Bagamoyo is now a peaceful, pleasant town, an atmosphere which conceals a very different past. As a major conduit for the ivory and slave trades, Bagamoyo was once one of the richest and most important cities in East Africa. Thousands of slaves exported annually gave Bagamoyo wealth and status in former days, but it now serves as Tanzania’s arts capital, hosting one of East Africa’s leading arts colleges as well as a splendid annual arts festival in September or October. It is also home to long white sand beaches, numerous ruined colonial and Swahili buildings from its more prosperous past, and a lively local fishing industry. It is currently slated to become a World Heritage Site.