The L List Living : Arrival in Dar Es Salaam

We arrived back from our visit to Dar es Salaam today and I will publish  a series of posts on my impressions as I recorded it while we were there .

18h 30 on 30 October 2012 : Arrival 

Heat, humid, cloying heat is the overwhelming sensation on disembarking from the plane at Julius Nyererre Airport in Dar es Salaam Tanzania. The airport building is small and hot and we are greeted by a babble of foreign sounds, blue entry forms to be filled in and the all important yellow card to be inspected.

First impression the airport at night

After clearing customs and collecting our baggage we head towards the exit eagerly anticipating seeing a our names being displayed by a driver who will take us to our daughter’s house. We are however greeted by a confusion of voices calling ” Karibo do you want taxi “ and a row of faces waving an assortment of papers with names of various nationalities but ours are not among them!

The  word karibo will become very familiar over the next few days as it means welcome and is the one thing that we truly felt everywhere in this country with its friendly people.

Feeling a little lost we waited an anxious 30 minutes before we spot a friendly face making his way through the thinning crowd waving a paper with our names on in the air.

Karibo, Welcome to Dar es Salaam “ he says “I will take you to your daughter.”

Outside our senses are overwhelmed by the sights, sounds and smells of a bustling African city on the way home after a day’s work. The driver bundles us and our baggage into the taxi and takes off at speed with all the windows open and the hot Dar air blowing in our faces and through our hair into the fray of evening rush hour traffic.

Scooters and tooters, bicycles and pedestrians, daladalas ( a kind of mini bus taxi ) and bjajs ( a three wheeled smaller taxi ), busses and car taxis all intent on reaching their destination seem to fight for right of way without taking  robots and stop street crossings into account. Amongst this chaos there must be some form of order as we reach our destination unscathed but a little shaken!

Ready to start our adventure.

Street scenes in Dar es Salaam