This part of the East African coast is made up of numerous sleepy fishing villages as well as bustling modern day coastal Resorts like Dar es Salaam and Mombasa.
The Swahili Coast also has poignant reminders of the region's infamous historic slavetrade, for this is where the long journey by slaves captured from inland Central and Eastern Africa bade their final farewells heading off into the dark, unknown reaches of the Arab and Western Worlds, never to return again...
The Swahili Coast offers the discerning visitor a huge diversity of places to visit - from large coconuut, pineapple and cashew plantations, orchards full of mango and papaya, to beautiful landsand seacapes, an eclectic mix of history and modern art, culture, very friendly people, delicious fresh cuisine, and ecological wonders.
This bustling modern city has plenty of offer - The Dar es Salaam city tour will take you to various sights including:
The Askari Monument (erected in memory of soldiers who fell during WWI), the Mnani Mmoja Park, The Universiy of Dar es Salaam and nearby Mwenge (where one can observe traditional local craftsmen at work carving wooden artefacts),The Village Museum, The Tinga Tinga Centre (world famous tinga tinga paintings created by Edward Tinga Tinga, a local Swahili artist), The State House (presidential offices) and The National Museum (housing the famous historic skull of the Nutcracker Man - Zinjanthropus Boisei - found at Olduvai Gorge by Dr Mar Leakey and other 10million year old+ fossils from the Cradle of Mankind - Tanzania; plus history of the East African Coast including objects from ancient trading countries like India, China, Sultanate of Oman
Bagamoyo means 'lay down your heart' – remnant of the town’s infamous historic slave trade. The main slave trails from the interior of the " Dark Continent " ended here in the recently- restored Caravanserai. The human cargo was shipped to Zanzibar and on to the Arab world - without any hope of returning to their homeland – hence the apt name of this historic town.
The Old Fort was built over 140 years ago and is the oldest building in Bagamoyo, reminding us of these dark times.
Many explorers used Bagamoyo as their point of departure for expeditions into the African interior. The famous Scotsman, David Livingstone, never made it back alive. His body was laid-in-state in a chapel in Bagamoyo until he could be taken to England . This chapel now carries the name " Livingstone Church ". 700 freed slaves are supposed to have held wake. Next to this church, the "Brothers of the Holy Ghost" founded the first Catholic mission in East Africa . The remains of the old church and the lovingly- restored Sisters House, which harbours a small museum, are well worth visiting.
For only four years, from 1888 to 1891, Bagamoyo was the first capital of German East Africa . Many buildings and places from these colonial times remain as testimony to this chapter of common history between Germans and Tanzanians. Among them are the former "Imperial Headquarters" (Boma), the "Hanging Tree", customs- and storage buildings and the old German army cemetery.
Broaden your outlook on the splendours of Tanzania with a visit to the old town and Kaole Ruins to glimpse the not so glorious past. Or you can visit kiosks displaying local handicrafts and fine Makonde carvings, or visit the market with its' exotic sights and aromas.
Life here appears to have changed relatively little from ancient times. Fishermen to this day ply the waters off the coast in hand-built wooden dhows of ancient Arabian design, sharing the waters with smaller dugout canoes and spreading their characteristic triangular sails to catch the prevailing north-eastern and south-eastern trade winds. But a beautiful and serene natural setting is not all that Bagamoyo has to offer. Many different cultures have met, collided, mixed and left their ‘footprints’ in Bagamoyo.
Pangani is still a fishing village although nowadays you can find some lovely medium to upmarket beach hotels. Pangani is the delta of the River Pangani which originates from the Eastern Arc Mountains (Pare Mountains).
The coastal city of Mombasa is one of Africa 's major tourist destinations, with some of the best beaches in the world. Located on Kenya 's Eastern coastline bordering the Indian Ocean , Mombasa has become popular for its exotic beaches, diverse marine life, world-class hotels and friendly people. Mombasa is also one of the busiest ports on the East African coast – cargo handling, cruise ships and passenger ships. It is the port and natural harbour that brought its first visitors centuries ago mainly colonialists all seeking a piece of Africa ’s vast natural treasure trove.
Visitors to Mombasa can indulge in a variety of excursions including: Visiting Fort Jesus, The Bamburi Trail, Shimba Hills, The Crocodile Farm, Bombolulu Workshops and Sailing in a Traditional Dhow.
Dar es Salaam, translated as ‘Haven of Peace’ is one of Tanzania ’s major cities located on the shores of the Indian Ocean.
From its humble beginnings as a small fishing village, its importance changed in the 1880s when Christian missionaries made it a starting point for their journeys to the interior of the country. Dar es Salaam was the capital of Tanzania until the 1980s when the political capital moved to Dodoma , a more centralised location. Dar es Salaam is still the country’s commercial capital and most of the diplomatic missions and embassies are located in the city. The city is also one of the largest ports in East Africa .
HAVEN OF PEACE - DAR ES SALAAM
Dar es Salaam is a city full of surprises, where traditional African culture and colonial roots combine with international taste and sophistication. Nestled between coconut palms and acacia trees, the azure blue sea and milk white sands draw everyone to the shores, especially to see the breathtaking sunsets.
The city centre has many historical buildings and interesting architecture. Its mixture of Arabic, Asian and European history gives a special atmosphere to surroundings, streets and life. A tour though the city to experience the true warmth and hospitality of the people of Dar es Salaam is a must!
Lazy Lagoon is a small, private Indian Ocean island retreat, in the Zanzibar channel, off Tanzania’s mainland coast of Bagamoyo.
This is the ideal place to unwind at the beginning of or the end of a safari, ideal for honeymooners or those seeking peace and solitude of Tanzania’s coast. The island is also suitable for families as there is plenty to interest young children, teenagers and adults alike.
Lazy Lagoon has just 12 rooms set in eco-friendly “bandas” along a 9km stretch of white, sandy beaches. The clear azure blue water allows for swimming at all tides, snorkelling for an underwater safari where one can be mesmerized by shoals of iridescent tropical fish hiding among the pristine coral reefs surrounding the island. The island is also home to wildlife like bushbabies, wildpigs, genets, baboons, duiker and suni antelope living in the indigenous forest habitat on the island
From the peace and tranquillity of your private veranda or the hotel lounge or swimming pool, you get to see the “ngalawas” or dhows sailing past the island, with fresh catch-of-the-day (most of which will grace your dinner table). Activities are optional and you can do as much or as little as you like – for the more adventurous, choose from kayaking, walks through the forest and mangroves, sunset dhow cruises to nearby sand islands and the coral reefs, scuba diving and other watersports. You can also visit the historical town of Bagamoyo – once a slave trading post, and the Kaole Ruins.
Lazy Lagoon is the island to retreat to if one wants to escape the hustle and bustle of Zanzibar for a few days or a week or more of total relaxation in peaceful surroundings.