fishermen on the beach

Just north of Dar es Salaam were a few struggling beach resorts, but drive on another half-an-hour, and you have the most spectacular beaches all for yourself. Well, almost, you may have to share them with the fishermen, who are active near shore, with ramshackle boats and with nets.

The beach is also being used to transport cattle over longer distances. Much easier than negotiating the jungle, which starts right behind the palm trees The cows have all the space of the world and no reason to stop, without anything to eat and having learned that the sea water is not really nice for drinking.

fishing activities near Bagamoyo
another convincing fishing boat
nets being brough back onshore
the beach is also a major throroughfare for cattle
same cattle, nearby
boats moored at low tide

Kaole cemetery

tombs with stone pillars, characteristic for the site

An easy outing from Dar es Salaam is Bagamoyo, the old German head quarters some 70 km to the north. Just before Bagamoyo are the ruins of Kaole: ruins of a mosque and of several tombs, some adorned with pillars. They are thought to go back to somewhere between the 13th-16th Century, time of Arab settlements along the coast here.

the remnants of the mosque in Kaole
and another tomb, made of coral limestone
one of the tombs


The town of Bagamoyo is not only the old German colonial headquarters, but also the town where slave caravans reached the Indian Ocean, and from where the slaves were transported to the market in Zanzibar, for further export around the Cape and across the Atlantic.

It served as German East Africa capital only from 1886 to 1891, after which the capital was moved to Dar es Salaam, with its natural harbour more suitable for for large steam ships. Since then, the town, and its colonial architecture – with Arab influences, too – has been in decline, which was already obvious when we visited in 1987. White-wash wasn’t that white anymore. Most notable are the copper plaques on the outside of the headquarters building, listing various local military expeditions and battles.

the German headquarters in Bagamoyo
further colonial buildings in Bagamoyo, kind of white-washed – note Arab-style windows
remembrance plaque with the German battles listed
lady in blue, on the way to Bagamoyo
another idylic view of the Tanzanian beach

next, a few more excursions around Dar es Salaam, to Mikumi, Morogoro and the Selous Game Reserve

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