Dar es Salaam
The bustling business center of Tanzania
The Dar es Salaam of first glance is like many African cities, bursting at the seems with people, trouble and poverty. This would not, however, be doing this young city justice as, once you delve a little deeper, a vibrant, innovative society emerges that is forging forwards into the 21st century. Many who arrive into Tanzania for safari and beach will never even set foot in the city, but, for those that are interested, it offers a glimpse of Africa's modern future.
The capital of Tanzania in all but name, Dar es Salaam is a relatively new city having been founded in the 1860s by the then Sultan of Zanzibar, Majid. Following a series of ups and downs the city/port became established in the early 20th century as the main base of operations for the German empire and the heart of trade in East Africa.
Today, as one wanders through the dusty streets of the city, it is possible to see a few remnants of this history with architecture originating from Germany, Great Britain and, above all the Arabs. This does however still remain a predominantly Swahili city and, as such, there is a laid back and relaxed feel to both the pace of life and the people that reside here.
Without a huge amount of "sights" to be seen we rarely recommend more than a couple of nights in the city, but for those that are interested, it is a rewarding experience.
At a glance... Dar es Salaam
- Size 3.2 million inhabitants
- Location Eastern Tanzania coast
- Recommended time 1 to 2 nights
- Time to visit Year round
- Activities beach, a few historical monuments