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Tanzania Mainland Coast in a few words...

Tanzania's mainland coast has, to the everyday tourist, been overshadowed by Zanzibar Island. Now, as Zanzibar becomes ever busier, discerning travellers look for new beach areas along the immense and beautiful Tanzania seaboard. Here ancient Swahili history, culture and hospitality combine with hundreds of miles of endless beaches and the warm Indian Ocean.

Saadani National Park
Tanzania Beach Holiday

Tanzania Mainland Coast (Tanzania)

Tanzania's mainland coast has, to the everyday tourist, been overshadowed by Zanzibar Island. Now, as Zanzibar becomes ever busier, discerning travellers look for new beach areas along the immense and beautiful Tanzania seaboard. Here ancient Swahili history, culture and hospitality combine with hundreds of miles of endless beaches and the warm Indian Ocean.

The Tanzanian north coast is a section of coast renowned for its quiet and excellent beaches, such as Pangani, Saadani, Ushongo and Bagamoyo. It is somewhat more accessible than the south coast, and regional airlines are now providing scheduled charters to most points of interest, where there are also many good beach hotels.

Pangani, 250 kilometres north of Dar es Salaam, is an anceint and unspoiled small town founded in 1820 at the mouth of the Pangani River. It occupies a wonderful river location, and with its walled waterfront and the Omani buildings, it is a great place to get out of the hustle and bustle of the main beach resorts. There are a couple of budget guesthouses on the beach front; Mkoma Bay is a short distance away and The Tides boutique hotel is about 40 minutes drive from town. We offer special packages to Pangani and The Tides and also you can combine those with a safari, including a Saadani NP safari - see below.        

Saadani National Park, a newly gazetted park, is located halfway between Pangani and Bagamoyo, and is among the only places in Tanzania where you might go on a morning safaro game drive before spending the afternoon snorkelling. This is not a place where you will come to see the ‘Big 5’, but it is the ideal place to combine a different safari with snorkelling, diving and relaxation - all in one day.

Bagamoyo is the closest that you will get to a typical beach resort in mainland Tanzania, situated on a strip of white, sandy beach that stretches as far as the eye can see. The old town has not changed a lot since the early 19th century, and offers a number of attractions. It is worth visiting the Holy Ghost Mission, Livingstone’s deathbed, which is now a museum on Bagamoyo’s history.  It is also worth visiting the nearby Kaole Ruins.

Tanzania’s far south coast has everything that you would expect from a tropical beach holiday with endless beaches lined with palm trees and offshore reefs. There are only two things that are missing from this scene, infrastructure and tourists.

The Island of Kilwa Kisiwani, about 300 km south of Dar es Salaam, is where you will find the superb medieval Kilwa Ruins. Kilwa was a very important gold-trading centre during the early 14th century. Here you will find beautiful Swahili architecture, including elaborate mosques, an old well system which is still in use, and a seafront fort dating back to the Portuguese occupation. Nearby Kilwa Kivinje is a beautiful old fishing village which dates back to the early 19th century, when it acted as an important coastal trading link.

Mnazi Bay-Ruvuma Estuary Marine Park was gazetted in 2000 and extends over 650 square kilometres between the Ruvuma River and the Mozambique border. It is a great haven for marine birds and the offshore reefs offer more coral species than anywhere else in East Africa.

Accommodation in Tanzania Mainland Coast (Tanzania)

Amani Beach Hotel

Strategically located on a glorious shoreline, with its own landing strip for light aircraft, Amani Beach Hotel is a centre of activity for flying safaris to the Selous Game Reserve and southern game parks of Tanzania, as well as Zanzibar and Mafia Islands.

Fanjove Island, Tanzania

Fanjove Island

Fanjove Island is a spectacular private island retreat sitauted 20km off the coast of Tanzania. Offering private island luxury at affordable rates, it is one of Tanzania's standout beach retreats.

Mawimbi Beach Villa - Pangani, Tanzania

Mawimbi Villa

Mawimbi is a fabulous private villa situated on Ushongo Beach, Pangani. Mawimbi Villa comes with a complement of staff, including a host, butler and private chef.

Mkoma Bay

Mkoma Bay Tented Lodge

Mkoma Bay Tented Lodge is a luxury beach resort located on Tanzania's quiet northern coast, just north of Pangani. Remote and peaceful, it offers a good alternative to the busier resorts down south and on Zanzibar.

Ras Kutani, Tanzania - Thumbnail

Ras Kutani

Ras Kutani is an isolated beach resort set on a stretch of wild coastline some 35km south of Dar es Salaam. Remote and isolated, accessing Ras Kutani requires crossing a calm lagoon by boat.

