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Zanzibar Island

Zanzibar Island

Zanzibar Island is also known as the Spice Island, the beautiful island of Zanzibar on Africa’s east coast is bursting with culture and history, seemingly at odds with its idyllic geography of white-sand beaches with palms swaying lazily in the sea breeze. Together this makes Zanzibar a fabulous place to explore as well as a dream to relax and unwind.

 

Zanzibar Island

Zanzibar is the semi-autonomous part of Tanzania in East Africa. It is composed of the Zanzibar Archipelago in the Indian Ocean, 25–50 kilometres (16–31 mi) off the coast of the mainland, and consists of many small islands and two large ones: Unguja (the main island, referred to informally as Zanzibar) and Pemba. The capital is Zanzibar City, located on the island of Unguja. Its historic centre is Stone Town, which is a World Heritage Site.

Portuguese invasion and control of the Swahili Coast in the late 16th century ended the golden age of the archipelago, although the Omani Arabs returned to power less than a century later. Today, many of the winding streets and high townhouses of old Stone Town remain unchanged and visitors can walk between the sultan’s palace, the House of Wonders, the Portuguese fort and gardens, the merchants’ houses, and the Turkish baths of the old city. Day-long spice tours to working plantations offer visitors the chance to observe the cultivation of cloves, vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon, and other spices that have made the island famous.

Zanzibar’s coastline offers some of the best beaches in the world, but sand and surf vary depending on what side of the island you’re on. On the east coast, waves break over coral reefs and sand bars offshore, and low tide reveals small pools of starfish, small minnows, and anemones. Up north, ocean swimming is much less susceptible to the tides, and smooth beaches and white sand make for dazzling days in the sun.

The port city of Stone Town dominates the west coast, and although the beaches of Mangapwani, where slave caves are visible at low tide and nearby Bububu are less than half an hour’s drive away, a night or two spent on the east or north cost is well worth the extra hour it takes to drive there. That said, the Chole Island Marine Park just off Stone Town – and nearby Prison, Grave, and Snake Islands – make a refreshing day-trip and a good break from exploring the winding passageways of the old city.

On the south coast of Zanzibar lies the Menai Bay Conservation Area, a sea turtle protection area for the endangered species that come to breed on the island. Roads to the southeast coast take visitors through the Jozani Forest, home to Zanzibar’s rare Red Colobus monkeys and a number of other primate and small antelope species.

Saanane Island National Park

Saanane Island National Park

Saanane Island National Park

Saanane Island National Park is a fully fledged National Park since July, 2013, covering an area of 2.18 sq km comprises of three islets and aquatic environment. The islets lie on the southern part of the main Island.

 

The park made a record of being the first ever National Park to be located within the City and the smallest National Park in both Tanzania and East Africa. The Park is the home of mammals like Impala, Rock Hyrax, Velvet Monkeys and Wild Cats. The presence of “De-brazas Monkey” underscores its potential as the only Park in the country inhabiting the species.  Reptiles are also dominant; they include crocodiles, Monitor Lizards, Agama Lizards, Pancake and Leopard Tortoises, Snakes particularly Python.

The aquatic part of the Park inhabits a variety of fisheries life, mainly Tilapia and Nile Perch.

LOCATION 
The Park is located 2km Southwest of Mwanza city centre, which lies in the Gulf of Lake Victoria (Latitude 2.5 S and Longitude 32 E).

GETTING THERE
One can travel by road or air from either Dar es Salaam or Kilimanjaro International Air Ports to Mwanza.  Also can travel by road or railway to Mwanza City from Arusha, Dar es Salaam, Kigoma and Tabora. to mention a few. Moreover, people can travel by ship/vessel to Mwanza Port from Uganda, Kenya, Bukoba and nearby Islands.

The Island is accessed by a regular short boat ride for about 5 minutes from Park Offices, on the mainland. Park Offices are easily accessed about 15 minutes short walk from the City Centre.

TO DO
Saanane Island is an ideal place for game viewing, bird watching, rock hiking, boat cruise, walking, picnics, bush lunch, photographing/filming, meditation and sport fishing.  Special occasions like wedding, engagement, team building, family day and birthdays can also be organized.

HISTORY
Saa Nane Island was named after its previous owner, Mzee Saanane Chawandi, a fisherman who turned into a farmer and later shifted to another island (after being compensated) to pave the way for conservation efforts in the early 1960’s. The Tanzania government officially owned the island in 1964 as the first ever government owned zoo.

Originally its territory measured some 0.7 square kilometers comprising both dry land and water. However, Saa Nane National Park annexed and includes two other smaller islets known as Chankende Kubwa and Chandkende Ndogo both located in the southern part of the main island into the bargain thus increasing its protected area to 1.32 square kilometers. The main objective was to promote intense and conservation education in wildlife and to promote recreation to the people of Mwanza.

