|Backgrounds and Introduction:
When we talk about Tanzania Tourism, it is generally the famous Mt. Kilimanjaro, Ngorongoro Crater, Serengeti or the spice Island of Zanzibar that comes into our minds, This is because perhaps other tourist destinations such as Tanga have. remained unpretentious and have hardly been exposed to outside world.
For tourists and travelers the Region of Tanga is yet another site in Tanzania which is adorned by splendid environment, eye – catching landscape, unique culture and obliged people. Sun drenched beaches, skirting the fabled Indian Ocean, rising mountain of the great Usambaras, whispering rivers and lush green vegetation add to the beauty of the Region that has hardly appeared on the tourists map of Tanzania.
Tanga Region has a rich history which unfolds real and interesting stories of explorers like Vasco da Gama, Arab and Indian, settlements trading activities, the slave trade, the advent of the Germans Colonists and finally the British rule.
Tanga has four major centres marked for tourism activities. The Tanga city is the capital of the Region. It is situated on the shores of the great Indian Ocean from where all activities radiate towards other parts of the region. The city is rich in history, natural attractions, period architecture and interesting aquatic activities. South of Tanga City lies a prominent trading centre of the 19th century Pangani. Pangani has some of the most spectacular beaches unpolluted in the country and is an excellent beach holiday destination. To the further south is the little known Saadani Game Reserve now Saadani National Park with Beach and wild animals.
To the West of Tanga and on the East Usambara maintains lies a beautiful hill station named AMANI. It is the nest of endemic Flora and Fauna. Tea plantations on hill slopes and a serene atmosphere makes Amani a wonderful retreat for eco friendly tourists.
Tanga has somehow remained away from spotlight. In the conflicts between modern developments and traditional methods of life, Tanga stayed unnoticed on the tourism map of Tanzania. It is only in the recent years that the lovers of
Tanga took steps to rehabilitate and unfold of the forgotten heritage of their trampled land.
Some epic battles were fought in Tanga during the world war one between the Germans and the British. At the onset of the war in November, 1914 the British troops Comprising of 7000 Indians landed in Tanga on the Raskazone Beach. However the Germans were well prepared and inflicted a heavy blow on the British. The German Army comprising of African Askar is were led by Commander Von Lettow.The British actually Captured Tanga in mid 1916 with a land offensive from Taveta in the North Zone of Tanzania. Official surrender by the Germans was signed at CLIFF BLOCK Hospital overlooking the sparkling Indian Ocean over a delicious English breakfast. The Cemetries of the war and memorial of the first World war still exists, reminding us of the heroes who laid down their lives from others.
‘Tanga is Beautiful Beyond Imagination’
Tanga Region has many areas of tourist attractions sites, which are yet to be fully developed. Its economy is mainly agriculturally based with cash crops such as sisal, cashwr nuts, coffee, cotton etc being a predominant. Also it boasts of producing a wide variety of fruits throughout the year with its good rainfall pattern and high soil fertility. However these crops are in doldrums due to either lack of re – investment processing factories and markets as a result the farmer is not properly remunerated in accordance to efforts undertaken. The sector employs more than 90% of the population. Given the situation a need arises to diversify to another area, which will offer employment opportunities to the local inhabitants and youths of the Region. This sector is none other than Tourism.
1.1.2 Reviced National Tourism Policy:
The revised National Tourism Policy encourages private entrepreneurship to stakeholders holding in the country’s tourism. This has enabled the tourism sector to be the fasted growing industry now. Currently the sector contributes 25% of the export earnings of the country and employs about 25000 people per annum. Hence the need for the project.
2.0.0 Tourism Justification:
Given the fact that Tanga has tourist attraction sites which are yet to be developed the need for such a project is imminent and justifiable given the facts as follows:-
- The Regions tourist potential is yet to be fully exploited hence the project
will act as a catalyst for the flow of more tourists through its
- It will offer employment opportunities especially after the collapse of the
sisal Industry, closure of the Tanzania Fertilizer Company (TFC) Steel
Rolling Mills, and many others which were offering employment to quite a
large number of the indigenous people of Tanga Region.
