For the latest in our City Guide series we enlisted the help of MTV’s first Tanzanian VJ turned recording artist and all-around boss Vanessa Mdee to show us around Dar es Salaam. Below Vee drops knowledge on her hometown’s best spots for tunes, romance, food and more.
Best Concert Venue:

Vanessa Mdee: The Mlimani City Conference Hall is a pretty dope venue – you can transform it into whatever you envision for your concert, and the acoustics are amazing for live performances. Also, the beaches in Dar es Salaam are extremely aesthetically pleasing and sometimes double as dope concert spots.

Best Night/Club Spot:

VM: Runway Lounge and Bar, if you’re visiting and are trying to find a spot to rock your heels and mingle with some to Dar’s elite this is the spot. Or, you could hit up Maisha Club and get down to the hottest local and international music with the locals.

Best Restaurant:

VM: Depends on what you’re into – The Oriental at the Hyatt for sushi, Akemi for an amazing 360 degree view of the city (it revolves), Samaki Samaki for that youthful Tanzanian vibe, Addis in Dar for Ethiopian cuisine or your local hole-in-the wall a.k.a. ‘Mama Ntilie’ for your Swahili dish.

The view from Akemi.
Best Date Spot:

VM: The Slipway, with a variety of restaurants right beside the ocean the Slipway is easily one of Dar es Salaam’s prime locations. Trust me, you will fall in love with the sunset and maybe that hot date. Or, the swanky Cape Town Fish Market located right on the beach as well with some of the most exotic cocktails and a variety of sea food dishes.
Best drink to have while in town:

VM: Konyagi!!! You gotta try our local Tanzanian gin. Be warned, this is NOT FOR THE LIGHTWEIGHT.

Best outdoor spot/activity:

VM: Visit our marine reserves Mbudya, Bongoyo or Sinda Island — located 20-30 mins out. These islands are Dar es Salaam’s best kept secret (though probably not for long). At almost close to nothing you can swim in the clearest warm waters of the Indian ocean. You can even catch your lunch *wink* BYOB!!!

Photo via VKM
Best quiet spot for working on music:

VM: THE B’Hits Studio in Kawe.
Catch up on City Guides from Alec Lomami [Kinshasa], Christian Tiger School [Cape Town], Bombino [U.S. Touring], Blitz the Ambassador [NYC], and Just A Band [Nairobi].


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