Dar es Salaam is a relatively modern city, a little more than a century old that has an old world charm. It shows none of the overwhelming bustle that capital cities often possess, and the name that the founding Sultan of Zanzibar gave it in 1857 still applies: "Haven of Peace ".
It 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.
One of the most attractive features of Dar es Salaam is its harbour. The crescent bay is fringed with palm trees and gorgeously wrought sailing craft often waft into port.
The city displays the many influences of its history. There is an Asian District with tea rooms and restaurants and Hindu Temples, while the German colonization left behind a Bavarian style Railway Station, a Roman Catholic Cathedral and a Lutheran Church. 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!
Mwenge Village is the site of a score or more stalls selling carvings, jewelry, exotic cloth and trinkets of all kinds at bargain prices.
Makonde carving is probably the best known art work produced in East and Central Africa. This art is produced by the Makonde people, a Bantu speaking community who live in both north-eastern Mozambique and south-eastern Tanzania. Their material of choice is African Blackwood, or locally known as the 'mpingo'. Their work is both traditional and contemporary, reflecting a tribal past as well as modern response to urban life. They utilize their tribal myths and stories as inspiration for the masterful work.
The Village Museum is 12 km 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.
In the heart of Dar es Salaam there is a unique centre 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.
At 'Nyumba ya Sanaa', one finds many exciting creative activities to become absorbed in like painting, drawing, figurative wax batik and etching. Carvings of ebony are made as well as jewellery, ceramics and 'tie-and-dye' dresses for men, women and children.
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. 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.
On one side is seen the Uhuru Torch Monument erected to symbolize the Freedom Torch placed at the peak of Mt. Kilimanjaro upon Tanzania's attainment of independence. On the other side of the park is the Republic Fountain which commemorated the foundation of the republic in 1962.
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 makes it a must for every visitor.
The State House accommodates the offices of the President. It has an ornate structure reflecting a blend of African and Arabic architecture, partly built on the foundation of the old German Palace in 1922.
A 72km drive north of Dar es Salaam is Bagamoyo, a one-time slave port and terminus for the caravans. This tiny township is the nearest mainland point to Zanzibar and possesses sandy beaches set in a beautiful bay.
Livingstone's body rested in the tiny chapel of the convent here on its way back to London. The town mosque and Arab tombs date from the 18th and 19th centuries.
Some 5km to the south is the village of Kaole, near which are the ruins of a mosque and pillars believed to be 800 years old. To the north of Bagamoyo, near the Kenyan border, is the country's second port, Tanga. From here, the visitor can drive to the beautiful Usambara Mountains and Moshi on the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro.
Morogoro Stores located in Oysterbay area is the 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 have the freedom to use their brushes to express their thoughts in bright, eye-catching colours. A striking feature in most of these paintings is the way the artists capture the animals of the Eastern coast of Africa, in what appears to the a distorted yet a very interesting image of the original creature!
Tinga Tinga Art was pioneered by a farm boy named Edward Said Tinga Tinga......and that's how this interesting art got its name!
The Largest Water Park in East & Central Africa...
There are some secrets which are still well kept and the South beach of Dar es Salaam is one of them. Miles and miles of un-spoilt and undeveloped white sandy beaches.
To go to the South Beach, one needs to cross the pontoon across the Dar Harbour. These are always available. The pontoons run from 5 am to 1 am and the services run all the time. The crossing itself takes only 10 minutes, but the wait in the queue may take a little longer. However, it is worth the wait!!