Seven Things You'll Love About Bagamoyo
Cross-Cultural Solutions proudly welcomes volunteers to our new site: Bagamoyo in Tanzania. Bagamoyo is a small fishing village located on the East coast of Africa. Known for its rich history as a vital trading port, the town carries a friendly and unique atmosphere that you won’t find anywhere else. With the Indian Ocean a short walk away from the Home-Base, you have the perfect place to relax and unwind after making a meaningful impact.
CCS’ own Kelly Knowles and Lauren Maitland embarked on an incredible journey to Bagamoyo and paired up to share seven things you’ll love about Bagamoyo.
What makes Bagamoyo a unique town?
Bagamoyo is a unique fishing village with an atmosphere unlike any other; the feel is totally different from any other part of the country. When you arrive, the first thing you smell is the salt air from the coast, and the German influence in the architecture mixed with the artistic local vibes felt at the Art Market make Bagamoyo one of the more culturally unique places in Tanzania.
How is the environment?
Ancient streets with cobblestones, friendly students studying the arts, and a small-town vibe, you get the feeling that within a week, you’d have a core group of local friends who could show you the ropes. The ocean is vast and a big part of the local community from trade (fishermen) to recreational activities.
What is the community like?
Many of the locals are or have studied the arts. People seem friendlier and the pace seems slower in Bagamoyo. There is a large seafood market in the center of town and a few small boutique art galleries and hotels, as well as the central art market. I had the opportunity to meet kids who taught themselves how to do art; they had the most incredible pieces. The community works together in a more collective way. The community uplifts each other. Neighbors would bring food to each other and help each other without a second thought. It was refreshing to see such an open display of community and kindness.
How is the food?
The food is a unique and delicious fusion of North African and Indian food. They serve a lot of fresh seafood straight from the coast. There are many beach-front restaurants and places to explore, but the best food comes home cooked, right from our Home-Base!
Where do the volunteers work?
Bagamoyo is the perfect place for volunteering. Volunteers work in the field of Global Education and Global Health. CCS volunteers in Tanzania greatly contribute to improving the quality of education that every child deserves. Primary schools and organizations that support vulnerable children are under resourced and understaffed. CCS volunteers assist teachers, conduct educational and recreational programming, teach English language skills, and provide children with much-needed one-on-one attention. Tanzania faces high infant and maternal mortality rates, as well as malnutrition and high rates of adolescent pregnancies. Through outreach, education, and care, volunteers provide much-needed support to vulnerable children and adults in low-income communities. In addition, CCS is spearheads multiple public health projects in Tanzania including vision screening for children, oral health campaigns, and the promotion of hygiene in schools.
Are there any fun things to do during the weekend?
In Bagamoyo, you’re extremely close to Dar es Salaam, if you want to experience big city African life. You’re also just a ferry ride away from Zanzibar, an island known for its history in the spice trade and some of the most gorgeous pristine white beaches I’ve ever seen. Additionally, Bagamoyo is located extremely close to Saadani National Park, which is one of the only coastal safari destinations with game in the world.
Why is Bagamoyo a great place to explore?
No where else will you find such a walkable, friendly community in Tanzania. The unique rustic appeal makes it stand out among many other travel locations. You will find so many hidden treasures there. From a peaceful stroll along the beach to learning about the rich history and culture, Bagamoyo will widen your perspective of the world.