This article is about the city. For the region, see Dar es Salaam (region). For the 2000 Chadian film, see Daresalam. For the 'Divisions of the world in Islam', see Divisions of the world in Islam.
Dar es Salaam
City of Dar es Salaam

Dar es Salaam before dusk
Dar es Salaam
Dar es Salaam
Location of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania

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

Country Tanzania
 • Mayor Dr Didas Massaburi
 • City 1,590.5 km2 (614.1 sq mi)
 • Water 0 km2 (0 sq mi)
Population (2012)
 • Metro 4,364,541
Time zone GMT +3

The City of Dar es Salaam (Arabic: دار السلامDār as-Salām , literally "The abode of peace"), formerly Mzizima, is Tanzania's largest and richest city, serving as a regionally important economic centre. The city is located within the Dar es Salaam Region, an administrative province within Tanzania, and consists of three local government areas or administrative districts: northern Kinondoni, central Ilala, and southern Temeke. The Dar es Salaam Region had a population of 5,364,541 as of the official 2012 census.[1]:page: 2 Though Dar es Salaam lost its official status as capital city to Dodoma in 1974 (a move not completed until 1996), it remains the locus of the permanent central government bureaucracy, continuing to serve as the capital of the surrounding eponymous region.


In the 19th century, Mzizima (Kiswahili for "healthy town") was a coastal fishing village on the periphery of Indian Ocean trade routes.[2][3] In 1865 or 1866, Sultan Majid bin Said of Zanzibar began building a new city very close to Mzizima[3] and named it Dar es Salaam. The name is commonly translated as "harbor/haven of peace" or "abode/home of peace", based on the Persian/Arabic bandar ("harbor") or the Arabic dar ("house"), and the Arabic es salaam ("of peace").[3] 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 from then on was referred to as Tanganyika. Dar es Salaam was retained as the territory's 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 town's population also included a large number of south Asians. After World War II, Dar es Salaam experienced a period of rapid growth.

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 Zanzibar merged to form Tanzania. In 1973, however, provisions were made to relocate the capital to Dodoma, a more centrally located city in Tanzania's interior. The relocation process has not yet been completed, and Dar es Salaam remains Tanzania's primary city.


Dar es Salaam is located at 6°48' South, 39°17' East (−6.8000, 39.2833).[4] The city is situated on a natural harbour on the eastern coast of Africa, with sandy beaches in some areas.

Administratively, the Dar es Salaam region is divided into three districts: Ilala, Kinondoni, and Temeke.


Year Population
1925: 30,000
1948: 69,000
1957: 129,000
1972: 396,000
2005: 2,456,100
2012: 4,364,541

Dar es Salaam is the largest city in Tanzania. With a population increase of 5.6 percent per year from 2002 to 2012, the city has become the third fastest growing in Africa (ninth fastest in the world), after Bamako and Lagos, respectively. The metro population is expected to reach 5.12 million by 2020.[5]

Economy and infrastructure

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 Dar es Salaam includes many small businesses, many of which are run by traders and proprietors whose families originated from the Middle East and Indian sub-continent — areas of the world with which the settlements of the Tanzanian coast have had long-standing trading relations.

Dar es Salaam has a problem with slums. According to a United Nations estimate, 70 percent of the city's population lives in informal settlements.[6] The poorer residents crowd into downtown areas or large slums, many without running water or basic services.[6] The more wealthy live in beachside mansions in the city's northern districts.[6]

Located on a natural harbour on the Indian Ocean, it is the hub of the Tanzanian transportation system as all of the country's main railways and several of its highways originate in or near the city.

Dar es Salaam has had, in the past few years, a major construction boom. The Benjamin William Mkapa Pension Tower with more than 21 stories is the tallest building in the city and the country.[7] Dar es Salaam has major infrastructural problems, including an outdated transport system and occasional power rationing.


Because it is located close to the equator and the warm Indian Ocean, the city experiences generally tropical climatic conditions, typified by hot and humid weather throughout much of the year. Dar es Salaam has a tropical wet and dry climate, with two different rainy seasons. Annual rainfall is approximately 1,100 mm (43 in), and in a normal year there are two distinct rainy seasons: "the long rains", which fall during April and May, and "the short rains", which fall during October and November.

Climate data for Dar es Salaam
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 31
Average low °C (°F) 25
Precipitation mm (inches) 66
Avg. rainy days 8 6 12 19 15 6 6 7 7 7 9 11 113
Mean monthly sunshine hours 248 196 217 150 217 210 217 279 270 279 240 248 2,771
Source: BBC Weather [8]


The Julius Nyerere International Airport is the principal airport serving the country, named after the country's first President.

The TAZARA Railway connects Dar es Salaam to the neighbouring country of Zambia. The Central Line (Railway) runs west from Dar es Salaam to Kigoma on Lake Tanganyika via Dodoma.

View of Dar es Salaam showing the city center, Posta, and the slums

Dala dalas are used by the majority of the population of Dar es Salaam as a cheap, though often overcrowded, means of public transportation. These minibuses are operated by both a driver and a conductor. The conductor collects the fare and signals the driver to leave. These minibuses tend to be overcrowded with passengers sometimes hanging outside the door.


