Sep 12

Our Honeymoon: 48 hours in Dar Es Salaam

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If you’re following along our honeymoon recap, you are just the best (thank you!!) I’m a little partial, but I kind of love these posts if for no other reason than it’s so nice to go back and revisit some of our past trips (which I legitimately do regularly). If you missed it, you can check out Part I and Part II of our honeymoon right here and here. And today you can read on for Part III: 48 hours in Dar Es Salaam. 

From Stone Town, we hopped on the ferry to Dar Es Salaam for two nights, and one full day, before hoping on a plane north to the Serengeti. In light of full discretion, this portion of the trip is one we both agreed we don’t regret experiencing, but we very well could have skipped (and would likely do just that) next time. Not only was the ferry ride very choppy (read: most everyone on board was sea sick or very close to it by the time we docked 2.5 hours later), but Dar Es Salaam itself was… let’s just say it was interesting.

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{the view from our hotel room}

First and foremost, we stayed downtown at a hotel that was very well located, and the staff were amazing, but the rooms themselves left little to be desired. I will say that for the duration of our honeymoon, it was the only hotel that went all out with “rose” petals and the like sprinkled all over our room upon arrival, which was really kind, and totally adorable, but everything else was pretty dated and lacklustre. I don’t like calling people out in a negative fashion in such a public way – especially when they were so kind and gracious to us – so I’ll leave the hotel itself unnamed, but if you do head to Dar just do a little more digging before solidifying your stay.

dar es salaam - 11{“rose” petals on our bed upon arrival – adorable and so sweet}

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Processed with VSCO with a6 preset{the streets of Dar}

The city itself, one of the biggest in Tanzania, was absolutely fascinating, but we ultimately found that there isn’t really a ton to do. And that wasn’t for lack of trying. We tried checking out the botanical gardens, which were little more than a parking lot. We attempted visiting a rooftop shisha bar, which boasted great city views in their ad, only to find it abandoned. And a few of the markets and cultural tours that piqued our interest ended up being 45 minutes, or more, away… We ultimately ended up spending a very long time walking the aisles of a local grocery store, which sounds sort of odd but is one of our favourite things to do when we visit another city (note: the chips aisle is always my favourite).

dar es salaam - 6  {en route to the botanical gardens}dar es salaam - 7

I debated skipping my recap of this city entirely as it felt strange to dedicate an entire post to a place that we didn’t fall completely in love with, but I’ve always felt it’s important to keep it real. And while this experience wasn’t our favourite, upon further review it was still very special. Primarily because it was so different than any other city we had seen before, but mostly, we found that what Dar Es Salaam lacked in activities,  it made up for time and again in food.

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{a fantastic lunch at Chowpatty}

dar es salaam - 9 dar es salaam - 10{incredible chai & kebabs at K T Shop}

We ended up meandering the city in between meals, simply wasting time until we were comfortable enough to indulge in another meal. From African, to Turkish, to some of the best chai and kebabs I’ve had since my trip to India in 2011 (here!), that part was kind of amazing. And for that, I’d likely head back. But if you’re not a foodie, of sorts, you could safely skip this portion and head straight to the Serengeti (which is ultimately why were visiting Tanzania, anyway, let’s be honest). Stay tuned next week for that portion of the trip!   

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[break]ps: If you missed it, and are interested, I did save all of my Tanzainia stories under an instagram highlight (which you can check out here). 

To read past travel posts, head over here!  | To read part I of our honeymoon diaries, head over here! and for part II, head over here!


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  1. I think Dar is like Nairobi or Casablanca–big cities that are more focused on business than on tourism. I haven’t been to Dar but I lived in Kenya (not in Nairobi but upcountry, and oh, how I loved my visits to Nairobi to get all the stuff I couldn’t find in my rural setting…getting my hair cut, going to a pool, having a beer (not done by women upcountry), having clothes and shoes custom made, which entailed visiting some very interesting, hidden corners) and I recently went to Casablanca (for business but stayed a few days in order to visit). The markets are interesting, and I too love checking out supermarkets around the world.

    • That TOTALLY makes sense, and now I feel a little ignorant for not putting two and two together. Thank you for your insight! I really appreciate it, and can definitely see Dar in a new light now

  2. Adrienne says:

    Lovely photographs!

  3. Karleigh Panic says:

    Great Blog! Really enjoyed reading!

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  4. Barb says:

    Thank god for delicious FOOD

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