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Bagamoyo Historical Tour; Bagamoyo, once the most important trading port on the East African coast, remains a city of history and culture.
See the ruins of Coral Mosque at Kaole and the ancient graves from the 13th century. Discover the Old Ferry on the Wami River as your guide tells you about the town’s slave-trade past.
Venture into the city of Bagamoyo, which has played various historical roles in the history of the country. Along the way, your guide explains how it used to serve as a slave and ivory port—relics of this past remain.
The name of the city, Bagamoyo, comes from the Swahili words “bwaga moyo,” meaning “lay down your heart,” a desperate expression by people who were captured as slaves, knowing that they faced uncertain futures.
After a traditional lunch, visit the archeological site of Kaole. Admire its ruins, including the Coral Mosque and the ruins of the Shirazai trade town, dating between the 13th and 17th centuries.
Here you also see 30 ancient tombs built with coral rag and columns. Continue to the Wami River where you pause for a photo stop at the Old Ferry.
Bagamoyo Historical Tour Highlights
* Catholic Mission: One of the first of its kind in East Africa
* Kaole Ruins: 2 mosques from the first Arab settlements in this small town
* Caravan Serai Museum: Has exhibits on the town’s history and culture focusing on the slave trade
* Old Fort: White-washed building that has served many roles over the years, from provision house to slave hold
Day Trip to Bagamoyo Historical Tour Itinerary
0830 Hours: We will pick you from your hotel/ residence after breakfast and drive 75 kilometers north of Dar-es-salaam. The drive will take about 1 hour and a half depending on traffic around the city.
1000 Hours: Arrive in the sleepy town of Bagamoyo. Founded at the end of the 18th century, this seaside town possesses a colorful and at times turbulent past, from being a major Arab trading port, to serving as the capital of East German Africa.
The tour starts from Kaole Ruins 3 km away from Bagamoyo town. At Kaole Ruins you will see evidence of the first Arab settlements in this small town.
Here you will find the remains of a 13th century mosque, thought to be the oldest in Tanzania, and another younger mosque that dates back to the 15th century. Also on site are several graves, tombs, and a small museum with numerous artifacts on display.
Your guide will explain the history of the area as you explore the ruins of the mosque, tombs, wells, and graves, which were built using coral stones back in the 13th century.
Visit the museum with pictures and porcelains and pots are displayed, before finishing up with a walk to the big baobab tree. Continue on to the white-washed Old Fort, one of the oldest surviving buildings in Bagamoyo.
First constructed in 1860 this fort has served many roles over the years, from provision house to slave hold, and under colonial rule, it was even used as a military camp.
On the way back to Bagamoyo stop at the Crocodile Ranch, the farm keeps reptiles for show and sell. Drive to the Slave Market with a small museum, which displays Bagamoyo history in relation to its contact with foreigners.
It has old photographs, documents, and relics from the slave and ivory trade (marking the Bagamoyo as the coastal terminus of Nyamwezi caravans).
Then drive to the Mother of all Catholic Churches in East Africa; the Catholic Mission, which was one of the first of its kind in East Africa.
Though initially built in the late 1800s to provide a home for children freed from slavery, it later became a church and school.
Within the compound are the main church, a stone memorial tower dedicated to explorer David Livingstone, a mission cemetery, and several other buildings that were used as residences by the missionaries.
Also visit the Caravan Serai Museum, which has exhibits on the town’s history and culture focusing on the slave trade.
Drive to Stone Town (Mji Mkongwe), all buildings are in one/ two streets mostly built during the German Era before they moved to Dar-es-salaam.
Among other buildings, remains of the old German Boma (colonial-era administrative offices), built-in 1897; Post Office and Liku House, this served as the German administrative headquarters.
Visit the beach where there is the local fish market. There is a remnant of the German Customs House (1895) and Old Bagamoyo’s port. With timing, you can watch local lively fish auctions on the beach.
1300 Hours: Have lunch and some relaxation at one of the town’s resorts. You will have the afternoon to enjoy the hotel facilities, the beach and the ocean.
1600 Hours: We return back to Dar es Salaam.
Dar-es-salaam 1 Day Trips Bagamoyo Historical Tour Prices
* Duration: The tour takes about 4 to 5 hours
* Mode of the Tour: walking and driving around, since the sites and building are wide apart from each other (apart from stone town)
Dar Es Salaam
08:30 am EAT
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