Dar es Salaam

Kigamboni Ubungo Kivukoni
Dar es-Salaam

City and Region
City of Dar es-Salaam
Dar es Salaam (Aerial).jpg
Dar es Salaam - Posta.jpg
Tanzania National Main Stadium Aerial.jpg
The detailed view of Dar es Salaam Port.jpg
From top: Aerial view of Dar es-Salaam, Dar City from MV kigamboni, Tanzania National Stadium, Aerial view of The Dar es Salaam Port
Dar es Salaam is located in Tanzania
Dar es Salaam
Dar es Salaam
Location of Dar es Salaam
Dar es Salaam is located in Africa
Dar es Salaam
Dar es Salaam
Dar es Salaam (Africa)
Coordinates: 6°48′S 39°17′E / 6.800°S 39.283°E / -6.800; 39.283Coordinates: 6°48′S 39°17′E / 6.800°S 39.283°E / -6.800; 39.283
ZoneCoastal Indian Ocean
 • Regional CommissionerAboubakar Kunenge
 • Lord MayorIsaya Mwita Charles
 • Total10,989 km2 (4,243 sq mi)
 • Water0 km2 (0 sq mi)
 • Total7,995,000
 • Density730/km2 (1,900/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+3 (EAT)
Area code(s)022
HDI (2018)0.631[2]
medium · 2nd
WebsiteCity Website

Dar es-Salaam (/ˌdɑːr ɛs səˈlɑːm/; from Arabic: دار السلام‎, romanizedDār as-Salām, meaning: Place of Peace) is the largest city and former capital of Tanzania. It is the largest city in East Africa and the seventh-largest in Africa, with a population of 12,798,650.[3][4] On the Swahili coast, Dar es-Salaam is an important economic centre and one of the fastest growing cities in the world.[5]

Until 1974, Dar es-Salaam served as Tanzania's capital city, at which point the capital city began to move to Dodoma, by order of president Julius Nyerere, which was officially completed in 1996.[6] In 2018, it remains a focus of central government bureaucracy, although this is in the process of fully moving to Dodoma. It is Tanzania's most prominent city in arts, fashion, media, music, film and television and is a leading financial centre. The city is the leading arrival and departure point for most tourists who visit Tanzania, including the national parks for safaris and the islands of Unguja and Pemba.

It is the capital of the co-extensive Dar es-Salaam Region, which is one of Tanzania's 31 administrative regions and consists of five districts: Kinondoni in the north, Ilala in the centre, Ubungo and Temeke in the south and Kigamboni in the east across the Kurasini estuary.


Image of the Port of Dar es Salaam from the book Von Unseren Kolonien by Ottomar Beta in the year 1908

In the 19th century, Mzizima (Swahili for "healthy town") was a coastal fishing village on the periphery of Indian Ocean trade routes.[7][8] In 1865 or 1866, Sultan Majid bin Said of Zanzibar began building a new city very close to Mzizima[8] and named it Dar es Salaam. The name is commonly translated as "abode/home of peace", based on the Arabic dar ("house"), and the Arabic es salaam ("of peace").[8] Dar es Salaam fell into decline after Majid's death in 1870, but was revived in 1887 when the German East Africa Company established a station there. The town's growth was facilitated by its role as the administrative and commercial centre of German East Africa and industrial expansion resulting from the construction of the Central Railway Line in the early 1900s.

German East Africa was captured by the British during World War I and became Tanganyika with Dar es Salaam remaining the administrative and commercial centre. Under British indirect rule, separate European (e.g., Oyster Bay) and African (e.g., Kariakoo and Ilala) areas developed at a distance from the city centre. The city's population also included a large number of workers from British India, many of whom came to take advantage of the trade and commercial opportunities presented to them. After World War II, Dar es Salaam experienced a period of rapid growth.

Dar es Salaam during the 1930s, with the Old Boma and St. Joseph's Cathedral prominently in view

Political developments, including the formation and growth of the Tanganyika African National Union, led to Tanganyika attaining independence from colonial rule in December 1961. Dar es Salaam continued to serve as its capital, even when in 1964 Tanganyika and People's Republic of Zanzibar merged to form Tanzania. In 1973, however, provisions were made to relocate the capital to Dodoma, a more centrally located city in the interior. The relocation process has not yet been completed, and Dar es Salaam remains Tanzania's primary city. Journalist John Gunther noted that, in "November, 1953, several hippopotamuses entered Dar es Salaam from a creek near the airport, and terrorized the African quarter of the town."[9]

In 1967, the Tanzanian government declared the Ujamaa policy, which set Tanzania into a socialist path. The move slowed down the potential growth of the city as the government encouraged people not to move in cities but stay in Ujamaa socialist villages. However, by the 1980s the Ujamaa policy proved to be a failure in combating increasing poverty and hunger that Tanzania faced, and delayed the development that it needed. This led to the 1980s liberalization policy that virtually ended socialism and its proponents within Tanzania's government.

