Dar es Salaam

Dar es Salaam (which means “haven of peace” in Arabic) is the capital and largest city in TANZANIA. In the late 1990s, its population was about 1.5 million. Arabs from Southern Arabia first established fishing villages in the area during the A.D. 1600s, but the city did not really grow until Sultan Sayyid Majid of ZANZIBAR built a palace there in the 1860s.

In the 1890s Dar es Salaam became the capital of the newly established colony of German East Africa. The Germans constructed new buildings and a rail line heading northwest, then they lost the region to Britain during World War I. Renamed Tanganyika, the colony achieved independence in 1961. Three years later it joined with Zanzibar to form the United Republic of Tanzania. In the 1970s the city of Dodoma was proposed as a new capital, but the cost of relocation was too great and the government remained in Dar es Salaam.

Located in a protected harbor along Tanzania’s coast, Dar es Salaam has the national university, many foreign embassies, and a lively night life. In the city center is the main market, Kariakoo, built on the site of a former British military camp. On the outskirts, industrial areas have grown up along the rail lines and near the harbor. (See also Colonialism in Africa.)

Dar es Salaam