Haven of Peace, here you will visit one of the major harbors cities in East Africa. It is Tanzania’s commercial capital, and a fast-growing city offering all you as a traveler can possibly want. If you want a taste of pulsating nightlife, beaches, sunbathing on the islands, romantic restaurants or shopping, both in traditional markets or in western style shopping malls, make sure to set aside some days to explore Dar es Salaam.
Before 1860, when Sultan Sayyid Majid of Zanzibar named the till then small fishing village Dar es Salaam, to develop a harbor for the mainland, this area were somehow anonymous.
Before completing, the Sultan died, and the harbor of Bagamoyo overshadowed Dar es Salaam, and it sunk back into quietness. In the 1880s the significance of Dar es Salaam started to grow. First as a way-station for missionaries, then as a seat for the German colonial government, and also as a harbor for their steam ships.
This hectic city, with its traffic jams and endless rows of commuters, offer you as guest a row of sights and activities. You can do cultural sightseeing, visiting the National Museum with its famous fossils from Olduvai Gorge, and the Village Museum with its collection of authentic constructed traditional cottages from the different tribes and areas of the country.
This combined with The Botanical Garden, the fish market at Kivukoni Front and the State House give you a good full day city tour, with a good traditional lunch or some shopping in addition.
The north side of the town gives you the best beaches, with possibility to visit one of the water parks, or to take a day at one of the island marine parks just half an hour boat ride away, with diving, snorkelling and water activities.
For the real shopping, you should go to the “musts” – The woodcarver marked at Mwenge with hundreds of thousands of ebony sculptures, or similar more legal wood sorts. Another must, is Morogoro Stores and the Tinga Tinga painters marked at the Msasani Peninsula.
Local markets are all over, we will adjust our suggestions to your needs, the temperature and program.
The blooming starting point to the famous Serengeti, the Ngorongoro Crater and Mount Kilimanjaro as a few of your options, will usually be a part of your northern Tanzania adventures, if this is the sites you choose to visit.
A fast-growing touristic town that gets more than 400.000 visitors every year, either going to, or coming back from one of Tanzania’s many wonders.
The town is surrounded by coffee plantations, wheat- and maize estates, which have been a major livelihood for this area since the 18th century. You will see alluring nature and landscapes around this farmland, dominated by the Rift Valley escarpment and the Crater Highlands with its volcanoes.
The roots of modern Arusha started during the German colonial time in the 19th century and are today the seat of the East African Community, and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, set up by UN in November 1994 after the horrifying genocide that killed more than 800.000 people the same year.
You will have a lot to explore if you spend a few days under the conical shaped summit of Mt. Meru, overlooking the city from the north. Souvenir shops everywhere, the distinctive Maasai people are all around you, and you have a variety to choose amongst for eating, relaxation or nightlife.
Surrounded by hills with enormous boulders, and set on the shore of Lake Victoria, is Mwanza, Tanzania’s second largest city. The home area of the country’s largest ethnical group, the Sukuma, and the economical heart of the lake region Mwanza is a busy port and the starting point if you want to visit Rubondo Island National Park. It’s also a good alternative for starting or ending your Serengeti wildlife adventure.
Founded in 1892 as a cotton trading city, Mwanza has become growingly more and more important due to its location for the mining areas close by, and for its port handling the cotton, tea and coffee grown in this fertile area of Western Tanzania.
Lake Victoria was “discovered” by the British explorer John Hanning Speke in August 1858, due to his dispute with his fellow explorer Richard Francis Burton about the source of the Nile. Burton was sure that Lake Tanganyika was the source, but Speke circled half of the Lake Victoria and sailed all the way down to Cairo in 1863 to prove his theory.
Besides the lake itself, Mwanza town have an Oriental feel to give you due to the many Hindu temples and mosques to be seen.
A walk through the city center will take you to the central market, bustling and chaotic, or to the amazing towering stack of boulders just offshore, the Bismark Rock, a major landmark of the city.
The Sukuma’s are known for their dancing, and the annual dancing festival “Bulabo”, arranged in Bujora just outside Mwanza. About 60 days after Easter, you can join the spectacle dancing.
Most famous are the dances including animals, the banungule – the hyena dance – and the bazwilili bayeye – the snake and porcupine dance. You should also visit the Sukuma Museum in the same area, showing a lot from the traditions of the Sukuma people.
“I found a walled town on the western foot of the Uluguru Mountains, with its fine valley abundantly beautiful, watered by two rivers, and several pellucid streams of water distilled by the dew and cloud-enriched heights around” was the description from Henry Morton Stanley, when he passed Morogoro en route to his historic encounter with Dr. Livingstone.
On your maybe not so historic travel, but still exotic and adventurous, you will pass Morogoro if your wildlife safari takes you to or from Selous Game Reserve, Mikumi, Udzungwa or Ruaha National Park. Or if you want some nice hiking in the Uluguru Mountains, this agricultural town will be your base camp.
Kisabengo, the leader of fugitive slaves made this area his capitol and called his settlement “Simbawenni” – The Lion King.
This settlement became important to traders, Christian missionaries and later the Germans, who made Morogoro a base during their military conquest of Tanganyika.
You will get the best free entertainment in this city at the main market, with hundreds of vendors coming from the mountains every day to sell whatever they have; Tomatoes, peas, tangerines, bananas, papayas and coconuts, also delicately woven baskets, woodcarvings and coconut-wood chairs.
On the route to Ruaha National Park, or as a stopover going to Mbeya and the south western parts of Tanzania, Iringa will give you a pleasant and comfortable memory from your journey.
Situated amongst bare and jagged hills, with streets lined by jacarandas, overlooking the Little Ruaha River Valley – you will enjoy the cool climate at 1600 m altitude, and the relaxing atmosphere the city provides.
Iringa was initially built by the Germans as a defense post against the Hehe people, known from the Maji Maji uprising between 1905 and 1907. On your walk through the town, you will get several reminders from these historic events.
You will see the streets of the German built quarter around close to the market, which have tables piling high with fruits and vegetables, in addition to local made Iringa baskets and a multitude of other wares. Neema Crafts Workshop, selling beautiful handicrafts made by deaf or disabled youth from the area, is a definite must on your shopping round.
When in Iringa a visit to Isimila, one of Africa’s richest Stone Age sites, should be included. In addition to thousands of more than 60.000-year-old stone tools, Isimila have the scenery of small but spectacular canyons studded with bizarrely eroded sandstone needles in colourful pink or orange. This site is about 20 km southwest of Iringa.