Dar Es Salaam to Pemba Island – Quick Guide
The Dar es Salaam we know today is a far cry from the slow, slumbering village it was a few hundred years ago. Today, the city is an essential port of call along the important sea route of the world, it is a commercial centre, buzzing with promise and possibilities and still retains some of its old-world charm and ways. For visitors to this part of the planet, Dar is an important point to and from trips to national parks and islands. In so many aspects, Dar is a perfect amalgam of ancient and modern, mysterious and mellow, bustling and busy. In one of the fastest growing cities of the world, tall buildings exist peacefully with old architecture. The latter buildings have every possible influence from German and African to Indian and Arabic.
This single city boasts of two museums that are part of the National Museum of Tanzania- the Village Museum and the National Museum. The latter is especially significant because it has some of the earliest anthropological findings known to man. The Village Museum is with the Makumbusho Cultural Centre and is vital to a better understanding of the different ethnic groups that create Tanzania. Visit the Centre to better understand the music, dance and culture of this vibrant country.
Staying with history, do pay your respects at the Askari Monument. It depicts the brave soldiers who fought in the First World War. It is believed that the monument is in the dead centre of the city. If you want a bird’s eye view of the city, make your way to the bell tower of the well-known Azania Lutheran Church. Another place of visit is the St Joseph Cathedral.
For an immersive experience, head to the Kariakoo Market, a place that positively shimmers with excitement and commerce. At the fish market in the city, you’ll get to enjoy even more of this industry that is typical to Dar. What’s more, you can feast your eyes on some gorgeous fish too.
Beaches abound to the north and south of Dar. Msasani in the north of the city is also your gateway to Bongoyo Island. The island is perfect for a slow day. Tuck into some local fare, laze around on the beach, snorkel or slow swim- you can do it all here. On the north are Mbuja and Jangwani islands. The island of Kigamboni is the south, another place of quiet and contemplation. The Marine Reserve of Dar es Salaam should also feature on your list. Along with Bongoyo, there are three other islands that make up this reserve. From dolphins to coconut crabs, there are a lot of interesting creatures to spot here.
Close to Dar es Salaam is Pemba Island. The most convenient way to get to this island is to fly- it’s just an hour’s duration. Flight providers like As Salaam Air know the region well and can get you there, hassle-free. Pemba is an island paradise that will demand your time and attention but in the usual charming fashion that is typical to the region. Rest here, dive, and recharge your batteries.