- With an influx of tourists to the Region other services automatically will
have to grow also. This means more hotels and guest houses will have to
be built and those existing will have to be improved. This leads to
General development of the Region.
- The Region and the Country in general will earn more money interms of
- With more human resources development through employment
opportunities the standard of living of the people in Tanga will rise.
- The project through market advertisement and promotions campaigns will
ensure an influx of more tourists hence the development of the existing
tourist sites and hence by implication the development of the region as
3.0.0 Location and Access:
Tanga Region is located in the Nothern Eastern part of Tanzania and consists of seven Districts namely Tanga City, Handeni, Korogwe, Lushoto, Muheza and Pangani. To the East the Region is bordered by the Indian Ocean, to the South it borders the coast region and Morogoro Region while to the North and North West it borders the Republic of Kenya and Kilimanjaro and Arusha Regions respectively. The Western part of the Region is bordered by Dodoma Region.
3.1.1 Given this Location the Region boasts of a long stretch of a Coastline with magnificent sand beaches. A part from its own tourist attractions which bound the regions border regions which cover the Northern tourist circuit which consist of Kilimanjaro Arusha, Lake Manyara, Tarangire which are household names of Parks to most tourists and not forgetting Serengeti the eighth wonder of the World and Ngorongoro Conservation Area. To the South of the Region are the Mikumi, Udzungwa Mountains National Parks also selous Game Reserve which is the biggest game Reserve in the
World and Morogoro town where one can see the Historical graves of the late Kingo the founder of Morogoro.
It has been mentioned that the Region borders the Coast Region which consists of historical sites of Bagamoyo where one is bound to see the buildings of German and Arabic Origin. Generally it could be said that, the Region apart from its own tourist attractions it is also near to most of the tourist attractions available in the Country.
The Region is well connected in terms of communication. There is an all -tarmac road from D’Salaam where one can arrive in Dar es Salaam from any destination in the world through the D’Salaam International Airport or by Sea. From there one can take the regular bus services and / ,pr chaufer, self drive cars provided by our Tour agencies and use this road to arrive Tanga. Also there are speed boats which provide regular services between the ports of Dar es Salaam, Pemba, Zanzibar, Tanga and Mombasa. Tanga has its own airport which is Government controlled where one can avail himself with a flight from the available charter services in Dar es Salaam, Zanzibar and Mombasa in Kenya. The Northern tourist Circuit is well connected to Tanga by the D’Salaam -Moshi – Arusha highway an all tarmac – highway. The same applies for Morogoro where one can use this highway up to Chalinze then be connected to the Tanzam Highway to Morogoro. The districts are well connected by all weather murram roads.
Telephone as well as Cellular phone services are available. The services, are connected to the International services and one can dial to any destination in the World without any difficult.
Climate and Topograph:
3.1.9 The Region covers an area which lies from the sea level to about 600 metres above the sea level. Most of the high points consists of the Usambara range of mountains. Other areas are just undulating plains with a variety of grass lands and trees. The climate is diverse with the coast area having a hot climate while Lushoto has a cool climate to the extent that it has been named the Switzerland of Africa.
The rainfall pattern is bimodal ranging between 800 – 1600mm per annum. This differs from one area to another.
4.0.0 Current Project Status:
This Company will be expected to receive tourist by arranging hotel bookings, providing individual and group excursions within the Tanga Region tourist attractions and those in the neighboring Regions. However a need arise to give brief descriptions of tourist attractions available in Tanga Region also available facilities which are in the region to ensure a pleasant and memorable stay of a tourist in the Region.
4.1.0 Tourist Attractions in Tanga Region:
Tourist attractions in the Region can also be grouped into the following groups :-
- Cultural oriented sites
- Historical and Archaeological sites
- Natural forest Reserves.
