The former capital of German East Africa

Some 75 km to the north of Dar es Salaam, on the coast opposite Zanzibar, is the former capital of German East Africa, Bagamoyo. Possessing a good, natural harbour ideal for sailing vessels and dhows, it was once the centre of the notorious slave trade. Its name is derived from the word Bwagomoyo, which means "Here I throw down my heart," reflecting the desperation and despair of the 'broken hearted' captives whose voyage into the unknown began here.

The present police station, near the beachfront, was the first stone building in Bagamayo. Originally an Arab residence it was at one time the old prison where slaves were herded through underground tunnels to waiting dhows. The city was also the starting point for the first European explorers on their way to search for the source of the Nile. Livingstone, Stanley, Burton and Speke all passed through here. Livingstone's body was laid to rest here before being taken first to Zanzibar and then to England.

The Mission has a museum with a wonderful collection of photographs and mementos relating to Livingstone and to German colonial times. A house where Henry Morton Stanley lived a century ago can be seen in solitary splendor near the beach.

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