This past Sunday, Dallas, Kristin, Claurien and I did the Afriroots bike tour here in Dar es Salaam. The bike tour was very insightful for all of the interns and allowed us to explore areas of Dar that we otherwise would not of. My initial thought was that the tour would take us to more tourist friendly stops in Dar but the interns and I were rather surprised.
Our guide explained to us that Afriroots was motivated to start the bike tour to expose tourists to different areas of Dar. This is because a lot of tourists come to Dar and only explore the expat populated areas. We definitely all agreed that had it not been for this tour we would not have visited most of these areas. We all thought the bike tour was worthwhile and below I am going to list a few of our experiences on the tour.
Here are 4 of my favourite things about the Afriroots bike tour in Dar:
Coffee on the side of the street
Our guide explained that Tanzania was once known as the “bongo” city. This was because to succeed in the city young men needed to think of new ideas that would allow them to succeed in the city. At this stop he took us to a coffee shop nicknamed Starscacks, which is a play on words of Starbucks. We got to try the Arabica bean coffee and enjoy some Tanzanian candy.
Breakfast at Mama’s
The generous breakfast included chapatti, chai and fried rice balls. For many of us, it was the first time trying this food. Mama Ashira cooks a traditional Tanzanian breakfast that you can enjoy right in the street.
The Kids in Makumbusho
In the Makumbusho area, the kids swarmed us and our bikes which initially left us all quite confused. Our guide told us that they wanted our bikes and that we could give them away. As the kids rode away we were all a bit anxious and wondered when we’d see them again. Thankfully, the kids had kindly rode them to our next stop and had parked them for us. The bridge in this community was also funded by money Afriroots had obtained through bike tours and fundraisers.
My personal favourite stop on the bike tour was at the market in Tandale. It was all of the interns first trip to a food marketplace in Tanzania. Discovering the different produce, fish and spices has made us all more eager to start our own interviews and research in Arusha!