Date: 02 May 2015

Destination:

Dar es Salaam, former capital, biggest city and commercial center of the United Republic of Tanzania (the current capital is Dodoma)

My thoughts:

After more than 6 hours of flight, a beautiful view of Saudi Arabia’s lights from above, I saw what I think it is the most beautiful view of nature I have ever seen: a wonderful landscape of the Mountain of Light or what most people call Kilimanjaro.  I see even now the milky colors of the soft curves of the Kilimanjaro. Entire Google does not have a snapshot as beautiful as what I still see when I close my eyes and think of Tanzania.

KilimanjaroA random Google picture of Kilimanjaro, which does not by far compare to what I saw from right above the mountain, very close and simply amazing (source)

Finally, we reached Mwalimu Julius K. Nyerere International Airport (the name of the airport is given by former president of Tazania).

If I love contrasts so much, how can I not love Africa. From the first minute I got off the airplane, voices of African languages were heard everywhere around, one over another is something similar to a incantation or like in an opened market.

The bus was waiting to take us through the street show to the hotel. Narrow streets with provincial look, many motorbikes slaloming through the cars, buses filled with local people, groups of runners with colorful football socks, women with buckets on their heads, walking like they are relaxing, women in colorful clothes, a lot of Coke advertisements, small ambulant shops improvised in the dust, a lot of fresh green. And thin rain.

The configuration of the streets was the following: two lanes for each direction divided by a 2 meter green zone, then at the sides of the road another green lane and then the pedestrian area, then another green area even with trees and climbing plants and then another alley for the cars. Living in Doha for the past 2 and a half months, I had missed the green and the rain.

At the hotel, there is security everywhere, two men check the zone under every car with a special device and opens the back doors.


At the entrance, more security with a belt scan and body scan like the one at the airport. The security officers are very welcoming and look very young and as I was going to find out, here everybody is very warm and welcoming. For a cleaning freak like myself, the hotel is ranking poor at this section.

The hotel has a pleasant style, with an old scent and many natural flowers.

I drink my coffe looking at the hot rain, the palm trees washed by it and the people walking in the street in front of the hotel while I listen to CNN, as always.

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The garden if the hotel is luxuriant. The pool is between palm trees and other exotic trees some with deep orange red and pink flowers. There is a bar and reed umbrellas every now and then.

Somewhere to the treadmills facing the pool there is a greenhouse that hosts a local wedding. Tens of amazing, gorgeous ladies of color wrapped in colorful, wide cut dresses go through the catwalk by the pool. I wished I owned each of them. I admire them either from the pool with my rain dropping over me or from my chair sipping my Mojitos.

In the thin rain, that sometmes became a true storm, I swam in the pool for more than 3 hours, clearing my head and arranging my thoughts, admiring the nature shown here at its very best and the local ladies night dresses as they walked to the wedding location.

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At night we went to a revolving restaurant in the Golden Jubilee Tower, at 21st floor, with a wonderful view of the Indian Ocean Dar es Salaam shore.



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Their website presents it as “Tanzania’s first and only revolving restaurant” (http://akemidining.com/about-us/). The seafood platter was simply amazing, let me say the best I ever had, tasty and with a 5 star presentation with lobser “moustaches” of 1 meter for each plate, king prawns, calamari, lobster, delicious vegetables and fish.

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I personally tried a local white wine from a company called Dodoma and it was a good match for my dish. If you are ever there, don’t miss it!

***About each country I have ever visited I read something about their history, geography, interesting facts. Please discover with me the wonders of the world!

Official Language:

Swahili and English (over 100 different languages are spoken)

Flag:

Flag_of_Tanzania.svg

Type of government:

unitary presidential constitutional republic

Currency:

Tanzanian shilling (TZS)

5000 TZS is about 2.4 US Dollars.

Tanzanian shilling 5000 Tanzanian shilling 10000

Population:

~47 million

Short history:

In 1498, Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama visited the Tanzanian coast. Later, in 1840, Omani Sultan Seyyid Said moved his capital to Zanzibar City, which became the centre for the Arab slave trade.

In the late 19th century Imperial Germany conquered the regions that are now Tanzania (minus Zanzibar) and incorporated them into German East Africa. The post World War I accords and the League of Nations charter designated the area a British Mandate.

During the World War II about 100,000 people from Tanganyika joined the Allied forces and were among the 375,000 Africans who fought with those forces.

In the year my father was born, Julius Nyerere transformed an organisation into the politically oriented Tanganyika African National Union (TANU). TANU’s main objective was to achieve national sovereignty for Tanganyika and it became the leading political organisation in the country. Nyerere became Minister of British-administered Tanganyika in 1960 and continued as prime minister when Tanganyika became independent in 1961.

In the year my mother was 1964, after the Zanzibar Revolution overthrew the Arab dynasty in neighbouring Zanzibar, which had become independent in 1963, the archipelago merged with mainland Tanganyika. The country was renamed the United Republic of Tanzania (“Tan” comes from Tanganyika and “Zan” from Zanzibar).

Geography:

Tanzania is located on the eastern coast of Africa and has an Indian Ocean coastline approximately 800 kilometres long.

The country is the site of Africa’s highest and lowest points: Mount Kilimanjaro, at 5,895 metres above sea level, and the floor of Lake Tanganyika, at 352 metres below sea level, respectively.

To the north and west lie Lake Victoria, Africa’s largest lake, and Lake Tanganyika, the continent’s deepest lake.

International Law:

Relations between Tanzania and Malawi have been tense because of a dispute over the countries’ Lake Nyasa (Lake Malawi) border. An unsuccessful mediation regarding this issue took place in March 2014. The two countries agreed in 2013 to ask the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to resolve the dispute should mediation be unsuccessful. Malawi, but not Tanzania, has accepted the compulsory jurisdiction of the ICJ.

Interesting facts:

Dar in Romanian means “gift”. As a Kenyan colleague told me, since there was a wedding at the hotel, the gift brought to the new couple is called “dari”. Arab colleague said in his language dari means home.

The name of the country comes from Tanganyika and Zanzibar, resulting in Tanzania.

For sure, Tanzania is a country that has a lot to offer and one I want to explore more in depth in the future. Therefore, even though I’ve returned, I think this is just the beginning of my Tanzanian adventure.

Source of information: Wikipedia

Finally, another striking thing for m was Mwalimu Julius K. Nyerere International Airport, one that looks like a big shed. As we are walking to the aircraft, I see small rooms, with scratched old paint. Inside one of these rooms there is a old, very scratched table where a man in uniform writes something by had in a notebook. There are no other objects in the room. Next to it, there is another room of same size with bunk beds and the door is made of bars. A man just woke up and is sitting on the bed. The view is pretty amazing and it definitely contrasts the luxury of some remote parts of Dar es Salaam.

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9 comments

Reply

I had an amazing time in Tanzania a few years back! Hope you do too 🙂 Just fell in love with Africa! Looking forward to going back some day 🙂

Reply

@beatravelling I just cannot wait to go back. Africa is, indeed, fascinating!

Reply

I loved it, actually it’ my favorite place of all. I would go back anytime. Nice blog! Happy travelling!

Reply

Thanks! I’m planning to visit Southern Africa this summer?

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