Henry Ssemanda has worked at The Kilimanjaro in Dar es Salaam for five years and is a fount of local knowledge about the city.

As the first five-star hotel in Tanzania, The Kilimanjaro has been an iconic landmark on the Dar es Salaam skyline since 1965. Following renovations, the hotel has been operating as the Hyatt Regency Dar es Salaam, The Kilimanjaro since 2011. A favourite of business leaders, heads of state, and celebrities, it is situated on Kivukoni Road, and boasts fantastic views.

Henry Ssmanda
Henry Ssmanda
Image: Gillian McLaren

Where’s the party? Rouge nightclub, at the Hyatt Regency, is open from 9pm till late and has a classy interior.

An eatery loved by the locals? Chef’s Pride on India Street, part of the old city, is known for its Swahili dishes and Indian fusion food. Try the biryani — chicken or mutton.

An outdoor activity worth the effort? Two islands close to Dar, Bongoyo Island and Mbudya Island, have beaches as good as the Carribean. The snorkelling and diving are beautiful.

Best high-end restaurant? Oriental at the Hyatt Regency offers elegant fine dining. It serves fresh grouper and crayfish, sushi, and south-east-Asian cuisine.

Harbour view from Kivukoni Road
Harbour view from Kivukoni Road
Image: Gillian McLaren

An event we shouldn’t miss? The Serengeti Fiesta winds up in Dar towards the end of each year. It’s a culmination of music concerts around the country by local artists.

Great local band? The Tanzanite Band plays at the Karambezi Café at the Seacliff Hotel, on Saturday and Sunday evenings, and during Sunday brunch at the Hyatt. 

Best local markets? Kariakoo Market is great for saris, East African Kitenge cloth, gold, silver, and especially tanzanite jewellery at the best price in the 
world.

Best shopping for authentic local products? The Mwenge Market offers handicrafts, traditional carvings, and paintings in the Tingatinga style.

Ocean view from the Hyatt Regency
Ocean view from the Hyatt Regency

Signature dish of Tanzania? Try chipsi mayai, made with blanched chips and egg poured over and flipped, like an omlette.

Great spot for a business meeting? Mlimani City shopping centre near the University of Dar es Salaam.

You can’t come to Dar es Salaam without? A visit to the Slipway on the bay overlooking the ocean. The shopping and leisure centre boasts small shops and an artsy open area — it’s a great place to chill. You’ve also got to see the fish market.

Don’t miss? Photographing the Askarai Monument — a memorial to the askari soldiers who fought in the British Carrier Corps in the first world war.

hyattregency.com

Passengers boarding the ferry
Passengers boarding the ferry
Image: Gillian McLaren
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