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Dar Es Salaam City : Hidden Stories

Tembea uone mengi

Tembea uone mengi is one of the Swahili phrase which simply means, “walk around to get knowledge or”those who travel see much“. Born and raised in Dar es Salaam city, one would think there are no new things to discover. However, my recent endeavours with Afri Root Adventures in exploring Dar es Salaam had me to refute that notion.

Kivukoni Fish Market
the fish market

The tour started in the morning with a stroll to the Fish Market at Kivukoni. We saw the different fish that the people of Dar es Salaam frequently buy as well as the type of fish that we export to countries such as China.

Maneuvering the fish market can be overwhelming with the many fishermen running around, cleaning and selling fish. Nonetheless, we were keen to experience catch of the day being cooked right in front of us.

fishermen at the fish market

We later ordered some deep fried prawns and calamari to eat on the go.

happy people at the fish market
Historical Buildings

After the fish market, Mejah, the founder of Afri Root Adventures took us to see some of the historical buildings. In the tour we saw where the Mozambique liberation Front (FRELIMO) headquarters used to be. These offices are also believed to be where Che Guevara and Malcolm X stayed when taking refuge in Tanzania.

White Fathers’ House – Atiman House

The White Fathers’ House also now as Atiman House was built in 1860 by Sultan Majid of Zanzibar. It is located in Sokoine Street, near the famous St.Joseph’s Cathedral. In 1922, the house was sold to White Fathers and became their main base in East Africa. This building is open to visitors and it exhibits old pictures of Dar es Salaam sea front dating back to the years of German rule.

Atiman house in Dar es Salaam city
Old Boma Building
Old Boma Building – 1866

We then proceeded to walk towards Old Boma building which is located in Sokoine drive. I have passed by in front of this building many times, but I did not know, it is the oldest stone building in the city, built in 1866 by Sultan Majid bin Said of Zanzibar. This building served as the District Commissioner’s office after Tanzania got it’s independence in 1961.

woman on the street

Over the years, the building has undergone renovations, what have been preserved are the Zanzibari style carved wooden doors. Other prominent features conserved are the coral wall stones and the original shape of the roof.

Old Boma Building – To Date
Old Tanzania Banknotes & Coins

In a small corner along kivukoni road there is a man with a small bench displaying some old Tanzanian banknotes. It took me down memory lane to see an old 200 shillings banknote that I had not seen for over a decade.

After a couple of hours site seeing and as the tour was coming to an end, we hydrated with some fresh coconut water. In my opinion, that was the best way to cool off from the tropical heat that Dar es Salaam city is known for.

man selling coconuts in Dar es Salaam city
woman drinking coconut water
Good To Know
  • Dar City Tour: I had an great experience with Afri Root Adventures and I highly recommend them for any Dar city tours.
  • Attire: Wear flat shoes or trainers, because you will experience a lot of walking.
  • Tour Duration: Morning Tour, 8 am – 12 noon. However, if you have any request on change of timing, this can be discussed with the tour guide.

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