- Game Reserves and National Parks
4.1.1 Cultural Oriented Sites:
The whole of Coastal area which stretches from Tanga to Pangani gives a Swahili type of culture with dressings of ‘Kanzu’ and Kofia for men and Buibui for women. One can also see the men playing a game known as ‘Bao’ during evening while women are weaving different types of colorful . mats or themselves with heena in their hands and feet with a variety of designs. As one leaves the coastal area to districts such as Muheza, Handeni, Korogwe,Lushoto and Kilindi, there is a slight change in dressings and culture. There are some places where some cultural mutual ceremonies are still performed such as those performed by Wakilindi at the Taragunda Culture site in the Kwagunda village and many more others in Zigua area Bondei, and Wasambaa areas.
These Ceremonies might include rain making ceremonies where a wide variety of drums and music instruments are played and dancing takes play in the marry -making.
4.1.2 Historical and Archaoelogical Sites:
There are many areas in Tanga of Interest to tourist as historical and archaeological sites. These include the following:
Amboni caves are located just near Tanga a few kilometers from the center of Tanga city on the road towards Mombasa. The area is easily accessible when one is on the, Mombasa road and branches on the left about 8 km. South of Tanga City. The Amboni caves are among the earliest settlements with good ancient paintings and other artistic work. When one visits the cave the attendants provide you with fascination folklore stories. It is a place worth visiting.
Fortified Hill at Ndola:
This is an area of historical interest where one earn see settlement with archeological evidence of from stone age dating back to 100 and 400 A.D Also one can see old ancient structure (e.g caves) which were used fpr defence during tribal wars. This place is in Amani and one can see an old Germany Hospital and a doctors grave yard.
This is a place located in Pangani District. One can observe here historical structures / ruins of Arabic Origin. This is a place where Abushiri who was the Sultan of the area lived. Torten Island:
The Island could be seen from Mkonge Hotel and Bandari House also very feasible at Tanga Yacht Club. Historically, the torten Island is known as an area in which people who had incurable diseases were confined in the Island. Inside the Island there German Graves buried during the 2nd world was 1945. Also there is an historical Mosque. There are many species like birds who have made their permanent home and these cannot be found anywhere else in the world. There are also trees not found anywhere and actually this Island needs conservation as the Ocean is endangering the life of these species in future.
These include the spectecular first world grave yard in the centre of the city which is properly maintained and many more others buildings which are within Tanga City and easily accessible.
There are also many areas in Pangani, Lushoto, Korogwe and Handeni Districts of interest to tourists. But due to neglect they do not reflect their Historical importance. But some efforts are underway to rehabilitate those sites deemed important.
4.1.3 Game and Natural Forest Reserves:
Tanga Region Consist of mainly of game Reserves which are controlled such as Mwakijembe and Mkomazi while forest Reserves are a many such as the Magamba and Shume and many more in its seven districts which comprises of Tanga Region. Tanga Region has the newly ordained National Park formerly the Saadan Game Reserve consisting of two in one which is the only one in the world. It is very important here to give detailed information of the Amani Nature Reserve (ANR) and the Islands surrounding the City of Tanga.
Amani Nature Reserve (ANR)
The Nature Reserve was established in May, 1997 and it covers an area of about 8380 hectares. The ANR has a high degree of endemic flora and founa and thus are true representative of the tropical mountain forests with a cool climate while being near the Equator and the Indian Ocean. It is an Ideal place for Eco-tourism.
Amani Nature reserve (ANR) has been termed as the “Last Paradise” it is a paradise of nature in the sense that the flora and fauna are unique. The species composition is very diverse with a complex structure very large and Tall trees (over 60 metres) exist throughout the ANR while below then many different types of plant species including climbers parasitic plants bryophytes, epiphytes and lianas being supported by tall trees. These characteristics make ANR a suitable area for Eco-tourism whereby it could be utilized for human pleasure by undertaking activities such as game viewing enjoying natural beauty or site seeing, hiking, camping, walking, picnics boating fishmg and learning while maintaining sound ecological processes and stability of the area.
The Amani Nature Reserve Includes also one of the largest Botanical Gardens in Africa. This garden was started by the Germans in 1902 including the first tree nursery in Tanganyika. The Amani Botanical Gardens (ABG) occupies an area of 350 hectares, The German planted about 900 different tree species both indigenous and exotics from different parts of the World. Thus ANR is centre for biological diversity. The floristic composition is very diverse and there are 2012 vascular plants species per Ha. Thus a large proposition of the endemic species are found within ANR.
