Cities & Towns in Eastern Circuit

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Bagamoyo

Size & Population:

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Bagamoyo is located geographical in the coordinates of 6° 26′ 0″ South, 38° 54′ 0″ East.

It was founded at the end of the 18th century. It was the original capital of German East Africa and was one of the most important trading ports along the East African coast.

It has a population of about 311,740 people and is recently being considered as a world heritage site.

Brief Information:

Bagamoyo was the most important trading centre of the east central coast of Africa in the late 19th century. Bagamoyo’s history has been influenced by Indian and Arab traders, by the German colonial government and by Christian missionaries. Until the middle of the 18th century, Bagamoyo was a small and insignificant trading center where most of the populations were fishermen and farmers. The main trading goods were fish, salt, and gum, among other things.

In the late 18th century Muslim families settled in Bagamoyo, it became a trading port for ivory and the slave trade, with traders coming from the African interior, from places as far as Morogoro, Lake Tanganyika and Usambara on their way to Zanzibar. The slave trade in East Africa was officially prohibited in the year 1873, but completely well to the end of the 19th century.

Currently, Bagamoyo is a centre for dhow sailboat building, tourism and artworks. The Bagamoyo College of Arts is an internationally famous arts college in Tanzania, teaching traditional Tanzanian painting, sculpture, drama, dancing and drumming.

People residing Bagamoyo are diverse in nature than some other areas of the country. Ethic groups found here includes Wakwere, Wazaramo, Wazigua, Maasai, and Waswahili. Other different cultures coexist in Bagamoyo, including people of Arab descent.

Popular attractions:

Bagamoyo town has a plenty of historical buildings, crafts, cultural experiences like hena decorating and traditional dances of bigilia, selo and sangenge, and above all it is the administrative town of Saadani National Park. Bagamoyo town is the home of handcrafts and wonderful unspoiled beaches of both sand and coral beach and mangrove. The popular attractions just to mention a few include the following:-

  • The Historical Town of Bagamoyo, Bagamoyo is a 19th century historical town with buildings architecture inspired by African, Swahili, Arab, Indian and European cultures
  • The Roman Catholic Museum, which has an exhibit on the history of Christianity in Tanzania and East Africa and efforts made by the church to a complete abolition of slave trade
  • The Kaole Ruins’ a 13th -18th Centuries AD settlement is an impressive monumental architecture of mosques, graves and houses and an exhibit on archaeological findings from coastal Tanzania showing the Eastern Africa region had been trading with Indians, Chinese, Arabs, Persians and Europeans from as far back as the 7th century AD to the 18th Century AD
  • The unspoiled clean beaches where you can see man making or mending sail boats and nets, in-coming fishermen in sail boats, selling and processing fish at the fish market and close to the sea food restaurant
  • The work of art at the Bagamoyo College of Arts has an ultra-modern theatre, regularly organizes and hosts traditional dance groups for live performances. At the old market and within the historic town, souvenirs of Makonde carvings, Tinga Tinga paintings, beadwork and textiles produced by outstanding artists are plenty

Getting there:

By Bus

Bagamoyo town is served daily buses to and from Dar es Salaam through the all way tarmac road.

Dar es Salaam

Size & Population:

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The City is located between latitudes 6.36 degrees and 7.0 degrees to the south of Equator and longitudes 39.0 and 33.33 to the east of Greenwich. It is bounded by the Indian Ocean on the east and by the Coast Region on the other sides.

The total surface area of Dar es Salaam City is 1,800 square kilometres, comprising of 1,393 square kilometres of land mass with eight offshore islands, which is about 0.19% of the entire Tanzania Mainland’s area. Dar es Salaam city has a population of 4,364,541 according to Census 2012.

Brief Information:

The City was originally dominated by Zaramo and a few other tribes especially Ndengereko and Kwere. However, due to urbanization many people of different ethnicity and origins have immigrated to the city in big numbers resulted in a cultural diversification.

Dar es Salaam has a unique status, being the major City of Tanzania and the centre of countrywide government administration, industry, commerce and banking activities, despite of the Government decision to move its capital to Dodoma. Dar es Salaam is also the major port City of Tanzania. It has more than 575 major industrial establishments, a Central Bank, Commercial Banks, Foreign Exchange Bureaus, and Business companies in all sectors.

Dar es Salaam city comprises of great historical places as was:-

  • Built by Sultan Seyyid Majid of Zanzibar who ruled the 166-km East African coastal strip between 1856 to 1870
  • Capital of German East Africa in 1891
  • Capital of the British Administration in Tanganyika after the 1st World War
  • Capital of the United Republic of Tanzania since the 1961 independence until now

Popular attractions:

Dar es Salaam city being the centre of Tanzania history, commerce and administration for many economic sectors, a city tour of will take you to the museums such as the National Museum, the Nyerere Cultural Centre, and the Village Museum; to markets such as Mwenge Carvings Market, the Magogoni Fish Market, and the largest in the country Kariakoo; to historical places such as Askari Monument, State House, St Peter’s Church, St Joseph Cathedral; to Botanical Gardens and Beaches and Coastal areas; and, interesting spots facilities.