Lake Victoria

Lake Victoria

With a surface area of 68,800 sq km (26,600 sq mi), Lake Victoria is Africa’s largest lake. In addition, it’s the largest tropical lake in the world, and the planet’s second largest freshwater lake. Only North America’s Lake Superior is larger.

Lake Victoria

An irregular quadrilateral in shape, its shores, save on the west, are deeply indented. Its greatest length from north to south is 210 miles (337 km), its greatest breadth 150 miles (240 km). Its coastline exceeds 2,000 miles (3,220 km). Its waters fill a shallow depression in the centre of the great plateau that stretches between the Western and Eastern Rift Valleys.

The lake’s surface is 3,720 feet (1,134 metres) above sea level, and its greatest ascertained depth is 270 feet (82 metres). Many archipelagos are contained within the lake, as are numerous reefs, often just below the surface of the clear waters. Lake Victoria has more than 200 species of fish, of which the Tilapia is the most economically important. The lake’s basin area covers 92,240 square miles (238,900 square km).

The lake’s shores vary in aspect. The lake’s southwestern coast is backed by precipices 300 feet (90 metres) high, which give way on the western coast to papyrus and ambatch swamps marking the delta of the Kagera River. The lake’s deeply indented northern coast is flat and bare. A narrow channel leads into the Kavirondo Gulf, which has an average width of 16 miles (25 km) and extends for 40 miles (64 km) eastward to Kisumu, Kenya.

The Ugandan cities of Kampala and Entebbe lie along or near the northern coast. At the lake’s southeastern corner is Speke Gulf, and at the southwestern corner Emin Pasha Gulf. Of the numerous islands in the lake, Ukerewe, north of Speke Gulf, is the largest, with wooded hills rising 650 feet (200 metres) above the lake. It is densely populated. At the lake’s northwestern corner are the 62 islands of the Sese archipelago, some of them of striking beauty.

The Kagera River, the largest and most important of the lake affluents, enters the western side of Lake Victoria just north of latitude 1° S. The only other river of note entering from the west is the Katonga, north of Kagera. The lake’s only outlet is the Victoria Nile, which exits from the northern coast.

The search by Europeans for the source of the Nile led to the sighting of the lake by the British explorer John Hanning Speke in 1858. Formerly known to the Arabs as Ukerewe, the lake was named by Speke in honour of Queen Victoria of England.

A detailed survey of the lake was made by Sir William Garstin in 1901. Plans for gradually raising the level of the lake’s waters were completed in 1954 with the construction of the Owen Falls Dam (now the Nalubaale Dam) on the Victoria Nile at Jinja, Uganda. The dam provides hydroelectric power on a large scale and made the lake a vast reservoir. A second dam, Kiira, was later constructed 0.6 mile (1 km) from Nalubaale. It was completed in 1999 and began producing hydroelectric power the next year.

The Lake Victoria region is one of the most densely populated in Africa; within 50 miles (80 km) of its shores live several million people, nearly all Bantu-speaking. There are local steamer services around the lake.

Arusha City

Arusha City

Arusha City

Arusha city is located in the northern highlands of Tanzania, beneath the twin peaks of Mount Meru and Mount Kilimanjaro, Arusha is the safari capital of the country. Guests embarking on the popular northern safari circuit all stop in the ‘Geneva of Africa’ to prepare for their journeys into the African bush.

From is two-lane streets, the dramatic crater of Mt. Meru stands over the town like a majestic sentinel, it’s crater strewn with thick clouds, it’s slopes dark with verdant forest. Arusha’s ideal location near the major national parks and it’s highland setting make it a peaceful idyll of relaxation before the start of an exciting journey.

Built by the Germans as a centre of colonial administration administration in the early 20th century, Arusha was a sleepy town with a garrison stationed at the old boma and a few shops around a grassy roundabout. From its backwater status amidst the farmlands and plantations of northern Tanzania, today Arusha is one of the country’s most prosperous towns.

Arusha is a major international diplomatic hub. The city hosts and is regarded as the de facto capital of the East African Community. Since 1994, the city has also hosted the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. It is a multicultural city with a majority Tanzanian population of mixed backgrounds: indigenous Bantu, Arab-Tanzanian and Indian-Tanzanian population, plus small White European and white American minority population. Religions of the Arushan population are Christian, Jewish, Muslim, and Hindu.

The current site of Arusha was first settled in the 1830s by the agro-pastoral Arusha Maasai from the Arusha Chini community, south of Mount Kilimanjaro. They traded grains, honey, beer, and tobacco with the pastoral Kisongo Maasai in exchange for livestock, milk, meat, and skins.

Demand for Arusha’s foodstuffs increased substantially during the 1860s when the Pangani Valley trade route was extended through Old Moshi, Arusha, and ultimately to western Kenya. Although it was not yet a town, it was a regional centre and had a number of urban features.