Until the late 1990s, Dar es-Salaam was not put into the same category as Africa's leading cities like Nairobi, Johannesburg, Lagos, or Addis Ababa. The 2000s became the turning point when the city experienced one of Africa's fastest urbanization rates. Businesses were opened and prospered, growth expanded in the construction sector with new multi-story buildings, bridges and roads,[10] Tanzanian banks headquartered in the city began to be run with better regulation,[clarification needed] the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange expanded and the Dar es Salaam harbour continued to be the most important in Tanzania. The port is prominent for entrepot trade with landlocked countries such as Rwanda, Burundi, and Zambia, as well as with eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. The CBD skyline hosts tall buildings, among them the 35-floor PSPF Tower, finished in 2015, and the Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA) Tower, the tallest building in Tanzania, completed in 2016.[11]


Dar es Salaam is located at 6°48' South, 39°17' East (−6.8000, 39.2833),[12] on a natural harbour on the coast of East Africa, with sandy beaches in some areas.

The region of Dar es Salaam is divided into five districts.

Districts of Dar es Salaam region

PPF tower under construction.

Dar es Salaam Region is divided into five[13] administrative districts. All five are governed as municipal councils, and so all of the city's suburbs or wards are affiliated with them. The regional commissioner is Aboubakar Kunenge.

Districts of Dar es Salaam Region
District Population (2012) Area km2
Ilala 1,220,611 210
Kinondoni 1,775,049 527
Temeke 1,368,881 656
Kigamboni NA NA
Ubungo NA NA
Dar es Salaam Region 4,364,541 1,393


Msasani bay view from Masaki
The Coco public beach during the daytime, on the western shores of the Indian Ocean

Kinondoni is the most populated amongst the districts, with half of the city's population residing within it. It is also home to high-income suburbs. These include:


The Askari Monument along Samora Avenue marks the exact centre of Dar es Salaam, in the Ilala district.

Ilala is the administrative district of Dar es Salaam where almost all government offices and ministries are housed. The Central Business District (locally called "Posta") is located in this district. It is the transportation hub of the city, as the Julius Nyerere International Airport, Central Railway Station and Tazara Railway Station are all within the district boundaries. The residential areas are mainly middle to high-income, and some of these are:


Temeke is the industrial district of the city, where the manufacturing centers (heavy and light industry) are located. The Port of Dar es Salaam, which is the largest in the country, is found east of Temeke.

Temeke is believed to have the largest concentration of low-income residents due to industry. Port officials, military and police officers live there.

Kigamboni Bridge night view.


The Ubungo terminal serves as a transportation link to most large Dar es Salaam urban nodes.[clarification needed] The narrow-gauge commuter rail runs from there to the city centre, with ten level crossings along the route.



Due to close proximity to the equator and the warm Indian Ocean, the city experiences tropical climatic conditions, typified by hot and humid weather throughout much of the year. It has a tropical wet and dry climate (Köppen: Aw). Annual rainfall is approximately 1,100 mm (43 in), and in a normal year there are two rainy seasons: "the long rains" in April and May and "the short rains" in November and December.

Climate data for Dar es Salaam
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 35.0
Average high °C (°F) 31.8
Average low °C (°F) 23.5
Record low °C (°F) 18.1
Average rainfall mm (inches) 76.3
Average rainy days (≥ 1.0 mm) 7 4 11 18 13 5 4 4 3 5 8 9 91
Average relative humidity (%) 77 76 80 84 81 78 77 76 75 76 78 78 79
Mean monthly sunshine hours 235.6 223.2 213.9 156.0 213.9 222.0 223.2 266.6 252.0 275.9 252.0 241.8 2,776.1
Mean daily sunshine hours 7.6 7.9 6.9 5.2 6.9 7.4 7.2 8.6 8.4 8.9 8.4 7.8 7.6
Source 1: World Meteorological Organization[16]
Source 2: Deutscher Wetterdienst (extremes, humidity, and sun)[17]
View of Dar es Salaam City skyline during the day time showing the city centre, Posta and beyond


The Julius Nyerere International Convention Centre in Kivukoni

"In 1949 the town became a municipality...[with] four honourable nominated Town Councillors who elected a Mayor."[18] "Until June 1996, Dar es Salaam was managed by the Dar es Salaam City Council...the highest policy-making body in the city."[19] As of 2017, Paul Makonda serves as the commissioner of Dar es Salaam Region.


