SO MUCH TO DO, SO LITTLE TIME
Dar is not such an uneventful place to visit anymore, not if you know where to go at least.
Here are a few inside and outside tips on where to relax, shop, drink, dance and eat good food.
The Slipway and Bongoyo Island
Slipway has got a good array of souvenir shops, both in the Souk
and in the weekend market. There is also an ATM and a Barclays Bank branch, a great book store, a deli, some clothing boutiques, an internet cafe, a salon, a playground, a Supermarket and a casual art gallery.
The Slipway enjoys a seaside location and becomes quite busy in the evenings (not a bad spot for sundowners). Hungry stomachs can choose between Italian, Sushi, pub food or Ice cream. From Q-Bar its a sweaty 30 min walk or a 5 minute car ride.
Bongoyo: A Brief Escape to Paradise
Bongoyo Island was recently declared a nature reserve and is an absolute gem of an island. White sand, clear water for snorkeling (either as part of an organized boat trip or on your own), nature trails and freshly grilled fish (and chips). From Slipway, there is a regular boat service to the island by motorized Dhow. There are shady bandas and local made deck chairs and beds for hire. Food and drinks can be purchased on the island.
Shore to shore it takes between 30 & 45 mins to get to Bongoyo from Slipway.
Oysterbay Shopping Centre
A nice little shopping complex with a good variety of shops, including a deli (imported cheeses, salamis, etc plus home made dips, sauces and ready to eat dishes).
There is also an Italian ice cream shop, a fruit and veg grocer, a jewelry shop, a bijoux art gallery, a hardware store, a pharmacy, a bureaux de change, a computer dealer, a gym and several gift shops. The leafy courtyard cafe and Sala Thai is very popular for lunch. Upstairs there is a Dance Studio, book shop and Relish Cafe (great for lunch, coffees and chocolate cake to die for).
Sea Cliff Village
Sea Cliff offers pretty much the same as The Slipway, but slightly more up market and without the seaview. Still a very pleasant environment and some darn good coffees on offer. The playground is possibly better, plus the choice of eateries is bigger (for all of you South Africanites and meat lovers there is a Spur complete with kiddies section).
ARTS AND CRAFTS
Tinga Tinga Market
Tinga Tinga is a painting style unique to Tanzania. The paintings are bright and colourful, ranging from naive to graphic, mainly depicting local scenarios, animals, people and fruits. You will also find the Tinga Tinga painting style applied to plates, trays, pencils and other objects.
The market is located close to Q-Bar, behind Morogoro Stores and if you only want to do one tourist stop this should probably be the one as Tinga Tinga art is probably the most popular souvenir to bring back home.
Apart from the Cooperative there are also several other souvenir shops selling paintings, makonde carvings and other fun knick knacks to force upon the folks back home.
Makonde Carving Vllage
Mawazo Art Gallery & Cafe
Shrijees at Morogoro Stores (next to Q-Bar) are well stocked and reasonably priced for Dar. They also sell fresh fruit and veg. Their opening hours are Mon-Sat 09:00 - 20:00, Sun 09:00 - 16:00
Invaluable these days is it not? We have free Wifi for all our guests.
Hairdressers & Beauty Treatments
Lots of our Q-Bar customer have left New Image Salon looking both fab and rested. For a good price you can have your hair done, nails beautified, legs waxed and body massaged. You will find them next to Superfast internet cafe.
BANKS AND BUREAUX DE CHANGE
Closest ATMS to Q-Bar can be found right across the road Others are available next to the Barclays Bank branch at The Slipway and by the NBC Bank branch opposite Coco Beach and at Sea Cliff Village. The banks are open between 10am-5pm Mon-Fri, and 10am-2pm Sat.
Money can be changed, laundered and refreshed at the Bureaux de Change in Oysterbay Shopping Centre, Slipway next to the Supermarket or at Sea Cliff Village. A trip into town will provide you with a slightly better rate but it is not always worth the hassle.
MORE BEACHES, ISLANDS & SWIMMING POOLS
CENTRAL TO DAR
This is a really pretty beach with a good breeze, some 15 minutes walk away. There is a bar and restaurant called Coco Beach which is a good spot to hang out with locals. The quieter areas of the beach have a bit of an unsafe reputation theftwise so hang out where it is busy and do not carry any valuables.
SLIGHTLY OUTSIDE OF DAR
Bongoyo has already had a mention but there is actually a second paradisical island which is easily accessible to all:
Another marine park reserve with turquoise waters, good snorkelling opportunities, white sandy beaches, yummy fish lunches and bandas for rent.
You will need to take a trip to one of the Northern Coast beach resorts and take one of the hotel owned speedboats. Kunduchi has a speedboat available for charter (minimum 4 paying adults, max 6) which will get you there in 10 (wet) minutes,Whitesands and Jangwani operate a similar service but also have a larger, slower boat which is slightly cheaper.