Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

(Arabic "Abode of Peace"). Seat of government, largest city, industrial centre, and major port of Tanzania. Founded in 1862 by the sultan of Zanzibar on the site of the village of Mzizima, Dar es Salaam is hot and humid, with an annual rainfall of 1,100 mm. It remained only a small port until the German East Africa Company established a station there in 1887. The starting point (1907) for the Central Line railroad, it served as the capital of German East Africa (1891-1916), Tanganyika (1961-64), and since 1974 Tanzania (pending completion of the transfer of official functions to the new national capital at Dodoma).

Post-World War II growth brought contemporary, multistory buildings, a hospital complex, a technical institute, and a high court. Educational facilities include the University of Dar es Salaam (founded in 1961), several libraries and research institutes, and the National Museum. Dar es Salaam's natural, nearly landlocked harbor is the outlet for most of mainland Tanzania's agricultural and mineral exports and is also a transit port for the Congo River, whose navigable tributary, the Lualaba, can be reached by rail. The city is the terminus of a rail line west to Kigoma on Lake Tanganyika and north to Mwanza on Lake Victoria, and the Tanzam Railway connects Zambia with the port at Dar es Salaam. Local products include soap, paint, cigarettes, food products, metalware, glassware, textiles, wood carvings, and shoes. Pop. (1988) 1,360,850. [—Adapted from Encyclopedia Britannica, 2004]

Clock tower

Ocean view

Ocean front street

Askari monument

Street scene

Lutheran church

Duka la dawa (pharmacy)

Shady street

Dar woman

Average street

Store manager

Dar woman

National museum

Prehistoric cave art

Museum premises

Ancient trade routes

Processing slaves

Husuni Kubwa, Kilwa

An artist's "reconstruction" of the most remarkable architectural complex on the whole Swahili coast (in the town of Kilwa). Built and inherited by sultan al-Hasan bin Sulaiman in 1315-1330s. Here he lived and held court and entertained the merchants and traveling scholars who journeyed from Arabian ports.

Dar woman

Street scene


Designed in collaboration with Vitalect, Inc.