The winding road lined with palm trees in lush green pathways open up into the oldest town in Tanzania,"Bagamoyo", A UNESCO’s World Heritage Site, the rich cultural heritage of Bagamoyo is an unforgettable exploration discovery in Tanzania.
Strolling down the unpaved and narrow street of Bagamoyo takes you back into time. Way back into time.
In the 19th century, this was an important settlement on the coast of East Africa. It was a route that linked Lake Tanganyika to the sea. Ivory, copra, salt and slaves were offloaded here before being shipped to Zanzibar and everywhere else.
The history of Bagamoyo and the unhurried pace makes it an amazing excursion when in Tanzania.
Bagamoyo dates back to 600-800BC, Bantu-speaking tribes, Kwere, Doe and Zigua lived here originating from the interior Azania. Hunting, fishing, and subsistence farming were the order of the day until family clusters from Persia disrupted in 1250 when they were attracted by fertile land and the multitude of fishing.
Bagamoyo – the Swahili rooted name Bwaga ambiguously meant to lay down. Moyo means ‘heart’ Bagamoyo was unburdening for traders and porters after lengthy journeys and a 'lay down' of hearts for those captured into a destination of heartbreaking slavery. The ambiguity of the name Bagamoyo allows both meanings.
The birthplace of Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete who served as president of the Democratic Republic of Tanzania, Bagamoyo lies about 70km from the capital of Dares-Salaam Little shops and art galleries line up the roadside. The tides slip in the coastal white sands.
The oldest mosque, the ruined Kaole lies to the south-east of the town. A well-worn, old city with a population estimated at 30000, it is lined with historical architecture inspires by various designs.
On the Swahili coast that was once integral for a commercial network between Somalia and Southern Tanzania, it was the link between the interior of Africa and the world via the island of Zanzibar.
The once slave market has become the Bagamoyo Art market and is supports by the artist community in the town. Sun-kissed, dusty roads lead to a gallery where local artists who have transformed a wooden pavilion, a slave market of the past into an outdoor gallery featuring sculpture paintings and woodcarving. The gallery expresses a collective artist desire to link to a world economy, in the echoes of historic voices on every road corner.
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