Bagamoyo - Historical town

Getty Images/iStockphoto

With its cobwebbed portals and crumbling German-era colonial buildings, central Bagamoyo, or Mji Mkongwe (Stone Town) as it’s known locally, is well worth exploration. The most interesting area is along Ocean Rd. Here you’ll find the old German boma, built in 1897, and Liku House, which served as the German administrative headquarters.

There is also a school, which dates from the late 19th century and was the first multiracial school in what is now Tanzania. On the beach is the German customs house (1895); Bagamoyo’s port, where you can watch boat builders at work; and a busy fish market (on the site of the old slave market), with lively auctions most afternoons. Northwest of here are several small streets lined with carved doors similar to those found elsewhere along the coast. Further south is the mid-19th-century Old Fort.

The ridiculously steep fee levied to walk around the old town (required if you want to take photos or enter any of the buildings) is payable at the Antiquities Branch Office at the Old Fort, where you can also get a guide.