Tanga’s tourism has grown a lot over the years and visitors always find interesting things to do in Tanga. This is due to its strategic location in the north-eastern corner of Tanzania and also being the oldest towns along the coast of Tanzania. Tanga links the well-known Kilimanjaro region with Dar es Salaam in the south and neighbours Kenya to the north.
Some of the popular things to do in Tanga and places to see include:
- Amboni Caves
- Tongoni Ruins
- Saadani and Mkomazi National parks
- Tanga Beach
- Usambara Mountains
Explore Amboni Caves
Exploring Amboni Caves is one of the top things to do in Tanga as there are ancient paintings, animal footprints and signs of witchcraft and offerings. These mysterious caves are located 8km north of Tanga City. They are probably the most extensive limestone caves in East Africa that were sculptured by nature into a fascinating underground world of halls, chambers, niches and tunnels, some equipped with stalactites and stalagmites. A one kilometre stretch can be explored with a local guide who can also tell you more about the history of the caves and of people who hid there over the ages. You will see formations that locals describe as the Virgin Mary and even the statue of Liberty.
Discover Tongoni Ruins
Travelling about 17km south of Tanga City lies Tongoni ruins. Tongoni Town contains the largest collection of Shiraz Tombs in East Africa. These remains also indicate the prosperity the town enjoyed before the arrival of the Portuguese who caused the disruption of the trading routes on which coastal towns like Tongoni depended on. Tongoni Ruins comprise of the crumbling remains of a mosque and over forty tombs. Both the mosque and the tombs are estimated to date from the 14th and 15th Century.
Explore Tanga Beaches
Along Tanga coastline, there are several unspoiled beaches where one can relax and enjoy a coastal vacation. Most of the beaches are not crowded and the stretch of sand is infringed by coconut palms and dotted by historical buildings. Popular excursion from Tanga Beach is visiting Toten Island, dubbed ‘Island of the Dead’ due to its rich history visible in the ruins. Some of the things to do in Tanga coast involve water activities like snorkelling, swimming, scuba diving, kayaking, windsurfing, fishing, a boat cruise along the coastline to Maziwe Island of or simply enjoying the beautiful turquoise ocean.
Climbing Usambara Mountains
The Usambaras are part of the Eastern Arc, a world biodiversity hotspot located in Tanga. This exceptional diversity attracts naturalists from all over the world who come to watch birds, study trees, flowers and butterflies. Within Usambara Mountains are other attractions like waterfalls, viewpoints and historical places. Some of the things to do here include hiking, biking and cultural walks as you visit the local villages.
Visit Saadani and Mkomazi National Parks
Another interesting activity not to miss on your list of things to do in Tanga is game drives in both Saadani and Mkomazi national parks. Saadani National Park is the only game sanctuary located along the coast of East Africa. It sits within the boundaries of the beautiful Tanga Beach. Mkomazi Park on the other hand lies between Pare and West Usambara Mountains, and Kenya’s Tsavo National Park. It is home to rare species like the black rhino. These two off-the-beaten-path national Parks are home to a wide variety of flora and fauna from hippos and crocodiles in the Wami River to zebras, kudus in the open plains of Mkomazi Park.