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Dar es Salaam. So, at last, after 44 years I got back to Dar es Salaam!
Dar is where Frances and I first entered the harbor in early 1967 after more than three weeks on the Rhodesia Castle. We left by plane (a VC 10) in mid 1969/
Dar is also where George and I met and where I met George's late wife Liz and his son Paul now Dr Paul and primary arranger of our Game Park safari.
I wanted to stay in the New Africa Hotel which is where we stayed when we first arrived in Dar in 1967.
|So here, in this photo, back in 1967 Frances is sitting with Clare on left and Paul center drinking I would guess a fresh lime.|
The hotel has been rebuilt and has some nice restaurants, well designed guest rooms, a swimming pool and a casino.
But it is still on the same site as it was in 1967.
The New Africa hotel is still right across the street from the Lutheran church which looks unchanged from when we were there.
Dar Harbor is behind the church.
|The Askari monument still sits in the middle of the Keep Lefti (roundabout) just a few yards away from the New Africa Hotel.|
|Tancot House, my first office in Dar for the Ministry of Communications Labour and Works, still stands on the other side of the Agip hotel, which, however, seems to be in the process of demolition.|
|The road from the New Africa Hotel past Tancot House towards the National Museum and the Kilimanjaro Hotel still looks much the same although the trees must have grown quite a bit in 44 years.|
We hired a taxi driver to take us out to the locations beyond our normal walking range.
One of the first stops was the Kilimanjaro Hotel. When we were not swimming at Oyster Bay we would swim at the Kili pool. However, the pool has been moved from the ground level to the roof. All in all the hotel looks very swish!
It was here at the ticker tape machine in the lobby of the hotel that I learned of the invasion of Czechoslovakia by Russian tanks. I may well have been the first person to know of this in Tanzania.
In support of our Czech and Slovak staff I marched in the protest rally to the Russian Embassy.
Here is a photo of the Ocean Road Hospital where Lucy was born in September 1968.
George was telling people from Moshi that his daughter was born there, so that made her a Chagga (the local tribe), and by extension he was a Chagga.
So I asked what tribe Lucy would have belonged to being born here in Dar and our New Africa Hotel waitress obliged by writing down the name ZARAMO. So Lucy is Wazaramo (of the Zaramo tribe).
More on Lucy's citizenship below.
Here is an image of the hospital from the Ocean Road side.
At the time Lucy was born we were still British citizens and so we would normally have registered her birth at the British High Commission in Dar. But Britain and Tanzania had recently broken off diplomatic relations (over Rhodesia, UDI, sanctions, kith and kin etc.) So Lucy was registered at the Canadian Embassy (British Interests Section). She also got a Tanzanian birth certificate. So she can make a case for British, US, Canadian, Tanzanian and Zaramo citizenship!
|Here is St. Peters' Catholic Church we attended while in Dar. Looks much the same.|
So one disappointment was that we had hoped to find the old home at Breeze Lane, Upanga where the Shawcrosses and Psychases were neighbors.
We knew it was just behind the Palm Beach Hotel. We knew the approach was off United Nations Road and that there was a big open field with palm trees between Breeze Lane and the Palm Beach Hotel.
But 44 years is long enough that somebody found a better use for the land and we think our old apartment was demolished.
Paul Shawcross on his visit to Dar had also tried to locate it and failed.
I think the reason is that it no longer exists.
That's progress, I guess!
|We visited the fish market which is very lively and large.|
Finally, after three weeks (and 44 years) George and I went down to Oyster Bay just North of Dar.
The tide was lower than I remembered and there is a lot of new development in the area. Hotels, houses etc. In many ways Dar seems to be booming.
If the Tanzanians can avoid conflicts between Christians and Muslims and make sure that top level corruption does not get worse, they should do well.
In the Dar airport departure lounge we met three oil and gas drillers on their way home. Recently significant gas deposits have been found off the southern coast of Tanzanian and this could be a godsend, or a curse!
So that is the last phase of our safari. If you want to jump back you can use the links below.
Lastly, Dar es Salaam.