“Maisha marefu!” Here’s to a long life. We toast with icy glasses of pressed sugarcane juice spiked with fresh ginger on the pavement outside Mamboz Corner BBQ (3 Libya Street, +255 683 626 269). It’s a balmy evening in Dar es Salaam, and the charcoal grills are packed with sizzling chicken and nyama choma (the ubiquitous local barbeque) basted in a spicy marinade. Vendors park their carts adjacent to our table, selling ripe mangoes, watermelon wedges and pineapple chunks from Bagamoyo.
Our friends suggest we try the tandoori chicken and masala chips, evidence of the decades of cultural mingling and trade exchange in Tanzania. Beyond the notorious traffic jams, skyscrapers and peninsula with imposing homes and private schools that serve the large expat community, Dar, as the city is affectionately called, is back roads that weave around vibrant communities,
side-street fruit and coffee vendors, outdoor music venues and polite voices saying “Karibu” to strangers. Commonly a layover for tourists going on safari or to the beaches of Zanzibar, Dar is fascinatingly complex. These are my picks for 48 hours in the city.