There also within ANR rare animals birds and butterflies which are very rare in other parts of the world. There are also rare types of chameleon, lizards, snakes and amphibians. Therefore Amani Nature Reserve is a place worth visiting for those who want to witness for themselves endemic species within their natural habitants.
Facilities and Services available at ANR:
There is an information center known as the sign Information center. The center can provide information on the trails, camping site, picnic areas etc. within ANR. There is a rest House containing 10 rooms self contained which are specious and very confortable including Amani Rest House and another one within walking distance. Six camping sites have been identified and have been developed these include, sign Amani center Kwamkoro, forest station Kiganga monga and Ndola -These sites have been selected due to their locations which could be used as observation points and the fact that already some basic facilities such as water supply and toilets are In place.
While in Amani Nature Reserve one is able to see cultural and Historical sites as well. ANR is an exceptional place for biodiversity training, research and scientific studies. The ANR has been used for short term and long term research programmer for forestry, botany, zoology, ecology and social anthropology. Therefore ANR is not only for eco – tourist and economic development but its importance also is in generating relevant knowledge and informative deemed necessary for our sustainable development and survival.
Islands Surrounding Tanga City; Torten Island:
The Island can be seen from Mkonge Hotel / Inn by the Sea / Raskazone Swimming Club and Tanga Yacht Club. Historically the Torten Island is known as an area of local medicinal herbs in which people who had incurables diseases were confined in the Island. The Island is the original name of Tanga and the original tribe of Digo people who lived there. As these residents who lived there were crossing to the city from there by the symbol ‘KWITANGA’ meaning they are going to Tanga town and then the Name of Tanga was cristerned in that name by the Germans.
The Island can be seen from Raskazone area which is 30 km from Tanga Port across the Indian ocean reef entering Tanga Port. Jambe Island Historically is the home of Local tribe Wadigo who lived there fishing. The Island has a lot of species which are not found anywhere else in the world. Big Reptiles e.g Snakes of different colors, big tortoise and species of birds who live there as permanent residence. There are also big colored guerillas. There is a Coastal forest with species of trees which are only found there. These need to be conserved as Tanga is becoming almost a desert due to cutting of trees for domestic use like charcoals and burning of Limestone for the manufacture of hydrated lime. This Island has an area of 230 Square metres and worth visiting for tourist attractions.
Rulenge Island is 30 Km from Jambe Island in the South of Tanga City. This Island was game Reserve as it merged with Nyamaku Island but due to sea erosion it disintegrated and became the isolated Island. Definitely there were some livelihood there as there are Houses and Mosque and Church remnants left there. Ulenge Island is known for wild animals like Giraffe Dig Dig and many, others where fishers goes for hunting.
The Tanga City authorities does not know much about these Islands i.e Jambe, Ulenge and Nyamaku but these are known internationally as having a lot of species about 333 species and are subject for conservation especially the sea erosion in order to preserve the animals and species which are there. These have been designated under Eastern Arc Mountains of East Usambara by (CERF) Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund.
The Nature forest in these, Island, are coastal forest with a lot of species and biodiversity where there are several endemics especially plants.
The Islands are conducive attractions for tourists and they are good for camping sites. Also the Islands are good for tourist Hotels.
Nyamaku Island is just adjacent to Mwambani in the city center and near Mwarongo Island. Nyamaku Island has been ear marked an endangered Island by C E P F and requires immediate conservation because the species living there will perish if the sea erosion continues, degrading the surface. Nyamaku Island has many species not found anywhere else in the world. The fishermen are hunting them and frustrating their living. This Island is under the Eastern Arc Mountains for conservation because it is in hot sport area of Critical Environmental Programe Fund.
Mwarongo is among the earmarked for hot spot in the 160 sites of Critical Environmental Programme fund to be conserved” because of having the endangered 333 species to be protected and earmarked for conservation. Mwarongo has a lot of attractions for tourists but not yet been explored and Tanga community are not aware of he importance and what is there.
