WELCOME TO DAR ES SALAAM, TANZANIA!
The initial excitement and shock are slowly fading away, and the realization is setting in: you and your family are home. You have chosen a school for your children, decided which community to live in and are now trying to settle in.
Our parent guide focuses on clarifying the picture of Dar in your mind so that there are no questions left other than, “Where should we explore this weekend?” This guide will help you check the routine tasks of daily life off your list so you and your family can return to the initial excitement surrounding your move to Dar and the beauty that comes along with it.
As you read on you will discover how to find:
- Local grocery stores
- Shopping centres
- Fitness centres
- Classes and care for your children
- Different forms of transportation
- Our contact info
Grocery stores are a staple when it comes to making a home feel like one, especially when there are new, authentic foods to try. The stores below will help you figure out how to fill your cart with local delicacies.
We asked a member of the Secondary Parent Network (SPN) at the International School of Tanganyika (IST), Annemarie van Rensburg, her thoughts on where to go shopping.
“Everywhere. We have different shops selling different things. It's always good to have someone show you around, and you can get a feel on where you would like to buy certain items,” Annemarie said. “This I don't mind doing, and I usually take two to three hours to show the new people around.”
To give you a little more direction, we suggest two exceptional locations for filling your fridge and cupboards with healthy, delectable items.
Food Lovers Market
This family-run grocery store is one of the best places to buy fresh produce and is meant to resemble an old market where farmers would bring their crops to sell to the public. According to its website, Food Lovers Market’s vision focuses on wholesomeness, trust, honesty and integrity.
Hours: Open daily from 8:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Location: Corner Msasani and Yasser Arafat
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Phone: 0762 500 005
Whether it’s fresh produce, wine, spirits or beers, a butcher shop, home goods, baked goods, fragrant flowers or a cafe, Village Supermarket has you covered. The goal of this family-run business is to make you feel at home while you shop.
1. Slipway Tower, Dar es Salaam
Phone: +255 22 260 0827
2. Sea Cliff Village, Dar es Salaam
Phone: +255 22 260 1110
3. Shamo Tower, Mbezi, Dar es Salaam
Phone: +255 22 261 8285
Said to be one of the most popular grocery stores in Dar, Shoppers Plaza is where “you can get it all”, according to their motto. The store offers a clean and comfortable atmosphere, while also providing friendly service.
- Mwai Kibaki Road, Mikocheni, Dar es Salaam
- Haile Salassie Road, Masaki, Dar es Salaam
- Kanisa Road, Mbezi, Dar es Salaam
Phone: +255 22 270 1545
What better way to spend a weekend than exploring a local mall or market? Given the sweltering climate in Dar, you need to make sure you and your family have the proper wardrobe.
According to Annemarie, the “go-to” place is Mlimani City, where you can find Mr. Price, Woolworths as well as one or two sports shops. While visiting Mlimani, make sure to check out Game, a discounted retail store where you can find any - and all items - on your shopping list.
Location: Sam Nujoma Road, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Phone: +255 783-552-014
Adventuring Around Local Markets
Dar es Salaam is known for having beautiful, colorful markets. One that is an exceptional, authentic shopping experience is the Kariakoo market.
If you are taking the time to explore the market, there are a few things you need to keep in mind:
- This market is extremely crowded
- Only carry the money you need as pickpockets are quite common
- Do not bring valuables in your pockets
- If you are considering taking a trip to the market, contemplate going with a local or someone who’s familiar with the area
Another market to check out if you’re looking for the best second-hand items and some fantastic street food is the Ilala market. Whether it’s sweaters, jeans, shoes or bags, this place has you covered. Keep in mind the same safety tips as noted above.
If you are looking for more specific items, Tanzania Now is an excellent source of information.
Healthcare is typically one of the main concerns for families moving to a new country. As all parents know, with children comes injuries and illnesses; therefore, figuring out where the local hospitals and medical centres are is essential.
The IST Clinic is the primary care clinic in Dar providing high-quality healthcare and laboratory services 24 hours a day according to its website. This clinic also has a historical relationship with the International School of Tanganyika (IST) and is located right beside the Secondary Campus.
The IST Clinic is the one stop shop or all maladies, and, if further assistance is required, they can refer you to the hospital, which leads us to our second item on the list, Aga Khan.
Location: Ruvu Street, International School of Tanganyika Campus, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Aga Khan Hospital
This 24-hour hospital is an 80-bed, multi-specialty facility according to its website. In recent years, the Aga Khan Hospital began expanding and upgrading its facilities and because of this has now introduced high-quality, technologically-advanced laboratories, medicine and radiology services.
