The slow and laid back city – Feb 2011


Tanzania has a population of 43,000,000 people and the official languages is Swahili and English. It is bordered by Congo to the west, and Zambia, Malawi, and Mozambique to the south. The country’s eastern borders lie on the Indian Ocean. The capital city of Tanzania is Dodoma but Dar es Salaam is the largest city and it remains the principal commercial city of Tanzania. Its official language is Swahili and English. It has a population of 43,739,000 million people.

Dar es Salaam

While waiting for the passport I decided not to rot around, so I decided to go to Tanzania on February 2011 using a special pass.  After 14hrs going through beautiful landscape; small hills, masaai  manyattas painted in different colours, palm trees and sisal plantations among other things I was woken up by my boyfriend who I was traveling with.

Sisal plantation on the way to Dar from Kenya

“Wake up, we are there”

“How fast” I wanted to sleep more, demn.

“Hahaha sleepy head we have to go before we lose our luggage”

I was not so scared, but he was which I understand. He had had been imprisoned, strangled and left for death, robbed off everything in his various trips in Africa. His trips were exceptional; he had gone to places where even me who was African would NEVER go like Somaliland. On his first trip to Africa he went to Liberia and was imprisoned by Charles Taylor’s rebel forces. Later, in Surabaya, Indonesia while enjoying an ojek ride someone came from behind with a motorbike took everything and drove off and chasing a motorbike with an ojek is like a tortoise chasing a cheetah. Then in Nairobi he was strangled, everything he had was stolen and was left lying unconscious in the middle of the street. Anyway, now he is very careful, but me I felt like I was still at home.

“Push and go”

“But everyone is headed to the door”

He rushed took the entire luggage and waited for me. After bargaining with the taxi man we finally set off to Safari Inn hotel. It was cheap although it was not the best and you get to have free creepy breakfast.

Unlike Nairobi that everyone is running up and down like they are late for important mission, Dar Es Salaam is quite and the people move at snail pace. The following morning I was woken up by noises coming from outside the room.

Coral rock South beach Dar es Salaam


“Ostia andiamo, andiamo!”

They were a group of Italians that come the previous day. I think they had brought the whole clan because they were more than twenty. Later I saw them performing in Sauti Za Busara parade in Zanzibar. After the horny breakfast and a shower we decided to go to a market called Kariakoo. This market is full of everything from clothes to food and utensils. This will give you a chance to experience the real life of the people and to buy things at a throw away price.

“Hujambo dada”


“Aah wewe watoka bara ama wapi dada? ” she could tell I was not from Tanzania because of my Swahili accent.

“Nimetoka Kenya”

“Aah wewe ni wetu, haya basi nikuuzie nini? ”

“Nataka jusi”

“Haya ndogo ama kubwa? ”


It was my first time to take blended sugarcane juice. In Kenya we have the sugarcane but no juice. It was really good especially after adding lemon and some ice.

The following day we decided to go to the beach. After consulting the reception they told us to go to one called South Beach because it is usually the less crowded one. We took a ferry that was cheap and here we got the chance to meet the local people who are very welcoming and respectful. After crossing the other side we took a tuk tuk after bargaining hard with the driver and after twenty minutes we were there.

The ferry that goes to South Beach from Dar es Salaam

He dropped us at a beach resort and we told him we were going to the beach. He said “There, there”, pointing to the other side and we knew we were there. When we got to the entrance the security guard stopped us and told us we had to pay. We started arguing and then we decided to pay because after all we had the chance for me to commence my swimming lessons. Yes, I do not know how to swim. I do not blame anyone because this is Africa and swimming is not a part of growing up. The beach is not very nice but if you do have an option it can be one. We saw a rock very far on our right side and decided to go strolling and see what it was. It was a rock made from shells and nearby there were women who were collecting shells and men fishing. The beach in this side is deserted but the water is cleaner. Later, we enjoyed a scrumptious meal at the resort and headed back to the hotel.

And the camera went swimming.

The following day we decided it was time to leave the city and head for Zanzibar. I was really eager and anxious to get there as I had heard a lot about it from my dad and my boyfriend who were there sometimes back. To buy the ticket we had to haggle through many brokers, who are holding your hands just to take you to a certain company, but we resisted because it is always more expensive.

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2 thoughts on “The slow and laid back city – Feb 2011

  1. Beautiful story about your journey to Dar. I hope you had some good time in Tanzania.

  2. Grace says:

    Thanks Fundi. I definitely had a wonderful time i would go back there time and time again.

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