highlights and main attractions of dar es salaam

Dar es Salaam, or Dar as it is affectionately known, is a welcoming city with a relaxed atmosphere and friendly locals. In a large natural port on the east coast of Tanzania, here you can while away the hours watching small dhows float past large cargo ships, or admire the city’s contrasts, where tall office buildings stand to your left and lively street sellers sell their wares to your right.

This dusty and bustling African city would usually be your stopover after a wildlife safari throughout Tanzania’s national parks, on the way to Zanzibar or Pemba for some well-earned relaxation. 

The city is an attraction in itself and the smiling locals and laid back lifestyle are sure to draw you in.

where is dar es salaam?

history

Dar es Salaam, meaning ‘harbour of peace’, was originally founded in the 1860’s by Sultan Sayyid Majod of Zanzibar as a small port, yet after his death on 1870 it fell almost instantly into decline. Only in the 1880’s did it again resurface thanks to Christian missionaries, and then the German colonial government. Ever since then, it has remained the political and economical capital, despite the legislature being handed to Dodoma in 1973. Architecture still shows evidence of German styles, mixed in with British, Arabic and Indian, yet the city stays true to its Swahili roots.

Being close to the equator, right next to the warm azure waters of the Indian Ocean, there are some beaches nearby. The climate is typical of the area, tropical. 

Temperatures stay around the 30 degrees centigrade mark all year, and there are two rainy seasons - the long rains in April and May, and the short rains in October and November.

Accommodation ranges here from luxury hotels to small boutique resorts and in the past few years there has been an increase in travellers spending more time here to experience this fascinating city. We like to encourage our clients about half an hour south of Dar to the wonderful resort of Ras Kutani, a beautiful Polynesian-style hideaway and ideal way to wind down after a safari, without venturing to the islands of Zanzibar. 

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