Kariakoo Market Dar Es Salaam Tanzania Africa

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Kariakoo Market Dar Es Salaam Tanzania has famous history, Architecture and of course, the legendary prices for its fruit and vegetables. So why is it so significant and historical? This article will explore why.


Over 200 years ago, a German businessman bought 200 hectares of land in this area. He then rented the land to Africans. After that, Dar Es Salaam grew. In around 1913 about 50% of the population of Dar Es Salaam lived in this area.

A year later, in 1914, the Germans decided to turn the area into a town. Concrete houses were built for the locals and Kariakoo Market area was established.

Then, in 1916, the British conquered and used the area for its military. The name, ‘Kariakoo’ comes from a British Carrier Corps that used to be based in the area.


In 1974, local Architect, BJ Amuli designed and restructured Kariakoo Market. The 24 large tree shaped roof funnels and columns allow rainwater to be caught and captured in underground water tanks. The large opening at the around the sides allow natural ventilation so the air circulation keeps the interior nice and cool. The funny thing about the building is that the actual market is not inside the building. Its actually immediately around and spans several blocks. So the building acts like a vacuum for specialized commercial goods.

African markets are normally under trees. So Mr. Amuli, designed the trees out of concrete. This gives shoppers a welcoming experience. So, the ground floor and first floor has specialized goods. As appose to the fruit and veg outside.

The Legend

As you can see, its a very unusual market and it is focal point for resident of Dar Es Salaam and even tourist. Kariakoo market has become kind of a legend for its prices. It is actually the area Kariakoo at seems to be legendary more than the actual building. Thats probably because not many people actually go inside it. But there is no doubt that this Architecture contributed to the legend, district and legend of what makes Kariakoo Market today.


📐Russell M. Henderson is a practicing RIBA Chartered Architect based in Tanzania, East Africa.

🎥Russell (Architect Russell) also makes videos on YouTube , TikTok & Instagram sharing thoughtful, honest and pragmatic knowledge while working and living abroad.

The photography is by Russell M. Henderson and Unsplash

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