Bagamoyo lies 75kms north of Dar es
Salaam. Bagamoyo was the starting point of the slave caravan routes and also the
terminus of the white missionaries. While in Bagamoyo, visit the Kaole Ruins (dating
back to the earlier part of the 15th century), and the first Roman Catholic Church
in Tanganyika built by the Germans in the 1880's. Do not forget the museum, which
houses numerous historical artifacts. There is also a splendid beach where one
can swim and enjoy a picnic lunch.
Bagamoyo was founded towards the end
of the 18th century as a small port trading in dried fish, gum, cobalt and salt.
Bagamoyo also served as a caravan entreport, with traders coming from distant
areas of the interior, as far as Morogoro and Usambara. Later on, the use of this
town for Ivory and slave trade increased its importance in the 19th century.
importance began to decline when in 1940 the Sultan of Oman, Seyyid Said, decided
to move his capital from Muscat to Zanzibar, to be closer to his dominion along
the Eastern African coast.
Caravans would come to the coast from the interior
with goods like clothing, wire, beads and other ornaments, and would return with
slaves carrying Ivory. Hence Bagamoyo became the main entreport for the slave
and ivory trade on the mainland.
Renowned European explorers like Burton,
Speke, Stanley and Livingstone all passed through Bagamoyo. The Holy Ghost fathers
established their first mission station in Bagamoyo in 1868, and it was in its
chapel that Dr. Livingstone's body was brought from the interior and kept before
being shipped back to Europe.