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Tuesday, 01 March 2016

Destination Dar es Salaam, Tanzania - Page 4

Written by Meredith Chait
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Some of the negotiations at the markets and for taxis and bajajis are difficult. Always agree on a price with the driver before the ride. Sometimes people set the price very high and do not negotiate. I was told they did this because people thought I was rich since I am white. 

On one of my bajaj rides, I was stopped in traffic when this well-dressed man squished in front with the driver of the bajaj. We drove and stopped at this building. It turns out we were at a police station and the well-dressed man wanted a bribe. Maybe it was because the bajaj was in the city center, which as per a new rule, they are not allowed to be. I gave the driver 5,000 TSH to help him pay the bribe. Everyone involved seemed to know what was happening with giving the man money; but everyone still tried to be discrete throughout the situation. In the end, I was allowed to get into another bajaj and leave. 


Ugali is the national food. It is served with lunch and dinner.


Ugali, a few minutes after being cooked.

In Dar, there is a readily available supply of fresh fruit. I enjoyed buying fresh mangos, pineapple and oranges from street vendors. 

It is very easy to find and buy sodas and water. Boys walk around with baskets of drinks on their heads.

There are many different ethnicities and religions in Dar, including a whole Indian area with delicious authentic Indian food. 


Almost everyone I met in Dar said they think all Americans are rich. 

A few people asked me about United States’ foreign policy. However, most people I talked to understood that a government’s views and actions can be different from the citizen’s views and actions and what the citizens want the country’s foreign policy to be. 

In general, most people I met in Dar es Salaam would go out of their way to help a person. 


I was there from September to November. Most days were high 70s, low 80s Fahrenheit with 100 percent humidity at times. In November, it was getting hotter and was starting to rain more frequently. 

Place to Stay

I highly recommend staying at St. Padre Pio Centre within Msimbazi Centre. Not only is it clean and has western-style toilets, but the nuns who run it are some of the nicest, most helpful, and welcoming people.

It costs about $16 U.S. Dollars (USD) a night, including breakfast, dinner, and a bottle of water each day. The rooms are always very clean, since the hostel cleaning lady comes most days. The hostel, which is attached to the nuns’ convent, has electricity and backup solar power electricity in case the power goes out in the whole city, which happens a few times a month. 

Breakfast and dinner are eaten with the other guests of the hostel. Having lunch at the hostel (or “The Convent” as it is called) is an option but tell the head nun the day before you want to have lunch.

I always enjoyed my time at the hostel and it was a nice getaway from the hectic city of Dar es Salaam.


IMG 9864 

Part of the Hostel

(Page 4 of 6)
Last modified on Monday, 07 March 2016

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