Eco – Tourism in Tanga
“The Last Paradise”
The Amani Nature Reserve (ANR) was officially established in May 1997 through a Government Notice No. 151. The ANR covers an area of about 8380 hectra of good forest including some 1065 hectares of forests from the East Usambara Tea Co. Ltd (EUTCO) managed as part of ANR. The catchments forests have been upgraded to a Nature Reserve because of their species richness, tremendous biodiversity and water catchments values. The ANR has a high degree of endemic flora and fauna and thus, are a true representative of the tropical mountain rain forest with a cool climate while been near to the Equator and the Indian Ocean.
The ANR is an ideal product for Eco-tourism. The term “Eco tourism” means ecological tourism implying that a certain type of the natural resources being utilized for human pleasure (relaxation and enjoyment) without affecting the ecological functions and its ability to sustain itself.
Through ecological tourism people are able to undertake some activities like game viewing, enjoying natural beauty or site seeing, hiking, camping, walking, picnics, boating, fishing and learning while maintaining sound ecological processes and stability of the respective areas in use. These activities must be undertaken in a manner which is compatible with the conservation objectives. It is also anticipated that through eco-tourism activities revenue will be generated. The funds will be used to enhance conservation. Work and also used to promote socio-economic developments for the adjacent local communities (e.g. provide material and financial support to community based projects and activities).
The ANR has all the qualities of Eco-tourism. It is a paradise of Nature in the sense that the flora and fauna are quite unique. These species composition are very unique and diverse with a complex structure. Very large and tall trees (over 60 metres) exist throughout the ANR. Below them are many very different types of plant species including climbers, parasitic plants, bryophytes, epiphytes and lianas being supported by all tall trees.
These characteristics make the ANR a suitable area for eco-tourism. It is a kind of a natural habitat which many people in other parts of the world have never seen or are missing. For example, many urban people in the developed world have never seen very large and tall trees or a complex plant community like the one at Amani. Hence the ANR is worth visiting by tourists and many others.
Amani Botanical Garden (ABG)
The ANR includes one of the largest botanical gardens in Africa which was started by Germans in 1902 including the first tree nursery in Tanganyika. The ABG occupies some 350 Ha of land and immediately started a few metres from the Entry gate and the information centre at Sigi.
The German planted about 900 different tree species both indigenous and Exotics from different parts of the world. However some 300 species are now found in the botanical garden in good shape and are worth seeing. Plans are underway to rehabilitate and manage the ABG to the standard of a renowned botanical garden.
Endemic and Rare Species.
The ANR is part of the East Usambara Mountain forests which are also part of the Eastern Arc mountain forest recognized as a World “biodiversity” “hot spot” According to the World conservation and Monitoring centre (1992) the East Usambara and in particular the ANR is a centre for biological diversity. The floristic composition is very diverse and there are 2012 vascular plant species per ha. It is further reported that 25.30% of the plants in east Usambara are endemic,
Species richness and endemnism in the Usambara mountain forest is well elaborated by Rodgers and Homewood (1982). Thus a large proportion of the endemic species are found within the ANR. Examples of the endemic plants includes saintpaulia species (African Violets) Worldwide there are 21 species of saintpaulia and 19 of these are found in Tanzania. Furthermore of the species found in Tanzania 15 are in Usambara Mountains. About seven or eight of these species are endemic to East Usambara and occur in the ANR. The species are:-
Saintpaulia protei Saintpaulia difficilis Saintpaulia intermedia Saintpaulia mongensis Var Mongensis Saintpaulia pendula Var Minima Saintpaulia tongensis Saintpaulia pendula Var Kizare Saintpaulia pendula Var pendula
Apart from Saintpaulia species several other species are endemic to the area.
Some Examples are Cola Usambararensis, Cola greenwayi, Cynometra engleri, Cola longipendicellata, Cola Brachiyrradis, Vitex amaniensis Englerodendron Usambarense, Ocotea Usambarensis, Greenwayodendron suaveolens and sorindeia Usambarensis just to mention few. Recently in the 1980′s two more species were found in East Usambara Euvalia Tanzaniae and Coffea mongensis were disiovered in Amani area thus increasing the number of endemic species.
