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Dar es Salaam
Dar es Salaam
Dar es Salaam (Arabic for "Place of Peace") is the capital of Tanzania. It is also the largest city in East Africa, one of the fastest growing urban centres in the world, and a vital trade link for an entire continent. All of this mere decades into its second century!
The city is shaped by an eclectic mix of disparate elements - the authority of two colonizing powers (Britain and Germany), a range of Asian and African influences, the continuous stream of goods and people that befits a major port on the Indian Ocean - but retains its poise and serenity.
Come to Dar es Salaam to see how peace can arise from chaos.
The Dar es Salaam Experience
The must-visit spots in Dar es Salaam include the National Museum (which takes the development of humanity as its lofty theme) and Makumbusho Village (a living museum featuring the types of houses found all over Tanzania). Also of note is the Wonder Workshop, where over fifty Tanzanians with various disabilities have achieved self-sustenance by making art, crafts and souvenirs.
Africa's fabled wildlife can be witnessed at Mikumi National Park, which is near enough to be covered by a daytrip; more serious wildlife enthusiasts can embark on a multi-day safari across Selous Game Reserve.
The ubiquity of traders makes Dar es Salaam a citywide marketplace; you just need to know what you want. Kariakoo is the best place to find jewellery and khangas at low rates (although carrying valuables or excess cash is ill-advised). The Mwenge Carvers' Market features artisans carving ornaments while you wait. Both the precious gem Tanzanite and the Tingatinga style of painting originated in the country; neither can be bought cheaper than in the capital.
There are other ways to save money, of course. Shop on weekdays so haggling can be good-natured banter rather than a mutual race against time; most negotiations can also be sped up by halving the asking price and pretending to walk away. Being a good sport is, ultimately, the most effective technique of all.
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