My childhood hero, the writer Roald Dahl, lived in Dar es Salaam just as the Second World War broke out. That was the first time I’d heard of this city: reading his autobiographical Going Solo as a spindly-legged primary schoolchild. Dar es Salaam, Tanganyika – what strange-sounding names they were.
I read about Roald’s eccentric fellow passengers on the boat to Dar, about his houseboy who beheaded a man with a sword, about encounters with deadly snakes – black and green mambas – and man-eating lions, about witnessing a German shot in the face as war breaks out. Continue reading