Dar Es Salaam City
Dar es Salaam formerly Mzizima – a small fishing Village, it’s now a Tanzania’s largest and richest city, the largest city in eastern Africa by population, and is a regionally important economic Centre. Bursting with interesting culture, history, food and people. It is Tanzania’s most prominent city in arts, fashion, media, music, film and television. The city is the leading arriving and leaving point for most tourists who visit tourism areas in Tanzania like the National Parks for safaris and the islands of Zanzibar.
Main Tourist Attractions:
National Museum & House of Culture
Originally opened in 1940 as a memorial to King George V, the National Museum & House of Culture takes visitors on a journey through Tanzania’s colorful past. The museum displays important fossils of some of the earliest human ancestors unearthed during the Leakey digs at Olduvai Gorge. Visitors can learn about Tanzania’s tribal heritage and the impact of the slave trade and colonial periods. Other highlights of the museum include ethnographic displays on traditional crafts, customs, ornaments, and musical instruments.
One of the most well-known historical statues of significance in Dar Es Salaam is Askari Monument. Cast in bronze, the Askari Monument depicts an Askari (soldier) in a World War I uniform, the bayonet of his rifle pointing towards the nearby harbor. The monument commemorates the African troops who fought as the Carrier Corps in World War I. Look for the inscription in English and Swahili written by Rudyard Kipling, the famous British writer and poet.
Home to the Dar es Salaam Horticultural Society, the Botanical Gardens were established in 1893 by Professor Stuhlmann, the first Director of Agriculture. They were used as a trial plot for testing different types of plantation crops and tree species. Today garden enthusiasts can admire an enchanting mix of indigenous and exotic plants including purple bougainvillea, blue jacaranda, scarlet flame trees, and red hibiscus. Though the gardens are only a fraction of their former size, they are one of the few places in the world to see the beautiful coco-de-mer palm tree, outside of its native Seychelles.
Azania Front Lutheran Church
German missionaries built Azania Front Lutheran Church in 1898. The red-tile belfry rises above the surrounding rooftops, and the whitewashed building is still an iconic landmark in Dar es Salaam. Tiled canopies over the windows provide shade and the gardens are a welcome retreat for weary tourists. At one time Azania was the center of the original nineteenth century German mission; it is now the cathedral for the diocese.
St. Joseph’s Cathedral
Built by German missionaries from 1897 through 1902, this Gothic-style, Roman Catholic church dominates the Dar es Salaam harbor front. Its most striking features include a shingled spire, vaulted interior, and stained-glass windows. The cathedral contains many of the original German inscriptions and artwork, including a carved relief above the main altar. It is the seat of the Dar es Salaam archdiocese.
Kivukoni Fish Market
Many varieties of fish in every shape and size are sold here, both retail and wholesale, to city dwellers, restaurateurs and people from outside the city who know Kivukoni Fish Market is the best place to buy fish in Tanzania.
Makumbusho Village Museum
About six miles north of the city center, the Village Museum showcases traditional dwellings from some of Tanzania’s 120 ethnic groups. Visitors can wander through replicas of tribal homesteads scattered across 15 acres, and watch local artisans demonstrate their traditional painting, weaving, and carving skills. The museum also hosts Ngoma, tribal dances, and other cultural activities.
Mwenge Wood Carvers’ Village
Located on the outskirts of town, Mwenge Carvers’ Village is a great attraction in Dar Es Salaam if you are in the market for Tanzanian souvenirs. Though there is a lot of the same type of things, if you take the time to browse around you’ll come away with some unique and quality Tanzanian handicrafts.