Clinic Location: Corner of Sandvik Street and Chloe Road, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Phone: +255 788 234 540
Hospital location: P.O. Box 2289, Ocean Road, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Phone: +255 22 211 5151/53
Maybe what you’re looking for now that you’re in your new home is an athletic facility, somewhere you can maintain your physical and emotional health and burn off any steam the move may have caused. Below are a few of the fitness centres frequented by IST families.
Nanasi Studios consists of two facilities in the heart of Oyster Bay. According to Tanzania Now, this facility has incredible music, air conditioning and changing rooms with showers. The schedule includes activities such as dance, yoga and children’s classes. .
Location: Msasani Road, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Phone: +255 22 260 1097
Colosseum Hotel and Fitness
According to its website, this gym offers more facilities than any other fitness centre in Tanzania. Whether you’re looking for a high-intensity workout, more aerobic exercises, yoga, swimming or squash, the Colosseum Hotel and Fitness is the place to go.
Hours: Monday to Friday: 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Saturday & Sunday: 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Public Holidays: 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Phone: +255 753 432 584
This is an excellent two-floor gym fully equipped with everything you need to have a great workout. Fuel Gym offers cardio, weightlifting and fitness classes to its members.
Location: Village Walk, Opposite Sea Cliff Village, Masaki
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania 2915
Phone: +255 675 911 148
Classes and Care for Your Children
Now that you're familiarizing yourself with your new home, it's essential to consider enrolling your children in co-curricular activities. Whether it be through the school or externally, these activities are an exceptional way for children to get out of their comfort zone, meet new friends and take the steps necessary to plant roots of their own.
In this section you’ll also find information on caretakers. Whether it be for a night out with your partner or maybe a weekend away, finding someone you trust to watch over your children is important.
Mr. Innocent, a music teacher at IST teaches piano lessons after school. Contact him through IST’s main office.
Office contact information is here.
Dance Fusion is a facility with members from around the world. This admirable organization hopes to bridge the poverty gap. With the money they raise through dance, visual arts, martial arts and fitness classes, they provide scholarships, financial support and tools to low income youths.
Phone: +255 716 308 142
Echoes and Art Music School
This music school has “a fun-amusement and pedagogic way of learning”, according to its website.
Whether your children are interested in piano, violin, guitar, drums, junior keys, music theory, choir or kinder beat, the Echoes and Art Music School has you covered.
Phone: +255 742 818 313
Finding Child Care
When asked for suggestions, Annemarie said the best place to find babysitters is through the Expat Parents in Dar Facebook page. You can use the page to ask questions, get advice, find people to help out around the house, gardeners, etc.
When it comes to getting around Dar es Salaam, there are a few different modes of transportation.
Dar es Salaam does have Uber, and the prices are relatively low. To access this, download the app, and you’re good to go.
The taxis at the airport are regulated and have set rates at around 60,000 shilling to get to Masaki. Although the airport ride is regulated, for all other trips around the city, you have to negotiate; be sure to confirm the price before getting into the car.
There is no formal taxi company in Dar es Salaam, and it is best to reach a taxi using the driver’s phone number. As soon as you find a cab driver you trust, be sure to write down their contact information.
A few things to keep in mind when it comes to taxis:
- Negotiate prices before you begin your drive
- Trustworthy taxis will have white license plates, a taxi number painted on the side and official receipts
- They always stay parked at specific points around the city and are in large quantities
If you are planning to use a cab while you explore the hidden gems of the city, you might want to consider renting one for the day. Generally, this will cost around 30,000 shilling, according to Wikitravel.
Bajaj is a much cheaper - and quicker - form of public transportation. These are three-wheeled vehicles, and due to their size, the drivers can maneuver the car along the side of the street when traffic is bad.
If the driving gets too reckless, don’t hesitate to speak up and let the driver know.
A dala dala is public transportation in the form of a minivan. They are a little tight, but an exceptional experience - one that you must try while you’re in Dar. You can jump on and off as you wish; to get off, you must yell, “Shusha”.
To find dala dalas, you have to be at, or in the area of, a bus stop.
Renting or buying your car is most likely what your family will do once you arrive in Dar, but you need to keep in mind the streets are heavily congested and can be difficult to maneuver until you’re used to the environment.
If you want more information on how to get around in Dar, Wikitravel is an excellent source.
Home to the highest mountain in Africa, Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania is a beautiful country, known for its breathtaking landscape and its diverse animal population. According to the Tanzania Tourist Board, the nation has more wild animals and more surface water per square kilometer than any other country in Africa. These are the things we want you to get to explore now that you’re here!
We hope you’ve found this information useful and that it lets you take the weekend to go on a safari rather than sit in front of your computer trying to figure out where to buy groceries.
If you have any more questions, concerns or comments, please feel free to contact our IST. When it comes to settling in, to finding out how to get the most out of your new home city, we are here to help.