Bagamoyo tour

Kaole ruins
Catholic museum
3,000 USDfor a group of 1-6 people
Walking tour
8-6 hours
The start time of the tour is agreed upon with the tour guide

No booking fees at the time of ordering a tour. The tour guide will receive a request for this tour and will contact you.

Description of the tour

Tour itinerary: Dar es Salaam → Bagamoyo → Dar es Salaam

Bagamoyo city was founded at the end of the 18th century. It is an extension of the much older settlement Kaole from the 8th century. Bagamoyo was even once the capital of German East Africa and one of the most important trading ports on the East African coast.

Bagamoyo’s History

In the Kaole ruins are the remains of two mosques and 30 graves from the 13th century. Around the 17th century the settlement began to grow 2-3 miles north of Kaole. This area grew in prosperity in the 18th century. It got name Bagamoyo as an important station in the caravan trade (the name means “relief and rest”). Until the 18th century, it was a small trading centre where the majority of the population were fishermen and farmers.

Trade industry

The most important trade goods were fish, salt and rubber. In the first half of the 19th century the city became a trading port for ivory and the slave trade. Traders came from the African interior on their way to Zanzibar. This explains the meaning of the word Bagamoyo (“Bwaga-Moyo”). In Kiswahili it means “lay down your heart”. Either the name might have been given due to the slave trade that passed through the city (“give up all hope”). Or because of the porters who rested in Bagamoyo after carrying 35 pounds of cargo from the Great Lakes region on their shoulders (“unload and rest”).

Things to do in and around Bagamoyo

Bagamoyo town:

With its cobwebbed portals and crumbling German-era colonial buildings, central Bagamoyo is well worth exploration. The most interesting area is along Ocean Rd where you’ll find the old German boma, built in 1897, and Liku House, which served as the German administrative headquarters. On the beach is the German customs house (1895). At Bagamoyo’s port you can watch boat builders at work and a busy fish market. Further south is the mid-19th-century Old Fort.

Kaole Ruins:

Just southeast of Bagamoyo are these atmospheric ruins. At their centre are the remains of a 13th-century mosque, which is one of the oldest in mainland Tanzania and also one of the oldest in East Africa. It was built in the days when the Sultan of Kilwa held sway over coastal trade, and long before Bagamoyo had assumed any significance. Nearby is a second mosque, dating from the 15th century, and about 22 graves, many dating from the same period.

College of Art:

Located about 500m southeast of Bagamoyo along the road to Dar es Salaam is this renowned theatre and arts college, home of the national dance company. When school is in session there are occasional performances, and it’s usually possible to arrange drumming or dancing lessons. The annual highlight is the Bagamoyo Arts Festival, usually held around late September or October.

Catholic Museum:

About 2km northwest of town is the Catholic mission and museum, one of Bagamoyo’s highlights, with well-labelled displays from Bagamoyo’s heyday. In the same compound is the chapel where Livingstone’s body was laid before being taken to Zanzibar Town en route to Westminster Abbey. The mission dates from the 1868 establishment of Freedom Village and is the oldest in Tanzania.

Sights that we will visit
  • Kaole ruins
  • Catholic museum
  • College of arts
The cost of the tour includes
Meeting at the hotel
Transportation to the hotel
Transportation costs
Entrance tickets
Food and drinks
Additional information
Book tour at least 7 days in advance
Tour suitable for children
Tour is suitable for the elderly