FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Dar Es Salaam By Night

Jan 1, 2015
2014 / December 2014

The transition from afternoon into evening echoes around the city. From every mosque, the call to prayer rides the humid, salty breeze that gusts in off the Indian Ocean. The atmosphere, exotic and entrancing, can be enjoyed to the full from the 11th-floor Al Dar Restaurant & Bar at the Holiday Inn. Order a cold Kilimanjaro beer and let the sights, sounds and scents wash over you.

With a population of more than 4 million, Dar es Salaam is Tanzania’s largest city, though not its capital. That honor goes to the uninspiring inland city of Dodoma. But culturally and economically, “Dar” (as most people call it) is where the action is. At night, you can immerse yourself in it.

Always have a flashlight with you in case of power outages (they’re quite common, though most hotels have their own generators), and leave all valuables in the hotel safe deposit box. Don’t use unlicensed taxis, and be wary when walking close to the road. Driving can be erratic, and there’s also the possibility of ride-by bag-snatchers on motorbikes. Avoid the beaches after dark (and, in some cases, during the day).

With reasonable precautions, you don’t need to be paranoid. Dar at night is an exhilarating place, and you wouldn’t want to miss it. If you have a local contact to guide you, all the better. Local favorites such as the Corner Bar in the Masaki district and Club Bilicanas downtown can be very lively, especially when there’s live music. Be warned, however, that the former venue in particular reputedly is a hang-out for ladies of the night.

Seek a tamer but nonetheless memorable experience at Level 8 Club in the Hyatt Regency Dar es Salaam on Friday and Saturday nights, with live music from a local band. The hotel’s restaurants provide choices for dinner, with cuisine ranging from Asian to Swahili.

LGBT travelers should be aware that, in common with many other African countries, Tanzania is becoming increasingly conservative in its attitude toward sexuality. Homosexuality is illegal and carries a prison sentence. Even speaking out against the legislation could be perceived as promoting homosexuality, also an offense.

Cultural conservatism and the risk of crime aside, Dar es Salaam offers plenty to enjoy. Its name translates as “Haven of Peace.” In the midst of a dance floor on a Friday or Saturday night, it’s anything but.

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FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

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