Despite its proximity to the equator, Arusha’s elevation of 1,400 metres (4,600 ft) on the southern slopes of Mount Meru keeps temperatures relatively low and alleviates humidity. Cool dry air is prevalent for much of the year.

The temperature ranges between 13 and 30 degrees Celsius with an average around 25 degrees. It has distinct wet and dry seasons, and experiences an eastern prevailing wind from the Indian Ocean, a couple of hundred miles east.

Budget friendly accommodation for groups, families, backpackers, longstay etc – We recommend Maura HomeStay

Burunge WMA

Burunge WMA

Burunge WMA

BURUNGE WMA is located in Babati District, Manyara Region along Arusha-Babati-Singida-Dodoma highway, about 120 kilometres from tourist city of Arusha. Home to elephants and Giant Baobab trees

BURUNGE WMA is located in Babati District, Manyara Region along Arusha-Babati-Singida-Dodoma highway, about 120 kilometres from tourist city of Arusha.

The WMA is made up of nine villages from three administrative wards whose revenue from tourism and conservation is sent back to support the local communities to execute social and economic development activities.

Villages which had allocated their land for establishment of the WMA are Sangawe, Mwada, Vilima Vitatu, Ngoley, Kakoi, Olasiti, Manyara, Maweni and Magara.

Burunge WMA is accessible by road transport from Arusha to Makuyuni, a distance of 85 kilometres, then from Makuyuni to the WMA is located about 35 kilometres, between Makuyuni junction and Babati town.
The WMA borders Tarangire and Lake Manyara National parks, which together share the rich wildlife resources living in those two famous national parks in Northern Tanzania. It is 18 kilometres from the Tarangire National park Gate and 10 kilometres from the southern boundary of Lake Manyara National Park.

The most tourist attractions found in Burunge WMA are mostly the wildlife from Tarangire and Lake Manyara National Parks, mostly elephants and other mammals seen in northern Tanzanian parks including the Big Five.

Burunge is as well, famous for its big population of pythons which are rarely found in most wildlife parks in East Africa. Animals migrating as far from Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro Conservation Area have been spotted in the WMA and added its conservation prominence.

Other than wildlife, the WMA is famous for flamingo and hippo watching in Lake Burunge, sunset over the Tarangire National Park, baobab trees dated over thousand years and seasonal migration of Zebras, Giraffes, Waterbucks, Buffaloes ,Lions, Leopards and other attractive animals from Serengeti, Ngorongoro, Lake Manyara and Tarangire wildlife parks.

Burunge WMA is as well, famous for harbouring elephants with bigger and longer tusks not found in any part of Africa. Visitors to this WMA can enjoy watching more than 200 bird species found inside the community conserved forest which makes the WMA unique.

Burunge WMA has been divided into six blocks and which each investor pay US$ 60,000 as block fee per year, and which 75 percent of the total amount is sent back to local communities through the WMA management. All investors are carrying out photographic safari, since no hunting safari in this WMA.

Tourist activities in the WMA are mostly photographic safaris organised by tour operators. Bicycle riding and walking safaris inside the WMA are the other organized tourist activities taking place there during early morning hours and late afternoons.

Tourist accommodation and recreational services are offered in lodges and camps established inside Burunge WMA. These are Tarangire River Camp,  Tarangire Osupuko Lodge, Maramboi, Chemchem Lodge, Lake Burunge Tented Lodge, UN Lodge and Little Chemchem Lodge.

Little Chemchem Lodge is located closer to Lake Burunge at a place full of wild animals. Some animals seen around there are Giraffes, Zebras, Gazelles, Dik Diks, Warthogs, Elephants, Buffaloes and Lions.

Cultural performances can be organized through traditional dances from the Maasai and Wambugwe groups made up of women and men. Two Cultural Dancing groups have been established in Burunge WMA to entertain visitors booked in lodges and camps within the WMA.

These Groups are “Pevingo Dancing Group” which is made up of men and women, and “Mshikamano Women Group”. Pevingo Dancing Group is made up of 20 traditional dancers from Wambugwe community, among them15 dancers are men and the rest five are women.

Most songs composed do carry wildlife conservation messages to attract local communities involvement in wildlife conservation, while campaigning for anti-poaching and environmental protection, also strengthening good neighbourliness with Tarangire National Park.

Mshikamano Women Group was launched in 2004 as an initiative of 30 women members, all engaged on various cultural activities. The group do organize traditional dances to visitors (tourists) booked in lodges within the WMA.

It is an economic generating group as well, specialized in weaving of various, attractive ornaments and utensils using the grass. Among the products are trays, dustbins, table mats, small containers, foods covers and also various home utensils.

Mgungani Women Group is the other local community initiative to raise incomes of women through gains in tourism and wildlife conservation. The group was formed in 1997 by 50 Maasai women entrepreneurs through 10 Village Cooperative Banks (VICOBA).

