8 Must Do Activities When You're In Tanga

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Must try activities in Tanga

  01 September 2017       Salma Amin       5 min read

Out of the many cities and towns in Tanzania, one of its oldest really stands out as more than just a coastal town. Tanga has gotten popular with tourists due to its location, being situated between Kilimanjaro, the tallest mountain in Africa and Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania’s former capital.

Here is a list of top spots to visit on your journey to this peaceful town.



1. Adventure Through the Amboni Caves

Twenty minutes north of Tanga town, there’s a very small sign on the left side of the road:  “Department of Antiquities – Amboni Caves”.  The rougOften referred to as “The Jewel in Tanga’s Crown” and about 20 minutes north of Tanga, these limestone caves are filled with mystery as they have never been fully explored. No one knows how deep they really go. This formal yet underrated tourist destination is never crowded. With your trusty guide by your side, you will have the entire cave system for yourself.

Buy a few souvenirs from the gift shop standing near the mouth of the cave after having a fun adrenaline-filled trip through the caves while listening to ancient stories and legends surrounding this dark yet stunning location.

2. Visit the Tongoni Ruins

In the complete opposite direction of the caves about 17km away from Tanga, lie ruins dating back to the 14th and 15th centuries.

These ruins are from an ancient town named Tongoni and show the pleasant livelihood the ancient people living there used to enjoy before the trade routes they depended on were disrupted by the Portuguese.

The ruins are a fascinating sight with Tongoni's strong walls which still stand to this day. Home to one mosque and about 40 tombs, it also upholds the title of containing the largest collection of Shiraz Tombs in the entirety of East Africa.

3. Brave the Heights of the Usambara Mountains

This mountain range is filled with different creatures, from a variety of birds and butterflies to huge trees and delicate flowers. If not for the wildlife, then it is still worth visiting for the calm atmosphere and the beautiful view of the waterfalls and historical places.  

You could go down a hiking trail to visit any near-by village or just take a casual stroll to relax and reconnect yourself with nature.

4. Tour the Urithi Tanga Museum

If the ruins intrigued you, you would love this!

Step back in time by entering this beautiful museum to see what Tanga looked like during its Colonial Era in the late 1800s.

You could walk around at your own pace and wander for a bit or get a guided tour of the entire museum!

5. Wander around on the Tanga Shoreline

With a touch of ancient historical buildings, the Tanga coast is truly a sight to see with its beautiful golden beaches and crystal blue waters, surprisingly never crowded except for the sturdy coconut palm trees dotting the surroundings.

Along the coast, there are a few popular places such as the Pangani town, Tanga Beach and Ushongo Beach.

Relax and sunbathe under the bright sun or go splash around and have fun in the ocean. You could swim around or go for scuba diving and snorkeling to view the plethora of colorful fish in the sea. You could also go fishing, windsurfing, kayaking, or boating.

6. Explore the European Cemetery

Nestled behind the Popatlal School, this eerily quiet overgrown ancient cemetery was used during the colonial time of the late 1800s, reserved only for Europeans. There are sections of graves, some of infants and mothers, others of the British soldiers who died in the Battle of Tanga in 1914.  

What would be so intriguing about a graveyard for it to be included in this list, you ask? 

Not only is this a site of great historic value, but there are a few unsolved mysteries still lingering about even a century later. As mentioned before, this was reserved only for Europeans, but seven American crew members from a plane that crash on the coast in 1956 rest here too. No one knows why they were buried here instead of the bodies being sent back.  

7. Drop by the Saadani and Mkomazi National Parks

As the only game reserve on the east coast of East Africa right by the stunning Tanga Beach, Saadani National Park is the only sanctuary where the waters clash with the African plains.  

Mkomazi National Park is in the middle of the Usambara Mountains, Pare and Tsavo National Park of Kenya.  

The open plains help in game viewing and spotting the many different kinds of flora and fauna present in these two beautiful parks, from fishes, hippos and crocodiles filling the Wami River to lions, elephants and the endangered black rhino which resides in the grasslands of Mkomazi National Park.

8. Inspect the Pangani Ruins

Lying 50km south of Tanga rest ancient ruins of the grand port of Pangani which had fallen to the grasp of mother nature, eroded, and covered with moss and vegetation due to its abandonment for about two centuries.

This is more of a place to walk around and wonder how life had been like in the past, how the buildings and houses might’ve looked before they crumbled. It would be best to stay at one of the small yet wonderful hotels at the half-way point, Peponi Beach Resort and Pangani Beach resort, both have amazing food and stunning beaches.

So, what are you waiting for? Visit Tanga and have a great time exploring all these wonderful places! 

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