Often overlooked by travelers, Pangani is a wonderful discovery! The quiet beaches of the mainland in Pangani are not easy to reach, but it is worth the effort for those who seek peace and tranquility in a real hideaway of tropical beauty rather than the hustle and bustle of the noisy and expensive islands.
This tiny village is about 50 km south of Tanga and 170 km south of Mombasa and is still an untouched paradise. Although archaeologists have found the remains of small 15th century settlements on the cliffs north of Pangani, the modern city only became known in the 19th century when it became an important point on the caravan routes under nominal Zanzibari rule.
From the 1860s onwards, large sugar and coconut plantations were established here. worked by slave laborers, Pangani also became an important centre of the slave trade. Residential buildings along the main street of Pangani give at least an impression of its history, as they feature both Arab and European architecture.
Along the seemingly endless coast lined with palm trees and coconuts are the lodges. A quiet place to rest and relax. Despite its secluded location there are a number of alternatives if you want more than just peace and quiet.
Snorkeling or diving excursions can be arranged with local fishermen. These Swahili fishermen are also more than willing to offer their services and take you to and from the sandbanks off the coast for a picnic in the sun. Although their ngalawas (wooden boats) are of somewhat rough manufacture, these small boats cut through the ocean like a knife. The coral reefs are not far from the coast. So if you are energetic, dive into this incredible underwater dreamland!
Or you can take the boat to a small sand island, Maziwi (newly designated as a marine reserve) rests on the coral reef. Most of the lodges offer windsurfing, kayaking and dhow rides as well as fishing trips. Longer trips such as the one to Zanzibar Island, a cruise on the Pangani River or possibly even a trip further south to the recently demarcated Saadani Game Reserve can be arranged.