Dar es Salaam has heavy traffic during the daytime, but after sunset the area is relatively quiet as much of the city's nightlife is located in more residential districts away from the city's mainly commercial centre.

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 (which aside from ferries, lacks any kind of mass transit facilities)[9] and raising the prospect of future urban overcrowding.


Due in part to the growth of the expatriate community and the increasing importance of tourism, the number of international restaurants has risen very rapidly over recent years. The city now offers a rich and internationalized diversity of cuisine, ranging from traditional Tanzanian Barbecue style options such as Nyama Choma (Roasted meat - served with rice or ugali) and Mishkaki (Shish kebab - usually barbecued and served with salt, hot peppers, chapati, fries, and rice on the side), and the long-established traditional Indian and Zanzibari cuisine, to options from all corners of the globe including Chinese, Thai, Turkish, Italian, and Japanese food. People who prefer neither fast food nor traditional restaurants buy their food from street vendors, who usually sell food at low prices. Samosas are common street food items within the city.


There is also a lively music scene in Dar es Salaam which is divided between several styles. The longest standing segment is live dance music (muziki wa dansi) bands such as DDC Mlimani Park Orchestra. Taarab which was traditionally strong in Zanzibar has also found a niche but 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 has been present and growing for the past ten years as city life has drawn much of the youth in surrounding areas have made the trek into a more urban lifestyle in search of a new better beginning.[10]

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 new music center in Tanzania, with the local radio exposing 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. Dar es Salaam became a center of city crime, gangs, and violence, which lead to the rise of hip hop music.[11] 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 televisions 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 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 Village Museum, 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.

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

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


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


The National Stadium hosts Dar es Salaam's Young Africans Football Club, Simba Sports Club, other Tanzanian football clubs, and many other international matches.


Dar has a considerable number of newspapers available, particularly from sellers prowling through stationary traffic at road intersections. English-language ones, with online presences, include The Citizen and The Guardian.

Internet access

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, 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.

Internet cafes are fairly well distributed in the city centre.

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


Globalization has affected many of the cultural expressions in Dar es Salaam, in particular, hip hop music and culture. The hip hop scene in Dar es Salaam articulates a blending of local cultural struggles and the indigenization of global influences.[11] Hip hop music and culture arrived in Tanzania, taking its cues from various African American styling.

Dar es Salaam, a city projected to have over 5 million inhabitants within the next decade, continues to be the one city in Tanzania to which villagers flock for better opportunities. Westerners and Asians are also settling in Dar es Salaam, and the surge of foreigners has put pressure on Dar es Salaam officials to implement laws better accommodating the growing diverse population of Dar es Salaam and its suburbs.


Safety has become a noticeable feature in Dar es Salaam and many other Tanzanian cities. Dar es Salaam is one of the safest large cities in East Africa. Homicides are rare, even in the poor areas of Dar es Salaam. Chain snatching is relatively common in the Kariakoo area. Although pickpockets frequent the City Centre and dala-dalas and prey especially on foreigners, there are rarely reports of violent crimes.


Dar es Salaam is also the educational centre of Tanzania. The city is home to many Educational Institutions.


  • The University of Dar es Salaam is the oldest and 2nd largest public university in Tanzania after University of Dodoma. It is located in the western part of the city, occupying 1,625 acres (6.58 km2) on the observation hill, 13 km (8 mi) from the city centre. The university has approximately 16,400 undergraduate and 2,700 postgraduate students.[12]
  • Ardhi University had 2,457 undergraduate and 156 postgraduate students in 2010/2011. The university offers two-year diploma programmes in the fields of land surveying and land management and valuation. A three-year diploma program in urban and rural planning has been introduced.[13]
  • Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences has two campuses; Muhimbili Campus and Mloganzila Campus. Muhimbili Campus is situated in Ilala Municipality, in Upanga along United Nations Road. Mloganzila Campus is still new and in the process of development and it occupies 3,800 acres (15 km2) and is located 3 km (2 mi) off Dar es Salaam-Morogoro highway, 25 km (16 mi) from Dar es Salaam.[14]
  • The Open University of Tanzania is a fully fledged and accredited public institution of higher learning, mandated to conduct academic programmes leading to certificates, diplomas, undergraduate and postgraduate qualifications. Since it was founded, the university has enrolled students from Malawi, Uganda, Kenya, Namibia, Hungary, Burundi, Libya, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Lesotho, Botswana and most of Tanzania. As of 2008, the total enrollment at the university was 44,099, the majority of whom wereTanzanian.[15]
  • The Hubert Kairuki Memorial University is a private institution located on plot No. 322 Regent Estate in the Mikocheni area, some 7-km from the Dar es Salaam City centre, off Ali Hassan Mwinyi and Old Bagamoyo roads.[16]
  • The Kampala International University- began operations in 2009 operating from Quality Plaza along Pugu road.Currently, the University Centre is situated on a 60 acres (240,000 m2) of land, at Gongo la Mboto area in Ilala District, 7 km (4 mi) from Mwalimu Julius Nyerere International Airport along Pugu road.[18]


Dar es Salaam is divided into three districts: Ilala, Kinondoni, and Temeke. All three are governed as municipal councils, and so all of the city's suburbs or wards are affiliated with them.


