Arriving in Dar es Salaam
Work and studies have been selfish with my time but I finally made the time to start with my posts on the few days I spent in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. So let’s starting with arriving in Dar es Salaam!
Leaving for Dar
I was at OR Tambo early on the Tuesday morning. My stomach protested and begged me to indulge in breakfast and it sounded like a brilliant idea. I sat, had a warm cappuccino, ate breakfast and did a quick entry in my journal; what a great way to start a day!
With breakfast finished, I checked in and made my way to departures. I still had about three and a half hours to go but I wanted to sit and read while I waited for my work colleague. Time sailed by and before I knew it I met up with my colleague and we continued with our usual chats. He is a very interesting and entertaining character and there truly never is a dull moment.
We boarded the plane and my nerves stirred ever so slightly. I did not know what to expect from Dar, as Dar es Salaam is often referred to, and it would be my first time in an East African country.
The flight wasn’t too bad and my very outgoing colleague made friends very quickly.
An almost 2-Hour Trip to the Hotel
As we exited the plane, we quickly made our way through the stream to people. We had already filled in our required forms before-hand but had to redo it because had been the wrong form. Other than that, we quickly passed through border control, collected our bags and stepped out into the humid air of Dar es Salaam.
It was definitely a very different experience. There were people everywhere! Luckily we quickly found our taxi that would take us to the hotel. We would be staying at the Slipway Hotel, about 19.4 km from the airport.
The trip to the hotel took us about two hours. The traffic was a lot and very different from the traffic in South Africa. Once we left the main road, the roads became mostly potholes filled with a lot of water. It was definitely an interesting experience but I was relieved to finally arrive at the hotel.
The Slipway Hotel is situated on Yacht Club road, overlooking Msasani Bay. We booked in and made our way to our rooms. I took a few photos from my balcony and tested the air conditioning but was met with silence.
It turned out the whole floor’s system was not working so we went back to reception to sort out the matter. The hotel manager was very helpful, very kind and was more than willing to give us a free upgrade to the suites on the top floor, overlooking the water. The rooms were very spacious and beautiful; and had an even better view!
With most of the day already passed, we met up with one of our other work colleagues and went for a drink at and dinner at The Waterfront restaurant and bar. We had a relaxing evening, talking of work and other things.
That night I fell into a deep, restful slumber; a slumber I had not experienced in a very long time.
Be sure to check out my first post of day 2. The next day was long day and a busy day!
How do you usually spend your first day in a new country?
Let me know in the comments below.
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