Size: 14 sq. mi
Location: Coastal Tanzania, 75 km North of Dar es Salaam

The town of Bagamoyo was founded by the end of the 18th century and is considered to be the oldest town in Tanzania. Bagamoyo (also spelled Bagamojo) was also the original capital of German East Africa and one of the most important trading ports along the East African coast. Today, the town hold approximately 30,000 inhibitants. Bagamoyo has recently been designated as a World Heritage Site.

In the first half of the 19th century, Bagamoyo 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. This explains the meaning of the word Bagamoyo (“Bwaga-Moyo”) which means “Lay down your Heart” in Swahili

Today, Bagamoyo has become a rather quite town and has become a centre for dhow sailboat building on the Tanzanian coast. Tourists would travel to Bagamoyo, from Dar Es Salaam for weekend holidays. Bagamoyo is also close to the islands of Zanzibar, where some of the tourists originate from.


Attractions in Bagamoyo include Kaole ruins, which dates back 13th BC and consist of 2 mosques and 30 tombs. The College of Arts is another attraction in Bagamoyo. This is an international acclaimed institute that teaches Tanzanian painting, sculpture, drama, dancing and drumming. Other attractions include the Holy Ghost Mission, the first Catholic church built in East Africa in 1873 and the Old fort, which was built back in 1860 and is considered the oldest building in Bagamoyo.

How To Get There
About a one-hour drive north from Dar es Salaam by private car or bus.

What To Do
Activities such as island hopping, swimming, scuba diving and snorking are available. Game viewing at nearby Saadani National Park. Cultural and ecotourism tours can also be arranged.

When To Go
Accessible year round. Dry season, June-August. Wet season November-March. December- February