Located near the entry gate to Tarangire National Park, the group sell ornaments and decorations to tourists calling in the park. Other women groups in Burunge WMA are Einoti Maasai Women Group and Tarangire Emanyata, all specialised on cultural activities.

Enduimet WMA

Enduimet WMA

Enduimet WMA

LOCATED in Longido District on the Basin land of the western foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro, Enduimet Wildlife Management Area (WMA) was established in 2003 with land allocated by nine villages covering an area of 1,282 kilometres.

The Small Garden of Eden, home to biggest elephants in East Africa.
LOCATED in Longido District on the Basin land of the western foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro, Enduimet Wildlife Management Area (WMA) was established in 2003 with land allocated by nine villages covering an area of 1,282 kilometres.

The Enduimet WMA shares its border with Kilimanjaro National Park to the southeast, Engarusai Open Area to the west and the Kenyan border to the north.

Enduimet WMA sets a good example of a community based conservation area where local Maasai pastoralists are benefiting from tourism and conservation initiatives.

The conserved area occupies the Ol Molog and Tinga Tinga wards in Longido district in Arusha region and is occupied wholly by Maasai pastoral communities. Its operation office is located at Ol Molog ward in on the closer slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro.

Engasurai Open Area is the main attractive geographical feature within Enduimet WMA where animals frequently move to in search for water and hunting ground for predators.

Photographic safaris is the most and well established tourist activity in Enduimet and where tourists from various parts of the world flock to view wild animals. The Kitendeni Corridor is located within the WMA and is a migration route for animals roving between Tsavo West, Mkomazi, Kilimanjaro and Amboseli National parks in Tanzania and Kenya.

Enduimet WMA is divided into three zones of Olkunonoi-Kitendeni
Wildlife Corridor Zone, the Engasurai Tourist Hunting Zone and the Sinya Photographic Safari Zone.  It comprises as well, the northern portion of the larger Kitendeni Wildlife Corridor, which is critical to the survival of both Kilimanjaro and Amboseli National Parks. The corridor serves as an important seasonal migration route and dispersal area for wildebeest, zebras and elephants moving between the two national parks.

The Zones are currently running photographic safaris since no tourist hunting taking place in the whole of Enduimet WMA’s conserved land. With a purpose to conserve Enduimet WMA as a part of the Kilimanjaro and Amboseli ecosystem, no trophy hunting business taking place in this area.
The conserved Area has a very unique and extensive plains ecosystem that is home to an abundance of wildlife and is the only WMA that protects a transboundary corridor between Kilimanjaro and Amboseli National Parks.

Ecologically, the WMA provides connectivity between the Mkomazi, Arusha, Amboseli and Kilimanjaro National Parks and the Greater Tsavo Ecosystem in Kenya.

Enduiment Wildlife Management is endowed with numerous tourist attractions.  Wildlife including giraffes, Thomson gazelles, zebras, and wildebeest, some concentrated at Engasurai plain and which looks like Ngorongoro Crater, commonly referred as “The Small Garden of Eden”.

Elephants, Oryx, Zebras, Giraffes, Lions, Buffaloes, Leopards, Elands, Wildebeests, Hyenas and other African big mammals can easily been seen in the WMA and Sinya, a private concession of about 600 square km, bordering Kenya in Amboseli National Park, offering spectacular landscapes with magnificent views of Kilimanjaro, Mount Meru, Ol Doinyo Longido and Ol Doinyo Orok.  Enduimet is a home to biggest elephants in East Africa.

Other tourist attractions including the “Seven Hill Sisters”: These are small hills located within the Enduimet WMA, each with different heights, but standing together, looking like sisters from one parent, born at different dates.

Cultural Tourism is another tourist activity in Enduimet WMA. Maasai Bomas provide cultural entertainment through traditional Maasai songs and ways of life among the Maasai communities like meat roasting (Nyama Choma), milking cows and folklores. Tourist walking safaris and bush camping safaris can be arranged as well.

Tourist accommodation and recreational services are offered at different lodges and camps established inside Enduimet WMA. These are Elerai Tented Lodge,  Shuma’ta Camp, Tembo Camp and Chui Campsite.

Best time to visit Enduimet WMA is in November when the entire area is full green, but visitors can book and visit there all the year round.  Foreign visitors are charged dollars 10 (US$ 10) as fees to enter and spend a day inside the WMA. Local tourists are charged Sh. 1,000 per day for adults and Sh 500 for children.
Access to Enduimet WMA is easy and possible all the year, except during rainy seasons when some roads and tourist tracks inside the WMA are not passable.

Enduimet WMA is connected by a rough road from Longido District Headquarters. The distance from Arusha City to Longido District Headquarters is 77 kilometres, while from Longido to Enduimet WMA gate is 25 kilometres.

