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  • Zanzibar, Tanzania
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Bagamoyo

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Bagamoyo

Bagamoyo is among the oldest towns of Swahili in Tanzania and one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites with rich cultural heritage. It is located 75 km North of Dar-es-salaam. The town was once a most important trading port along the East African Coast and a German East Africa Capital. Bagamoyo is home to many ethnic groups, including the Wakwere, Wazaramo and Wazigua. Different cultures including people of Arab descent coexist in Bagamoyo making the town a peaceful and friendly place for visitors from all over the world.

The original settlement Kaole grew into an important trading town in 13th century. The ruins of Kaole show the importance of Islamic culture in this area, they contain the remnants of two mosques and 30 tombs, dated back to the 13th century. Around the 17th century, the settlement 2-3 miles north of Kaole began growing. This area grew in prosperity, acquiring the name Bagamoyo by the 18th century as an important stop in the caravan trade (the name means "take the load off and rest"). Until the 18th century, Bagamoyo was a small trading centre where most of the population were fishermen and farmers. The main trading goods were fish and salt. Bagamoyo became the most important trading port of the east central coast of Africa in the late 19th century. The city became a trading port for ivory  and the slave trade, with traders coming from the African interior, from places as far as Morogoro, Lake Tanganyika and Usambara on their way to Zanzibar. Once the caravans reached Bagamoyo, the slaves and ivory were shipped by dhow to Zanzibar, where they were then dispatched all over the world.

Bagamoyo town is surrounded by old buildings of the previous generation, beautiful Arab architecture with thick walls fitted with well-carved doors made of thick African hardwood. These buildings include the German Colonial Administrative block, Art market, Old post office, 1st Tanzania Primary School, Old Mosques, the Old tower of the first Catholic Church in East Africa, Caravan Serai Museum and the fish market. The town is also very close to Saadani National Park than any other town on the coast region.

Another interesting feature of this town is The Bagamoyo College of Arts (“Chuo cha Sanaa”), this is an international famous arts college in Tanzania, teaching traditional Tanzanian painting, sculpture, drama, dancing and drumming. The college organizes monthly cultural events that people are freely invited to participate.

Things to do in Bagamoyo:

  • Caravan Serai Museum. This is a place where slaves arrived after almost 6 months walk, while carrying heavy goods like Ivory, from Kigoma to Bagamoyo.
  • Bagamoyo Town tour.
  • The Crocodile Farm Tour. Visit a crocodile farm and learn how these wild predators are kept. Get to know their social behaviours, growth, live capture techniques, feeding/hunting techniques and local uses of various products.
  • The Catholic Museum which has an exhibit on the history of Christianity in Tanzania and East Africa and efforts made by the church to a complete abolition of slave trade.
  • Kaole Ruins which contains the remains of a 13th century mosque, which is one of the oldest in mainland Tanzania and also one of the oldest in East Africa.
  • Saadani National Park. It is the only wildlife sanctuary in Tanzania bordering the ocean. The Park offers a unique view that is not found elsewhere, it is located very close to Bagamoyo town than any other town on the coast region.

 

 

 

 

 

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