BAGAMOYO AND SURROUNDINGS
Bagamoyo became the seventh wonder of Tanzania when Unesco named it as Tanzania’s seventh world heritage site. The accolade recognises the town’s part in the historically important East African slave route, a terrible period in world history which has nevertheless undeniably shaped the culture and appearance of the Swahili coast.
As laden with history and as evocatively tumbledown as Zanzibar, Bagamoyo similarly owes its fame to the routes traced by traders, explorers, colonisers and missionaries between Zanzibar, mainland Tanzania and the African interior. The town’s convenient location, in a calm bay just 42km from Zanzibar, once made it one of East Africa’s most impressive cities. Nowadays, the town looks like the wreckage of a glorious era, which is exactly what it is. Vines and wildflowers are in the process of reclaiming once-imposing buildings. Through one window of the former German headquarters, you can see a chunk of rubble fallen from the roof. Brightly coloured laundry, hung out to dry, flutters beneath elegant Islamic arches that once sheltered sultans and rich merchants.
Even today, Bagamoyo maintains its claims on cultural importance through the presence of East Africa’s leading arts college, where traditional music, dance and crafts are taught to students from all over the world.
Coastal Aviation flies here on charter basis.