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Tropical Beaches of Africa

Bagamoyo Beach

Bagamoyo Town was the legendary ivory and slave trading port for east and central Africa during the late 19th century. Situated just 50km from Dar es Salaam it makes a perfect day excursion for city visitors and those from docking cruise ships. Recently designated as Tanzania’s seventh world heritage site, it is the oldest town in Tanzania and was the last resting place of the legendary explorer Dr. David Livingston until his body was shipped back to be buried in Westminster Abbey, London.

 Departing Dar es Salaam early morning we drive 50km up the coast to the historic Bagamoyo, a seaside town possessing a colourful and at times turbulent past upon arrival, your first stop is at the Kaole Ruins, where you can see the first Arab settlements. Here you will find the remains of a 13th century mosque (thought to be the oldest in Tanzania) and other historic structures of interest. Next you will explore the old town with its cob webbed portals, crumbling colonial buildings and 19th century School which was the first multi-racial school in Tanzania.

 On the beach is the German Customs House (1895), an active port (where you can watch boat builders at work), and a busy fish market (once the old slave market). Finally, you will visit the white-washed Old Fort, one of the town’s oldest surviving buildings. Lunch at one of the town’s resorts, after lunch we drive along the mango-shaded avenue to the Catholic Mission, which was one of the first of its kind in East Africa.

 Though initially built to provide a home for children freed from slavery, it later became a church and school. Within the compound is the main church and cemetery, a stone memorial tower dedicated to the explorer David Livingstone and other buildings used as residences by the missionaries. We finally visit the Caravan Serai Museum, which has exhibits on the town’s history and its slave trade. Return to Dar es Salaam late afternoon.

1 Day trip to Bagamoyo Tanzania 362

 Bagamoyo lies 75kms north of Dar es Salaam. Bagamoyo was the starting point of the slave caravan routes and also the terminus of the white missionaries. While in Bagamoyo, visit the Kaole Ruins (dating back to the earlier part of the 15th century), and the first Roman Catholic Church in Tanganyika built by the Germans in the 1880. Do not forget the museum, which houses numerous historical artifacts. There is also a
splendid beach where one can swim and enjoy a picnic lunch.

  • Bagamoyo ruins
    Coast of Bagamoyo- Bagamoyo was founded towards the end of the 18th century as a small port trading in dried fish, gum, cobalt and salt. Bagamoyo also served as a caravan entre port, with traders coming from distant areas of the interior, as far as Morogoro and Usambara. Later on, the use of this town for Ivory and slave trade increased its importance in the 19th century.
    Bagamoyo importance began to decline when in 1940 the Sultan of Oman, Seyyid Said, decided to move his capital from Muscat to Zanzibar, to be closer to his dominion along the Eastern African coast.
    Caravans would come to the coast from the interior with goods like clothing, wire, beads and other ornaments, and would return with slaves carrying Ivory. Hence Bagamoyo became the main Centerport for the slave and ivory trade on the mainland.
  • Renowned European explorers like Burton, Speke, Stanley and Livingstone all passed through Bagamoyo. The Holy Ghost fathers established their first mission station in Bagamoyo in 1868, and it was in its chapel that Dr. Livingstone  body was brought from the interior and kept before being shipped back to Europe.

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