DAR NIGHT LIFE - A Guideline by FWNB
One of the fastest growing cities in Africa
Friendswithnobenz (FWNB) is the creation of Dar-es-Salaam based duo, Pie and Ian, whom together created a shared Instagram page that first started as a joke aimed at poking fun at one and other for personal laughs. It has since evolved into somewhat of a brand of its own that showcases their friendship and creativity in promoting and enjoying the Dar nightlife. Whether you catch them at one of their advertised “Meet and Greets” or at their “Headquarters”, the duo is all about spreading positive messages, the joys of the city, and the pleasure of doing it with friends... Even without a benz.
P: I took the liberty of googling a little bit about dar beforehand
I: obviously, you have to google
P: but I knew from the start that Dar’s name translates to ‘haven of peace’. But I found out that the actual translation from Arabic is closer to ‘home of peace’, which I like better…but then again, Wikipedia doesn’t have all the answers.
I: quick lines about our history: we got our independence in 1961, and our first president was mwalimu Julius Nyerere.
P: we’re about 5 million people in Dar I think…and we are actually one of the fastest growing cities in Africa
I: commercially too, we’re growing really fast
P: we’re the economic capital of the whole country
I: but we’re not the country capital of the city
P: that’s actually my pet peeve, when whole publications mess that up. And what are we to the world?
I: we are known for the coast, the ocean…the great Indian ocean
WHY SHOULD SOMEONE EXPERIENCE THE NIGHTLIFE
I: you’re like the party animal between the two of us, you should answer this
P: wow untrue. Whenever we go out, you’re the one who ends up knowing everyone…but anyway, whatever I say will be super biased since i’m from here, raised here and have deep ties here. But in all honesty, this place is so live. What do you think? I have more to say but you go (liveliness)
I:..Dar has so many options and places you can go to. If you get bored of one place you can go to the next, and its probably popping. (variety)
P: I also think that we know how to have a good time. Dar people don’t seem to need an excuse to party or celebrate, no matter what day of the week. We turn up like we don’t have work or church in the morning. (good company)
I: and the price is reasonable…friendly even. You know, friends with no benz type.
P: wow. Plug.
I: And the weather!! It doesn't really restrict us, we don’t have to stress about the weather so much, unless it’s the rainy season
P: that’s true. Rainy season is around March to April, or early June…and even then people will still be out, but definitely far less as the roads can get pretty messy
I: I wouldn't say Dar is an expensive city.
P: You can find a good range of activities and locations depending on your budget for sure
I: finding a place in your budget, your best bet is staying in mikocheni or in masaki, since they are the closest to the places that would make your stay more comfortable….the price of staying there however?
P: yeah, to actually stay in a place in masaki would be quite expensive.
I: where would the average tourist stay though? Airbnb, and they would be in masaki or mikocheni
P: fine that’s true. Airbnb would probably have the best deals for places you can stay, but places like bed and breakfasts would be very pricey. If you’re a hotel person, the expensive majority are in town, and those are nice.
P: where do you think someone should be staying?
I: i suggest an airbnb first and foremost. But of course depending on your budget, you could decide on a 3-5 star hotel
P: the advantages of the hotels is that they are the safest in terms of security, and access to luxury and even some nice bars and even a club if you go to the right one
I: the advantages to staying in an airbnb, other than price, is that you get to have a more homely feeling, and you get to experience how everyone lives around you a little more (local). Popular options for young people on a budget would be airbnb, and then through your host’s recommendations you can find out the best places to go that you might not be able to get from a hotel experience
P: so again, masaki and mikocheni are the popular areas. And again, I’m noticing how biased we are because that’s where we live…but we’re not lying either! Everyone will show up to those areas without fail, every weekend.
P: a gift to dares salaam. Remember when we didn’t have uber, Ian?
I: bajaj life was the way only. Also known as tuk-tuks, or rickshaws.
P: and it’s important to add that if you go with the uber option, it’s best to note on the app that you will be paying with cash instead of card, because I've heard of plenty people who can’t catch an uber ride for that reason.
I: people club, and bar hop. For people in mbezi beach (farther away from the club scene in masaki), they would normally go to The Pallet or The Hangover
P: I’ve never even heard of The Hangover. I’m such a masaki kid.
