Often mistakenly assumed to be the capital of Tanzania (which is, in fact, the city of Dodoma much more inland), Dar es Salaam remains the largest economical center of the country and its main port. What started as a small trading port in a quiet bay, now has grown into a congregation of the embassy buildings and luxurious hotels, bars and night clubs. At first glance, Dar es Salaam might seem like an unimpressive and dusty city, not worth a stay longer than one day. It is true that Dar is quite hard to grasp without a proper guidance, but if you learn a little bit about its history and meet someone who can show you the highlights of the city, you might see it in a totally different light.
Dar es Salaam was the center of colonial administration during the German rule, coordinating the trade routes between agricultural mainland Tanzania and its export gateways to the Indian ocean. Some architectural landmarks still remind you of those times: the National Museum will tell you more about Tanzania’a history, and Village Museum will introduce you to its tribal traditions. St Joseph Cathedral, the State House and Botanical Gardens, as well as a general walking tour along the waterfront will allow you to discover an unexpected side of Dar es Salaam – if you know where to look. Dar es salaam will captivate you with all its oddities, smells, noises, music and culture.
If you take a trip north of the city, Bongoyo Island Marine Reserve offers great diving and snorkelling for water enthusiasts. This reserve is also famous for amazing beaches, small islets and rich marine life.