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Bagamoyo
is a modest town of great historic importance located opposite the island of Zanzibar on the Mainland Coast of Tanzania.

For centuries Bagamoyo served as the main base for the Arab trade with the interior of Africa and a major trading centre for slaves, ivory and other riches. It was from here that the great Arab trader Tippu Tip would dispatch enormous expeditions to service his enormous personal fiefdoms, caravans which were joined by European explorers including Livingstone and Stanley.

Set just to the north of the town, the Holy Ghost Mission Station was established in 1871 as part of a concerted European campaign to end slavery in East Africa. The avenue of mango trees, which leads to the mission station was planted by the missionaries and is symbolic of the old slave route. There is a corresponding avenue almost 1000km east at Ujiji on the shores of Lake Tanganyika. The main building at the mission station contains an excellent museum, which should be your first stop when exploring the town since it provides a really informative overview. The church at the mission station is reputed to be the first Christian building to be erected on the East African mainland, although this presumably does not include the Coptic Christian monuments of Ethiopia.

The impressive thirteenth century Kaole Ruins are located on the coast around 4km to the south of Bagamoyo and are also worth a visit.

Modern day Bagamoyo has something of a reputation for the arts, with a particularly vibrant art scene, with painters and sculptors rubbing shoulders with musicians and modern dance troups.

The main potential downsides are that the area is relatively little visited and therefore does not have a great range of decent accommodation options and transport connections.


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