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Tanga Map

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Coastal Tanzania - Tanga

Colonial Charm & Natural Splendor

Tanga is Tanzania's second largest port and arguably the most attractive large town in the country. It's pleasant colonial streets are architecturally interesting and despite it being large, the place has a laid back sleepy atmosphere. From the 14th and 16th Century, Tanga was a principle starting point for Arab trade caravans heading into the interior. It kept its purpose even until recent times when in the 19th Century, Germany made it a supply port and constructed the railway line linking it to Moshi in the interior Kilimanjaro region. The town center faces the waterfront and the main shopping streets of Sokoine and Market Street run parallel to it. Tanga has numerous parks overlooking the harbour. One of the best attractions is Toten Island just offshore from the Tanga harbour. The Island contains ruins of two 14th century mosques and pillared tombs. Another historical attraction can be found in Tongoni. Tongoni is a small fishing village 17km south of Tanga; the 15th Century ruins of a mosque and forty tombs can be found in the village. The Amboni Caves are definitely worth a visit. This Jurassic system is said to extend over 200 square kilometers. On a visit you are guided around with flaming palm torches which add another dimension to the legends of ritual offerings to the deity that is said to reside there. As well as many more attractions, Tanga offers spectacular views of the Usambara mountains which form the backdrop of this very charming Town.


Tanga Islands

The sheltered area around Tanga including Tanga Bay and Kwale Bay, are great place for sailing, windsurfing, Kayaking and exploring coral reefs. Reefs to venture to for some excellent snorkeling include Tanga Coral gardens at Fungu Nyama, Niule Reef and Yambe Island reef.

The Beaches

There are numerous pristine beaches to visit both in Tanga and on the surrounding Islands. In addition the nearby town of Pangani has a pretty beach and a sandbank to enjoy. Tanga features white sandy palm fringed beaches, forested areas, coconut palms, sisal plantations, grass lands, the Panagani river system, and mangroves. As well as Marine life, you can spot black and white colobus monkeys and other primates. Venture further into the Pangani river to see crocodiles, hippos and lots of species of water birds. Pangani's Maziwi Island nature reserve has one of the best coral gardens in the area.


Tanga is not a shopping destination but a visit to the town Market is a worthwhile experience. For entertainment there are various beach side bandas (local cafes) playing live local music and serving cold drinks.


Fact File

Location Off Coast of East Africa 5°04'S 39°07'E
Coastal Port Towns Tanga, Pangani.
Shopping Tanga Town , Pangani Market
Languages English, Swahili
Tanga Islands Kwale Island, Ulenge Island, Yambe Island, Karange Island, Tanga island, Maziwi Island, Fungu Ushongu Island, 6 pristine Sandbanks


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