Bagamoyo and its surroundings offer a variety of impressive activities for all interests.
Travellers Lodge’s location on the beach allows for easy walks south to the centrally located fish market or north up to the quiet mangrove forests. At low tide explore and collect beautiful shells and see what the fishermen pull from their nets, or admire the elaborate designs of the passing dhows (traditional sailing boats).
The dhow sailing boats, with their large, trapezoid-shaped sails are still produced on the beaches in and around Bagamoyo using traditional, handcrafted methods.
Ocean excursions can be arranged through the lodge to explore and snorkel around the nearby small islands, sandbanks and coral reefs.
Approximately 7 km south of Travellers Lodge is the village of Kaole and the Kaole Ruins. The ruins are of an ancient trading town of Shirazi origin dating back from the 13th to 17th centuries. The site includes two mosques and thirty tombs. They can be easily visited and an informative guide is included in the ticket price. A small museum is also at the enclosure.
Saadani National Park
Situated only 45km from Bagamoyo, Saadani NP offers visitors unique opportunities for exploring Tanzania’s wilderness. Saadani’s diverse natural setting makes any trip through the park a memorable experience. The fascinating combination of Saadani’s grasslands, forests, river and ocean allows for a particularly captivating range of flora and fauna.
Visitors can look forward to trying to spot the over 40 mammal species during game drives. At Saadani elephants have been known to occasionally play in the ocean and one of the world’s largest green turtle breeding grounds is on display each summer. To be seen are plentiful numbers of birds (over 140 species recorded), reptiles, snakes and insects. Walking safaris are encouraged in the Zaraninga Forest and on the many untouched Indian Ocean beaches that distinguish Saadani NP from any other wildlife sanctuary in East Africa.
During the river cruise, visitors leisurely drift down the peaceful Wami River stopping to see the many hippos, birds & crocodiles along the way – and admire the unique mangrove forest ecosystem where the river meets the Indian Ocean.
The Boma was built as the residence of the German colonial governor in 1897 and served as the German administrative headquarters. Later the building was used by the District Commissioner’s Office.
The Kavanserai was a former board for wealthy merchants where preparations were made for slave caravans into the interior. Today the building houses the well maintained and informative Bagamoyo Museum.
The Old Bagamoyo Tea House was built in 1860 by Abdallah Marhabi is probably the oldest building in Bagamoyo.
The two-story Liku House was the first administrative headquarters of German East Africa in 1887-88. Emin Pasha lived here in 1889.
The Customs House was built in 1895 by Sewa Haji.
The well-maintained German Cemetery dates from the years 1889/1990. Gravestones mark the fallen German soldiers who died during the revolt of Bushiri.
Bagamoyo Art College
Established in 1981, the Art College (Chuo cha Sanaa) is today one of the most famous art schools in East Africa. Here you will find classes in theatre, dance, music and painting.
Most students are Tanzanian, but the school also attracts students from Europe and increasingly from North America. On most weekends students give performances in music, dance and theatre.
The annual Bagamoyo Arts Festival in late September / early October attracts more and more artists from all over East Africa and an international audience always enjoys the exhibitions, workshops and performances.
The Fish Market
The fish market is the centre of maritime activity in Bagamoyo. This lively market is full of hustle and bustle as the fishermen come and barter for their daily catch. Still used are the original old stone tables in the covered market.
Cross at the Sea
In 1868 Father Antoine Horner first arrived on the mainland from Zanzibar to erect a cross and establish the first Christian Church on mainland East Africa. A short path leads from the cross to a very small, nondescript church with a tin roof. This is the Anglican Church of the Holy Cross where Dr David Livingstone’s body was kept before returning to be buried in England. It is also known as the “Livingstone Church”.
First Church, Holy Ghost Mission
From the Livingstone Church visit the nearby Holy Ghost Mission a short walk up Mango Tree Drive – a shady avenue created in 1871. The First Church was established in 1887 and, as the name suggests, was the first church built in East Africa. It was here in February 1874 where Dr Livingstone was brought by his African companions, Chuma and Sisi in a journey lasting over 1,500 miles from Ujiji to Bagamoyo. Other historical figures having visited the church are Stanley, Burton, Speke, Grant, Peter, Wissmann and Emin Pasha.