Dar es Salaam (house of peace) is Tanzania’s largest city and former capital. It is the largest city in East Africa hence the economic center of the region. While the country’s capital has now been moved to Dodoma, Dar still houses most government offices, NGOs, and foreign embassies and is one of Africa’s fastest growing urbanized city.
Since it was such an hot day and Dar is a coastal city we decided to walk along to beachfront to cool down and enjoy the beauty. We were unable to locate an open walkway along the waterfront but stumbled into an area that can be referred to as “underserved” or the “slums.” I found this to be particularly interesting and I am aware that Dar is overpopulated as well as rapidly urbanizing. Furthermore, the city has attracted refugees who evade living in camps and flee to Dar where they are undocumented. Such persons often squat in unofficial settlements. There were tents along the beach but I couldn’t decipher where they were inhabited or there for other purposes.
Nonetheless, the city has a very impressive skyline and is admirably clean. I’ve come to the realization that all the former British countries look alike. Downtown Dar favors my native country, Guyana, which is also a former British colony. Unfortunately, I was unable to do a city tour so I was not as aware of my surroundings and the history behind the city’s infrastructure.