Dar-es-salaam City Tour

National Museum

The National Museum in Dar es Salaam opened in 1940 next to the Botanical Gardens. A new wing was built in front of the old museum in 1963. The museum originally opened in the King George V Memorial Museum, the new wing has his car on display.

The Hall of Man contains archeological finds, replicas of rock paintings and a cast of 3.6 million-year-old hominid footprint. The History Gallery, located on the first floor, covers the Kilwa period (9th – 15th C), the (English and German) colonial period, the slave trade, local rebellions, and Independence. The colonial years and anti-colonial struggle are presented through a display of objects, photos and documents. The section on Coastal history features glazed Chinese pottery and copper coins from Kilwa.

Ethnographic displays include traditional crafts, head dresses, ornaments and musical instruments. Hunting and gathering, initiation rites, traditional healing and witchcraft are a few other themes; also on view are leather and bark clothing, and a wooden bicycle in working order.

The garden area of the National Museum, home to several peacocks, has a sculpture dedicated to the twelve Tanzanians who died in the bombing of the American Embassy in Dar es Salaam. The sculpture, created by Elyn Zimmerman, consists of six geometric forms surrounding a granite-rimmed pool.

Botanical Garden

The first Director of Agriculture, Professor Stuhlmann, originally laid out the Botanical Gardens in Dar es Salaam in 1893. The newly restored building that houses the Department of Agriculture was built in 1903, by which time the Botanical Gardens were well established.

The oasis of indigenous plants has an enchanting mix of flowers and plants including one of the few places in the world to see the coco-de-mer palm tree that is native to Seychelles.

The Botanical Gardens also became the home of Dar es Salaam Horticultural Society, which still has a building on site that has undergone some restoration with most of the exhibits now labeled. It is still functional and is home for variety of tree species both indigenous and foreign and also sanctuary for variety birds and small game.

Ocean Road Hospital/Complex

Built in 1897, Very admirable today as it has undergone a total rehabilitation. Note the small domed building between the main hospital and the old doctor’s house where Dr. Koch discovered the malaria and tuberculosis viruses. It is presently the only tumor hospital of the country, closely cooperating with the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) in Heidelberg.

State House

The State House was the original residence of the German Governor; built in the late 1890s by Germany. At one time, the State House had tall Islamic-style arches on the ground floor and a veranda with railing on the upper level. Cast-iron columns also supported the roof.

In 1914, the British nearly destroyed the building during World War I. In 1922 the State House was rebuilt with similar arches on the ground floor but scalloped arches on the upper level and a tower with a crenellated railing. The style is more in tune with East African architecture. The State House is now the home of the current president and not open to the public