As any growing city, Dar es-Salaam is the city in Tanzania to which villagers flock for better opportunities. Westerners and Asians are also settling in Dar es-Salaam, and the movement of foreigners has put a good workload on the relevant government body for developing better policies to accommodate the growing and the diverse population of the Dar es-Salaam together with its suburbs.


Dar es-Salaam is the most populous city in Tanzania. With a population increase of 5.6 percent per year from 2002 to 2012, it is the third-fastest-growing city in Africa, after Bamako and Lagos, and the ninth-fastest-growing in the world. The metro population is expected to reach 5.12 million by 2020 and predicted to be as high as 76 million by the year 2100, making it the third largest city in the world (after Lagos and Kinshasa).[20][21]

According to the 2012 national census, the region had a population of 4,364,541, which was much higher than the pre-census projection of 3,270,255.[14]:page 2 For 2002–2012, the region's 5.6 percent average annual population growth rate was the highest in the country.[14]:page 4 It was also the most densely populated region with 3,133 people per square kilometer.[14]:page 6

The sprawling suburbs furthest from the city centre are generally populated by Tanzanians of African descent, with the exception of Oyster Bay, where there is a large population of foreign expatriates. The edges of Dar es Salaam are spreading rapidly, severely taxing the transportation network.[22] and raising the prospect of future urban overcrowding.

Buildings in Dar es salaam city
Urban area
Year Population
1925 30,000
1948 69,000
1957 129,000
1972 396,000
2005 2,456,100
2012 4,364,541
2025 5,690,000 (projection)

Economy and infrastructure

The Kariakoo market

Dar es Salaam is Tanzania's most important city for both business and government. The city contains high concentrations of trade and other services and manufacturing compared to other parts of Tanzania, which has about 80 percent of its population in rural areas. Downtown includes small businesses, many of which are run by traders and proprietors whose families originated from the Middle East and the Indian sub-continent—areas of the world with which the settlements of the Tanzanian coast have had long-standing trading relations.

The Dar es Salaam Central Business District is the largest in Tanzania and comprises the Kisutu, Kivukoni, Upanga and Kariakoo areas. The downtown area is located in the Ilala district. Kivukoni is home to the Tanzania central bank, The Bank of Tanzania, the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange and the city's important Magogoni fish market.[10] Kisutu has businesses and offices and is the location of Dar es Salaam central railway station, the PSPF Towers and the TPA tower.

Dar es Salaam has had[when?] a major construction development. The PSPF Twin Towers, with 35 stories, is the second tallest building in the city and the country.[23] Dar es Salaam has major infrastructural challenges, including an outdated transport system and occasional power rationing.

The Tanzania Ports Authority Headquarters

Financial services

The Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange (DSE) is the country's first and most important stock exchange market.


Dar es Salaam hosts the Mlimani City shopping mall also there is City Mall around Kisutu area, Quality Center Mall, GSM Pugu Shopping Mall, GSM Msasani Mall as well Dar Free Market Mall.


Ubungo Bus Station in Dar es Salaam City

Dar es Salaam, on a natural harbour on the Indian Ocean, is one of the hubs of the Tanzanian transportation system as the main railways and several highways originate in or near the city to provide convenient transportation for commuters.

Local public transport

The most common form of transport in Dar es Salaam are the public buses, called dala dala, which are often found at the major bus terminals of Makumbusho and Ubungo. Since the introduction of motorcycle transit business known as "Bodaboda", most of the people prefer this type of transportation,[24][25] which allows them to get into the city faster compared to the minibuses which face a lot of traffic. Other types of transport include motorcycles and bajaj.


The Dar Rapid Transit (DART) is a bus-based mass transit system connecting the suburbs of Dar es Salaam to the central business district.
A ship entering the Port of Dar es Salaam
The MV Kigamboni ferries run between south east Kivukoni to north west Kigamboni in south east Dar es Salaam.

The government has been introducing a bus rapid transport or metro bus system under the Dar es Salaam bus rapid transit meaning 'mwendo kasi' in Kiswahili. The metro buses are managed by UDART a partnership company between UDA (Usafiri Dar es Salaam) and the government.

