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How Safe is Dar es Salaam?

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How Safe is Dar es Salaam?

Dar es Salaam is the capital of Tanzania in East Africa and home to over 4 million people. But is the city safe for travelers, tourists and ex-pats alike? This article will answer this question in detail and equip you with the information you’ll need to stay safe and secure in “the harbor of peace.”

Crime & Safety in Dar es Salaam

When it comes to safety, Dar es Salaam has its good and bad points. The Tanzania government reports that crime rate in the country’s capital is higher than the national average. The American Bureau of Diplomatic Security rates Dar es Salaam as a medium security risk in their 2020 Crime and safety report and details areas to be aware of and risks to be considered.

The most reported crimes in Dar es Salaam are:

  • Robbery
  • Assault
  • Burglary
  • Pickpocketing
  • Carjacking
  • Kidnapping

While there are areas that should be avoided, most common tourist activities are relatively safe; such as the beach resort areas of Kunduchi, Mbudya Island, or going on safaris, provided that you stay with larger groups and hire reputable tour companies. You should also avoid walking in unpopulated, secluded areas late at night, but generally, Dar es Salaam is a safe city to explore.

Most of the time, visitors who become victims of crime out there are victims of opportunistic pickpockets, rather than violent criminals. Petty theft is very common in Dar es Salaam, so it’s important to remain aware at all times and not keep your valuables in easy-to-access places such as your pockets.

It’s also important to be aware of the country’s laws and customs while visiting. Certain behaviors that may be tolerable in other countries, such as public drinking and inappropriate behavior, might lead to harassment from authorities. Additionally, as per Tanzania’s traditional laws, women should dress modestly — with long skirts and shirts that cover the shoulders — when traveling around the city.

Medical Care & Other Considerations

Although Dar es Salaam is a safe place for tourists to visit, there are still medical precautions to take. The most common health concern is generally malaria prevention because the city is located in a malaria risk area, so make sure you double check your vaccine status and take proper malaria prevention measures. Additionally, doctor availability and local quality of health services may not be up to Western standards, so it’s wise to bring your own personal medical supplies and medications with you in case needed. The availability of drug stores is quite limited in the region, making it harder to meet whatever medical needs you may have while traveling.

In addition to health concerns, make sure to take necessary precautions when it comes to financial management while abroad. Be mindful of the exchange rate and bear in mind that ATMs are limited even in central areas of the city. It’s also recommended to use cash more than card transactions during transactions and avoid carrying large amounts of cash with you since pickpocketing is widespread in Dar es Salaam.

All in all, overall safety in Dar es Salaam is quite good if travelers exercise necessary caution when exploring the city. Basic common sense should do the job: stay in well-lit areas, use licensed taxis or ride-sharing services instead of walking at night, and make sure to keep track of your belongings while visiting tourist spots or marketplaces. For additional insights and traveler reviews on personal experiences in Dar es Salaam, check out Lonely Planet’s Dar es Salaam Safety page. Taking these precautionary measures should alleviate any concerns and help travelers experience the best of what Tanzania’s capital has to offer.

A Comprehensive Insider’s Guide to Discovering Dar es Salaam

If you’re visiting Dar es Salaam, you might have heard that the city is often overlooked in favor of Tanzania’s more popular destinations, such as Zanzibar and Serengeti National Park. However, there is much to discover in Dar es Salaam. In this insider’s guide, we’ll uncover some hidden gems that will enable you to have a unique and unforgettable experience in the city.

Local Attractions: Exploring Beyond the Tourist Trail

While Dar es Salaam has a few popular tourist attractions, such as the National Museum of Tanzania, the Askari Monument, and the Fish Market, there are plenty of other local attractions that water down the delights of the city.

One such gem is Kivukoni Fish Market, where you can buy fresh fish straight from the Indian Ocean and have it cooked right away by expert grillers. Take a stroll through Sam Nujoma Road’s colorful Kariakoo Market, one of the busiest markets in Tanzania, where you’re sure to find unique, locally-made handicrafts. You can also visit the historic St. Joseph’s Cathedral if you’re seeking tranquility and beauty.

Dining Spots: Authentic Flavors of Dar es Salaam

Dar es Salaam is home to a fascinating mix of Indian, African, and Middle Eastern cultures, which makes it a gastronomical paradise. You’ll find street vendors selling different types of delicious dishes that tantalize your taste buds. The Samosa Lady, located beside the Askari Monument, is a must-visit place where you can sample fluffy, crispy samosas stuffed with a variety of flavors, from beef to chicken to vegetarian options.

If you want to sit down for a feast, visit the Mikocheni area, which is brimming with local restaurants. At Nyama Choma, you’ll experience Tanzania’s culinary favorite- roasted meat, accompanied by kachumbari salad and a hot sauce called pili-pili. Another place worth visiting is Mamboz Restaurant, known for its street-style food and renowned antelope skewers.

Cultural Experiences: Uncovering the Soul of Dar es Salaam

Dar es Salaam is loaded with cultural experiences that give insight into the city’s traditions and festivals. Try a traditional dance class together with Kigamboni Community Center, showcasing Chakacha, a dance style that originated in Zanzibar. Or visit the Mwenge Carvings Market that sells handmade woodcarvings, a traditional Tanzanian art form.

If you’re interested in history, visit the Village Museum, which offers a glimpse into the urban culture of various Tanzanian tribes, each with a unique lifestyle. Also, make sure not to miss Bagamoyo, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and go on a walking tour of the ancient town to learn about its fascinating past and the role it played in the slave trade era.

Local History: Journey Through Dar es Salaam’s Past

One of Dar es Salaam’s historical sites is the Askari Monument, which commemorates African soldiers who fought alongside their British counterparts in World War I. The Askaris were considered loyal, and the monument represents strength and national unity in Tanzania. You can also visit the Old Boma, an ancient government building constructed in 1866 that served as a governor’s residence, administrative center, and later a prison.

Another historical treasure is the Azania Front Lutheran Church, one of the oldest churches in the city built-in 1898. It is a renowned example of intricate German-inspired architecture, and many prominent figures in Tanzania’s history are buried within its walls.

Off-the-Beaten-Path Suggestions: Explore Something New

If you’re looking for an off-the-beaten-path experience, make your way to Kunduchi Wet ‘N’ Wild Water Park for an adrenaline-packed day with your family. You can also drive out and explore paddy fields, historical villages, and the peaceful beach of Kipengere, located at the foothills of the Uluguru Mountains. If you happen to be in Dar es Salaam in April, join the Mwaka Kogwa, which is the Shiraz New Year Festival-celebrating the end of the Islamic calendar.

In conclusion, visit Dar es Salaam, and discover the soul of a city that’s often overlooked. Use this guide to uncover some hidden gems, try authentic local cuisine, immerse yourself in the cultural experiences, learn about the city’s fascinating history, and explore off-the-beaten-path attractions. In doing so, we hope you’ll fall in love with this vibrant and beautiful city.

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How Safe is Dar es Salaam?

Experience Adventure Like Never Before: Book Your Tour Today!