Way back in July we visited Rwanda. Some of our most vivid memories of the trip include the development that we saw in Kigali, Rwanda’s capital city. We could not believe our eyes when we saw the amount of construction that was taking place. Since that day we wondered what development took place in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania’s economic capital.
Moshi is a very rural city compared to Dar es Salaam. There is little visible development in Moshi. We knew that if we wanted to see development in Tanzania we had to visit Dar es Salaam. We noticed that some of the flights from Zanzibar to Moshi included an extended layover in Dar es Salaam, so we decided to take advantage of the situation and take a short tour of the city!
Melissa has a few friends of a friend who live in Dar es Salaam. We asked them if they would be willing to show us around the city during our layover. They were very happy to show us the city! We landed in Dar es Salaam around 11 am. We had to be back to the airport by 3:00 pm. This gave us 4 hours to see a very large city. We were not able to see all parts of Dar es Salaam, but we were able to visit a few areas and see some impressive development!
Our first destination was the city center. Traffic is very bad in Dar es Salaam, so it took us quite some time to drive into the city from the airport, which is located outside of town. Along the road to the city center were many industries and businesses! We were shocked by the number of large industries in Dar es Salaam.
Once we got to the city center the first thing Melissa saw was a Subway restaurant. She was excited! We did not stop to have lunch, but we were happy to see something that reminded us of home. We also asked if there are McDonald’s restaurants in Dar es Salaam. Our friends said there were a few!
There are many buildings under construction in the city center. There is an interesting mix of old colonial buildings and modern buildings in this area. Many buildings are under construction or renovation. The construction also made traffic slow!
The photo below shows a very new building (to the left) next to a colonial building (to the right).
Below is an example of two very new buildings in Dar es Salaam.
We also visited the U.S. Embassy. It is a very large building with incredible security. Along the road to the embassy were many homes of humanitarian workers, ambassadors, and international non-governmental organization workers. This area was incredibly nice; it easily rivaled the nicest neighborhoods we have seen in the United States.
We quickly drove by the president’s house along our journey. Unfortunately we couldn’t stop on the busy road so we don’t have any photos, but it was impressive!
Our last stop was Dar es Salaam University. Our friend is a political science professor at the university, so he was eager to show us where he worked. This is a huge university that has over 25,000 students! It was a beautiful campus!
Due to the traffic, we had to head back to the airport after visiting the university. We were happy to have received a quick tour of the economic capital of Tanzania! It was very fast and we did not see much of the city, such as the slum areas, but we were happy to have seen some impressive development in Tanzania!