Dar-es-Salaam is the largest city in Tanzania with population of over 4,500,000 people. It is the National economic center and former capital of Tanzania, before moving its official Government to Dodoma. Dar es Salaam (Heaven of Peace) which is located on a harbor on the Indian Ocean is the main Sea port for Tanzania, handling all imports and 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 D.R.C (Democratic Republic of Congo),Uganda,Zambia,Zimbabwe etc.
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 center of all the East African harbors for trade (1862) and since then the City flourished to become the hub of the country.
Like the other harbors the port was one of the major route’s 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 center of German East Africa (DeutchOstAfrika). It is this company that built the Central Railway Line early 1900’s. The German rule ended after World War II. when Tanganyika became a British subject, and Dar- es -Salaam remained the administrative and commercial center of the territory.
While in Dar-es-Salaam city center, one can visit the seaport, Kariakoo (old market area), Best Hotel of the time (built in 1920’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, Chief Mkwawa’s cranium and a variety of 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 Mwenge Handcraft Village is another big attraction,seeing the way its done and the skill is amazing.
The Cocoa Beach is the closest location to the city center to be if you want to enjoy the sea.
The Old Church: You will also see one of the earliest Christian Churches built by Germans missionaries in the country, the Azania Front and Oyster bay. The Indian Ocean has white sand beaches and environmental features formed by the ocean waves and can easily be seen. Coral reefs are plentiful in the off shore Islets known as Mbudya Island.