From Enduimet to Arusha via Sanya Juu and Bomang’ombe is 120 kilometres and takes up to 3 hours by bus or a car. Tourists travelling from Arusha, Nairobi and Moshi could either use this road to connect from the Arusha to Nairobi highway.
The WMA can also be reached using a gravel road from Bomang’ombe through Sanya Juu and Engare Nairobi or the rough road from Arusha to Namanga road through Longido village to Sinya, Ngereiyani and Tingatinga.
Going there by a passenger bus, a visitor can board a mini-bus from Arusha to Bomang’ombe, then Bomang’ombe to Sanya Juu then and Ol Molog where the WMA’s operations office is located.

Tanga City

Tanga City

Tanga City

Tanga city was once another stopping point, in competition with Pangani and Bagamoyo, for caravans on their way to the hinterland of Central Africa searching for ivory and slaves. The Germans also made it a centre of colonial administration during their occupation in the early 20th century.

Evidence of German’s presence can be found in Tanga city architecture today, but only few landmarks and historical buildings have remained in the area. Tanga’s port, however, provides a main link between northern Tanzania and the Indian Ocean.

For the discerning tourist and intrepid traveler, Tanga city region is a stunning diverse destination. It undoubtedly has a lot to offer and is a surprisingly safe and friendly place to travel, filled with an incredible mixture of different cultures and some of the best places to visit.

This is evident in many aspects of life, particularly visible in the region’s magnificent landscape, unique culture and friendly people – making it as one of the preferred destinations for adventurous travellers.

Thousands of kilometres of the long Indian Ocean coastline with its sheltered bays and lagoons, and the lush mangrove forests, pristine semi-arid forests help to shape the identity of Tanga.

The first thing that visitors notice on their arrival is the state of relaxation and prosperity that is palpable, and it is good to bask in the sunlit narrow streets of Tanga with most of the city roads done to perfection. The experience an exhilarating stretch of tarmac roads in Tanga is bound to satisfy a desire of any traveler. Self-drive holidays in Tanga are great – the roads are well signposted and easily navigated – but don’t underestimate the value of a good guide who will show you parts of the area you may not have otherwise explored.

Location
Tanga is situated on the Tanzanian northern coast close to the Kenyan border.

Access
It has road connections with Arusha, Moshi, Mombasa, Nairobi and Dar es Salaam. Tanga has a small airport as well as airstrips at Ushongo (Pangani) and Saadani national park. Boat services are available to Pangani, Pemba and Zanzibar.

Accommodation
Tanga has a huge pack of facilities in the city centre and along the beach areas. The popular for visitors include: Tanga Beach Resort, Mkonge Hotel, Mtendele hotel, Inn by the Sea, Regal Naivera hotel, Nyinda Classic hotels, New Dolphin hotel, Nyumbani hotels and resorts, CBA hotel, Palm Court Hotel and more.

Tanga has several popular restaurant featuring coastal food menus including local foods such as Rusha Roho restaurant, Raskazone swimming Club, Tanga bathing club, Tanga Yatch Club and Jet Bar and Restaurant.

Amani Nature Reserve
Amani Nature Reserve (ANR), located in the East Usambara Mountains, is a paradise of nature with unique flora and fauna. It has been termed as the “Last Paradise.”  The flora species composition is diverse; trees of over 60 meters tall exist throughout the reserve while below, many different types of plant species are supported by them.
Amani situated in the pockets in the East Usambara Mountains, is part of the huge natural entity that makes up the Eastern Arc Mountains. It was Gazetted in 1997 with the main objective to involve the local community to take part in the management of the reserve and forest conservation to increase income generating opportunities.

The ANR has a total area of 8380 hectares divided into ecological zones that is home to a collection of medicinal plants, Biodiversity preservation, restoration and Botanical garden.

The reserve has endemical and endangered plants, more than 340 bird species, including a few endemic; there are also 74 genuses of animals, which include reptiles, mammals, amphibians and mollusks. Tourists are likely to see the endemic chameleons, snakes such as cobra, amphibian’s particularly legless frog, Butterfly and other insects.
ANR is registered with the Tropical Biology association as one of the reputable research institutions, to learn first hand about tropical ecology and conservation.

The ANR is one of the most important water catchment’s areas that through the Zigi River provide domestic water to Tanga town, associated industries, estates and adjacent local communities. In addition, it provides water to the Hale and Pangani hydropower stations in Pangani River, among other benefits.
The ANR is suitable for site seeing, hiking, camping, butterfly, farming visit, trekking in the nature forest, night walks, bird watching, picnics, boating, fishing and learning. (website: www.amaninature.org).

Tourist attractions Land pattern and land use
Amani Nature Reserve extends from lowland to the upper plateau. The upper plateau allows visitors to observe the land pattern of the East Usambara, and these are one of the must-see attractions in the ANR. The land use in the upper plateau, including the local agricultural farming and tea estates adds the portfolio of attractions to the tourists.

