You only have to read the various tourist review sites out there to get a gist of how evocative Dar es Salaam’s Kariakoo Market can be.
Kariakoo intimidates some, scares, repulses, bewilders, confuses and overwhelms others. But, it is a real living working market. A place that has all of life and its complex wonders within it. Many markets across the world begin like this. Eventually they catch the attention and welcome in hoards of tourists. Kariakoo has not gone down this path yet. It is an honest local market that shows aspects of life in Dar es Salaam laid bare within it.
Aside from being a sprawling market (it is hard to figure out where it starts or ends), there is far more to Kariakoo that meets the eye. The word “Kariakoo” comes from the mispronunciation of Carrier Corps which is how the structure at the heart of the market started life back when the British took Dar es Salaam in 1916. In 1972 the looming Brutalist structure we see today was built by the Germans to replace the colonial market.
Going even further back into history, the area once housed a large village frequently raided by Arab slavers.
Today it is an important part of life in Dar es Salaam spanning several city blocks and open from dawn till dusk providing vital supplies to locals.
Advice for visitors:
Leave your expensive cameras and watches behind.
Be careful and respectful when taking photos.
Wear closed shoes and watch where you step.
Smile, be kind and friendly.
More info | Architectural Notes on Kariakoo |