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Dar es Salaam (House of Peace in Arabic) was founded in 1862 by Sultan Seyyid Majid of Zanzibar on the site of the village of Mzizima.
With its great atmosphere, mix of African, Muslim, and South Asian influences, picturesque harbour, beaches, chaotic markets, and historic buildings, it is well worth extending your stay beyond the time between flights.
Dar es Salaam is Tanzania's financial and political hub despite having lost its status as official capital to Dodoma in 1973.
Dar es Salaam is certainly not at the top of the list of places to see for most visitors to Tanzania.
It's often a necessary stop on their way to Zanzibar, the northern safari circuit, or home. Walks around the city center are a great way to get a feel for the culture and Kariakoo market can be an interesting place for the more adventurous.
The driest and coolest season is June through early October.
Short rains occur November through February (especially December), and long rains occur March through May, with monsoon season peaking in April.
Temperatures are high November through May, highest in January.
It can also be a good base for visiting some of the nearby sites such as Bagamoyo, Bongoyo and Mbudja Islands, as well as to learn to scuba dive or go deep sea fishing.
For those looking for something more humanitarian, most international organizations are based in Dar and may be a good starting point if you wish to volunteer. Nyerere International Airport, about 10 km west of the city center.