The bus rapid transit system Phase 1 is completed and already in operation by the Dar es Salaam Rapid Transit Agency, a government-private sector entity, and began operation on 10 May 2016.[26] It is branded as UDA-RT (Usafiri Dar es Salaam Rapid Transit). The first section runs between Kimara in the northwest to Kivukoni on the northern headland of the harbour.[27] Phase 1 was funded by the World Bank, African Development Bank and the Tanzanian government.[28]

Maritime transport


TAZARA Dar es Salaam Station

The city has the country's busiest port: The port is located on the west of the Indian Ocean, Kurasini creek south east of Dar es Salaam's central business District. The Port of Dar es Salaam handles 90% of the country's cargo.

Future infrastructure government aspirations

Due to huge influx of cargo and the slow pace of expansion a new cargo port 60 kilometres (37 miles) northwest of Dar es Salaam is proposed at Bagamoyo.[29]


MV Kigamboni ferries run between south east of Kivukoni and north west of Kigamboni in Dar es Salaam.[30]


Dar es Salaam commuter rail

Travel to urban and sub-urban parts of Dar es Salaam is provided by the Dar es Salaam commuter rail.

Intra City Railway

Tanzania Railways operates the Central Line from Dar es Salaam to Kigoma.

International Railway

The city also hosts the head office of Tanzania Zambia Railways Authority (TAZARA) built in the late 1960s to early 1970s. The main terminal is located west of Dar es Salaam's central business district in north Yombo Vituka along Nelson Mandela road. The TAZARA Railway connects Dar es Salaam to Zambia.


Tanzania Standard Gauge Railway is a new railway station which is under construction. It will link the country to Rwanda and Uganda, Burundi and Congo.


The Julius Nyerere International Airport is the principal airport serving the country with three operating terminals; Terminal Three at Kipawa in Ilala Municipality. The airport is located west of Dar es Salaam's central business district.



The main gate of Nyumba ya Sanaa, with decorations by Tanzanian sculptor George Lilanga

Dar es-Salaam (and specifically the area of Oyster Bay) is home to the brightly coloured and tourist-oriented Tingatinga painting style. The Nyumba ya sanaa ("House of Art") is a cultural centre, workshop and shop dedicated to Tanzanian art, showcasing and promoting Tanzanian craftmanship. Prominent Tanzanian sculptor George Lilanga has donated some of his works to the centre, including decorations of the building's main entrance.


A traditional African dance in Dar es Salaam

The music scene in Dar es Salaam is divided between several styles. The longest standing style is live dance music (muziki wa dansi), played by bands such as DDC Mlimani Park Orchestra and Malaika Musical Band. Taarab which was traditionally strong in Zanzibar has also found a niche. However, it remains small compared both to dance music and "Bongo Flava", a broad category that represents the Tanzanian take on hip hop and R&B, which has quickly become the most popular locally produced music. Traditional music, which locally is used to refer to tribal music is still performed but typically only on family oriented occasions such as weddings.

This rap scene is also present.[31]

In the 1970s, the Ministry of National Youth Culture aimed to create a national culture, which stressed the importance of music. Dar es Salaam became the music center in Tanzania, with the local radio showcasing new bands and dominating the music and cultural scene. With this ujamaa, or family, mentality governing culture and music a unified people's culture was created, leading to the rise of hip hop music.[32] Throughout the years, the radio in Dar es Salaam has played a major role in the dissemination of music because many people don't have television and cassettes are used over CDs.


Dar es Salaam has two of the five museums comprising the National Museum of Tanzania consortium, namely the National Museum proper and the Makumbusho Cultural Centre & Village Museum. The National Museum is dedicated to the history of Tanzania; most notably, it exhibits some of the bones of Paranthropus boisei that were among the findings of Louis Leakey at Olduvai. The Makumbusho Cultural Centre & Village Museum,[33] located in the outskirts of the city on the road to Bagamoyo, showcases traditional huts from 16 different Tanzanian ethnic groups. There are also examples of traditional cultivations, and traditional music and dance shows are held daily. In 2016, there was a breakthrough discovery in Northern Tanzania by a scientist, from the University of Dar es Salaam, of footprints thought to be of a hominid that predates Homo sapiens.

Close to the National Museum are also the botanical gardens, with tropical plants and trees.

There are beaches on the Msasani peninsula north of Dar es Salaam and in Kigamboni to the south. Trips to the nearby islands of the Dar es Salaam Marine Reserve are a popular daytrip from the city and a spot for snorkeling, swimming and sunbathing. Bongoyo Island can be reached by boat from the Msasani Slipway.

Places of worship

Among the places of worship, they are predominantly Christian churches and temples : Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Dar es Salaam (Catholic Church), Anglican Church of Tanzania (Anglican Communion), Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania (Lutheran World Federation), Baptist Convention of Tanzania (Baptist World Alliance), Assemblies of God.[34] There are also Muslim mosques.



