The Port of Dar es Salaam is Tanzania's major port, center for industry, largest city, and seat of government. Located on the shores of eastern Africa off the Indian Ocean, the Port of Dar es Salaam is about 41 nautical miles south-southeast of the Port of Zanzibar and some 170 nautical miles south of Kenya's Port of Mombasa. The Port of Dar es Salaam has a beautiful harbor, wonderful beaches, and an exciting nightlife that have made it a popular tourist destination as well. In 2002, over 2.3 million people lived in the Port of Dar es Salaam.
Despite the fact that its harbor is almost landlocked, the Port of Dar es Salaam is the main export point for most of the country's agricultural and mineral exports. It also serves the neighboring and completely landlocked countries of Zambia, Malawi, Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Local products from the Port of Dar es Salaam include paint, soap, cigarettes, metal ware, textiles, shoes, glassware, wood carvings, and food products. The Port of Dar es Salaam is actually an administrative province within Tanzania with three local governments: Kinondoni, Ilala, and Temeke.
The Port of Dar es Salaam was originally called Mzizima, meaning "healthy town." The first European to arrive there was Albert Roscher from Hamburg. In 1866, the Sultan of Zanzibar, Sultan Sayyid Majid, give the city the name of Dar es Salaam, meaning "house of peace."
When the Sultan died in 1870, the Port of Dar es Salaam was neglected and fell into a period of decline. However, the German East Africa Company established a station there in 1887, bringing a return of relatively prosperity. The Port of Dar es Salaam was an administrative and commercial center for German East Africa, and the coming of the Central Railway Line in the early 20th Century brought industrial growth and expansion.
The British captured German East Africa during World War I, calling it Tanganyika. The Port of Dar es Salaam continued to be the territorial administrative and commercial center. The British ruled the Port of Dar es Salaam indirectly, and separate African and European communities developed outside the city center. Many South Asians moved into the city as well.
The Port of Dar es Salaam grew quickly after World War II. Tanganyika won its independence from British rule in 1961, and the Tanganyika African National Union was formed.
When Tanganyika and Zanzibar merged to form Tanzania in 1964, the Port of Dar es Salaam was made the nation's capital. In 1973, the capital was moved to a more central location in Tanzania's interior to Dodoma. However, the Port of Dar es Salaam continues to be the country's major city.