Getting there:

By Air

There are many international flights from overseas to Dar es Salaam via the Julius Nyerere International Airport [JNIA] to include Emirates, Turkish Airlines, KLM, Kenya Airways, Dubai Air.

There are domestic flights from and to Dar es Salaam city connecting you to nearly all parts of Tanzania mainland and Zanzibar such as Arusha, Mwanza, Tanga, Zanzibar, Kigoma, Mtwara, Bukoba, Mbeya and to the National Parks and Game Reserves.

BY BUS

There are regular buses and coaches from Dar es Salaam and to all parts of Tanzania mainland and neighbouring countries of Zambia, Malawi, Uganda, Kenya, and, Rwanda.

Zanzibar

Size & Population:

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Zanzibar City simply referred to as Zanzibar, is the capital and largest city of Zanzibar, in Tanzania.

It is located on the west coast of Unguja, the main island of the Zanzibar Archipelago, roughly due north of Dar es Salaam across the Zanzibar Channel.

Zanzibar City has a population of approximately 205,870 people with a diverse culture.

Brief Information:

Zanzibar City comprises of two areas, the Stone Town and Ng’ambo [“The Other Side”] which were historically divided by a creek, now marked by a large street called Creek Road.

Stone Town is the historical core of the city because of its unique architecture and culture also declared by the UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000. Ng’ambo is a much larger, modern area that developed around Stone Town after the Zanzibar Revolution, with office buildings and large apartment blocks such as those of the Michenzani neighbourhood. Zanzibar flourished as a trading centre during the 19th century, especially renowned for spices and slaves commerce, the origin of Zanzibar tourism.

Zanzibar people are of diverse ethnic origins, with the first been the ancestors of the Bantu Hadimu and Tumbatu. Zanzibar is today mostly inhabited by ethnic Swahili, a Bantu population, Arabs, as well as Indians. A great number of residents in Zanzibar speak Swahili, English French and Italian as a result of Tourism.

Popular attractions:

Zanzibar City is the best and origin of beach tourism in Tanzania and East Africa. The popular attractions just to mention a few include the following:-

  • The House of Wonders [or “Palace of Wonders”, also known as “Beit-al-Ajaib”], in Mizingani Road on the seafront, is the most well-known landmarks of Stone Town built in 1883 and restored after the 1896 Anglo-Zanzibar War. Since 2000, its interior has been dedicated to a museum on Swahili and Zanzibar culture
  • Built from 1887 to 1894 is the Old Dispensary (or “Ithnashiri Dispensary”)to serve as a charity hospital for the poor but was later restored and is now used as a dispensary
  • The Old Fort [“Ngome Kongwe” in Swahili], was built in the 17th century by the Omanis with a roughly square shape and an internal courtyard, now used as a cultural centre with shops, workshops, and a small arena for daily live dance and music shows
  • David Livingstone’s House, a palace that was originally built for Sultan Majid bin Said and later used by European missionaries to include Livingstone while preparing his last expedition to the interior of Tanganyika
  • The Anglican cathedral of Christ Church, in Mkunazini Road, was built at the end of the 19th century to celebrate the end of slavery with its altar in the exact spot where the main whipping post of slaves market used to be
  • The Hamamni Persian Baths built by Shirazi architects for Sultan Barghash bin Said at the end of 19th century as a complex of public baths
  • Tippu Tip’s House is another large, historical house of Stone Town. It was the house of the infamous Zanzibar slave trader Tippu Tip
  • Slavery memorial – Stone Town as well as a museum on the history of slavery, are besides the church
  • The Forodhani Gardens in front of the Old Fort and the House of Wonders where every after sunset the gardens host a popular, tourist-oriented market selling grilled seafood and Zanzibar recipes
  • The Darajani Market is the main bazaar of Zanzibar, one of the main attractions to visitors because of its colourful, chaotic maze of stalls selling everything from kangas to exotic fruits to consumer electronics.

Getting there:

By Air

Stone Town [Zanzibar City] is served by the Abeid Aman Karume International [ZNZ] Airport with both international and domestic flights from and to mainland Tanzania, Arusha, Dar es Salaam, Moshi, and Tanga as well as Nairobi and Mombasa in Kenya and Johannesburg, in South Africa.

BY Ferries

At Stone Town’s harbour ferries that departs within an interval of every hour an on daily basis to and from Pemba Island and Dar es Salaam.