Best things to do in Dar es Salaam
Find out more about those top places in Dar es Salaam
With over 4 million people Dar es Salaam is Tanzania’s most populous city, it is also the nation’s economic and cultural center. Dar es Salaam which means “the house of peace” was the country’s capital till 1996 when Dodoma became the new capital. Also known as Mzizima the city is located at the Swahili coast, it is a cultural diverse city with five prominent districts (Llama, Kinondoni, Temeke, Kigamboni and Ubungo). A typical tour of Dar es Salaam will take you through its various national parks, monuments, museums and markets.
Located at the center of downtown Dar is an Askari Monument. The bronze sculpture unveiled in 1927 was designed by British Sculptor James Alexander Stevenson and is a memorial to the Askari soldiers who fought in World War I for the British Carrier Corps. The Statue is a man in a soldier’s uniform holding a rifle pointed towards the Dar es Salaam harbor with both hands. It was exhibited at the Royal Academy in Britain before it was brought to Tanzania. The statue is one of three Askari Monuments, with the other two in Nairobi and Mombasa.
Situated in Kigamboni Area, the Dar es Salaam zoo is one of the largest in East Africa. The zoo which is a mix of flora and fauna is a place you can visit alone or with family. The Wildlife zoo is separated into different sections to suit visitor’s desires such as the Wildlife Unit, Forest Conservation Unit and a place for kid’s entertainment. The main attractions include Lions, Crocodiles, Antelopes, Zebra and the Nguva River that provides water and natural vegetation that attracts birds for the area.
The village Museum is not a conventional style museum. The museum is an exhibition of 16 traditional huts each representing different ethnic groups in Tanzania.
Located next to the New Bagamoyo Road it was founded by two anthropologists Peter Carter and Tom Wylie in 1967. Inside the huts features different cultural collections from each of the ethnic groups depicting the way they live naturally. There is traditional music and dance performance for visitors to enjoy after the tour of the museum.
For a bit of a different experience head to Bonkoyo Island, the island is inhabited but frequently visited by locals and tourists alike. Bongoyo Island is just a 30 minutes boat ride away from the city and you will often find people engaging in activities like swimming, snorkeling and sunbathing. There are also bars and restaurants around for food and drinks.
Featuring a plethora of stores, the Mwenge Woodcarvers Market is a must visit for anyone that find themselves in Dar es Salaam, even if they are not interested in arts. In the market you would find artistic works that display the rich heritage of Tanzania. Wooden masks and sculptures are the top items sold at Mwenge Woodcarvers market but you can also find goods like fabrics, sandals and jewelry.