Museums of Tanzania

The National Museum of Tanzania

It is a consortium of five Tanzanian museums whose purpose is to preserve and show exhibits about the history and natural environment of Tanzania. The consortium developed from the National Museum of Dar es Salaam, established in 1934 by Tanganyika governor Harold MacMichael. Four more museums later joined the consortium, namely the Village Museum in Dar es Salaam, the National History Museum and the Arusha Declaration Museum in Arusha, and the Mwalimu Julius K. Nyerere Memorial Museum in Butiama.

The National Museum of Tanzania

The Dar es Salaam National Museum is located next to the botanical gardens on Shabban Robert Street. It was originally a memorial museum dedicated to King George V, and it has been open to the public since 1940. One of the King’s cars is still on display. The museum was expanded with the addition of a second building in 1963. It is now dedicated to Tanzanian history. Its most famous exhibits include some Paranthropus boisei bones discovered by Louis Leakey at Olduvai. A large section of the museum is also dedicated to the Shirazi city-state of Kilwa. More historical miscellaneous material relating to German and British rule, as well as ancient Chinese pottery, can be found.

Village Museum Tanzania

The Village Museum, located on the outskirts of Dar es Salaam, is an open-air ethnographic museum that displays the traditional living quarters of Tanzania’s 16 ethnic groups. Each home is furnished with antiques, and villagers demonstrate cultural skills such as pottery, carving, and weaving. It gives a great insight into the country’s culture and includes traditional music and tribal dance displays.

The Arusha Declaration Museum

The Arusha Declaration Museum is located in the Kaloleni neighborhood, close to Uhuru Tower (Mnara wa Mwenge). Until 1967, this structure served as a social welfare hall for Arusha’s Kaloleni community. In January 1967, the building hosted a historic meeting that resulted in Tanzania’s Political and Economic Policy of Socialism and Self-reliance. The building was converted into a small political museum in February 1977. The Museum provides the public with an understanding of Tanzania’s political economy. It is an important teaching tool for subjects such as history, civics, general studies, and political science.

Maji Maji Rebellion Museum

The Majimaji Memorial Museum is a branch of Tanzania’s National Museum. In 2010, the Majimaji Museum was designated a National Museum and opened to the public. It is found on Mashujaa Street, along Mahenge Road, in Songea Municipality, Ruvuma Region. This is Tanzania’s only museum dedicated to the great history of Maji Maji resistance in liberation movements during the German colonial era.

Mwalimu Nyerere Museum Centre

It is about 48 kilometers from Musoma town in Butiama village. After Mwalimu Nyerere left power in 1985, the idea for this museum arose. The Ministry of Education and Culture began construction work in 1987. Former Tanzanian Prime Minister, Hon. Federick Tluway Sumaye, officially opened the Museum on July 2, 1999. Mwalimu Nyerere was present at the launch, but he died three months later on October 14, 1999, at St. Thomas Hospital in London.

Olduvai Gorge Museum

It is situated on the outskirts of the Olduvai Gorge in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area in Northern Tanzania. Mary Leakey founded the museum, which is now managed by the Tanzanian government’s Department of Cultural Antiquities. It is a museum dedicated to the appreciation and understanding of the fossil sites of Olduvai Gorge and Laetoli.

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