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.
Pangani can look back to some long history up to the 15th century with Arab, German and British influence. With its old buildings, the river mouth of the Pangani river, which comes down from the Kilimanjaro, and only a few cars driving through town once in a while, this small town is still idyllic and reminder of the olden days. Here you can simply enjoy untouched beaches, go snorkeling or diving, get involved in other water activities or explore the town by foot on a guided city tour.
The best way to get to Pangani is from Tanga either by private transport, Dalla Dalla or by bus. They will all arrive to the central bus stand in the middle of town next to the market. If you want to continue to any of the beaches south of Pangani like Ushongo or Sange, you will have to cross the river by ferry (daily between 6am and 10pm, cost 200TZS per person, 5000TZS per car).
The airstrip of Pangani-Mashado is located around 10km south of the ferry. Daily flights are available from Zanzibar, Dar es Salaam, Arusha, Moshi with Coastal Air.
Pangani Region Location
How to get to Pangani & FAQ's
The vast majority of visitors to the Pangani and Tanga arrive via the international airports at Dar es Salaam or Kilimanjaro, from where there are regular scheduled light aircraft services into the local airstrips.
Once in the area it is usual to travel around by guided overland transfers.
There are options to travel down from the towns of Arusha (safari) and Moshi (trekking) to Tanga by local bus, which is conserably less expensive. But we have experienced such awful problems with this connection in the past (most notably with baggage being stolen) than we no longer recommend it. Instead we occasionally do the journey by guided overland transfer, but since this works out a similar price to flying, those occasions are rare and tend to be limited to people who want to visit specific niche locations along that route.
We always include all connecting transport in your trip unless you specifically ask us not to
Panga Travel FAQ's
Dar es Salaam is located in Tanzania with (-6.8235,39.2695) coordinates and Tanga is located in Tanzania with (-5.0689,39.0988) coordinates. The calculated flying distance from Dar es Salaam to Tanga is equal to 122 miles which is equal to 196 km.
If you want to go by car, the driving distance between Dar es Salaam and Tanga is 340.83 km. If you ride your car with an average speed of 112 kilometers/hour (70 miles/h), travel time will be 03 hours 02 minutes. Please check the avg. speed travel time table on the right for various options.
Difference between fly and go by a car is 145 km.
Estimated Travel Time Between Dar es Salaam and Tanga
|Average Speed||Travel Time|
|30 mph (48 km/h)||07 hours 06 minutes|
|40 mph (64 km/h)||05 hours 19 minutes|
|50 mph (80 km/h)||04 hours 15 minutes|
|60 mph (97 km/h)||03 hours 30 minutes|
|70 mph (112 km/h)||03 hours 02 minutes|
|75 mph (120 km/h)||02 hours 50 minutes|
There are 2 ways to get from Dar es Salaam to Pangani by bus, taxi or car
The cheapest way to get from Dar es Salaam to Pangani is to bus and taxi which costs $27 – $35 and takes 6h 57m. A private transfer would cost about: $250
When to Visit Tanga
Pangani has a tropical savanna climate. It is warm every month with both a wet and dry season. The average annual temperature for Tanga is 52° degrees and there is about 410 inch of rain in a year. It is dry for 96 days a year with an average humidity of 77% and an UV-index of 7.
The best time to visit Pangani in Tanzania is from January through March, June through October and December. In this period you have a warm temperature and little precipitation. The highest average temperature in Tanga is 84°F in March and the lowest is 78°F in August.
If you’re looking for the very warmest time to visit Tanga, the hottest months are March, April, and then February. See average monthly temperatures below. The warmest time of year is generally mid March where highs are regularly around 91.7°F (33.2°C) with temperatures rarely dropping below 76.2°F (24.6°C) at night.
Things to do in and Around Pangani
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.
Why Visit Pangani
Pangani is a quiet place to rest and relax. It lays on the Indian Ocean and offers many things to do on your visit. It is a nice place to enjoy the beach, to go on snorkeling or diving excursions. 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 national park can be arranged.
History of Pangani
Archaeologists have found the remains of small 15th century settlements on the cliffs north of Pangani. But the city only became known in the 19th century. It became an important point on the caravan routes under nominal Zanzibari rule from Lake Tanganyika. It was a major export point for slaves and ivory, and one of the largest ports between Bagamoyo and Mombasa. Sisal and copra plantations were established in the area. And several European missions and exploratory journeys to the interior began from here.
By the end of the 19th century, the focus had shifted to Tanga and Dar es Salaam. Pangani again faded into anonymity. From the 1860s onwards, large sugar and coconut plantations were established here. These were worked by slave laborers as Pangani was also an important centre of the slave trade.
Today the sleepy, dilapidated town makes for an intriguing step back into history. Residential buildings along the main street of Pangani give at least an impression of its history, as they feature both Arab and European architecture.
Where to stay in Pangani
Everyone deserves a relaxing shower and a comfy bed to sleep after exploring a Pangani, enjoying the beach, or facing a crazy adventure in the mountains. It can be a luxury hotel, a cozy guesthouse, or a friendly hostel. It doesn’t matter what type of accommodation you choose, the important thing is that it matches your needs, desires, and pocket.
Booking the right accommodation can be easy and fun, but also rather challenging and tiring. We know that as we’ve been to all stages of searching, booking, and staying. Sometimes we successfully achieved our target (good shower and bed), others we missed it horribly (bed bugs and cold water). The positive outcome is that we’ve learned how to avoid pitfalls, and now it’s time to share our tips on how to book accommodation worldwide.
Regardless of your budget or your style of traveling, You book any hotel, hostel, camping site, or resort in Pangani. By doing so, you’ll avoid the risks of getting stressed during the booking process and, worse, staying in a bad place that can ruin your entire travel experience.