Dar Es Salaam Fish Market – Tanzania’s Most Thrilling Auction!

By Mark Wiens 7 Comments

We arrived at the Kivukoni Fish Market in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania at about 6:30 am. Things were just getting underway, even the Home Boys were just beginning to offload their catch of the night.  The market was already beginning to buzz with life!

Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

As soon as the sun made it’s appearance over the harbor, Dar Es Salaam Fish Market instantly became more lively.


People poured through the gates of the market, ready to throw down their money at one of the many fish auction tables.  By 7 am, the market was blanketed with organized chaos.


Groups huddled around fish auction tables, depending on the size and type of fish they intended to bid on.

Fish Auction Dar es Salaam


After the fish auctioneer finished making a sale, sometimes there were raised voices, sometimes including a disagreement (see hand below?)



As the sun continued to rise over the bay, heating things up for the day, the Dar Es Salaam fish market continued to flare.








The Dar Es Salaam fish market consists of a rowdy exciting fish auction as well as a calmer side where vendors sell their catch throughout the day.  The calmer side makes it a little easier to make a purchase.  We chose a 7 kg Red Snapper for 6000 TSH / kg.


He sharpened his panga (machete) on the side of the concrete floor, preparing to fillet our freshly caught delicacy.



Within 5 minutes we had Red Snapper steaks and we were ready to head back home, excited for dinner!


How to Get There: Dar Es Salaam Fish Market

(Kivukoni Fish Market)

Dar Es Salaam fish market is located right next to downtown Dar Es Salaam, on Ocean Road, adjacent to the Kigamboni Ferry pier.  It’s not far to walk there from downtown or take a taxi.  If you drive a car, there is secure parking right across the street, at the grounds of the seashell and fresh market.

Dar Es Salaam fish market starts daily at dawn.  To see the fish auction, be there by 7 am.

HINT: There is an office located on the second story of the main market building.  Head up the stairs to enjoy an incredible view of the entire market and auction, and take a few photos!

Note: It’s a safe market to visit, but as with any crowded place, be careful with your belongings.