Two interesting places, in Tanzania, are Pangani and the beach of Ushongo.
They look very close, on the map, almost facing one another. There is a coastal road that connect them, after crossing Pangani River by a local boat for 200tsh. So the trip from Pangani to the beach is quite long, turning around wild roads.
Both are wonderful places, still quiete and hidden for most of the tourists. Do not miss your chance, if you are traveling through Tanzania.
Historical and modern Pangani
Pangani is a 8000-inhabitant small town in the north of Tanzania, on the coast. It is named after Pangani river which enters the Indian Ocean a few kilometers off the town’s harbour. Not far from here (45 km) there is the city of Tanga, Tanzania’s second port. And in front of Pangani there is the island of Zanzibar. For a long time, in history, Pangani was ruled by Zanzibar Kingdom – long before Tanzania became a state, and today the two places are connected by … tourism!
Pangani is a town where ancient archaeological ruins and modern tourist resorts mix. It was an important colonial city, it had been the central point of sugar and coconut plantations. Today the inhabitants still cultivate and sell coconuts, plus they run an important fish industry. Tourism is the other important economic resource. There are many interesting offers for foreign visitors, in Pangani.
Tourists here can enjoy guided tours to the ancient colonial buildings and archaeologic sites; sail on the Pangani river; explore the nearby plantations by bike tours; enjoy a fishing experience with real local fishermen.
The beauty of Ushongo
Plantations and wild countryside never allowed the construction of a real coastal road directly connecting Pangani e and Ushongo Beach. So, to get to Ushongo you need to drive for 4 hours through the inner regions, heading south-west and then again to the coast. Ushongo beach will welcome you with its sandy shores, palm trees, tourist lodges and beautiful natural environment.
A hundred kilometers south of Ushongo, the charming Saadani National Park offers incredible views and situations. You could meet elephants on the beach, crocodiles in the swamps, try an original boat safari! If you do not like to move, you will have a great time staying in Ushongo anyway. There are many luxury tourist resorts offering the best comforts at any time of the day and night.
It is possible to book short guided tours or long safaris, both in Pangani and Ushongo. But you can find some interesting trip organization in Tanga, as well. Tanga is also the closest airport, if you want to get to Pangani and Ushongo. Daily flights from Dar Es Salaam and from inner Arusha take tourists to Tanga Airport. From Tanga, a 1-hour drive will take you to Pangani. You need 4 more hours, instead, to get to Ushongo. A nice idea is to go on a mini boat cruise from Tanga port to both Pangani and Ushongo. A different and more romantic vision of a seaside Africa you might never forget in your life.