Swahili Coast

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  • Remnants of a spectacular history give Tanzania’s mainland coast an appeal far greater than just sun, sand and sea.More than 800 kms of coastline, from Tanga in the north to Mtwara in the south, consist of palm fringed, white sandy beaches looking out over the warm, sparkling waters of the Indian Ocean.

    These offer unlimited scope for big game fishing, scuba diving, snorkelling and other varieties of water sports.However in sufficient attention is often paid to the coast’s vast array of other natural and cultural resources as, in addition to the beach resorts to both the north and south of Dar es Salaam, there are a number of other major tourist attractions.

    Ancient Bagamoyo, a former capital city, and the nearby Kaole Ruins, historical Mafia Island. The natural beauty of Pangani,Saadani National Park, the history and culture of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Kilwa Kisiwani and Songo Mnara.


    About five kilometres to the south of Bagamoyo, at Kaole are ruins of a once prosperous Arab town which was forced into decline by the arrival of the Portuguese in the 15th century. The ruins dating back to the 12th century include two mosques, one with a well and over 20 tombs. All the buildings including a house were built in carved coral stone blocks. The new part of Kaole is a fishing and farming village.


    Mafia Island was Tanzania’s first Marine Park. A 20 minute flight south of Dar es Salaam. It is one of the most exiting diving and fishing areas in the world and is home to some four hundred species of fish
    and five species of turtle. Sports fisherman flock here for the superb catches, many of them great fighters which include barracuda, marlin, sailfish and tuna.
    The main season is from September to March although fishing is possible all year round within the reef and channel. Divers will see a veritable kaleidoscope of reef dwellers among the fifty types of coral. These include butterfly fish,
    clown fish, lion fish and rainbow fish while in deeper waters, they will come across groupers, rays and sharks. The rare dugong breeds in the Mafia Channel while the green and hawksbill turtle nest on the smaller islands.

    MIKINDANIThe starting point for Livingstone’s final joney, Mikindani is a town close to Mtwara on the Tanzania’s southernmost coast. The Mnazi Bay Marine Reserve is nearby as is the Ruvuma River, the border with Mozambique and home to hippos, crocodile and a myriad of bird life.

    Ras Kutani is a lovely resort to the south of Dar es Salaam

    The river, which forms Tanzania’s border with Mozambique is home to hippos, crocodile and wth Mnazi Bay forms one of the country’s new marine sanctuaries.