View Points:
There 3 views point namely Kiganga Hill, Ngua and Mbomole Hill viewpoints.

Water falls:
There are three waterfalls namely Derema, Ndola and Pacha in the ANR. Many visitors here choose to hike to the waterfalls.

Nine visitors trail:
(nature trails): Labeled, mapped and well documented in the leaflets and trail guide books are available (Mbomole Hill, Monga trail, Ndola trail, Turaco Bird trail, Kwamkoro Nature trail, Derema trail, Zigi trail, etc.)

Butterfly & Spices project:
The villagers run a butterfly project in which a substantial quantity of live butterfly or larva or purple is exported to German, the UK and Switzerland. Locals through groups and individual arrangements produce different spices sold in the Tanga region and beyond.

Location:
About 35 kms from Muheza, a town located on highway to Tanga city.

Access:
There are public transports from Muheza, 35 kms away

Accommodation:
Two moderate rest houses provide accommodation in ANR boundaries; one at the Headquarters and Sigi Rest house at Sigi gate; campsites (Sigi, Kwamkoro and Mbomole Peak). Guest houses are available in the village at the Sigi gate.

Picnic sites:
The picnic sites are available for visitors fully supplied with sanitary equipment. These are: River’s site (Zigi), hill pick (Mbomole Hill) and in-situ forest site (Kiganga).

Two campsites:
One with fixed water closet (ANR HQ), second one (Kiganga) allowing a mobile sanitary system.

Tongoni ruins
Tongoni provides an insight into the early settler’s lifestyle in the fishing village. Ruins of ancient mosques, tombs and remains of the first Shiraz of Persian origin, with elaborate inscription and stone carvings are found here.
The locals that inhabit in the area: Wabondei and Wazigua are predominantly fishers who owned the village until when the Shirazi came. Tongoni village has an exceptional look at one of East Africa’s Islamic settlements, which was established around the early 14th century.

Tongoni is believed to be the location of the first port before Tanga, and that the Portuguese sailor Vasco Da Gama visited Tongoni in the year 1498. During his visit, it is said that he abandoned and destroyed one of his ships, the ‘San Raphael’ for being beyond repairs. Vasco Da Gama is said to have returned to Tongoni a year later and spent close to two weeks.

A glimpse into the villager’s lifestyle of the locals provides a simple and charming reception. Visitors are welcome to see the fish market and buy a few fish species, including prawns.

Location:
Tongoni village is found nearly 17 kms south of Tanga on the way to Pangani,

Accommodation:
Peponi Resort is an up market facility located a short distance (13 kms) from Tongoni. It has 8 Bandas, three tents, 12 small bandas (Kabandas). There are several activities offered by the resort: dhow trips, snorkeling, boat ride and walk by the seashore to explore the myriad of sea shells.

Amboni caves
The Amboni caves are believed to be the most extensive limestone caves in East Africa, located in Kiomoni village. The caves, a one and half kilometer stretch, are a fascinating historical site, which were used as hiding places for the locals.

The Amboni caves are among the area’s most popular attractions that have attracted, over the years, hundred thousands of tourists both local and foreign.
The caves are very dark inside and potentially lethal. Nearly all tunnels or chambers are accessible to tourists via a guided tour.

The Amboni caves are among the area’s most popular attractions and feature vast below-ground halls with towering formations. Visitors are advised to wear comfortable shoes and to bring a pocket-size camera, since it’s cumbersome to bring a camera with a large lens as walking is through tight squeezes. And before entering some of the tight spots, visitors are asked to leave large bags in an area to pick up later.

The views of towering formations in the caves are an admiration. Nearly all its tunnels or chambers are accessible to tourists via guided tour. Walking through squeezes while getting treated to views of incredible formations makes the visit well worth it.

The caves have religious significance to the local people who pray and make offerings in one of the shrines. For a section of locals, the caves have been long-known as the place to worship to pray for different needs. Chamber number one is used for the prayers, in what many people associate with superstitions. Different items are deposited here during players as ‘gifts that the local villagers offer to the spirits.

The caves’ upkeep is under the department of Antiquities in the ministry of natural resources and tourism.

Location:
Located nearly 8 kms from Tanga town.

