dar es salaam, tanzania

Tez Cadey – Seve

I can’t believe it’s been just over 3 years since our trip to Africa. In a lot of ways it still feels very recent, yet a lot’s happened since then. I realized recently that there are photos sitting unshared from Tanzania which is a waste. So here we are 🙂

Dar es Salaam often gets confused for being the capital of Tanzania (it’s Dodoma), which isn’t too surprising considering its exponential growth over the last few decades and economic significance for the country. It’s now a city of over 4.5 million, which makes it the largest not just in Tanzania, but also eastern Africa. It’s very much the financial heart of the region and represents a vital part of the arts, music, fashion, and television scenes.

Rapid, not-properly-planned growth doesn’t come without its challenges though. It’s not what I would call a clean city and its traffic is very chaotic and congested. It certainly isn’t the safest place I’ve been to either. After going to other parts of the country and telling people of the neighborhoods we visited (with my big camera hanging out in the open), locals told me we were lucky to not have been mugged 🙂 Nevertheless, it’s a fascinating city and if you’re in the area, I recommend a visit.


Nice little building for a bookshop. It’s a shame there was a limited selection of books inside and from what I recall, none in English.

You have to say this out loud (with the great local accent) 😀

People’s favorite.

Shoes are overrated.

The locals certainly loved their European clubs. Also, they’ve perfected the act of balancing big loads on their heads.

The city skyline at night from a rooftop bar in one of the fancy hotels in town. Mind you we weren’t staying there, just went to grab a drink. It was a good view.

While we were watching him, this guy went up the tree, took down a few coconuts and offered us some 🙂

In case you were wondering how they felt about religion. Btw, not sure if it’s easily noticeable, but all three vehicles in this image have dents — traffic is so bad that fender benders are a daily routine almost.

Because what better souvenir to get from Africa than a Coke bottle?

Sidewalks are largely non-existent unfortunately.

Cute little girl.

Locals have a positive outlook on life which I found quite refreshing. Really, it’s admirable given how probably westerners perceive this place.

One massive (and fascinating) tree trunk.

For some reason, the image failed to convey what the signs says 😉

I still cannot figure out why the strange arrangement. Marketing trick?

Probably my favorite image of this batch.

I told you they liked Obama — they named a street after him!

I love that they misspelled “merry”. Also, the concept of having an overly dressed Santa Claus in a place where the average temperature year round is 25° celsius is just funny 🙂

Local ferry system is always packed with people.

He was one stern man. If my memory serves me right, I was nervous to even secretly take this shot in case he gets angry with me 🙂

One of the best ways to get around town.

Kids in one of the local community centers / schools. They all loved my camera.

This guy was good.

Good thing I love bananas, we ate plenty of those.

I’m not sure I want to know what this says 😀

Back to the new side of town.

Another favorite of mine, what a way to take a nap! 😀

You could tell they are trying to accommodate the growing population, but construction hadn’t caught up in many places when I was there.

Buying things from local markets certainly tests your negotiation skills. You tend to get really good and creative after a little while 😉

I found it really strange that you’d sit and film people dancing for you. These guys seemed to enjoy it though so maybe it’s just me.

Sammy, one of the staff in our hostel. Super friendly guy, helped us a lot. A man of big ambitions as well, I hope he’s doing well.

I need to go back at some point, the photos brought back some fond memories 🙂


  • Oh how I love these photos! You manage to capture everything so well. My fave is the one of the man selling high heel shoes and also the nap on the car 🙂

    • Hey Suvi, as always thank you for the kind words!
      Indeed so many great moments from older trips get forgotten, it’s almost great that I haven’t had time to travel as much so I can dig some of them up 😉

  • Great photos! I was in Dar (funny how easy it is to pick up this nickname from my colleagues!) for five days at the beginning of March and loved the place! Having spent some time in neighbouring Zambia, I found it dynamic, booming, busy and lively (sidewalks are starting to appear!), its streets quite orderly, and the people very welcoming. I hope to be going back soon and look forward to a trip to Zanzibar as well as more time to explore the city; any tips will be most welcome! I would love to see your take on another great African city – Addis Ababa – with all its Ladas, crazy construction, super busy streets and striking people!

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