Dar es-Salaam is the sports center of Tanzania. Dar es-Salaam hosts the second largest stadium in East and Central Africa (National Stadium), which can accommodate up to 60,000 people.

Aerial view of the Tanzania National Main Stadium with the Kurasini creek in the background

Football (soccer)

The National Stadium hosts Dar es Salaam's Young Africans Sports Club, Simba Sports Club, Azam F.C. and other Tanzanian football clubs, and international matches. There is a proposal to build a new stadium in Dodoma, much bigger in capacity than the present one in Dar es Salaam by the government as a donation from the Moroccan Kingdom.

Apart from the National Stadium, Dar es Salaam is home to the Uhuru Stadium (used mainly for local tournaments and political gatherings), Karume Memorial Stadium (the home of the Tanzania Football Federation). The stadium is situated west of Kurasini.


The Gymkhana Golf Courses located north west of the Kivukoni area (between the city centre looking on to the shores of the Indian Ocean in the east and Barack Obama Drive), also has tennis courts, squash courts, and a fitness club. Outside of the metropolitan districts, there is the Lugalo Military Golf Course (located in the Lugalo Military Barracks).


Dar es Salaam's Mama Africa school, founded in 2003, is known for training some of Africa's finest acrobats.[35]


Dar es Salaam's Union Sports Club[36] hosts a single indoor squash court with a referees' viewing gallery within the club grounds. The club has a yearly squash tournament during the Muslim month of Ramadhan.


Dar es Salaam's Union Sports Club[36] hosts a single darts room. The club has a yearly darts tournament during the Muslim month of ramadhan.

Table tennis

Dar es Salaam's Union Sports Club[36] hosts a single room for table tennis. The club has a yearly table tennis tournament during the Muslim month of Ramadhan.


Dar es Salaam's Union Sports Club[36] hosts an under-the-sky outdoor scrabble tournament within the club grounds once a year during the Muslim month of Ramadhan.


Dar es Salaam hosts numerous outdoor swimming clubs; people also swim in the Indian Ocean.



The head office of Tanzania Telecommunications Company Limited at the Extelecom's Building in Samora Avenue, east of Kisutu

Newspapers in Dar es Salaam are often sold by people prowling through stationary traffic at road intersections. English-language ones, with online presences, include The Citizen and The Guardian and the Kiswahili dailies, Tanzania Daima and Mwananchi. Business Times is the only financial and economic newspaper in the city. It was established in 1988 and became the first private newspaper in Tanzania. Business Times owns Majira, another Kiswahili newspaper.

Television stations

Dar es Salaam is home to ITV,[37] Sibuka,[38] Channel Ten Television Station formerly known as Dar es Salaam Television (DTV) and Azam TV, a subscription-based service from the Azam group of companies.

Ayo TV, a television station,[39] is also based in Ubungo, Dar es Salaam, as is the Tanzania Broadcasting Corporation.

Internet access

The ship like building of Airtel Tanzania headquarter in Dar es Salaam

Installation of a trans-Indian Ocean backbone cable in 2009 has, in theory, made Internet access much more readily available in Dar in particular and in East Africa in general. However, roll-out to end-users is slow, partly because of spotty telephone line coverage at the moment provided by the Tanzania Telecommunications Company Limited,[40] partly due to the substantial prices and long contracts demanded for purchase of bandwidth for small ISPs. Mobile-telephone access to the Internet via 3G and 3.75G is still relatively expensive. 4G is making its way through major cities and towns as of 2015 with plans to go countrywide in the advanced planning stages.

Internet cafés are found in the city centre and free wifi hotspots in various government and non government institutions as well as public transport.

The expressed aim of the SEACOM cable is to enable East Africa to develop economically through increased online trading.


Dar es Salaam's first radio station began operation in the early 1950s "with little more equipment than a microphone and a blanket hung over a wall..." This project was overseen by Edward Twining.[9]


The Nkrumah Hall at the University of Dar es Salaam

Dar es Salaam is the educational centre of Tanzania. The city is home to several institutions of higher learning.



The city has some of the best schools in Tanzania such as Shaaban Robert Secondary School, Al Muntazir School, Aga Khan Primary School, Aga Khan Mzizima Secondary School, Loyola School, Indian School Dar Es Salaam, International School of Tanganyika, and St. Constantine's International School.

Notable people

Below is a list of notable people who lived in Dar es Salaam:

International relations

Dar es Salaam is twinned with:[50]


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