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Dar es Salaam is a hustling, bustling seaport on the east coast of Tanzania that straddles some of the most important sea routes on earth.

Das es Salaam To most travellers, Dar es Salaam is just a convenient port of call on the way to more exotic destinations of Zanzibar, the game parks, Pemba or Mafia Islands. This is a great pity, because "Dar", as it is lovingly called by aficionados of the city, is a fascinating rabbit warren of a tropical port, often surprising the unwary wanderer with scenes of breathtaking beauty.

Life in Dar es Salaam revolves around the huge harbour, with the business district fanning out from here in a series of fascinating side and main streets.

There is something irresistible about whiling away a few hours sitting at the water's edge, watching dhows slipping skilfully under the bows of huge cruise liners and cargo ships.

Famous places in Dar Es Salaam

On the northern arm of the harbour is Kivukoni Front, with its frenetic fish market, where every morning at dawn the dhows sail in to offload the night's catch, and yelling fishwives compete with each other for the best of the catch.

Other places worth a visit in the city centre include the botanical gardens, and the adjacent National Museum, where archaeology buffs can see the skull of "Nutcracker Man", antique tribal artefacts and some fascinating World War One memorabilia. Dar es Salaam

Wandering the streets of Dar es Salaam is nowhere more rewarding than in the Asian business district, along India Street and the intersecting Indira Ghandi Street. Here the flavours and smells are of a little Bombay, and if there's anything you need to buy for your holiday, this is where you'll find it. In this concentrated section of the city, you'll find some of the best restaurants in East Africa, notably on Jamhuri, Mkunguni, Zanaki and Kisutu Streets.

Further afield, take a taxi or walk up Ohio Street to where it becomes Upanga Road near the Gymkhana Club and look out for the distinctive Makuti-palm roofed building that houses Nyumba ya Saana, the House of Art. Begun in 1972 by an American nun, the co-operative supports nearly 200 young artists, with work ranging from batiks through carvings, oil paintings, pottery, weaving and clothing.

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