Bustling tropical metropolis

Dar es Salaam is the economic heart of Tanzania.

The main port of Tanzania, located on a quiet bay of the Indian Ocean.

  • Surface 1.393 km2
  • Inhabitants 4,3 million
  • spring rain season April & May
  • fall rain season November

About Dar es Salaam

Over the past century, Dar es Salaam has grown from a sleepy fishing village into a thriving tropical metropolis of over 4 million people.

Culture and products in Dar es Salaam

Dar es Salaam, notorious for its traffic jams, has succeeded in maintaining a calm, down-to-earth feeling.

During the German occupation in the early 20th century, Dar es Salaam was the center of the colonial administration. In addition, the city was the main contact between the agricultural land and the world of trade and commerce in the Indian Ocean and the Swahili coast. Remains of colonial presence, both German and British, are still clearly visible in the architecture in the city.

There are beaches in the north, on the Msasani Peninsula, and in the south, in Kigamboni.

From this city, coffee, cotton, sisal, and hides are exported. Furthermore, food, textiles, cement and medicines are produced for the local market.

From Dar es Salaam marine reserve, day trips to the nearby islands – Mnudy and Bongoyo – are popular as these are the perfect spots for snorkeling, swimming and sunbathing. The island of Bongoyo can be reached by boat from the Msasani Slipway.

Climate & season

Dar es Salaam has a tropical climate and is a wonderful destination all year round.

April and May:
There’s a higher chance of rain. This essentially means a tropical shower in the morning and sometimes at night. The temperatures are pleasant (26 degrees on average).

June to October:
This is the “cool” period in Dar es Salaam. The temperature has slightly dropped to 24 degrees on average during the day.

November to December:
Precipitation varies and temperatures slightly rise.

December to February:
This is the hottest period of the year (on average 27 degrees during the day).

Interesting facts

1. Dar es Salaam was the capital until 1973 and is still the economic heart of Tanzania. The capital of Tanzania is now Dodoma, more centrally located. However, the move is still not complete.

2. Dar es Salaam means “House of Peace” in Arabic.

3. All government offices have their headquarters in Dar es Salaam, as do all diplomatic missions and non-governmental organizations.

4. With the establishment of the German East Africa company, Dar es Salaam became the administrative center and main trading place of German East Africa. The industry expanded strongly as a result of the construction of the central railroad at the beginning of the 20th century.

5. Dar es Salaam is the main city of Tanzania in the fields of art, fashion, media, music, film and television and a leading financial center.

6. Dar es Salaam is the largest and most populous Swahili-speaking city in the world.

7. Oyster Bay is home to the brightly colored and tourist-oriented Tingatinga painting style.


Visit the fish market, the art market, museums, historical buildings or the nearby beaches and islands, and experience the cultural mix and languid atmosphere of this city by the Indian Ocean.

Dar es salaam vakantieDar es salaam vakantieDar es salaam vakantie

City walks

The National Museum, the Village Museum and the many colorful markets are certainly worth a visit.
The many historical sights, such as St. Joseph’s Cathedral, the White Father’s Mission House, the Botanical Gardens and the old State House ensure an interesting walking tour along the waterfront and city center.


7 km north of the city lies the Marine Reserve Bongoyo island with great snorkelling and diving spots for those who want to explore the water. The reserve has beautiful beaches, remote islands and many marine species. Although the variety and population of coral and fish species is not as plentiful as other sites on Zanzibar, Pemba and Mafia, Bongoyo Island is definitely worth a visit.

Citytour by bike

Cycling through the city center of Dar es Salaam gives you the opportunity to get to know this bustling metropolis under expert guidance.

3 hours of history and culture
You cycle past the Uhuru Torch, the Clock tower, the Askari Monument, the National Museum, the Botanical garden, the Ocean Road Hospital, the State House, the fish market, the Lutheran church in Azania, St. Joseph Church, the Atman House and the port of Dar es Salaam. Depending on your interest, the guide will tell you about this.

It’s also possible to shorten the route a little and, for example, to visit the Makumbusho Village Museum, about the history and culture of Tanzania and to enjoy traditional dance.

6 hours of history, culture and shopping
This city tour combines all the above with shopping areas such as Kariakoo, Mwenge Craft Market, Slipway shopping mall and / or Tinga Tinga painting.

Full day, history, culture and shopping
This city tour takes plenty of time to enjoy the sights at any place.

Pugu Forest

The Pugu Forest Reserve is a forest reserve in the area of the Pugu Hills, near Dar es Salaam. The Pugu Forest is part of one of the oldest forests in the world. The area is characterized by a large number of endemic species of animals and plants. In this coastal forest you will also find elephants, giraffes, impala, colobus monkeys and many species of birds. Some of the caves are home to bats.

You can take a beautiful walking safari here under supervision, interact with nature and also do voluntary work. The nature reserve was set up by the Jane Goodall Institute, which also runs the education center.

Animals in the area

The animals living in Dar es Salaam are pets, various bird species and tropical fish off the coast.

Click here for the wildlife overview

Dieren overzicht Dar es Salaam

  • Diverse bird species
  • Tropical fish

Imagining yourself in Dar es Salaam yet?

Have a look at other example trips that can be fully adapted to your wishes or contact us directly!

example trips trip advice

Accommodations in Dar es Salaam

This large city is primarily a dynamic business center.

But also an interesting stopover between your international flight and the rest of your trip.

Hotel Slipway

Dar es Salaam, East Tanzania
Luxury hotel
€ 65 to € 75 pppn (lodging & breakfast)