Makumbusho village museum

    The Makumbusho village is a museum that showcases authentically constructed houses and equipment from a few of the tribes of Tanzania and is located at the heart of Dar es Salaam. It is one of the five major museums in the country, the others being the Dar es Salaam National museum, the Mwalimu Nyerere museum, the natural history museum and the Arusha declaration museum.

    Only a few of the Dominant tribes are represented at the museum as there are way too many tribes (over 130) in the country to successfully build a house for each at the site, let alone maintain them. Such a site would also takes days to completely tour. Those listed include:
    • Bena
    • Chagga
    • Fipa
    • Gogo
    • Haya
    • Hehe
    • Iraqw
    • Kwere
    • Makua
    • Mwera
    • Ngoni
    • Nyakyusa
    • Sukuma
    • Yao
    • Zanaki
    • Zaramo

    What to do there?Learn about the lifestyles and traditions of the many tribes that live in Tanzania today, including the types of houses that they live in and tools used. Most of what you would find at the museum is still being used today, by their respective people in rural areas. Thus with a good memory or a photograph, you should be able to tell which tribe lives inside which house, when you see it.

    Inside each house are some of the tools that you would find being used by these tribes, including stoves, spears, bows, arrows as well as cooking and drinking equipment. So feel free to try using some and get a feel of the day to day lifestyles of Tanzanian rural tribes, or take a photo or both. There also are cards next to the houses and equipment that explain further their use, history and customs of their people but if you are not up to the extra reading, you still could get somebody to give you a guided tour for an extra fee.

    When done, there also is a wide array of souvenirs that you could actually take home with you, from hand made jewelery and clothes near the main gate, to miniature houses to decorate your home with.

    Best time to visitThroughout the year, although the rainy season (march to june) would see some of the houses damaged and in need of repair, just like you would find in the actual houses. Most traditional houses have to be frequently repaired, something that you could see for yourself if you get the chance to go around the countryside during the rainy season. In any case, the museum officials are constantly repairing and improving them.

    Location of Makumbusho village museumThe Makumbusho village museum is located on the junction between New city road and old Bagamoyo road, a short distance away from Dar es Salaam's CBD - Tanzania. Its main entrance is on New city rd and the whole compound lies across the road from the LAPF tower. For more information on its location, please see the map below (click to start).

    How to get there?The only public transport means to the museum are the dala dalas, with a bus stop right outside the compound and a terminal not further from it. From anywhere in the city, you would have to get into a dala dala headed to Makumbusho and get off at the Makumbusho bus stop if coming from the north of the city. For those from other areas of the city, the Makumbusho terminal would be where you get off, then from there please use the map to get to the village.

    ReferencesInformation obtained from museum archives and a visit to the museum

    AbbreviationsCBD - Central Business District

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