is also good for families!
Pugu Hills Forest Reserve
Another major go-to for tourists is the amazing Pugu Hills Forest Reserve which is home to animals such as hyenas, cheetahs, leopards, giraffes, baboons, elephants, pangolins, jackals, galagos, warthogs, mongooses, colobus monkeys, and impalas. Visitors who are fond of trekking have the opportunity to walk up to the main destinations, such as the local cattle market where they can explore the area, find cattle, and interact with friendly locals, a cave that is seen as sacred by the Zaramo people who live in the region, and the great bat caves which are home to many species of bats, such as the Tanzanian woolly bat, Hildegarde’s tom bat, and horseshoe bat. Pugu Hills Forest Reserve is one of the oldest forests in the world.
A vacation in Tanzania is incomplete without a relaxing stop at a pristine beach, so tourists in Dar Es Salaam can go to Coco Beach, also known as Oyster Bay, at the beautiful Msasani Peninsula! This beautiful beach offers a great insight into local Dar es Salaam life, as guests can join parties, mingle with the friendly crowd, dance to uplifting music, experience the great nightlife at clubs like the New Maisha Club, and attend concerts! The white sands and blue waters create a stunning view! Here, visitors can enjoy mouth watering street food, which has Indian, African, Arabic, and Swahili influences, and includes delicacies such as fresh seafood (prawns, calamari, lobster, octopus, tuna), rice such as pulao and biryani, egg chops, spiced or mashed potatoes, sugarcane juice, Uji (porridge), curry, ginger tea, Ugali, kebabs, Muhogo (deep fried cassava), meat skewers, Mandazi (sweet doughnuts), chicken, and lamb!
Mwenge Woodcarvers Market
This beautiful market is home to open air stalls that sell various products, famously wood carvings! Visitors can find intricate tribal art, Tinga Tinga paintings, bead jewellery, and sculptures, and even buy amazing souvenirs to keep as memories, or give as gifts to friends back home! Market visits also allow tourists to interact with locals, and experience their ways of life. Travellers can bargain to get reasonable prices, and this gives them an opportunity to do both, buy spectacular handicrafts, and support the local economy. At many stalls, one can even witness the creative work being done by the painters, sandal makers, bracelet makers, sculptors, and carvers! Tourists should definitely visit this unique location to make their trip extraordinary and memorable!
These are the top five locations that should not be missed during a visit to Dar Es Salaam, as they allow tourists to experience local life, learn about various culture, observe scenic views, spot exotic flora and fauna, explore the history of a region, taste local street food, buy unique souvenirs, and support the local economy!