Dar es Salaam: Part 2
Having reported the matter immediately to Wazo Hill Police Station, a Chief Inspector took on our case and investigations begun. We went back to the beach with the Inspector who went on to arrest two guards including the main guard. They were then taken back to the station for interrogation.
In Tanzania you hear the word ‘bana’ quite frequently. Used loosely, it can be used to fit the context of the conversation. In our case, we heard it being used by the police to mean interrogation through force. The exact form of this force isn’t defined, but the results were there for all to see, in the form of the dirtied fellow on the floor of the police station, his leg broken for attempting to escape the police.
Investigations moved quite swiftly as the ‘guard’ who slept behind us was tracked down, identified and arrested. The next day, one bag was recovered. The Inspector moved in a Toyota van with civilian plates during operations with the help of four non-uniform police officers armed with AK-47 rifles. The methodology seemed to work as they went on to recover one of the cameras. We accompanied him on two missions to recover the stolen laptops. The first one was unsuccessful but the second time saw one laptop recovered and delivered to the station.
We were impressed with the manner in which the Inspector took up the case and saw to its success. Being under-resourced and over-worked, he put in good work to assist us where he could. Investigations are still on-going but we are indebted to him.
When in Rome, do as the Romans. This is a famous adage and it holds true in Tanzania. Kenyans are known for their brash and forward mannerisms, often with no time for greetings to each other. We did our best to leave these mannerisms at the border and assimilate in to the welcome and polite nature of the Tanzanians.
Greetings are essential for the beginning of any conversation, be it with a stranger or someone familiar.
We experienced the best in hospitality from Adrian and his family. Inviting us over for home cooked dinners and standing with us through-out the break-in incident. They warmed our stay and made us feel very welcome.
We also felt the same kind of hospitality from the various attendants at the shops we visited as well as the restaurants we ate at.
The Tanzanian people will instill their culture of politeness and patience the more you interact with them.
Dar is huge.Trying to explore the city in a day is quite a daunting task.Walking down the streets makes you appreciate the heavy Swahili and Arabic influence in the region; everything from architecture to cuisine has an aspect of the culture .Just like any City in Africa the transition from the city center to its outskirts makes for an interesting drive.Our accommodation was in an area called Tegeta along the Dar es Salaam - Bagamoyo route that serves mostly as industrial region.Everything from the sliding alluminium windows to neuatral colours of the residential buildings was welcoming,although most of the roads in the area were not particularly well done.The juxtaposition of the houses versus the access added to the intrigue of the drive.
Public transportation to and within the city is functional.Commuter train lines, buses, bajaji(tuk tuk) and motorbikes run in and out of city .A Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) network with dedicated bus lanes within the city is available.We were impressed by the overall cleanliness and use of signage and way-finding within the city.Most roads,streets and public transport were well marked.
Shopping can be done at Kariokoo. Deeras and vitenges with intrinsic and beautiful patterns are sold affordably by lively merchants by the street.A point of architectural interest is Karikoo Market.
There is a ferry that crosses one from the City Centre to Kigamboni, an island that resembles an old town with smaller streets and older buildings than the ones you would find in Dar.
There are islands you can visit as well; Pemba Island, Zanzibar, Mbudya Island just to name a few.
Late at night at a vantage point with clear skies, one can see the lights of Zanzibar shimmering in the horizon.
The night life is incredibly lively and you will need to get your dancing shoes out because the groove and sounds of Bongo Flava will get you moving. One of the interesting places to visit for a night out is the public beach of Hawaii which has several clubs. Beach parties, need we say more?
The first series of our East African series might have been plagued with a few problems but it did more to educate us about safe and smart travel. With each trip and each adventure we gain invaluable knowledge that helps us improve the next journey we choose to partake in.
As we learn so we educate. We hope to inspire a community of travelers and provide a platform where we can make information readily available as to the precautionary measures that would prevent one’s trip from becoming a nightmare.
If you have any invaluable knowledge you have acquired from your own personal travel and wish to share, kindly send us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we shall compile a list that would make us all smart travelers.
With each mile you gain you cease to remain the same.
Till the next adventure!
Photo credits: Marshall Kiganjo and Will Itegi