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Bagamoyo is a town in Tanzania. The most recent history has it as a terminal point on the coast for Arab trading caravans. It was also used as a holding point for slaves brought from the interior and awaiting transportation to Zanzibar. During German colonial times, it was the economic and administrative capital of German East Africa. Since the capital was moved to Dar Es Salaam, Bagomoyo has been in decline. Architecture of European origin is slowly falling down, but still beautiful to see. The Arabic influence on local architecture is also significant.

There is a lot of poverty and unemployment in Bagamoyo, so be aware from muggings and robberies. Don't leave your resthouse or hotel alone at night and don't walk on the beach at night. There are also a lot of scams, keep your eyes open. Unfortunately, as of February 2008, robbery at daytime in the harbor area doesn't seem to be too exceptional either. Be very aware of people monitoring you while standing somewhere or sitting in a restaurant. Don't expect any help of the police, they don't care about you and even discourage you from opening a case. However, if you loudly scream for help, locals will quickly gather and help you. The Swahili word for thief is "mwizi", shouting it will get you a lot of attention, but might get the thief into serious trouble, since self-justice is widely spread in Tanzania.

Get in[edit]

Situated 70km on the main northern trunk from Dar Es Salaam on a good tar-seal road. You can get dhows to Zanzibar, although the tourist dhow service is out until November 2014.

Get around[edit]

See[edit][add listing]

Old German colonial headquarters
  • Architecture. Walk around the town in daylight and view the entrance portals of the homes which often display intricate carvings with Arabic influence. View the aging German buildings.

Do[edit][add listing]

  • History. Stand at the portal outside the old German headquarters from which many of the European explorers entered the hinterland, amongst them Burton, Speke and H.M. Stanley. Imagine the excitement as the caravans of men strode off to a land hetherto unknown to Europe.
  • Respect. Visit the Catholic mission north of the town. Pay homage to Dr. David Livingston whose body last rested here on African soil before being transported to London to be buried at Westminster Abbey.
  • Ruins. Visit the medieval Kaole ruins five kilometres south of Bagamoyo. The ruin of the mosque dates to the 13th and 14th centuries. Be aware that the entrance to the ruins is (as of 2013) 20.000 shillings (the ruins, although kind of nice, are not worth that amount of money). You might be able to "bargain" entrance at half price or even less. But even at that price, this is expansive for what there is to see.
  • Crocodile Farm. Visit the Crocodile farm 3km from bagamoyo right on the road to Kaole ruins.  edit

Buy[edit][add listing]

There are some great locally owned shops with clothing, paintings, carvings, and jewelery that are easiest to find if you just wander about the village. Sometimes there will be locals with carvings or jewelery that will approach you and you can bargain for their items.

Eat[edit][add listing]

There are dozens of places where you can eat good ugali and other local dishes, plus meats and of course seafood. European food can be found at the resorts along the coast to the north of the town.

  • Poa Poa Restaurant. A nice and quiet place to get something to eat and drink. Close to the dwow harbour, just follow the signs. Some question quality of the food.  edit
  • New Top Life Inn. At a central point in Bagamoyo it's a nice place to get something really cheap to eat, unless you mind the noise from the TV. Limited dishes (mostly chicken, chips, omelettes).  edit

Drink[edit][add listing]

The Toplife Bar and Restaurant in the centre of town has an street side patio which is great for drinking beer and watching the local scene. even though they play great music in the bar, noize from the tv covers it. too noizy..

Sleep[edit][add listing]


  • Pop Juice Resthouse (double 9000 Tsh = 4.5 EUR -since 1/1/2012), noisy.
  • Jangombe Resthouse across the road from the Pop Juice Resthouse, similar.
  • Vatican Resthouse near the bus stop.
  • Kiromo Guest House (double 15000 Tsh = 7.5 EUR), very clean and quiet.
  • Kizota Guest House next to the Kiromo Guest House


  • Family Cottages, Beach Plot No. 33 Magambani Kaole Road, Bagamoyo, Tanzania, [1]. Showcasing a barbecue and views of the sea, Family Cottages is located in Bagamoyo. Certain units include a sitting area where you can relax. A balcony or patio are featured in certain rooms. Each room is equipped with a private bathroom.  edit


A number of resorts are situated on the coast to the north of the town. The best is the Millennium Hotel next to the Bagamoyo College of Arts which is on the ocean near the centre of town.

Get out[edit]

The resorts open up to the pristine coastline which is not to be missed. Beware of entering the sea, however, since safety can be an issue. There have been reports of drownings recently. If you wish to swim in a pool, the resorts have swimming pools.

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