This Island is the most famous of the offshore islands. It was once owned by an Arab trader used it for rebellious slaves and later sold to a British General, known as General Mathews who converted it into a prison to condemn Zanzibari citizens to isolation. However it has never been used as such. One of the Island’s attractions are giant tortoises shuffling through the trees with the parlance that the old age brings. The tortoises are believed to have been brought over from Aldabra – an Atoll off the Seychelles.
The small beach found at the island disappears when the tides are high, but it is superb to swim in the crystal clear water with splendid coral reefs. The island is well-forested, making it ideal for nice for a walk. A day trip to the island combined with sunrise cruise can be organized, this full day excursion is suitable for anyone who is looking forward to completely relax or to anyone longing for pure adventure and excitement.
You can also do snorkeling accompanied by a guide and a teacher to see the stunning array of colored corals and tropical fish of the islands, alternatively or in addition to snorkeling you can discover more underwater life around sandbank where brilliant birdlife exist. Later board your sail back to Stone Town after soaking up the sun, relaxed and fall more in love with Zanzibar than you thought imaginable!
Tanga Region as a whole has environment friendly Tourism. Tanga offers a wide range of tourism from scenic mountains, lush tropical forests, natural attractions,, wild life, marvelous beaches to enchanting Culture and History.
Tanga City has a varied history. In the early and mid 19th century Tanga was under the governorship of the Sultan of Zanzibar who was ruling the 10 miles coastal strip of Eastern Africa. Tanga was a trading center dealing mainly with ivory. However in trade terms it was surpassed by the prosperous neighbour Pangani Town.
In the last quarter of 19th century specifically April 1891 the Germans took control of the coastal strip from the sultan of Zanzibar and called their colony Tanganyika and Tanga became Germany’s East Africa capital after designating it a township.
Large scale development pushed by German commercial interests took place. Railway line from Tanga to Moshi, Tanga school, Cliff Block at Bombo Hospital, Tanga Town center properly planned, commercial and residential building constructed. Sisal introduced into Tanganyika 1893. Tanga became the largest producer and exporter of sisal in the World.
Mafia Island is a popular destination for visitors to relax after their safari and the island’s relaxed and secluded beaches offer privacy and comfort for discerning travellers. Mafia’s incredible and unspoilt dive sites have remained a well-kept secret of diving aficionados and beach recluses for years, but now the island is fast becoming a preferred destination.
For centuries, the island was a trading stop for Shirazi merchants travelling up towards Persia and under the rule of the Omani sultanate in Zanzibar, vast coconut and cashew plantations flourished. Today, all that remain of the island’s prestigious past are the coral ruins on Chole, Mjini, the small island just off Hore from Mafia where the Arab landowners lived a sumptuous life removed from their plantations and slaves.
These days, Mafia’s remote location means it receives only the most selective visitors, but things are changing. The recent gazetting of Mafia Island Marine Park – the largest protected area in the Indian Ocean – to include surrounding villages in its conservation efforts means that the millions of fish and coral species that thrive in the warm waters of Mafia’s beaches will survive for decades to come.
At the point where the massive Pangani River empties itself into the Indian Ocean, a village has grown. The Pangani River passes through the north side of the town, separating the old buildings and the present-day market from the farms and small houses on the south side. The river itself requires a ferry to cross, its dark brown waters heavy with alluvial silt as it meanders slowly into the ocean. On either side of the little town, coconut palms and sisal plantations undulate towards the horizon. Once a centre of Swahili trade with the African mainland, the town of Pangani is now a sleepy backwater that little remembers its days of splendour.
The old German administrative boma still stands behind a colonade of tall shade trees and the former prison, painted a fading ochre red, looks over the river’s lazy waters. Old houses along the main road offer lived-in examples of colonial and traditional Swahili architecture, the buildings slowly crumbling against the monsoon winds. Visitors passing through the area would do well to explore what remains of the old town on foot. Even a short walk rewards visitors with a glimpse of quiet life in the old trading towns along the Swahili Coast.