TANGA CULTURAL TOURISM INITIATIVE PROGRAM

The following tours are on offer;
– AMBONI CAVES TOUR
– TONGONI RUINS
– TOTEN ISLAND TOUR
– HOT SULPHUR SPRINGS
– YAMBE ISLAND TOUR
– ULENGE ISLAND TOUR
– SAND BANK ISLAND TOUR
– SWAHILI COAST TRADITIONAL DANCES
– VISITING TRADITIONAL HEALERS
– FISHING WITH LOCAL FISHERMEN

AMBONI CAVES TOUR (2 ½ hours)
Amboni guided tour starts from Tanga City centre through various historical buildings then to Kiomoni village. You will get to know how local brew is prepared as you pass through a number of local clubs and get to know the lime making process as well. Outside the caves enjoy a natural forest around and welcoming sounds of monkeys and birds. Your guide will take you through various compartments/rooms used for different purposes and enjoy the Cave’s natural beauty while listening to well narrated stories about the caves.
Amboni caves are 8 kms from the Tanga city centre. Visitors can opt to explore the caves by a rented tax (2 hours tour), use a bicycle (3 hours tour) or use public transport and then walk for 20 minutes to the caves from public road (5 hours)

TOTEN ISLAND TOUR (3 hours)
On your dhow or engine boat, sail to Toten Island to meet the fishing villagers and explore a coastal forest dominated by huge and majestic Baobabs. Listen to hundreds of tales and myths surrounding the Baobab trees and the island. Proceed to the Portuguese ruins which are remains of what used to be a prison in 15th century. Explore the great places where at different colonial times British and Germans lived.

HOT SULPHUR SPRINGS TOUR (1 ½ hours)
A cycling tour to gallanos sulphuruos hot spring which the local people use to bath for skin healing which the local believe if they bath there, while crossing local farms of various type like coconut, vegetable gardens and learn the process of planting to harvesting of the crops.

YAMBE ISLAND TOUR (6 hours)
Explore old German ruins which were used as quarantine in 19th century on a half day sailing tour to Yambe Island. Come and meet local inhabitants in this area and learn more about their cultures

NDUMI VILLAGE TOUR (3 hours)
The tour will take you along the Coast of Indian Ocean to explore old buildings, collection old stuff such as coins, beads and sheds of pottery at Ndumi dated 14th century.

ULENGE ISLAND TOUR BY BOAT (HALF DAY)
Visitors will visit the German building which was used as administration block by the Germans during the colonial period, German graves and Hospital.

SAND BANK TOUR (FULL DAY)
Tour starts from Raskazoni passing by the fish market where you will see how the fisherman trade the fish business and identify different species of fish, Proceed for your water sports activities (diving, snorkeling and boat rides)

TRADITIONAL DANCE (4 – 5 HOURS)
A group of women known as TWAN traditional dances will give you an insight of their traditional dance and songs, you will participate in various Swahili dances elaborating different occasional and events such as marriage ceremony.

TRADITIONAL HEALER
Get an insight on how African traditional healers do their work. On your guided tour your guide will explain various things about the healing process, medicines and different diseases cured

SISAL FARM TOUR (3 hours)
Get an insight of sisal production by visit the sisal plantation. Learn the whole process from how sisal is grown to the final stage of making sisal ropes locally and other modern factory processing ways. Then proceed to local salt mining farms just beyond sisal plantations.

FISHING WITH LOCAL FISHERMEN (6 hours)
You will participate on fishing with local fishermen using local available materials. Get your catch of the day that will be prepared as part of your meal and sell the rest of the catch at the fish market. Learn how to negotiate when selling fish after a long hard work in the Indian Ocean.

Urithi Tanga Museum
Tanga’s new boma has been renovated with support from the German Embassy in Tanzania and Tanga’s sister city Eckernforde. It was originally built in the 1890s by the Imperial German colonial administration during the then German East Africa.

The building, built using coral stone, lime and sand was used as a government office and residence for the province commissioner of northern Tanganyika then comprised of Tanga, Kilimanjaro and Arusha. It was fully rehabilitated and conserved by URITHI using expert technicians from the Zanzibar Stone Town.

Once the conservation work was complete, URITHI was granted the use within the building for a museum dedicated to the heritage of Tanga. Photo exhibits on Tanga’s historical architecture and buildings and the Sisal industry are on display. The museum building is open for viewing, from the basement to the watch-tower, including the two floors.
Urithi Tanga Museum is a project of URITHI – The Tanga Heritage Centre. URITHI’s mission is to preserve and promote Tanga’s heritage and to make use of the heritage for community development.

Location:
Independence Avenue (next to the Tanga Library), Tanga city.

Lushoto
Lushoto and its people; it would be hard to know where to start.  It is a town that exists in a nebulous state of optimistic beauty after being hardened by stunning scenery and a breath of fresh air. Like all places where winter likes to settle in for a good, long stay, the people of Lushoto nearly always embrace every moment of cool weather. When you live, visit or grow up in Switzerland, Lushoto sounds about as close and familiar as Switzerland.
It has sweeping landscapes with their towering peaks with farms, the breathtaking view and endless vistas (green and lush scenery) that interest many visitors.

Lushoto boasts of a rich hinterland ideal for farming, which includes bananas, pears, pumpkins, tomatoes, potatoes, yams, maize, cabbage, carrots, capsicum, plumps or apples and more that find their market within the Tanga region and beyond.

