Bagamoyo is steeped in history, the name meaning 'Loss of the Heart' as a result of it being a terminus for the slave caravans from inland. At the peak of the slave trade in the mid 19th century it is estimated that 50,000 captives arrived in Bagamoyo each year. Now a popular beach destination, the town lies only 70km from Dar on good tarmac road. There are several mid-range beach hotels available. The Kaole Ruins, dating from the 12th century Shirazi era, also make an interesting excursion.
Tanzania is unsurpassed in sub-Saharan Africa for Birdwatching, with one of the highest bird diversities (1113 species) including 29 endemics. Even the casual visitor can't fail appreciate the sheer abundance of bird-life.
One of the best ways to see many waterbirds in their natural habitats is on a boat safari. With a good guide and boatman team are able to get very close, often shutting down engines as you drift in towards a particularly interesting sighting.
Boat safaris are also great for Big Game viewing. Most plains animals will from time to time visit the waters edge for a drink. Many of these species spend the majority of their time close to the waters edge, from where you will get a unique viewpoint of their activities. You may get to see the spectacular sight of a herd of elephants as it crosses a river or lake.
Then of course there are the animals that you would expect to see, such as hippopotamus and crocodiles. These two species usually live in close proximity without much interaction, but every now and then you may witness a fight, or see the consequences.
Boating is a comfortable and relaxing way to enjoy the Tanzanian bush, offering a welcome alternative to classic game drives. The Selous Game Reserve is famous for it's lakes and the Rufiji River, all of which can be explored by boat. Other top boating locations include Katavi, Rubondo and Saadani.