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Beach and Coasts
Coast & Beaches
Even as it grows in popularity among travelers, Zanzibar remains a rustic paradise. Large parts of the Zanzibar islands (with exotic names like Mafia Island, Pemba Island, and Mnemba) are still pristine, offering you the chance to experience an exotic and authentic Indian Ocean island holiday.
Zanzibar’s name alone is evocative of spice, colorful fabrics, and exotic beaches fringed by coral reefs. Located off the west coast of Tanzania, this African paradise has a rich history, tropical climate, vibrant multi-cultural people, and a variety of Zanzibar accommodations to make Zanzibar island holidays unforgettable. The markets of Stone Town are always bustling, rich with the sounds of competitive trading and the smells of a thousand spices. The city’s old quarter and has been declared a World Heritage Site for its historical and cultural significance.
The diving in Zanzibar is considered to be some of the best in the world and diving sites around the islands offer an underwater safari to rival even your most memorable overland adventures. Diving is excellent all year round, although December – March offers the best scuba diving. Find out the best time to visit Zanzibar before planning your Zanzibar island holiday.
Pangani town is famous for its excellent beaches to the north and those to the south around Ushongo. The infrastructures have been improved around the beaches in the north or south of the town. Maziwe Island, a small sand island and nature reserve is an ideal place for snorkeling although it can only be visited during low tide.Pangani is a small Swahili town situated about 55 km south of Tanga near some beaches. It believed to be one of the many dhow ports along the coast. During the Shirazi era, occupation around Pangani gathered momentum and the Pangani River assumed an important role as a transport channel to the interior. Pangani had become a terminus of the caravan route from Lake Tanganyika by late 19 th century, and a major export pint for slaves and ivory. Sisal and copra plantations were established in the area while several European missions and exploratory journeys to the interior began from here. At the end of the 19 th century, focus had shifted to Tanga and Dar es Salaam and Pangani rapidly declined. The most interesting area of town is within three blocks of the river, where one can see some carved doorways and buildings from the German colonial era. One of the main attractions is the Pangani River, which hosts diverse birdlife, as well as population of crocodiles and other animals.
Pangani Beach Bagamoyo Mafia Island Pemba Island Bagamoyo was once one of the most important dhow ports along the East African coast and the terminus of the trade caravan route linking Lake Tanganyika with Indian Ocean. Unloaded here before being shipped to Zanzibar and elsewhere, were slaves, ivory, salt and copra. In 1868 Missionaries established freedom Village at Bagamoyo as a shelter for ransomed slaves and for the remainder of the century the town served as an important way station for missionaries traveling from Zanzibar to the country's interior. Many European explorers, including Burton, Stanley and Livingstone began and ended their trips here. From 1887 to 1891, Bagamoyo was the capital of German East Africa and 1888 it was the site of the first major uprising against the colonial government. When the capital was transferred to Dar es Salaam in 1891, the town rapidly lost its significance and almost forgotten. Today, Bagamoyo is a sleepy place (recovering slowly due to tourism industry expansion) and many of its buildings are crumpling in ruins but with extra-ordinary attractive beaches.
Pangani Beach Bagamoyo Mafia Island Pemba Island At around half the size of Pemba to the north, Mafia truly is a getaway from it all. Little has changed on the island for the last century or so and, while coconut exportation is no longer the lucrative enterprise it once was, its bi-products are to be seen all over the island from the roofs to the walls and even the local alcohol. Life, on the whole, is centered on the small village of Kilindoni, and this dusty collection of huts, set amongst tall palms, is the first view that many see of the island. Like many of the bush strips of the interior, the runway moonlights as the village football pitch and so it is not uncommon to see the game disperse only second before a plane comes in to land!Elsewhere, the main income on the island is now fishing and so there are small huts and communities that have popped up along the short, 50km coastline, making use of the island’s abundant marine life.
Pangani Beach Bagamoyo Mafia Island Pemba Island This small island in the sun has grown in popularity as the fortunes of Zanzibar have grown…the reason being that, on Zanzibar there are around 150 hotels, and on Pemba there are around 3! Getting to the lodges is, in itself a mission, and can involve planes, vehicles and boats….and what you are getting is utter seclusion!The main town of Chake Chake sits right in the heart of the main island and is the location for the small airport and around 70% of the island’s population. Life has changed very little in this town and on the island, with the main agricultural export being cloves. To talk of Pemba and not mention the diving would be heinous as it offers some of the best along the entire east African coastline with a range of levels, from beginner to advanced. One of the best sites that we have heard about (but, unfortunately not yet dived) is a pinnacle dive out in the Pemba channel where it is possible to see schooling hammerheads…don’t worry, the never come in around the island!