Bagamoyo – Historical Town

The town of Bagamoyo is a home to world class Historical sites and one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites with rich cultural heritage waiting you to explore.

This 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 town of Bagamoyo was one of the most important trading ports on the East African coast and the penultimate stop of slave and ivory caravans travelling on foot from Lake Tanganyika on their way to Zanzibar. Missionaries active in abolishing the slave trade made Bagamoyo, whose name means ‘bury my heart’ in Kiswahili, a center for their activities.

Bagamoyo is a quiet village with a few German colonial buildings still standing. In the past, the town of Bagamoyo was one of the most important trading ports on the entire East African coast. Its port was the penultimate stop of slave and ivory caravans that travelled on foot all the way from Lake Tanganyika. Once the caravans reached Bagamoyo, the slaves and ivory were shipped by dhow to Zanzibar, where they were then dispatched all over the world. These days, Bagamoyo is a center of dhow building in the region and along the Tanzanian Coast.

Main Tourist Attractions:

Kaole Ruins

The oldest ruins of an Islamic mosque in the region, a few km South of Bagamoyo near Kaole, at their Centre are 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. It was built in the days when the Sultan of Kilwa held sway over coastal trade, and long before Bagamoyo had assumed any significance. Nearby is a second mosque, dating to the 15th century, and about 22 graves, many dating to the same period.

Among the graves are several Shirazi pillar-style tombs reminiscent of those at Tongoni, but in somewhat better condition, and a small museum housing Chinese pottery fragments and other remnants. Just east of the ruins, past a dense stand of mangroves, is the old harbor, now silted, that was in use during Kaole’s heyday.

Caravan Serai Museum

A court yard which has a single building at front and square two-storey buildings. This undistinguished museum has a small display documenting the slave trade. It was here that preparations were made for the fitting out of the caravans to the interiors. Similarly, it was also the resting place for the caravan porters from interiors who nick named the town BWAGAMOYO- the place where one’s heart came to rest and relax after a long and tiring journey.

German Boma “Germany State House”

This unique building was built in 1897 during the German colonies built this building to serve as the colonial administrative headquarters of the first capital of German East Africa and the residence of the German colonial administrator. The same building also He served as the regional administrative headquarters of the British colony after that the Treaty of Versailles (1919) offal takes to Germany of its overseas empire and gave Great Britain a mandate to administer all the former East Germany Africa under the supervision of the League of Nations. Under the domain British building was altered and the building received the name ‘Ingls Boma’ means Gestin administration of British overseas.

It is an impressive two-storey building topped by crenellations, constructed in a U shape. They are pointed arches on the ground floor, despite being used as German administrative center from 1897 Germany Boma first State House and Governor’s residence.

The ancient Church in East Africa

The pioneering mission was established by the Fathers of the Holy Spirit and built in 1872, according to reports, it is the most ancient church on the continent of East Africa, while the new church was built 1910-14. Has a great curiosity. It was here on 24th February 1874 that the porters brought the body of Dr. Livingstone, famous British explorer and missionary, after a journey of 1500kms from Ujiji-Tabora. He was interred for a night at the Holy Ghost Mission; the Livingstone Tower, a part of the original church, is named in his honor.

Bagamoyo Town

With its cobwebbed portals and crumbling German-era colonial buildings, central Bagamoyo, or Mji Mkongwe (Stone Town) as it’s known locally, is well worth exploration. The most interesting area is along Ocean Rd. Here you’ll find the old German Boma (a fortified living compound; in colonial times, an administrative office), built in 1897, and Liku House, which served as the German administrative headquarters. There is also a school, which dates to the late 19th century and was the first multiracial school in what is now Tanzania.

On the beach is the German Customs House (1895), Bagamoyo port, where you can watch boat builders at work, and a busy fish market (on the site of the old slave market), with lively auctions most afternoons. Northwest of here are several small streets lined with carved doors similar to those found elsewhere along the coast. Further south is the mid-19th-century Old Fort.

College of Arts “Chuo cha Sanaa”

This is a major art college in Tanzania where music, dance, drama and painting are taught. Students came from all over the globe to study African drumming, painting, sculpture etc. It is situated along the Kaole road, close to Kaole ruins. It is also possible to learn how to play various local music instruments with the college, but this has to be arranged and negotiated in advance.

Crocodile Farm

Visit the Crocodile farm 3km from Bagamoyo right on the road to Kaole ruins, the crocodiles are in different ponds according to their age and growth. When visiting a crocodile farm in Bagamoyo you will have access to get a close view of some huge Crocodile and handle the babies.