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Travel Guide to Tanga, Tanzania

Tanga, a seaport city in Tanzania is a major industrial centre in East Africa especially during the period of active trade of the sisal market. The city’s charm lies in its serenity despite being an urban centre. It has the peaceful ambience common with smaller towns with people milling around, going about their daily business as a number of cyclists and motorcyclists weave through the streets.

Some of the architecture paints the picture of a colonial past. With the beautiful coastline of the Indian Ocean forming part of the city’s landscape, alongside the picturesque lagoon and the vibrant mangrove forest, Tanga has a lot to offer to thrill a visitor who is looking forward to relaxation and a memorable holiday.

Why Visit Tanga?


Nature & Wildlife: Tanga is one of the best places in East Africa to discover nature and the wildlife anew. The town features a wide range of national parks and game reserves.

Amazing Outdoor Activities: There is a wide selection of engaging outdoor activities such as mountain climbing, hiking and snorkelling.

Historical Tours: For the history buff, you can discover the heritage of Tanga with its rich culture through historical tours depicting both the indigenous culture and the European colonial history.

  • Time zone: East Africa Time Zone (UTC +03:00)
  • Currency: Tanzanian Shilling
  • Driving: Drive on the left side of the road
  • Power Supply: 240 Volts AC, 50 – 60 Hz. Plug types are ‘Type D & G (British)’
  • Dialling code: National – 0 (27). International – +255 (27)
  • Closest airport: Tanga Airport , A14 Tanga Tanzania
Best time to visit

You can visit the Tanga region all year round. The hottest month is March when temperatures can rise to as high as 320c.  Therefore, it may not be a good time to visit especially for visitors coming from a colder region.

The coldest month is July with an average temperature of 260c but can drop as low as 120c at night accompanied with frequent rainfall. One of the best times to visit is from late June to October.

However, if you have a particular nature/wildlife activity in mind, you should check to know the time to get the best experience.

Sights and sounds

The Tanga Region is popular as a major tourist centre in Tanzania because of its varied attractions along the historical, cultural and architectural categories. One of the best ways to explore the city is through a self or guided bike tour. You will be able to get an intimate view of the city engaging with its sights and sounds. To get a feel of nature and the amazing wildlife, the natural reserves are there for your discovery. Jozani Forest Reserve, which is accessible from Tanga, provides a natural and undisturbed setting for your exploration.

For a plunge into the rich culture, a tour hosted by the Usambara Cultural Tourism gives an unforgettable experience. You can also visit the Toten Island, Tanga War Graves, Tongoni Ruins and the Ndumi Village Defence works for exciting sightseeing opportunities.

If you are after a more luxurious experience, the Mwarongo sand beaches with its beautiful coconut trees and the coastal mangroves have all you need for an exciting experience with amusement and fun activities for both kids and adults.

Dining and Dietary Considerations

The Eastern Africa local cuisine consists mainly of foods made with sorghum, wheat, maize, rice, beans, potatoes and yams and grilled meats from beef, goat and fish. However, there are many restaurants that offer cuisines from around the world such as the English breakfast.

During one of your explorations in the city or around the region, you can also find some great fast food choices. Some of the popular restaurants in the area include:

  • D’Amour Bar and Grill serving amazing Italian cuisines, pizza and seafood.
  • Kanaani Resthouse,
  • Mike’s Beach Restaurant &
  • Bar and Blue Room Café.
Religious and Cultural considerations

Some of the major tribes in Tanga include the Para, Wataita, Wasambaga, Wambugu, Segeju, Wadigo and Wazigua. They practice both Christianity and Islam with a small minority practicing the indigenous folk religion.

Visitors should pay attention to rules when visiting sacred/religious sites such as the removal of footwear and modest dressing is advised especially for women.

Cost of Living

Tanga is a large city with accommodation, transport, food and excursions for all budgets. As Tanzania’s main economic hub, the city has good quality hotels and conference centres. Hotels also cater for many tourists and range from high-end lodges to basic backpacking hostels.

This is what you can expect to pay in Tanga for:

  • Domestic beer (0.33-litre bottle) – 2982 TSh
  • Pack of cigarettes (Marlboro) – 3029 TSh
  • A bottle of coca cola / pepsi (0.33-litre bottle) – 998.85 TSh
  • A small bottle of water (0.33-litre bottle) – 562.58TSh


    • The first major military engagement during World War I took place in Tanga – The Battle of Tanga.


    • Tanga was once the centre of entertainment in Tanzania; renowned as a party town.


  • The seaport city is a major exporter of sisal, coffee, tea, and cotton.

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