Dar es Salaam: The diversity of a port city

Issomeone tries to translate “Dar es Salaam” from Arab, it can mean something like “peaceful port or refuge”. In fact, it is the most important city in Tanzania and the second busiest port in Eastern Africa. It is bathed by the Indian Ocean, that place is almost a mandatory stopover for ships coming from Asia and going to the Americas and Europe. As a typical port city, Dar es Salaam features diversified architecture, mixing African, Arab, Indian, and German elements. That diversity is also noticed in the people and, consequently, the gastronomy. That is because; the city is home to Tanzanian Africans, who are from Arabian and South-Asian communities, British and German expatriates, Catholics, Lutherans, and Muslims.

Dar es Salaam has not forgotten its past. The museums in the city reunite incredible archeological findings and records from the occupational period of the Germans and British. The docks at the port and the central region also have diverse historical monuments. The city still esteems its relation with the sea. Whoever goes to the Bongoyo Island Marine Reserve, located seven kilometers north of the city, you will find beautiful beaches, deserted islands, and excellent locations for diving. Then those who go to the colorful and chaotic Kivukoni fish market will see firsthand the fishing vocation of the Tanzanians. The local folks prefer the excitement of Coco Beach and the Bongo Flava clubs, a type of musical gender that created hip-hop, contemporary R & B, reggae, and native Tanzanian music, such as Dansi and Taarab.

The fact is that Dar es Salaam is growing a lot. The population is 4 million people and it should increase over 85% by 2025, according to the African Development Bank. The population increase from 2002 to 2012 is the third fastest in Africa. Also, the city is well-prepared for the future. The Tanzania educational center includes the Dar es Salaam University, Hubert Kairuki University, and Ardhi University.