Située sur la côte est de la Tanzanie, au bord de l’océan Indien, Bagamoyo est une destination très appréciée des voyageurs. Les jolies plages de cette ville d’une grande richesse offrent un environnement qui ravira aussi bien les amateurs de farniente que les passionnés d’histoire.

Discovering the history of Bagamoyo

Bagamoyo is a must-see destination for cultural tourism in Tanzania.

This former capital of German East Africa, founded at the end of the 18th century, was a major centre of maritime trade in the heart of the Indian Ocean. Its economy was based on the transport of fish, salt and rubber. In the first half of the 19th century, these goods were replaced by ivory and slaves, which were transported to the island of Zanzibar. Today, the local population lives mainly from agriculture, fishing and livestock.

There are a number of sites where you can immerse yourself in the history of this very special coastal town:

The ruins of Kaole

The Kaole archaeological site bears witness to the passage of the Kaole colony dating back to the 18th century on the lands of Bagamoyo. Remnants of the oldest settlement in the coastal region of East Africa, the Kaole ruins are one of the places steeped in history not to be missed during a day’s visit. The site includes an ancient mosque, a house and two tombs dating back to the 18th century. This mosque is considered to be the oldest in the country and one of the oldest in East Africa.

The Catholic museum

The Catholic museum in the north of the town reveals another facet of Bagamoyo’s history. In this small museum you can learn more about the slave trade, the history of Dr Livingstone and the missionaries, as well as discovering Tanzania’s first church and a large collection of objects linked to Bagamoyo’s past.

The Serai Caravan Museum

This small museum dedicated to the slave trade is housed in a historic building, a former guest house used by slave traders in the 19th century. Here you will discover an exhibition of objects associated with the slave and ivory trade.

Visit to the beaches of Bagamoyo

A change of scenery on the white sandy beaches lined with coconut palms of this town rich in history. Bagamoyo is a cultural destination that also has many seaside attractions. It’s time to relax and swim on these beautiful stretches of white sand along the Indian Ocean. This relaxing break with your feet in the water is also an opportunity to observe the daily life of the local fishermen.

Exploring Saadani National Park

Saadani National Park offers a special approach to safaris in Tanzania. It is one of the few wildlife sanctuaries located on the shores of the Indian Ocean. The coastal climate that Saadani National Park enjoys gives it a unique environment. A protected area that stands out not only for its landscapes, but above all for the wide variety of continental and marine species it harbours. Because of its particular location, its vegetation and its wild aspect, the observation of elephants, giraffes, buffaloes or antelopes is less easy than in the parks of the north which have important populations of animals. Saadani National Park offers a more confidential safari experience, off the beaten track, for a memorable trip. Located 44km north of Bagamoyo, it is accessible by car and also by boat via the Wami River. It’s the perfect opportunity to get up close to the hippos and crocodiles that call Saadani home.

Immerse yourself in the local culture of Bagamoyo

Artisanal fishing in the Wami and Ruvu estuaries is one of Bagamoyo’s major economic activities, along with seaweed and shellfish farming. This way of life, based on fishing and farming, is an integral part of the local culture. Make the most of your stay in Bagamoyo to immerse yourself in this world by visiting a fishing village, sampling local produce in a traditional restaurant and sharing a special moment with the locals.

A stroll through the old town of Bagamoyo

The architecture of Bagamoyo’s old town has many influences. As you stroll through the narrow streets, you’ll come across carved wooden doors typical of Arab architecture, as well as German colonial houses. The old post office, the country’s first primary school, the hanging tower, the art market, the old mosques, the fish market and the Caravan Serail museum are among the buildings not to be missed on your visit to Bagamoyo’s old town.

Excursion to the Mafia Island marine reserve

A veritable sanctuary for marine life, the Mafia Island reserve is a must for scuba diving and snorkelling enthusiasts. This exceptional marine park near Zanzibar is certainly the richest in the Indian Ocean. Coral reefs, colourful fish, heavenly beaches, turquoise-blue lagoons, sea turtles – an excursion to the Mafia Island marine reserve is sure to be an unforgettable experience.

Trekking in the mountains of the Bagamoyo hinterland

For the more sporty, a stay in Bagamoyo can be combined with a trek up the slopes of the Usambara Mountains. This exceptional natural site is still little-known in Tanzania, despite the beauty of the panoramas it offers. An adventure trek off the beaten track to discover the local flora and fauna!

Overnight stays in lodges and tented camps in Bagamoyo

Would you like to spend one or more nights in Bagamoyo to discover this striking natural and cultural heritage? There are several accommodation options available. Here is our selection:

The benefits of a Bagamoyo safari with Off Road

At Off Road, a local agency, we can help you organise your tailor-made trip to Tanzania. We’ll design itineraries to meet your needs and provide you with a unique experience, in complete safety! Call on our team of passionate professionals to create your seaside holiday in Bagamoyo and your safari tour in Tanzania. We offer an immersive, authentic and environmentally friendly approach to an unforgettable safari in Tanzania.

When should you visit Bagamoyo?

With an average annual temperature of 30°C, Bagamoyo is a coastal Tanzanian town with a very pleasant climate. We recommend that you visit during the dry season, which runs from June to October. November, March and April are characterised by heavy rainfall.

How do I get to Bagamoyo?

There are 2 options for getting to Bagamoyo:

Why go to Bagamoyo?

Bagamoyo was the destination for traders and slaves travelling across the country, often from Lake Tanganyika and sometimes from neighbouring countries, to reach the shore with cargo destined for Zanzibar.

The town of Bagamoyo

The population of Bagamoyo, like much of the country, lives mainly from farming, fishing and livestock rearing.

In terms of architecture, Bagamoyo is known for its unusual gateways, often featuring intricate Arab-influenced carvings. You can also see German colonial houses.

It is also an interesting stop-off point on a trip to Tanzania to visit the archaeological site and ruins of Kaole.

The Kaole ruins

The Kaole ruins are the remains of the oldest settlement in East Africa’s coastal region. Located 5km south of Bagamoyo, they attract many visitors every year. These ruins date back to the 13th century and were once home to the King of Oman.

Nearby are an ancient mosque, a house and two tombs dating back to the 13th century. This mosque is considered to be the oldest in the country and one of the oldest in East Africa.

The Catholic museum

To the north of the town, around 2km away, you can also find a small museum dedicated to the history of the area. It tells the story of the slave trade, missionaries and life in general.

The same complex has a chapel where Livingstone’s body was laid to rest before being taken to Stone Town on the way to Westminster Abbey.

When should you visit Bagamoyo?

With an average annual temperature of 30°C, Bagamoyo is one of Tanzania’s cities with a pleasant climate.

We recommend that you visit during the dry season, which runs from June to October.
In fact, November, March and April are the months with the most rainfall.

How do I get to Bagamoyo?

There are 2 easy ways to get to Bagamoyo:

  • Either from Dar Es Salaam -> about 2 hours by car
  • From Saadani National Park -> about 4.5 hours by car

Where to stay?

There are several accommodation options in the town of Bagamoyo. Here is a short list:

  • Lazy Lagoon Island (Platinum)
  • Millennium Sea Resort (Golden)
  • Firefly (Silver)