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Tanzania Best Beaches Experience
Tanzania’s best beaches can be experienced by staying at the Tides Lodge which is located on the northern Tanzania coast near the village of Pangani south of Tanga. There is something about the lure of a beach holiday that is hard to resist. A road trip here from Arusha is about seven and a half hours with a brief stopover at the Arusha Hotel to pick up packed lunch. From here you will be headed down the Moshi road towards the coast.
The drive is pleasant with a few short stops to break the monotony of long road trips. The increasing humidity along the way are a welcoming indication of what awaits you ahead. After the turn off to Pangani, you will travel for about an hour passing through small villages as you anticipate the site of one of Tanzania’s best beaches.
Pangani is a small town with historical significance. There is an ancient ferry that will take you across the river. It is an area with a sleepy fishing outpost that is dotted with small resorts. It has such a rich heritage with a local historian who conducts an interesting walking tour through the town. The way to the Tide lodge is lined with coconut and sisal plantations and you will immediately notice the slow pace of the coast taking effect.
On arrival, you can first settle into your villa before heading out to the bar for some sundowner as you watch surfers. One of the best features of Tides Lodge is that you can swim at any time of the day as the sea does not recede for miles as it does on other places along the East African coast.
The lounge at the Tide is comfortably laid out with tables and chairs. It has an electric combination of wicker and dhow furniture and a funzi bed. All this furniture surrounds the bar. The area is generally underdeveloped and one of the best kept secrets of the East African coast.
There are miles upon miles of unspoiled beaches coupled with the enticement of the pristine Indian Ocean. A visit to this area is a step back in time and a delightful site of clean beaches. If you plan on staying here for a couple of days then a lazy routine of doing absolutely nothing can easily be established.
The food is delicious with a menu that features a selection of seafood. One distinct smell is that of prawns and garlic competing with the sea air and fresh coconut that is everywhere from the breakfast granola to soy drenched slivers served on cocktails.
Staying in the villa is like having your own private beach house. Here you get to enjoy the sound, sight and smell of the sea from your patio while relaxing and like in my case reading a book. I think this is the best place to come and catch up with your reading if you are a bibliophile. All you have to do is keep moving from the patio to the funzi bed in the lounge, to the beach and back to your room for a nap.
The lodge has seven cottages with room for triples. It also has two two-bedroomed villas all with sea views. There is a beachside bar and lounge area mentioned above. It has an open-air restaurant and a gift shop.
Activity options include taking long and leisurely explorations down the beach with both directions of the lodge which is sandwiched between two small fishing villages. The villagers are genuinely friendly and they will invite you into their village and out of genuine interest want to find out where you are from.
You can also opt to go fishing which includes inshore, deep sea and local line fishing from a dhow. You can take snorkelling trips to Maziwe Island. Take a visit to the marine park, do water skiing and windsurfing.
From here you can also see the sand bars visible from ashore, part of the Maziwi Island from Marine Park. You can take excursions to the reef and marvel at the simplicity of the craft dhow that has been sailing on the waters for centuries
How To Get Here
By air: Several local airlines operate charters to the nearby Mashado airstrip with complimentary transfers to the lodge. Coastal Air operates daily scheduled flights from Arusha, Zanzibar and Dar es Salaam to Tanga. The transfers are arranged at cost.
By road: If you choose to go on a road trip you have the option of taking a self-drive or take public transport buses. The drive from Arusha or Mombasa takes about seven and a half hours. While driving from Dar es Salaam Tanzania takes about four and half hours.
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