About 55 km south of Tanga is the small Swahili outpost of Pangani. It used to be an important trading center during the colonial heydays, but today it is a sleepy town which has witnessed little further development since. It has an attractive, utterly tropical location, on the North bank of the forest-fringed Pangani river, where the river meets the Indian Ocean. The beautiful and practically deserted beaches running north and south of the town rank as the best kept secret on the Tanzanian coast. Where to stay and eat clusters around the following areas:
North of Pangani
There is a fine stretch of beach 20 km north of Pangani town, where you can camp or sleep in a cottage at Peponi Holiday Resort or Capricorn Beach Cottages, set in lovely grounds studded with palm trees, baobabs and bougainvillea. At low tide, the sea is far out.
About 15km south of Pangani river lies beautiful Ushongo bay. Coming from the North, you have to take the ferry to cross the river. Here the beach is even wider and longer, making it a great spot for long beach walks. Since the tides are not strong, you can swim all day. Our favourite places to stay are Emanyani Beach Lodge and the Beach Crab Resort.
Things to do at Pangani beach, beyond sipping cocktails…
- Go on a dhow cruise, snorkeling, diving and lunch at a sand island.
- Diving – Kasa Divers, next to Emanyani Beach Lodge.
- Snorkel trips to Maziwe Island atoll – Kasa Divers.
- Game fishing in the Pemba Channel – The Tides Lodge
- Windsurfing, kite surfing and kayaking – Beach Crab Resort and Kasa Divers.
- Sunset cruise up the Pangani River, gliding through mangrove forest and passing villages at the river bank. Great for bird watchers!
- Community-run walking tours in historic Pangani town
- Safari to Sadaani National Park – the only wildlife sanctuary in East Africa with an Indian Ocean Beachfront! (owners of Beach Crab are a good source of information)