I: for the people in mikocheni, who are in between mbezi and masaki they have more options. Most of the time all roads lead to Tips Lounge
P: for us masaki people, or those who end up in our ends, Elements Lounge ends up being the spot for the weekend. But there are also places like Triniti, George and Dragon, now Octagon, and so many other places for the bar vibe. But there are also more events that cater to people who are interested in poetry jams and more artistic spaces
I: right, recently there was a pop up exhibition hosted at the renaissance plaza, and there are things like Lyricist Lounge, where creatives can showcase their poetry, music, or other talents. That’s a beautiful time. And there’s also Nafasi art space which is always hosting free art shows and workshops throughout the week.
P: and then we get festivals such as the ‘nyamachoma festival’ which comes around every so often. That starts in the day time and can be a fun event to go with the whole family, have some meat and some beers maybe, you know, enjoy the live music.. Which later leads into the night-time too which is also a nice vibe after a full day of eats and drinks.
I: other general activities that aren’t necessarily always hosted by event planners, are those impromptu (or planned) days at the neighboring islands, like Mbudya or Bongoyo. Grab a bunch of your friends and fakes, head to the island with your drinks, and spend the day surrounded by the clearest water you’ll experience in this city & possibly East Africa
P: okay, chill on ‘East Africa’...zanzibar exists. And fanjove island. Now that water is CLEAR
I: And so does Diani. *smirks*
P: you’re going too far Ian, don’t give it to them.
I: Oh man, should we talk about the food? I root for local food. The Zege aka the Swahili omelette (made with fries & eggs), I’d definitely recommend going to Edos Chips located along Kimweri Ave. Get that shit with some Mshikaki (Barbeque-roasted goat/beef) and you’ll have the itis even before the plate’s cleared.
P: Mega shoutouts to Jackie’s bar one time!
I: How DARE I leave jackie’s out, yikes!
P:that’s our official unofficial headquarters. Right there on what I like to call the masaki strip. They consistently serve the best supu ya ulimi, which is cow tongue soup...i think it’s cow.
I: Why aren't we talking about the Seafood? Like where would you go for great Seafood?
P: Thai Kani, hands down!! They have some of the best sushi there is to have in dar. And their thai food is excellent as well, oh wow, i’m salivating at the thought of it. Delicious food with a view, can’t go wrong.
I: I never was a fan of sushi until I had some from Thai Kani and that changed my whole perspective
P: another quaint place that we both enjoy is The Olive. it’s such a chill space, and they let you get creative with building your own juices and smoothies. They host events every now and then too which suits the cosy ambience they've managed to create there.
I: and Central Park Cafe in Upanga is another necessary visit. Beautiful space with a great variety on their menu. Highly recommend.
MUST SEE/VISIT PLACES
I: we’ve already mentioned the islands as a place to go. In addition to that, the historical sites and museums are cool places to go and learn about the city on a more factual level. They still have MwalimuNyerere’s Rolls Royce over there!
P: you know what, i’ve never been inside the museum! and its my constant regret. We should go! We can record it for the vlog
I: ayy, shoutouts to our vlog, stay tuned for it everybody. It’ll be out by 2087...or perhaps sooner?
P: yeah, you keep teasing the fans Ian. get their hopes up! People hound us so much for this vlog man...but seriously, back to the question. I think people should go to Coco Beach, its always busy with people. Keep watch of your belongings though, you never know what could happen in busy places, but they also have a bar there and serve delicious fish mshikaki. You simply cannot go wrong with a combo of Mshikaki and beer...or even konyagi.
I: Shoot, might as well go for both
P: go ahead and show yourself some love.
COOL KIDS/CELEBS HANGOUT
P: dang, all over the damn place it seems. For sure to catch the cool kids and TZ celebs, you have to attend events like Brunchin’, Life’s A Beach, Groove Theory, and saturday kickbacks at East 24.
I: Basically the organized or sponsored events hosted by specific creative collectives. And on a regular weekend night it’s usually Elements, where the majority of people go.
P: And again the islands, or even more exclusively, on boats
I: that’s real. There’s also the chance to rent out boats for a whole day, so people might end up doing that to have a different vibe to close off or enjoy their weekend.