Saadani Safari Lodge

Saadani Safari Lodge

Saadani Safari Lodge is a unique combination of a beach and safari lodge, located in the little-visited Saadani National Park on Tanzania's mainland coast, among the only safari parks in East Africa to enjoy direct beach access.

The Tides

The Tides

: 5 out of 5 with 1 rating

The Tides Lodge in Pangani occupies a beautiful, largely unspoiled stretch of beach on Tanzania's northern Swahili coastline. It's a delightful, reasonably priced alternative to the busier resorts on Zanzibar.

Other regions in Tanzania


Arusha lies at the foot of Mount Meru, half way between Cape Town and Cairo. It is the starting point for most Tanzania safaris, with good access to the northern parks of Serengeti, Ngorongoro, Lake Manyara, Tarangire, and of course, Arusha National Park itself. It is within driving distance of Mt Meru.

Dar es Salaam

The largest city in Tanzania, Dar es Salaam is a bustling sea port with a lively atmosphere. The city revolves around the huge harbour, where you can sit in one of the many cafés or restaurants and enjoy a drink at the water's edge while watching the dhows arriving and departing.

Gombe Stream National Park

Gombe Stream National Park is the smallest of Tanzania's safari parks, but thanks to the research conducted by Dr Jane Goodall into the lives of the Gombe Chimpanzees, it is also one of the best known. Gombe is not part of the standard north Tanzania safari circuit, and requires some effort to reach, but the excellent Chimpanzee safaris make it worthwhile.

Katavi National Park

Located in the far west of Tanzania, Katavi's remote position has ensured that it has remained one of the country's least explored National Parks. But for those wanting to escape the busy safari circuit of north-eastern Tanzania, Katavi is ideal.

Lake Manyara National Park

Lake Manyara is one of Tanzania's smallest yet most diverse national parks, famous for its huge flocks of flamingo and curious tree-climbing lions. Located on the northern Tanzania safari circuit between Arusha and Ngorongoro Crater, Lake Manyara National Park is wonderful addition to any North Tanzania safari itinerary.

Mafia Island

The secluded beaches of Mafia Island receive only a small number of visitors compared to neighbouring Zanzibar, yet they are just as beautiful. Much of the Mafia archipelago constitutes a marine park - Tanzania's first - which protects a rich variety of sea life, including endangered species such as giant turtle and dugong. The diving is superb.

Mahale Mountains National Park

Set against the shores of Lake Tanganyika in the extreme west of Tanzania, Mahale Mountains National Park is perhaps Tanzania's most remote wilderness area. It is home to one of the largest populations of wild chimpanzee in the world, and offers the best chimp trekking safaris in Africa.

Mikumi National Park

Situated just north of the Selous Game Reserve, in southern Tanzania, Mikumi National Park offers flat horizons and wide savannah plains that teem with game - just the sort of environment that one associates with East Africa. It attracts fewer visitors than the more famous northern safari parks, and has only a small number of safari camps.

Ngorongoro Crater

The Ngorongoro Conservation Area in northern Tanzania boasts a remarkable blend of wildlife, archaeology, geography and people. Game drives into the Ngorongoro Crater, often referred to as the eighth wonder of the world, should be a highlight of any North Tanzania safari.

Pemba Island

Traditionally part of the Zanzibar Archipelago, Pemba is fast becoming a unique destination in its own right. Despite its reputation as a fantastic beach and diving destination, tourism to Pemba is still in its early stages, and visitors can expect a good level of privacy from the island's mostly small, secluded lodges.

Ruaha National Park

Tanzania’s second-largest national park after the Serengeti, Ruaha is a remote bastion of spectacular wilderness, undisturbed wildlife, and breathtaking scenery. Because of its somewhat remote location, Ruaha National Park is largely unexplored. As a result, a safari to the park often has the feel of a private adventure.

Selous Game Reserve

The largest game reserve in Africa, Selous contains some of the greatest concentrations of big game left on earth, including some of the last remaining Black Rhino, as well an estimated half of Africa's Wild Dog population. Owing to this huge array of wildlife, as well as its sheer scale and unique topography, Selous is now a designated world heritage site.

Serengeti National Park

Simply teeming with game, the Serengeti is one of the largest and greatest game reserves in Africa, unequalled for its natural beauty. Justly famous for its annual migration, the Serengeti offers a excellent safari experience all year round. The emphasis at all Serengeti safari camps is on traditional 4x4 safaris, but hot-air ballooning safaris are also a highlight.

Stone Town

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.

Tarangire National Park

Named after the river that flows through the park, Tarangire National Park is one of the lesser known Tanzanian parks, giving it a real air of undiscovered Africa. Tarangire works well as part of a northern circuit and can be visited en route to Manyara, Ngorongoro and the Serengeti, or on the way back. The park allows for walking safaris, an excellent alternative to traditional 4x4 safaris.

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