GUIDE ON BAGAMOYO IN TANZANIA
Today, Bagamoyo is inhabited by families of Arabian descent, the Kwere, Zaramo, Zigua and the Swahili who are dominant. As you explore the rural metropolis, it reveals to you its myriad secrets, and one by one, you will uncover the many facets of its rich history. Originally a sleepy settlement of fisher folk, it was founded into a town in the late 18th century. Soon it developed into a busy trade centre with Omani Arabs and Indian merchants setting up bases here. Next to arrive were the Germans who named it their East African Administrative Capital. Bagamoyo served as a stopover for cargo caravans transporting goods from the interiors of Africa to the trade markets of Zanzibar. The caravans carried a varied range of products such as ivory, dried meats, ebony, coconut kernels and a host of other natural items. But the most notorious cargo transported were the slaves, most of which were bound for working in the spice and clove plantations of Zanzibar and others “exported out”. At the height of Bagamoyo’s time, some 50,000 – 75,000 slaves were transported every year.
Bagamoyo takes its name from the Kiswahili phrase, “crush down your heart,” so described by the slaves because they were never to see their homes again. And ironically, the caravan travelers called it Bwagamoyo, “to throw off melancholy.” The town has buildings that were used as temporary housing for the slaves, and you can see them standing even today. As you visit the many historical sites and structures on your Bagamoyo tour with AfricanMecca, they will speak to you of how successfully trade flourished here and of the demised opulence of its inhabitants. Bagamoyo’s Old Town has edifices with hand carved Swahili door frames crafted out of wood that was a statement of affluence and identity. You can also see the restored Old Fort, built by the Baluchis and later auxiliary by Omani Arabs. Having changed ownership many times, the fort had the distinction of also being used by the Germans as a defence post for their East African colony.
On your Tanzania historic travels, you will also see edifices such as the Catholic Mission, the oldest in East Africa and the Catholic Museum that talk about the activities of the German missionaries in Tanzania. It is no wonder that the principal area of the District of Bagamoyo has now been recognised as a “tentative” UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Department of Antiquities in Tanzania has taken charge of the remnants of its colonial history and is directing efforts to its preservation for generations to come. In fact, Bagamoyo is one of the last bases for creating dhow sailboats in the traditional way and the “Chuo cha Sanaa” (Bagamoyo College of Arts) preserves primeval Tanzanian art by holding classes in painting, sculpture, dancing and other art forms. The college also hosts the Bagamoyo Players, a troupe of dancers that hold displays for the general public from Japan to Europe. You can support them by purchasing their music from Amazon and iTunes.
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WHERE TO STAY IN BAGAMOYO
We recommend the distinct Lazy Lagoon Lodge, located on a small island off Bagamoyo, for a discerning barefoot private island experience. Spend your days relaxing, kayaking, swimming, sunbathing.
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TOUR BAGAMOYO ATTRACTIONS
History left its mark on Bagamoyo long before the 18th century. You can visit varied historical and cultural sites like the Kaole Ruins, Old Fort to the first Post and Telegraph Bureau in East Africa.
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BEST TIME TO VISIT BAGAMOYO
The months of June through October are a great time to visit because this is the dry season. At this time, the skies are clear and the waters of the sea are a stunning deep blue with contrasting azure.
What are our Customers saying about us? READ MORE REVIEWS
I really cannot say enough good things about AfricanMecca- they made my holiday stress free and it really was a week spent in paradise. I will use them again for my travels to this region. Raza and his team were absolutely amazing!
Dr. Jennifer Byrne - James Madison University - Virginia, United States
Thanks for a fantastic holiday. It was in a great location and only took me 45 seconds to walk from my room to the beach. The bar has amazing views across the ocean. Thanks again for this fabulous introduction to East Africa.
Riazat Butt - Journalism Services, The Guardian - London, United Kingdom
Loretta and I had a great time on our honeymoon. Simiton, your safari guide in Tanzania was awesome! He was very professional, very accommodating and very knowledgeable. We are already talking about our next trip to Africa!
Loretta and Danny Haag - California, United States
Not a day has passed that we have not been overwhelmed by what we experienced, and by how fantastic our vacation was. It was truly magical. The pristine white beach not more than forty feet from our lovely room, the Indian Ocean sublime.
Jamie Davis & Liudmila Kondakova - California, United States
First off, we had the most amazing time ever and wanted to thank you very much. Tanzania proved without a doubt to meet all of our expectations. Every detail was thought of on our trip by AfricanMecca and were are all flawless.
Marcy Burton & Ryan Kerr - Ontario, Canada
AfricanMecca's professionalism and care understands that what distinguishes Africa is its authenticity, the land, people and wildlife who do not share our world of fashion and fanfare that distinguish so many travel companies today.
Cyril Christo & Marie Wilkinson, Conservation Photographers, Authors & Wildlife Documentary Producers - USA
We wanted to thank you for the great amount of care you put into helping us with our travel planning for Africa. We were very much in your hands. Many thanks again, Raza for all your care, attention, advice and professionalism.
Lorraine Beach and Marilyn Jolly - Marrickville, Australia
EAST AFRICA SAFARI & BEACH BOOKING TRIP IDEA FOR BAGAMOYO IN EASTERN TANZANIA
When beach vacationing in Bagamoyo, we recommend experiencing some of the surrounding Bagamoyo attractions and cultural activities after your Northern Tanzania safari to Tarangire, Lake Manyara, Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti (wildebeest migration).
You may optionally extend out to offbeat parks in Southern and Western Tanzania such as Nyerere (Selous), Ruaha or Katavi ending with a chimpanzee trekking safari at Gombe or Mahale by the relaxing Lake Tanganyika.
BAGAMOYO BEACH & TOUR PLANNING DETAILS
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