Swahili derives from an Arabic word meaning 'of the coast', and so it is that much of the Swahili language and culture trace their roots to the Indian Ocean coastline. Explorers, Sultans and Slave Traders all encountered Africa for the first time along this history-steeped coastline creating the events that were to define modern Tanzania, whilst the islands of the Zanzibar Archipelago were to become principal stepping stones for the culture that was to mould Tanzania's people and their language.
The town of Kilwa can date its authoritative
Islamic architecture to the 13th Century when it was
one of the principal city-states of the Shirazi empire.
Bagamoyo hosted Livingstone, Pasha and Speke, before
they set off on their historical destinies and was named
by the caravans of captives, who 'laid down their hearts'
there before they were shipped to Zanzibar's slave markets.
Pangani, Tanga and Dar es Salaam were all outposts for
first the German and then the British colonial administrations
- and the Great War that separated them.
However, history is not alone amongst
the charms of the Swahili