About Dar es Salaam

Dar es Salaam is a patchwork of past and contemporary cultures with Eastern, German and British influence - Eastern in the shops and Bazaars of India street, German in the almost Bavarian Railway station and the post telegraph offices, British in the legacy of flowers and gardens.

It is fundamentally, however, a Swahili city. The first quality of the city that the visitor notices is the extreme friendliness of the people - beaming smiles enthusiastic conversation at the drop of a hat. The word Dar es Salaam is Kiswahili for 'Haven of Peace' whose most attractive feature is its habour. The crescent bay is fringed with palm trees and gorgeously wrought sailing craft often waft into port. The city's natural harbour and its central location on the coast made it a natural choice for a trading centre. Sultan Majid bin Said of Zanzibar had planned to develop the harbour in 1866. German colonists revived the Sultan's plan in 1887.

Dar es Salaam is the largest city and the political and economic capital of Tanzania. Located in a quiet bay off the Indian Ocean coast, the city has grown in economic importance to become a prosperous centre of the entire East African region. The city displays the many influences of its history. Its mixture of Arabic, Asian and European history gives a special atmosphere to surroundings, streets and life. A tour though the city to experience the true warmth and hospitality of the people of Dar es Salaam is a must!


St. Joseph's Cathedral: St Joseph's Roman Catholic Cathedral was started by missionaries in 1897 and took five years to finish. The Gothic style church dominates the harbor with a shingled spire, a vaulted interior and a carved relief above the main altar. The interior of St Joseph's features artwork and original German inscriptions.

National Museum of Arts (Nyumba ya Sanaa): Located in the heart of Dar es Salaam, Nyumba ya Sanaa is known for creating and selling Tanzanian arts and crafts. Many of the artists working here have developed their talents through training which enable them to transform traditional materials, designs and motifs into contemporary forms.

Karibu Arts Gallery: Karibu Arts Gallery located along Bagamoyo road, is dedicated to providing African artists with a base from which to display and sell their unique works. It is a job-creation project which buys arts at retail prices from the sellers on the streets of Africa, and makes their products available to a worldwide client-base. The gallery offers a wide range of beautifully designed utensils, baskets, pottery, chairs, jewellery and carvings.

Village Museum: The Village Museum is 12 Kms North of the centre of Dar es Salaam. It is an open-air site which has a collection of authentically constructed traditional houses of various Tanzanian tribes. It displays several distinct architectural styles with building materials ranging from sand, grass and poles to mud and rock. Villagers demonstrate their ancient skills of carving and weaving and offer their products for sale. Here, you can also enjoy traditional dance performances (ngoma) during the weekends.

Kariakoo Market: This beautiful main market has an interesting local colour and a diversity of peoples as well as exotic fruits, fresh fish, food products, handicrafts, local textile material and many other locally made products. The market's colour, charm and character make it a must for every visitor.

Kivukoni Fish Market: Life in Dar es Salaam revolves around the huge harbour, with the business district fanning out from here in a series of fascinating side and main streets. On the northern arm of the harbour is Kivukoni Front, with its bustling fish market, where every morning at dawn the dhows sail in to offload the night's catch and yelling vendors sell an assortment of seafood from giant crabs, lobster and red snapper, to more unusual items such as bluefish and sea urchins.

University of Dar es Salaam: The University is situated on the West side of the city of Dar es Salaam, occupying 1,625 acres on Observation Hill, 13kms from the centre of the city of Dar es Salaam. Itwas born out of a decision taken on March 25th, 1970, by the East African Authority, to split the then University of East Africa into three independent universities for Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.

Mwenge Craft Market: Mwenge Village is the site of a score or more stalls selling carvings, jewellery, exotic cloth and trinkets of all kinds at bargain prices.

National Museum: The outstanding attraction is the Hall of Man where Dr. Leakey's finds from Olduvai Gorge including the skull of Nutcrackerman (Zinjanthropus bosei) and other human fossils are displayed.national museum, dar es salaam The Museum offers an outstanding ethnographic collection of tribal ornaments, head-dresses, witch-craft paraphernalia and traditional musical instruments collected from various regions in Tanzania. Also, the history of the East African Coast is well portrayed with Chinese porcelain glazed pottery, trade wide beads from India and a series of copper coins from the Sultan of Kilwa.

Morogoro Stores: Morogoro Stores is a place where you will find many Tinga Tinga artists who make and sell Tinga Tinga paintings. Tinga Tinga is one of the many forms of impressionism the beautiful and mysterious continent of Africa has given birth to. Artists use their brushes to express their thoughts in bright, eye-catching colours. A must buy for friends and family back home!

Cancer Research Hospital: On 1st October 1997 Ocean Road Hospital in Dar es Salaam commemorated one hundred years of its existence. Built initially by and partially funded by the Germans, it is a specialist cancer hospital in close cooperating with the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) in Heidelberg.