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

  • Masaki, Oysterbay and Ada Estate are the posh suburbs located along the central beach. During the Colonial Era, they were the major European suburbs of the city. Now, similarly, many diplomats and expatriates reside in these areas. Oysterbay Beach, also known as Coco Beach, is the only white sandy beach in Kinondoni and is the most famous in the area. Many newly built luxury apartments line the waterfront, accommodating the rapid growth of foreigners, mostly Europeans and Asians.
  • Mikocheni and Regent Estate are also suburbs within the district. According to the 2012 census, the Mikocheni ward had a population of 32,947.[1]:page: 75 Mikocheni is the home of some major political figures, including the first president of Tanzania, Julius K. Nyerere.
  • Msasani is a peninsula to the northeast of the city center. It is home to many of the expatriates from the United Kingdom and other western countries that live in Dar es Salaam. Msasani contains a mixture of traditional shops and western-oriented resorts and stores.
  • Mbezi Beach is the beachfront suburb located along the northern Dar es Salaam Beach. It is noted for its beautiful beaches with several tourist hotels, and also as the place of residence of many people of high social status and some politicians.
  • Sinza, Kijitonyama, Magomeni, Kinondoni and Mwenge are more ethnically mixed than the areas mentioned above. These were perhaps the earliest African suburbs to be occupied. The wards also have the most prosperous business climate outside of the central business district, with many shops, bars, restaurants and inexpensive hotels located here.
  • Kimara and Mbezi Louis are hilly, mostly middle and upper class, suburbs far from the city. Due to the distance from the city center, it is quieter, with cooler weather.
  • Manzese, Tandale, Mwananyamala-Kisiwani and Kigogo are considered low-income neighborhoods characterized by poor settlement planning, low quality housing and social services.


Ilala is the administrative district of the city where almost all government offices and ministries are housed. The Central Business District (locally called "Posta") is also located in this district. Furthermore, 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:

  • Upanga & Kisutu have the highest concentration of Asian communities within Dar es Salaam, with many residents of Indian and Arabian descent. These areas are also famous for the many colonial houses and mansions built in Indian, Arabic and European styles.
  • Kariakoo is the shopping district of the city, perhaps the busiest and largest in East Africa. Many shops, bazaars and merchants dot the streets, selling a variety of products, from foodstuffs to hardware materials. The Kariakoo Market, which is the largest, contains the only underground section of the city. It is the major supply point of the food consumed by all the residents of Dar es Salaam.
  • Tabata, Segerea and Ukonga located a bit far from the city center, these suburbs are growing to become among the busiest in terms of business and entertainment. This has caused serious traffic congestion, which is said to be the worst in all of Dar es Salaam.
  • Ilala this is also among the middle income suburbs, very near to the city center, marked by the Askari Monument and contains some rival gang groups in the city and suburb areas.Most of the gang activities include drugs trafficking,money laundry,extortion and racketeering.

Most famous gang groups are recognised by the color of the scarf(bandanna).These are the black gang,red gang and blues gang fighting for control and to maintain their territories and interests.


Temeke is the industrial district of the city, where the main manufacturing centers (with both heavy and light industries) are located. The Dar es Salaam Port, which is the largest in the country, is also found here. Temeke is believed to have the largest concentration of low-income residents due to industry. Also, many port officials, military and police officers live here.

  • Kurasini located right on the Dar es Salaam Harbour, is the home of the Dar es Salaam Port, The Police College, Mgulani Police Barracks and the Dar es Salaam International Trade Fair Grounds. Thus, the main residents are police officers and port officials.
  • Chang'ombe, this suburb is one of the only higher income areas in Temeke. It has maintained this status due to occupation by African high colonial officers and some industry owners from the colonial era. Chang'ombe is also the home of the Dar es Salaam University College of Education, The National Stadium and Uhuru Stadium.
  • Temeke, Mtoni and Tandika are middle to low-income suburbs.
  • Mbagala and Kijichi also are middle to low-income suburbs where Mbagala is the Largest suburb in the whole district, and is also considered a slum.
  • Kigamboni (South Beach) is a beach front suburb on a peninsula with very beautiful, sandy beaches. It is home to a mixed population of lower and higher incomes. There is demand from higher-income people to live in Kigamboni due to its low population density and proximity to the sea, but this demand is constrained by the area being mainly accessible by ferry involving long waiting times for those wishing to cross in a private vehicle, although crossing the ferry on foot or bicycle is quite quick. There are several popular beach resorts in Kigamboni.


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. The city is home of the most famous and rival soccer clubs, The Simba Sports Club (Simba) and Young Africans Sports Club (Yanga). 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 Tanzania Football Federation (TFF)), the Gymkhana Golf Courses (between the city center and the shores of the Indian Ocean), and also has tennis courts, squash courts, and a Fitness club. Outside the metropolitan districts, there is the Lugalo Military Golf Course (located in the Lugalo Military Barracks).

Notable people

Twin towns – Sister cities

Dar es Salaam is twinned with:


External links

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.