Downtown district

Loosely corresponding to the areas south of Samora Street and west of Maktaba Street, this is the centre of business and tourism in Dar es Salaam.

There are still a few old colonial and Asian-style buildings in this part of the city, especially towards the waterfront, although the attractive older structures are gradually being replaced by uglier modern concrete or glass buildings. Few people live in this area.

The neighbourhood is the centre for some luxurious western-style hotels (some of which put on regular events for ex-pats and wealthy Tanzanians), the British Council and British High Commission, numerous cafes and restaurants, a branch of the English-language bookshop, A Novel Idea, and newspaper and broadcasting offices among other things.

Most of the old buildings are now concentrated along the sea front; the elegant old post office, the law courts and the recently restored Lutheran Church, an imposing monument to the German colonial period, pre-world war one. The terminal for ferries to Zanzibar, Mafia, Lindi and Mtwara is just across the busy seafront road from St Joseph’s Roman Catholic cathedral.

At the junction of Maktaba Street and Samora Avenue is the bronze Askari monument commemorating the otherwise unsung African troops who fought and died on both sides in world war one.

Going north on Maktaba Street is the new post office and St Alban’s Anglican church, and the main inner city stop for dala dalas (public mini buses).

On the outskirts of this area, going north towards the Msasani Peninsular, is a relatively green and open section of the city, with the botanical gardens, the Gymkhana Club and the golf course.

There are also two hospitals here, Ocean Road hospital (otherwise known as the Old German Hospital), which is a specialist cancer institute, and the Aga Khan hospital, widely considered the best-equipped private hospital in the country.

This is also the political heart of the city (even though Dodoma, not Dar es Salaam, is officially the country’s capital), with the State House and presidential offices and the old parliament building.

Along the sea road is the city’s picturesque fish market, stocked by local fishermen who sail in by dhow at dawn to offload the previous night’s catch.

General Info

Address Samora Avenue, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

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Downtown district

Samora Avenue, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania