Dar es Salaam, Tanzania Travel Guide

Off the east coast of Africa lies the well-known fishing village of Dar es Salaam. It houses well over 5.5 million inhabitants, making Dar es Salaam the most populous city in Africa. Dar es Salaam has the pleasure of being the pit stop of many tourists. Many stay briefly in the city, then go on a safari at Arusha or a beach holiday on Zanzibar.

Despite the fact that Dar es Salaam has not been the capital of Tanzania since 1974, its status must not be underestimated. Dar es Salaam has provided the framework for many important decisions over time, and remains Tanzania’s commercial capital.

Dar es Salaam’s location

According to thereligionfaqs, Tanzania’s largest city Dar es Salaam has its place on the east coast of Africa. Here the city spreads over 1,590 km2. Dar es Salaam is the typical starting point for many travelers when exploring the wonders of Africa. Although there are no direct flights between Denmark and Dar es Salaam, the city is clearly worth a holiday. Here is a lot to see and a lot to experience.

Experiences in Dar es Salaam

The waterfront

A good place to start the day is at the city’s beautiful waterfront. Take a stroll here and you will be able to see and explore the beautiful treasures from the colonial era. Buildings like Tanzania’s Court of Appeal and the Azania Front Lutheran Church are still very well maintained and elegant to look at. To this day, the port handles over 90 per cent. of Tanzania’s freight traffic.

National Museum and House of Culture

Until 2011, this building was called the King George V Museum, but after the renovation, you will now find an instructive national museum that pays homage to the African cultural heritage of Tanzania. The museum offers permanent exhibitions about Tanzanian wildlife, African culture and the way of life of the ancient tribes.

It is also this museum you should visit if you are interested in Tanzania’s somewhat changeable political history. The museum also houses several different archeological collections. Among other things, you can experience fossils of human ancestors called Zinjanthropus and Homo Habilis .

Karimjee Hall

Right next to the House of Culture is the former parliament building from 1916. The old parliament is a somewhat lavish building, which unfortunately can only be admired from the outside. During the day, the building is closed off, as it is now used for political meetings. It is also typical here that larger events have their place.

The building has, among other things, housed Swahili Fashion Week and many major concerts with well-known African artists. Our own regent couple were welcomed into this building when they were on an official visit to Tanzania back in 2008.

Kariakoo market

Tanzania’s largest market is located in the heart of Dar es Salaam. In the large and somewhat chaotic market, you can buy yourself into pretty much everything the Tanzanian markets otherwise have to offer. Everything from fresh ingredients and fragrant spices, to a beautiful traditional kanga can be acquired here. However, be careful about eating the fresh fruit if it has been sprayed with water.

If the trip goes to the vibrant and atmospheric market, remember to pay attention to your pockets. Here you go close, so keep money and valuables right up to the body. However, the market is still worth a visit as it is a great experience to see how a genuine African trade market works.

Jackies bar

Jackie’s bar is a great place to end a busy day. The bar is built and managed by a strong Tanzanian woman, whom the bar is also named after. Like many other bars in Dar es Salaam, this is a container bar and Jackies is among the most famous. Here, both locals and migrants meet over a beer or a bite of Tanzanian food. Often, all the glory can even be enjoyed to the tunes of live music.

Wonder workshop

At Wonder workshop, you are guaranteed a unique experience, as well as a good opportunity to buy unique souvenirs. Here you will meet a number of artisans who all have a physical disability. Their creativity is great, and out of all kinds of recycling, they create humorous sculptures, for example.

It is without a doubt life-affirming and a great experience to see the craftsmen at work when assembling screws and cans. The outcome is both fun to look at, and beautiful in its very own way.

Bongoyo Island

Only six kilometers from Dar es Salaam is a small tropical island, which is clearly worth a day trip. Here there is plenty of opportunity for relaxation on the island’s white sandy beach. The turquoise waters of the coral reef invite you to snorkel, and the temperature here is far more comfortable than in the densely populated streets of Dar es Salaam.

The tropical paradise does not contain much, nor is it particularly overrun, so the island has the perfect setting to relax in. On the beach there is also a small cafe where you can enjoy grilled fish and cold drinks.


About an hour and a half drive from Dar es Salaam is the historic city of Bagamoyo. The city, which was founded in the 19th century, was the original capital of East Africa. Today, the city is one of the oldest Swahili cities on the coast.

Back in the 1800s, Bagamoyo was one of the most important ivory and slave ports. The city is clearly worth a visit, as there are still many buildings and ruins that are traced back to the city’s time as a slave port. For those interested in history, the city is very interesting. In addition to the history of the harbor, you can also experience some of the first Christian missionary stations as well as signs from the German colonial era.

Bagamoyo means “leave your heart” in Swahili, and it’s hard not to fall in love with the small town. In addition to its maintained historic buildings and ruins, the city also offers beautiful sandy beaches. In Bagamoyo there is something to experience for the whole family.

Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Dar es Salaams history

The history of Dar es Salaam goes back further than the actual resurrection of the city. Since the 20th century, a small coastal fishing village called Mzizima has had its place on the east coast of Africa. Around the year 1865, Zanzibar’s Sultan Majid bin Said built a new and larger city just up the Mzizima. The two cities become one unit and Dar es Salaam is created.

When the sultan dies in 1870, Dar es Salaam experiences a sharp decline. However, the city’s rescue took place as early as 1887, when the German East African Company took over the area and built a station in the city.

Formation of Tanzania

Like so many other German colonies in Africa, Dar es Salaam smoked under British rule after World War I. The city thus became part of the British colony of Tanganyika. The size of the city made Dar es Salaam an excellent hub for trade and industry, and the city’s popularity grew at a rapid pace.

In 1964, Tanganyika gains independence from British rule. Three years later, Tanganyika and Zanzibar merge, and Tanzania as we know it is thus created. Dar es Salaam remains the capital of Tanzania.

An extended family

In 1967, Ujamaa is formed, which in Swahili means “extended family”, brotherhood or socialism. Ujamaa was a party system created to strengthen the unity of newly formed Tanzania. It was precisely this initiative that stopped the growth of Dar es Salaam for a time when politicians urged people to remain in the nearby socialist villages. The whole purpose was to combat the poverty, hunger and delayed development that Tanzania faced.

The Ujamaa policy proved to be a failure, which is why in 1980 it went down the drain. Thereafter, Tanzanian politics became far more liberal, and migration to Dar es Salaam increased sharply. The violent urbanization in the 1990s created many new local businesses, banks headquartered in the city, and the port became an extremely important trading area for the city.

To this day, Dar es Salaam is undergoing a violent “building boom” in which no building can be tall and beautiful enough. The city is Tanzania’s most popular city in fashion, art, media, music, movies and TV.

Dear child has many names..

.. And the same apparently applies to cities. Mzizima, as the city was originally called, means “healthy city” in Swahili. When Dar es Salaam was first created, as a neighboring town to Mzizima, the correct translation of the city name would be “home of peace” . After the two cities were merged, Dar es Salaam today has the meaning “port of peace” . In everyday speech, the city is also called “Dar” among the locals.

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