Kariakoo - Dar Es Salaam
This bustling commercial and residential area revolves around the busy Kariakoo market at its centre, which is open from dawn to dusk seven days a week. This is the place to buy fresh fruit and vegetables – which elsewhere seem to be in short supply – and other food items as well as clothes, handicrafts and other local products.
The plethora of shops lining the narrow streets laid out in a grid system around the market sell everything, from textiles to electricity generators, from bathroom sinks to stationery, from spare parts for cars to household furniture. There is also at least one mosque opening directly onto the street.
To the west of the area is the pleasant Mnazi Mmoja park with its primary school, small hospital and uhuru (meaning “freedom” in Swahili) torch monument built to mark Tanzania’s independence from Britain in 1961.
Housing is in nondescript concrete apartment blocks of varying sizes and which stand close together; many of the buildings are incomplete. This is a colourful, stimulating area but it is not for everyone and foreign residents are few and far between. It is best to go with someone who knows the area well and without any valuables.