Its rainforest is one of the most popular bio diversity places in Africa. Now, it is a centre of one of the best cultural tourism programmes in Tanzania – The Friends of Usambara.

The cultural tourism enterprise provides various activities for visitors, such as guided hikes and cultural visits to the Irente view point, Irente farm, Usambara farms, Magamba rainforests and more. Most of the incomes go to fund development projects such as drilling well in remote areas, building primary school and funding reforestation efforts.
In Lushoto, people live a more traditional lifestyle, and the locals are genuinely happy to see visitors walk by, greeting everyone with big smiles.

Location and access:
Lushoto is accessed via Mombo town on the Arusha to Dar es Salaam highway. Public transports to Dar es Salaam, Arusha, Moshi and Tanga are available daily.

Accommodation:
Lushoto has several up-market facilities which include: Mullers lodge, The executive lodge, Irente Cliff lodge, Lawns hotel, Lushoto White House, Swiss farm Cottage, Irente Biodiversity Reserve, Mkuzi creek Resort and more.

Tour Guides:- The guides of Tanga Cultural Tourism Initiative are indigenous of Tanga region who speaks good English and have ample experience in tour guiding in the area

Materuni and Kuringe Waterfalls

Materuni and Kuringe Waterfalls

This very impressive Waterfall is one of the tallest in the area, spewing crystal clear glacier water 70m into its basin. The beautiful path leading to Materuni and Kuringe Waterfalls are located 2500m above sea level

Materuni and Kuringe Waterfalls

 

Materuni and Kuringe Waterfalls traverses thru valleys and hills covered by tropical rainforest, past coffee, banana and avocado “shambas”, the Kiswahili word for farms.

On a clear day great views of Kibo and Moshi town can be seen. The hike to the base of the Waterfall can be demanding and hiking boots are recommended. As this trip is so close to Moshi town it is ideal for those people with limited time but who would still like to see some of the nature and beauty that this region of Tanzania has to offer.

Materuni is one of the few villages of wonder in Northern Tanzania sitting at the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro. The village is blessed with full of all the beauty worth much visiting for holiday, week-end outing or vacation. While in the village, scenic view of Moshi Town and Mount Kilimanjaro is astonishing. This green village with fresh air from green vegetations welcomes visitors to explore the beauty of the land and cultural heritage of the Chagga people.

A cultural experience such as banana beer brewed or coffee roasted the traditional way can be added to your hike.

Moshi Town

Moshi Town

Nestled at the base of Mount Kilimanjaro, Moshi is the coffee producing centre of the country. All around the Moshi town and on the slopes of Kilimanjaro, there are vast plantations of coffee blanket covering the area.

Moshi Town

Walks around Moshi town and a trip to the coffee auction that is held here are activities of interest to passing visitors, but the main reason visitors come to Moshi is to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro, the mountain whose thick clouds and snow-capped peak towers over the agricultural town. Climbing expeditions depart from the town into Kilimanjaro National Park early in the morning, before the clouds that cluster daily around the mountaintop have risen, and when the air is fresh and cool. Whether you’re in Moshi to scale to the top of Africa or learn more about coffee growing and production, Moshi is a quiet haven of tranquil peace whose quiet streets offer a warm welcome in a beautiful setting.

Pare Mountains

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Pare Mountains

Part of the Eastern Arc range in north-eastern Tanzania, the remote Pare Mountains are extremely rewarding to the avid trekker searching for hiking trails off the beaten path.

Home to the Pare tribe, agriculturalists and pastoralists who have largely retained their traditional way of life, a hike through takes visitors through local villages and beautiful forests as well as it offers the chance to explore a less visited part of the country.

Pare Mountains

The southern Pare Mountains are situated in Kilimanjaro Region, about 150 kilometre south of Moshi. From the surrounding plains, the mountains look like a barren and deserted area, but when you start climbing the slopes, one of Africa’s most special landscapes is revealed for your eyes. Between huge desolate rocks lie small green river valleys where farmers have built impressive stone terraces.

On top of the mountains is the Chome forest reserve, a dense tropical forest with many rare trees and plants. The forest offers an oasis of rest, beauty and fresh air. Visitors can easily walk a day through the forest without meeting anyone. The surrounding villages are among the most isolated places in Northern Tanzania and the local people have kept their traditional Pare culture throughout history. Narrow footpaths wind through the mountains from one village to another.

Southern Pare Mountains Tours Includes:
– A walk through the Chome forest reserve, a tropical forest of over 100 square kilometre.
– A climb to Shengena Peak, the highest point in the Pare and Usambara mountains
– A view into the Pare culture (old stories, traditional dances)
– A visit to several development projects in our villages (irrigation, soil conservation, afforestation)

A stay in the Southern Pare Mountains can perfectly be combined with a visit to the neighbouring Mkomazi Game Reserve, where game drives and walking safaris are possible.