DAR ES SALAAM commonly known as Dar is the largest city and financial hub of Tanzania. It is also the capital of the Dar es Salaam Region. With a population of over six million people, Dar is the largest city in East Africa and the seventh-largest in Africa. Located on the Swahili coast, Dar es Salaam is an important economic centre and is one of the fastest-growing cities in the world.

Dar es Salaam is Tanzania’s most prominent city for arts, fashion, media, film, television, and finance. It is the capital of the co-extensive Dar es Salaam Region, one of Tanzania’s 31 administrative regions, and consists of five districts: Kinondoni in the north; Ilala in the centre; Ubungo and Temeke in the south; and Kigamboni in the east across the Kurasini estuary.

Dar es Salaam Region is divided into five administrative districts, four of which are governed by municipal councils that are affiliated with the city’s suburbs or wards.


Kinondoni is the most populated of the districts. It houses half of the city’s population and several high-income suburbs.


The administrative district of Ilala contains almost all government offices, ministries, and the Central Business District. It is the transportation hub of the city, as the Julius Nyerere International Airport, Central Railway Station and Tazara Railway Station are all within the district’s boundaries. The residential areas are mainly middle- to high-income


Temeke is the fifth industrial district of the city, where manufacturing (both heavy and light industry) is located. To the east is the Port of Dar es Salaam, the largest in the country. Temeke is believed to have the largest concentration of low-income residents due to industry. It is home to military and police officers as well as port officials.


The Ubungo terminal serves as a transportation link to most large Dar es Salaam urban nodes. The narrow-gauge commuter rail runs from there to the city centre, with ten level crossings along the route.

Dar es Salaam experiences tropical climatic conditions, typified by hot and humid weather throughout much of the year due to its proximity to the equator and the warm Indian Ocean.


Dar es Salaam hosts the Mlimani City shopping mall, the City Mall in the Kisutu area, Quality Center Mall, GSM Pugu Shopping Mall, GSM Msasani Mall, and Dar Free Market Mall.


The new Magufuli Bus Terminal at Mbezi Luis.

The Dar Rapid Transit (DART) is a bus-based mass-transit system connecting the suburbs of Dar es Salaam to the central business district

The Julius Nyerere International Airport, Dar es Salaam

On a natural harbour on the Indian Ocean, Dar es Salaam is one of the hubs of the Tanzanian transportation system, as the main railways and several highways originate in or near the city to provide convenient transportation for commuters.

Local public transport

Public minibus share taxis (Dala dala) are the most common form of transport in Dar es Salaam and are often found at the major bus terminals of Makumbusho, Ubungo and other areas of the city. However, since the introduction of the motorcycle transit business known as “bodaboda,” most people prefer it, allowing them to get into the city faster as compared with the minibuses, which encounter heavy traffic. Other types of transport include motorcycles and bajaj (auto-rickshaws).


The government has been introducing a metro bus system, the Dar es Salaam bus rapid transit (mwendo kasi in Kiswahili). The metro buses are managed by UDA-RT, a partnership between Usafiri Dar es Salaam (UDA) and the government.


Dar es Salaam will have a metro system, currently undergoing a feasibility study conducted by Mota-Engil and Dar Rapid Transit Agency

Maritime transport


The Port of Dar es Salaam is Tanzania’s busiest, handling 90% of the country’s cargo. It is located in the Kurasini administrative ward of Temeke District southeast of the city’s central business district. Due to a huge influx of cargo and the slow pace of expansion, a new cargo port 60 kilometres (37 miles) northwest of Dar es Salaam is proposed at Bagamoyo.


MV Kigamboni ferries run between southeast of Kivukoni and northwest of Kigamboni in Dar es Salaam


Dar es Salaam commuter rail

Travel to urban and suburban parts of the city is provided by the Dar es Salaam commuter rail.

Intra-city railway

Tanzania Railways operates the Central Line from Dar es Salaam west to Kigoma.

International railway

The city also hosts the head office of Tanzania–Zambia Railways Authority (TAZARA) built in the late 1960s to early 1970s. The main terminal is located west of Dar es Salaam’s central business district in north Yombo Vituka along the Nelson Mandela Road. The TAZARA Railway connects Dar es Salaam to Zambia.


Tanzania Standard Gauge Railway is a new railway station currently under construction. It will link the country to Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi and Congo.


The Julius Nyerere International Airport is the principal airport serving the country, with three operating terminals. Terminal Three is located at Kipawa in Ilala Municipality. The airport is located west of Dar es Salaam’s central business district.


The Tingatinga painting style originates from Dar es Salaam. The Nyumba ya Sanaa (“House of Art”) is a cultural centre, workshop and retail outlet dedicated to Tanzanian art, showcasing and promoting Tanzanian craftsmanship.


Dar es Salaam has two of the five museums that comprise the National Museum of Tanzania consortium, namely the National Museum proper and the Makumbusho Cultural Centre & Village Museum. The National Museum is dedicated to the history of Tanzania; most notably, it exhibits some of the bones of Paranthropus boisei that were among the findings of Louis Leakey at Olduvai. In 2016, there was a breakthrough discovery in Northern Tanzania by a scientist, from the University of Dar es Salaam, of footprints thought to be of a hominid that predates Homo sapiens. The Makumbusho Cultural Centre & Village Museum, located on the outskirts of the city on the road to Bagamoyo, showcases traditional huts from 16 different Tanzanian ethnic groups. There are also examples of traditional cultivation and daily traditional music and dance shows. Close to the National Museum is also the botanical gardens, with tropical plants and trees.

There are beaches on the Msasani peninsula north of Dar es Salaam and in Kigamboni to the south. Mbudya Island can be reached from the Northern beaches, and Bongoyo Island can be reached by boat from the Msasani Slipway.