Pangani and Tanga
is an attractive coastal area, the most northerly stretch of the Indian Ocean Coast
This area is relatively off the beaten track and yet represents a viable and, in many ways, rather attractive alternative to the much more popular Zanzibar Island
. The area has lots of space, in parts there are virtually endless palm-fringed beaches with barely any development, interspersed with mysterious mangrove forests and river deltas, whilst offshore there are sandbanks and coral reefs.
The towns and villages along the coast are modestly interesting and the whole place has the kind of relaxed local atmosphere that one finds in this kind of quiet backwater.
There are some really interesting lodge options in the area. Virtually all of them are frontier-style places, mostly owner-operated, often quirky and uncommercial, small-scale, personable and considerably lower priced than equivalent properties on Zanzibar
. The downside is that they do have the potential for variable in their levels of service and that they do not generally offer very high levels of conventional comforts.
There are plenty of activities to keep you busy, with most of the good lodges offering diving, snorkelling, sailing and kayaking. Some also offer mountain-biking, horse-riding and cultural visits to local towns and villages. If you stay in the Pangani area it is possible to do motorboat safari along the river.
The diving in this area is not generally considered to be of the highest order, but this may be that it is yet to be properly explored. Certainly we have heard rumours of decent sites, but we doubt that that they will measure up to the best reefs off Zanzibar
Another slight disappointment in this area is that the hinterland that backs the palm-lined coastal strip is dominated by large-scale agriculture. Not the worst backdrop by any means, but a reminder that the area is not really off the map, there is some really significant commerce here.SeasonsAccommodationTrips