Bagamoyo: September 25, 2010

Aimee and I escaped from Dar a few weekends back to a small, historic coastal town about an hour to the north called Bagamoyo. Once a thriving port in the slave trade during the colonial era, where over a million Africans were shipped off for sale in nearby Zanzibar, Bagamoyo has since passed into a long and steady decline, now with only a few thousand residents. While staying at the Traveler's Lodge or one of several other atmospheric resorts in the area, visitors can explore the decrepit but interesting buildings in town and learn more about it's dark past at various landmarks, including the Holy Ghost Mission, which contains perhaps east Africa's oldest church, located a kilometer to the north along the tarmac road. Indeed, Bagamoyo is affectionately known as the Town of Palms, and tens of thousands of long and narrow palms blowing about in the sea breeze create a fine affect as you wander about. Of course, there are good birds to be found in the area too, especially on the lush grounds of the lodge where we stayed, where highlights included the Brown-Breasted Barbet, African Green Pigeon, and Scarlet-Chested Sunbird. On Sunday morning, Aimee and I also drove a few hours north to the Waimi River, which forms the southern border to Sadaani National Park, spotting the uncommon Swallow-Tailed Bee-Eater along the way. The park itself warrants several days of exploration, although it's difficult to access and will require at least four days to make a proper visit from Dar.

Notable birds seen: Water Thick-Knee, African Green Pigeon, Brown-Breasted Barbet, Speckled Mousebird, Scarlet-Chested Sunbird, Bronze Mannikin, Green-Winged Pytilia.


  1. Just to let you know, your 2 sites (Ecuador and Tanzania)are what keep me going during the cold winter months here in Colorado. I've read and re-read your Ecuador trip reports a bunch of times. In fact, I'm now in the process of planning a trip there based in large part on your first-hand knowledge about the different areas down there. Keep up the great blogs!! Bill, Boulder, Colorado

  2. Thanks for your encouragement, Bill. I guess that I'm lucky to have lived in the tropical zone for the last seven years and haven't had to suffer through conditions like you mention. I haven't been doing much birding recently here in Tanzania, but I'll definitely keep on sharing my experiences when I get back into the field.

    Please let me know if I can be of help as you plan your trip to Ecuador. You can't go wrong, really.

    Best regards,



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