There are also within ANR rare animals and birds. Tourist can see the Birds like the Amani sunbird. (An threptes pallidigaster) the long filled Appalls – (Appalls moreani) and the Bonded Green sunbird (An trapezes rubritorgues) which is rare outside the East Usambara’s, Often rare species which could be of Interest to visitors are the Usambara Red headed Blue bill and the Green headed oriole types of Birds. There are also rare types of chameleon, Lizards, snakes and amphibians. Thus ANR is ideal place for those who want to witness for them selves endemic species within their natural habitats.
Facilities and Services:
Some services are available and more services are being developed to ensure that the visitors enjoy their visits to ANR to the full. They include the Sigi information centre, rest houses and nature trails camping and picnic’s areas.
Sigi Information Centre;
The Information centre is situated within the ANR near the entry gate at Sigi:-The old German railway station masters house has been rehabilitated and turned into the information centre. Information on nature trails camping sites or town guides is available here. Postcards are also sold here.
A new rest house has been constructed at Sigi just close to the entry gate. It has ten self contained rooms and relatively large rooms. Other rest houses include the Aman rest house. The charges are 30 USD per day for foreigners and Tshs. 10,000/- for locals / residents. Another rest house with the capacity of eight people is within a walking distance from Amani rest house. Its changes are 21 USD and 8000/- Tshs. for residents.
In any case charges may change depending on commodity prices which are
dictated by demand and supply.
As the Eco -Tourism business continue to grow more visitors services will be
There are eight trails which have been established within ANR as follows: AMANI BOTANICAL
Research centre tour: This takes 1-3 hours walk around the plantation of ABG and in the immediate surroundings of the National Institute for medical Research Amani centre.
MBOMALE HILL TRAIL: (T.2)
This is 4 km walk for a round trip for about 1-3 hours. This includes a climb of about 150m through a natural forest and plantations of ABG to a fine view of the surrounding country side.
KWAMKORO FOREST HILL TRAIL (T.3)
This is a drive route of about 9 km (25 minutes) However the Tourists or visitors can enjoy a some 3 km walk through the plantations with some indigenous species like cephalosphaela Usambarensis to the African Violets (Saintpaulia Species) sites. There is also a 1.5 km circular walk around Kwamkoro Arboretum and a 1 km extension to views from the escarpments. In total it may take about 2-4 hours covering distance of about 6 – 10 km.
THE MONGA TRAIL: (T.4)
Is a drive route covering about 6.5 km which takes about 15 minutes. There is also 3.2 km walk through the forest and tea which provides spectacular views to the visitor / Tourists and some species like cinchona Ledgeriana, Impatiens Usambarense 1 ( which is endemic) or Allamblackia stuhlmannii can be seen. Also some forest birds like Terpsiphone rufiventris which has red and grey colours and has an enormously long tail can be seen.
THE NDOLA TRAIL: (T.5)
This is about 18 km of drive route through the forest and tea plantations. There is a fairly easy walk of 4.5 km through the village cultivation and open grassland with some fine views across Lwengera valley to the west Usambara mountains.
THE DEREMA TRAIL (T.6)
Covers about 1.2 km walk passing through the forest, tea and villages farms with some steep climb. The Derema water falls, Derema Tea Factory and the German Grave yard since 1895.
THE SIGI SPICE GARDEN TOUR (T.7)
This can last for 1 – 3 hours walk around the palmettun spice and fruit Garden which is part of the ABG.
The Amani Sigi Mountain Trail: (T.8)
This is a steep walk of 4 – 6 km round trip, climbing 450m through primary and secondary low land and submontane forest, to the top of the ridge. It is fairly a tough walk but good for the muscles. It starts at ANR information centre at Sigi and lasts for about 3-5 hours. Tourist enjoy a good scenery including water falls of the Sigi River which is the main source of demostic and Industrial water for the adjacent local communities and residents in the City of Tanga.
