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Tanga City

Tanga City boasts of history and culture. You will find here the first hospital (the Cliff Block of Bombo Hospital, built 1901) as well as the first school of East Africa (Old Tanga School, built in the 1890s). British and German colonial influence can be seen at every corner of the city. Also Swahili culture has a big part in the city with Shaaban Robert as one of the greatest writers of Kiswahili literature.

A bit outside of Tanga city, ruins (Tongoni and Ndumi village), caves (Amboni) and little islands (Toten Island, Ulenge, Yambe) can be visited. Guided city walks and cultural tours can be organized by your hotel or one of the tour operators in Tanga.

Tanga is reachable by tarmac road from the North (border to Kenya), south (direction of Dar es Salaam) and West (direction Arusha/Kilimanjaro). Scheduled buses are going to the big cities in Tanzania, and also few to Mombasa. The small airport in Tanga connects to Dar es Salaam, Pemba, Zanzibar, Arusha with CoastalAir and AuricAir.

Tanga City Location

How to get to Tanga & FAQ's

There are daily flights on Coastal Aviation and Auric Air between Tanga, Dar es Salaam, Zanzibar Island and Pemba (one way between Tanga and Pemba/Zanzibar Island/Dar es Salaam approximately US$95/130/195). Auric Air’s Tanga representative is at the airfield, which is about 3km west of the town centre, just off the Korogwe road (Tsh5000 by taxi).

Azam Marine’s Sealink ferry goes weekly between Tanga and Pemba (four hours, US$35), with connections on to Zanzibar Island. Departures from Tanga are on Tuesday, and from Pemba on Sunday. Tickets can be bought online or at the Azam Marine Booking Office.

Ratco and other buses for Dar es Salaam depart daily every few hours from 6am to 2pm in each direction (Tsh15,000 to Tsh17,000, six hours).

To Arusha there are at least three departures daily between about 6am and 11am (Tsh17,000 to Tsh19,000, seven to eight hours). To Lushoto there are several direct buses departing daily from 7am (Tsh7000 to Tsh8000, four hours).

To Pangani (Tsh2500, 1½ hours) there are several larger buses and many dalla-dallas throughout the day along the coastal road.

All transport leaves from the main bus stand on Taifa Rd (‘Double Rd’), at the corner of Street No 12. It’s about 1.5km south of the town centre (Tsh5000 in a taxi), and south of the railway tracks in the Ngamiani section

Tanga is located in Tanzania. It lies in a straight line 7,697 miles from New York.

The coordinates of Tanga are:

  • Latitude: -5.416667
  • Longitude: 39.7


The GPS coordinates are 5° 25′ S, 39° 42′ E

The flight time from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) to Tanga is approximately 20 h. 10 min.

These are the airports closests to Tanga:

  • Tanga Airport (TGT) – 49 mi in Tanga
  • Abeid Amani Karume International Airport (ZNZ) – 65 mi in Zanzibar (city)
  • Julius Nyerere International Airport (DAR) – 107 mi in Dar es Salaam

In Tanga, the US dollar (USD), Tanzanian shilling (TZS) are used for payment.

Exchange rates on 24 June 2023

  • 1 US dollar = 2,319.03 Tanzanian shilling
  • 1 Tanzanian shilling = 0.000 US dollar
  • 100 US dollar = 231,903.30 Tanzanian shilling
  • 100 Tanzanian shilling = 0.043 US dollar
Lushoto Usambara Mountains

When to Visit Tanga

Tanga 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 Tanga 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 Tanga

The region offers a wide range of beautiful places to visit: the long Indian Ocean coastline with its sheltered bays and lagoons, such as Moa Bay, Manza Bay, Kwale Bay, Tanga Bay and Mwambani Bay;
Kigombe, Pangani and Ushongo have marvellous beaches – all with fringing and offshore coral reefs and sandbanks.

The many interesting destinations to visit in and around Tanga Region include: historic Tanga City centre, off-shore islands – Toten, Ulenge, Yambe and Karange, Maziwe Island off Pangani, nearby Amboni Caves, Gallanos Hot Springs and Tongoni Ruins.

Tanga Regions hosts several protected areas: Saadani and Mkomazi National Parks, Amani Nature Reserve, Coelacanth Marine Park and Maziwe Island Marine Reserve.

Tropical rainforests of the scenic Usambara Mountains reach up to 2,000 meters above sea level and are part of the international biodiversity hotspot “Eastern Arc Mountains” with their rich endemic
flora and fauna. Particularly famous are the “African Violets” (called “Usambara Violets” in Germany).

Is cultural tourism socially responsible?

Cultural tourism can sometimes get voyeuristic and have undertones of ‘slum safari’. As a tourist, you might feel a bit uncomfortable by stepping into people’s homesteads and lives. Sambaa People of  Tannga ensure a socially responsible approach to this type of tourism by supporting local projects and giving money directly to the communities and people that are visited. 

For these people, touristic ventures are an important part of their livelihoods. By going with a guide you can learn about cultural practices and taboos, and they will be able to translate for them. Act responsibly and always ask for permission for photos! Abstain from children projects as the continuous coming and going of volunteers can lead to abandonment issues for children. 

Local Tribes

Tanga ethnic groups are Sambaa, Zigua, Bondei and Digo. These are the main ethnic groups in Tanga Region in terms of their numbers. The Sambaa are the largest ethnic group in the region, and are the main ethnic group in the mountains and lowland Muheza. In terms of ethnic composition, Lushoto and Handeni have the most homogenous population while Muheza, Korogwe, Tanga and Pangani feature a very heterogenous tribal composition where no single ethnic group accounts for more than 20% of the total district population.

The main ethnic groups in terms of their numbers are Sambaa, Zigua, Bondei and Digo. Sambaa are the main ethnic group in the Usambara Mountains and low lands of Muheza, in Korogwe and Lushoto they account for nearly 40% of the region’s total population. The Zigua are the main ethnic group in Handeni district and partially Korogwe and Pangani districts, while Bondei are mainly in Muheza district and part of Pangani.

Digo are the main ethnic group in Tanga district and part of Muheza district. Both Bondei and Digo depend on livestock keeping and fishing along the coast. There are other small ethnic groups such as Segeju, Duruma, Mbugu and Pare. Asians and Europeans mostly occupying the urban centres in the region, account for a very small population

Where to stay in Tanga

Everyone deserves a relaxing shower and a comfy bed to sleep after exploring a Tanga city, 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 Tanga. 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.


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