Dar-es-Salaam is the largest city in Tanzania with population of about 2,500,000 people. It is the economic centre and former capital of Tanzania. Dar es Salaam which is located on a harbor on the Indian Ocean is the main port for Tanzania, handling exports of cotton, coffee and sisal. Local industries include food products, textiles, pharmaceuticals and cement. The harbor also serves to the neighboring countries of Rwanda, Burundi and DRC (Democratic Republic of Congo).
The city of Dar-es-Salaam which was formerly called Mzizima a name meaning “healthy town,” is a historical milestone of Tanzania since the time of Arabs and European colonists. For example, Sultan Majid bin Said, the then sultan of Zanzibar; saw the potential of Dar-es-Salaam port as the centre of the East African coast.
The port was the major route to ship slaves and raw materials to European countries. The Sultan named it “Darussalaam” meaning ”The Haven of Peace.”
In 1859, Albert Roscher from Germany became the first European to land in Dar-es-Salaam. Majid’s death in 1870, made the town’s advancement decline, but was revived again in 1887, when the German East Africa Company established a station there. The town served as the administrative and commercial centre of German East Africa (Deutch Ost Afrika). It is this company that built the Central Railway Line early 1900s. The German rule ended after World War II. After WWII, Tanganyika became a British subject, and Dar- es -Salaam remained the administrative and commercial centre of the territory.
While in Dar-es-Salaam city centre, one can visit the seaport, Kariakoo (old market area), Best Hotel (built in1920’s), Kaiserhof Hotel (now New Africa Hotel) and Sixty years old German building located at the junction of the present Sokoine Drive and Azikiwe Street .
National Museum: At the National Museum you will see fossils from Oldupai Gorge, Mkwawa’s cranium and handicrafts.
The VILLAGE MUSEUM is also located inside the National Museum. The Village Museum depicts different styles of traditional housing from various regions.
In addition there is Nyumba ya Sanaa (House of Arts): In Nyumba ya Sanaa in which there is a collection of Handicrafts from around the country.
The Old Church: You will also see one of the earliest Christian Churches built by Germans missionaries in the country, the Azania Front and Osterbay. The Indian Ocean has white sand beaches and environmental features formed by the ocean waves and can easily be seen. Coral reefs are plenty.