Beaches of mainland Tanzania tours & holiday packagesLittle-known Indian Ocean idylls from Pangani southwards to Kilwa
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Though beach tourism in Tanzania is centered on offshore islands such as Zanzibar and Mafia, the mainland Swahili Coast hosts a wealth of attractive, off-the-beaten-track seaside destinations.
Incorporating more than 1,000 kilometres of gorgeous Indian Ocean frontage, the Swahili Coast of mainland Tanzania, with its endless palm-lined beaches and offshore reefs writhing with colourful fish, has all the attributes one would associate with a tropical beach haven. The capital Dar es Salaam, for instance, is flanked by attractive and well-developed beaches.
The more rustic and prettier beaches lie to the south of the city, where Ras Kutani is the premier upmarket eco-lodge, its grounds alive with monkeys and birds – this lodge is a popular springboard for those headed off on a southern safari. Far more built-up and resort-like, Kunduchi and Mbezi Beaches lie to the north of the city and are lined with unpretentious mid-range hotels.
Popular Beaches of mainland Tanzania safaris
These popular itineraries can be customised to match your budget and travel dates
Enjoy the wildlife of Tanzania as well as the paradise of Zanzibar
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See the beauty of nature's greatest wildlife spectacle in two countries
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Enjoy a romantic honeymoon at the Ngorongoro Crater where you can spot the Big Five and experience the wildlife-rich Serengeti National Park
I've spent many months exploring the mainland coast of Tanzania, and would recommend it highly to anybody wanting to travel a little off the beaten track. The beach at Ushongo is one of the best in the country, while Bagamoyo and Pangani rank among my favourite small towns in East Africa. Kilwa Kisiwani is easily the most impressive ruin along the Swahili Coast.
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Lying 70 kilometres north of Dar es Salaam is the historic town of Bagamoyo, little changed since the 19th century when it served as the terminus of the Lake Tanganyika slave caravan route and the short-lived first administrative centre of German East Africa. The town opens onto an irresistible white beach that arcs southward as far as the eye can see.
The closest beach resorts to the northern safari circuit are dotted around Pangani, an absorbing backwater set on the mouth of the eponymous river near the city of Tanga. The road from Pangani to Tanga is lined with quiet budget beachfront lodges, while the stunning Ushongo Beach a short distance south of Pangani houses two gorgeous boutique resorts.
The premier beach on the south coast is Kilwa Masoko, which now houses a few decent mid-range and budget resorts, and also offers easy access to the mysterious medieval ruins on the island of Kilwa Kisiwani, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
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Frequently Asked Questions about Beaches of mainland Tanzania
A Grumeti safari is rewarding throughout the year. However, the best time to visit Grumeti Game Reserve is during the migration months of June and July - when massive herds of wildebeest arrive to cross the crocodile-infested Grumeti River… go there.
The best time to visit Arusha National Park is from June to October, during the dry season. It is easier to spot the wildlife - since they normally gather around the waterholes, rainfall is minimal, vegetation is not too thick and mosquitos… go there.
June to October is the best time to visit Mkomazi National Park. During the dry season - when the wildlife viewing is at its prime. go there.
July to October, during the dry months - is the best time to track the chimpanzees in Mahale Mountains National Park. Chimpanzees can be found easily on the low mountains slopes. go there.
June to October is the best time to visit Mikumi National Park. During the dry season, the wildlife concentrate around waterholes and rivers - making it easier to spot them. go there.
There is no need to go overboard with fitness preparation for climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. However, climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is a physical undertaking, so you should prepare yourself accordingly with a Kilimanjaro training program. Being in… go there.
June to September, during the dry season. The wildlife is easier to spot - since they congregate around the water sources. However, migratory birds can be found. go there.
January and February and from June to August after the rains. The wildlife stay within the park since there is still plenty of water - making it easier to spot the animals as well as the migratory birds are present. go there.
Reviews on our Beaches of mainland Tanzania safaris
Discover Africa and Carel has put in such an effort for us to experience the annual wildebeest migration, meticulous planning and accurate predictions with logical and the best accommodation options both sides of the Mara River guaranteed us…
Jates and Hil Oettle
from South Africa
After initially contacting Discover Africa, Karl Svendsen contacted me and we started the process of getting a quote and defining an itinerary for a safari to Tanzania. Karl was extremely professional and timely in his responses and in short…
Fantastic safari and excellent logistics!
from United States
I just wanted to thank Discover Africa and Karl Svendsen - the safari was great - we saw many more animals than expected including cheetah, leopard, many lions and even a three-day old elephant calf. Additionally, we had our own hippo…
We had the most wonderful time in Tanzania. We left yesterday and miss it already. We saw the big 5 and felt super lucky to see the lions and leopard with their kill. Our guide was also wonderful. Thank YOU for planning our trip of a…
We had a wonderful experience with the Discover Africa team on our trip to Kilimanjaro and Zanzibar. Due to unforeseen circumstances we needed to head down early and their team were most helpful in arranging exciting new options for us while…
from South Africa
Our service from Carel at Discover Africa was outstanding. His recommendations on the timing of our trip, the lodges we should book, communication and overall assistance ensured that our trip went off very smoothly and that we were in the…
from South Africa