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Where to shop in Dar Es Salaam?

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Carmel, California
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Where to shop in Dar Es Salaam?

I have a 5+ hour layover between flights (flying into Dar from Nairobi in the morning and out to Selous in the afternoon) and was wondering if anyone had some shopping recommendations in Dar Es Salaam, particularly for arts and crafts items. Anything that's a specialty of the region? Thanks!

Findlay, Ohio
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1. Re: Where to shop in Dar Es Salaam?

PattyC.. One of the best places to shop for arts and crafts in Dar is at the Basket House operated by Joyce and Ndelle Mbwete. Joyce has women (mostly) from all over Tanzania making the items that she has in her shop. She also sells into the Smithsonian Institute, National Geographic, and other well known gift stores, in addition to many other American museums and department stores. Her things are of high quality and she does not overcharge.

She is located in the Zambian Embassy compound on the NW corner of Ohio and Sokoine Streets in the city center, about 2 blocks North of the New Africa Hotel. It's also about 2 blocks East of the Steers restaurant on Ohio Street. You have to go into the gates right on the Ohio / Sokoine corner of the compound. I think any taxi driver could get your there with these instructions.

If you go there tell Joyce that Karl said hello. She might give you a break in the price. I have worked with her for a long time to get US markets for her products.

If you still have some time I would also suggest the following very good arts and craft places in Dar...

Mwenge handicraft center and villagen on Mpakani Road near to the Village Museum (directions to the museum below). This is where the traditional carvers from the Makonde tribe gather, carve, and teach others carving skills. You can stay and watch them carve most everything from very small statues to life sized carvings which will take them months to carve. About one hundred craftsmen are typically there and they display their goods in kiosks in the village. They sell all kinds of arts and crafts ranging from wood carvings of all kinds, to soapstone items, carved masks, jewelery, paintings, etc. Be prepared to bargain. Allow yourself at least one hour here.

Nyumba ya Sanaa (House of Art),.on Upanga Street near the entrance to the Gymkhana Club. A non-profit handicraft center which supports young artists. Paintings, chalks, clothing, earrings, cards, batiks, pottery and weavings are displayed and can be purchased. You can watch the students while you're there. Allow yourself perhaps one hour here.

The Village Museum about 10km north of the city center on Bagamoyo Road. This is a museum of traditional houses that represent the homes of different ethnic groups and tribes of Tanzania. The craftsmen there will be demonstrating their carving and weaving skills. And of course, they sell their finished products. Sometimes there will be some traditional dancers there who will be performing traditional dancing. Be prepared to bargain here also (halve what the asking price is).

Kariakoo market on Tandamuti Street. Many many different items of all kinds of things are sold in this bazaar that surrounds the market, along with furniture, clothes and utensils. You name it and it's for sale here. This could take hours and hours and it's difficult to drive and walk through here.

If you're into jewerly go to the jewerly district which is on Indira Gandhi street near to where it junctions with Samora street. There's probably over 50 jewerly shops on both sides of that street, between Samora and Mosque streets. Again, be prepared to bargain and you can get some good pieces at some very good prices. Good stuff and not cheap.

I would suggest that if you want to go to some of these places that you rent a taxi for the 5 hour period of time and have the taxi stay with you and bring you back to the airport.

Carmel, California
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2. Re: Where to shop in Dar Es Salaam?

This is exactly the kind of information I was looking for. Thanks, Karl! I'll print this out and bring it with me. How much should I expect to pay when hiring a taxi from the airport for 5 hours?

Carmel, California
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3. Re: Where to shop in Dar Es Salaam?

One more question, how long does it take to get to/from the airport and the central part of the city?

Findlay, Ohio
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4. Re: Where to shop in Dar Es Salaam?

A taxi from the airport should cost no more then 15,000 TSH (at 1,220 TSH = $1). If you rent the taxi for 5 hours I would try to negotiate for 40,000 /= to 50,000 /=. It takes about 20 - 30 minutes from the airport to the city center depending on the day and traffic. The airport taxis have a fixed rate to the city center and the various hotels. There's a sign there indicating the prices, and they won't fluxuate from those prices to get you to the city center. Don't be afraid to walk away from one and talk to another one who knows that you walked away from another taxi. Another way of negotiating would be to take an airport taxi to the City Center and on the way negotiate for the 5 hours. If you can't get a good price then take it to the New Africa hotel, there's always a bunch of taxis sitting across the street and one of them will be hungry.

The airport taxi drivers are always sitting in an area just as you exit the arrivals.

By the way there's a lot of bureau de change offices in the Dar airport.

State College, Pa
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5. Re: Where to shop in Dar Es Salaam?

Karl, you are truly a "gem" for the wealth of information you freely provide. I too, printed off a copy of this response particularly as we are hopeful of returning to Dar next year. To think of the hours we spent at the Slipway Recreation and Shopping area when we could have been taking in several of the places you mentioned!! And, I was enlighted with your mentioning of dealing with taxi drivers there. Will defintely strike out on our own next time. Thanks again.

R Snyder

Findlay, Ohio
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6. Re: Where to shop in Dar Es Salaam?

Wegoustay... Dar is a very interesting city. I used to fly into there and get out of town as quickly as possible and into the interior, mostly into central Tanzania. But since I've come to know it more, I've found some really great places to visit there. They do have some great restaurants also (Slipway is a good place which I'm certain you found out, but not someplace where you'd want to stay for hours on end.) When I take delegations there I always eat at a different place for each lunch and dinner; not always at the tourist or top shelf places; sometimes we go out amoung the people of Dar and where they eat in their "out of the way places".

I keep thinking that I should write up a restaurant guide to Dar (and perhaps Arusha) and post it here on the Tripadvisor inside pages. Just need to find the time to organize it.

Carmel, California
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7. Re: Where to shop in Dar Es Salaam?

Thanks again, Karl!

San Francisco...
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8. Re: Where to shop in Dar Es Salaam?

Hello all,I am a TA employee, and through the nominations submitted, this thread was brought to my attention.

First, many compliments on the excellent material submitted here.

Second, I just wanted to let everyone know that I took my first shot at preserving this information in a format that will allow you to link to it without always having to "bump" it to the top. This is with our new TripAdvisor Inside feature, where anyone can edit and update information.

The pages are here: tripadvisor.com/Travel-g293748-s405/Dar-Es-S…

and

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g293748-s304/Dar-Es-S…

Again, this first pass was meant to be exactly that ... a first pass. From here, it's up to you to update and maintain the information, and add things I missed from the thread!!! :-)Have a great day!

Findlay, Ohio
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for Tanzania, Ngorongoro Conservation Area
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9. Re: Where to shop in Dar Es Salaam?

Good job!! Now I won't need to do that. Many thanks. Karl