Historic site on the east coast of Tanzania

Bagamoyo is art, culture and a fascinating history.

The town lies on the beautiful coast of Tanzania, north of Dar es Salaam.


  • Surface 5 km2
  • Inhabitants 30.000
  • spring rain season April & May
  • fall rain season November

About Bagamoyo

The town of Bagamoyo – a UNESCO World Heritage Site – was once an important trading port and the capital of German East Africa. It was the stopover for the slave and ivory caravans who travelled from Lake Tanganyika to Zanzibar.

Culture and products in Bagamoyo

Strolling through the narrow, unpaved streets of Bagamoyo takes you back to the mid 19th century.

CultureĀ 
Bagamoyo is home to many ethnic groups, including the Wakwere, Wazaramo and Wazigua. The different cultures, including people of Arab origin, all live together in harmony in Bagamoyo, making the town a peaceful and friendly place for visitors from all over the world.

Products
Nowadays, the dhow boats for the region are manufactured in Bagamoyo.

Beaches
The stunning coastline around Bagamoyo is full of waterfowl and mangrove ecosystems. There are still deserted stretches of beaches nearby.

Diving
Lazy Lagoon Island, just outside Bagamoyo, is a unique location for snorkeling.

Climate & seasons

Bagamoyo has a tropical climate and is a wonderful destination all year round.

April and May:
There’s a higher chance of rain. This means mainly a tropical shower in the morning and sometimes at night. The temperatures are pleasant.

June to October:
In Bagamoyo this is the “cool” period. The temperature is pleasant. The temperature varies from 25 to 35 degrees.

November to December:
Precipitation varies. Temperatures slightly rise.

December to February:
This is the hottest period of the year.

Interesting facts

1. The name Bagamoyo means ‘bury my heart’ in Kiswahili. The city is also called Mji Mkongwe – Stone City.

2. From 1887 to 1891, Bagamoyo was the capital of German East Africa. In 1888 this was the center of the Abushiri uprising, the first major uprising against colonial rule.

3. Many European explorers, including Richard Burton, Henry Morton Stanley and David Livingstone, started and ended their journeys in Bagamoyo.

4. The annual highlight is the Bagamoyo Arts Festival, and takes place around the end of September and beginning of October. The festival involves traditional dance, drum and acrobatics. A good way to meet starting artists and artists.

5. From Bagamoyo, slaves and ivory were shipped by Dhow to Zanzibar Island, where they were then shipped all over the world.

6. In 1868, French missionaries founded Freedom Village in Bagamoyo as a hiding place for redeemed slaves. For the remainder of the century, this city served as an intermediate station for missionaries travelling from the island of Zanzibar to the interior.

Activities

Bagamoyo, built in the late 18th century, with many colonial buildings, was once one of the most important trading ports along the East African coast.

Bagamoyo is now known for its art, culture and fascinating history.

City tour

Bagamoyo has numerous old buildings from the colonial era on narrow, unpaved streets. Beautiful Arabic architecture with thick walls and beautifully carved wooden doors. During a walk through the narrow streets, you see the German colonial administration office, the art market, the old post office, the old mosques, the hanging tower, the Caravan Serai Museum and the fish market.

Take a walk along the beach, the center for dhow sailboat construction and see how local people build these traditional boats.

Animals in the area

There are no wild animals in Bagamoyo itself, just the usual pets and birds.

You can, however, go snorkelling and diving in the near area or visit the Saadani National Park.

Imagining yourself in Bagamoyo yet?

Have a look at other example trips that can be fully adapted to your wishes or contact us directly!

example trips trip advice

Stay in Bagamoyo

On the coast – near Bagamoyo – lies on a beautiful pristine beach, a home away from home.