Bagamoyo is a small historical town lying approximately 70 Kms, north of Dar es Salaam –
The first immigrants to resettle in Bagamoyo were the Oman Arabs who wanted to attract more commerce to the place. A large number of Oman Arabs and Indian merchants settled in Bagamoyo establishing it as a trade center on Africa’s East Coast.
The Germans subsequently made their presence felt, establishing Bagamoyo as their commercial center and administrative capital of the German East Africa. In addition to the Arab and German trading center for ivory, copra, ebony and other natural resources.
For decades Bagamoyo was in 19th century the main terminus in the east African – Arab and Indian trade network. Its closeness as a mainland port close to
There has been controversy over the etymology of the word Bagamoyo. One explorer claimed that the name signified “Coeur de l Afrique” hence suggesting that the town was the gate way to the interior of Africa. Others say its name is derived from the word “Bwagamoyo”, which means, “here I throw down my heart” reflecting the desperation and despair of the ‘broken hearted’ captives whose voyage into the unknown began here. However, caravan porters praised the town as “Bwagamoyo”-“to throw off melancholy”, with the feeling that they had reached the end of their long arduous journey from the interior.
The sight of slaves was shocking in Bagamoyo. The slaves were usually chained together from neck to neck and herded in pens. Most of them saw the Indian Ocean for the first time in their lives at Bagamoyo. On the other hand, Catholic missionaries ransomed as many slaves as possible and settled them for their protection in the “
The decline of the town was initiated when the harbor was too shallow to accommodate modern ships. The German government in 1891 decided to move the new capital of their new crown colony from Bagamoyo to
Today, Bagamoyo is a centre for dhow sailboat building. The Department of Antiquities in
Attractions of interest tell the story of Bagamoyo’s past. They include: the first church built in 1872 where the porters brought the body of Dr. Livingstone after a journey of 1500kms from Ujiji. The Boma which was the German Government colonial administration headquarters. It was the first capital town of