About six camping sites have been indentified and have been developed. These Include the Sigi, Amani Centre, Kwamkoro forest station and at Kiganga area near the old forest rest house. Other camping sites are at Monga and Ndola. Marikitanda is also a good camping site. The camping sites have been selected considering that visitors/Tourists can use them as observation points and already some basic facilities like water supply and toilets are in place.
Camping fees are to be paid in Advance at a rate of 10 USD per day for the foreigners and T.Shs: 2,500/= for residents.
These are drive routes through which the Tourists /Visitors can enjoy the natural Scenery and landscape in the area as they drive along.
Once the visitors enter the ANR at Sigi they drive to Amani Centre (about 3 km) from the Amani centre four hour drive route could be used as follows:-
AMANI:- Kwamkoro (taking a right turn at the Tea Factory) Sangarawe – Ubiri – Manga
Mbomole and back to Amani (about 20 Km). The visitors drive passing the Kwamkoro Tea Factory and Tea plantations West Wards of Amani.
AMANI:- Kwamkoro (via left side of the Tea Factory) - Mikwinini-Ubiri -Monga – Mbomole and back to Amani (about 25 km)
Amani – Bulwa – Mgambo – Monga and back to Amani (about 15 km anticlockwise) Through this route visitors can see some tea plantations on the Eastern side of the enclave and such beautiful trees like the Nandi Flame (spathdea nilotica) with nice flowers.
Amani – Mbomole – Monga – Mgambo – Bulwa and back to Amani (about 15 km and clockwise)
It is emphasized that the main objective of the ANR is Nature conservation Eco-tourism is introduced as a means of enhancing economic benefits and therefore help to sustain conservation work. In that context the number of cars in the drive routes will be kept low in order to maintain natural environment. Long hiking routes should be developed and promoted instead of drive routes. Such potential hiking routes include:-
Kwamkoro – Potwe – Gereza – Kwagunda – Ubiri to Amani / with a camping site possibly at Kwagunda) A hiking trail from the ANR to West Usambara (Lushoto) is also ideal. It can begin at Amani then to Zirai – Kizara – Kwemkole – Mzia -Mashewa to West Usambara.
Two to three camping sites could be established one at Denmark (at Kizara) one each at Magoma and Mashewa Points.
Cultural and Historical Sites:
Many of the Cultural and Historical sites have been neglected and do not reflect their historical importance and little can be seen at the moment. However some efforts are underway to rehabilitate those deemed important places (e.g ritual sites) according to Wasambaa tribe traditions and- beliefs important places outside the ANR (e.g. in adjacent village) be identified mapped and document as possible areas of interest for the visitors to see. During the participators analysis exercise some sixteen village cultural sites were identified which in the past were used as places for worships and for conducting other ritual ceremonies (e.g. rain making ceremonies) such areas were highly respected by the villagers and management was the responsibility of the ruling clan ‘WAKILINDI’ who in most cases performed the ceremonies. Recently it has been established that only the ‘TARAGUNDA’ cultural site in the ‘Kwagunda’ village is still operating the area has been protected by planting ‘Dracaena Usambarensis’.
Other areas of historical interest include the archeological evidence of the iron age settlement which dates back to 100 and 400 AD. An example of this is the
fortified hill at Ndola where some remains of settlement could be seen. The old and ancient structure (e.g caves), which were used for defense during the time of tribal was also could be an attraction to tourists. Further more there is an old German Hospital and Doctors grave yard and these could be observed while walking along the Derema Trail (T.6) including the highest peak in the area.
The Amani Research centre which was established by Germans in 1893 as a health centre with a small botanical Garden is Currently used for medical Research work is a place of Historical interest. The centre is also part of Amani botanical Garden containing a wide range of indigenous and exotic species. Within the ANR are two enclaves which houses the tea estates, Laborers camps and two villages namely Mleza and Mikwinini. Thus the enclaves are another important aspect for tourist attractions.
Educational Use (Biodiversity Training):
The ANR is an exceptional place for biodiversity training research and Scientific studies. It is a university of its kind and always nature is the beast learning ground on earth. At the National level ANR has been very instrumental in training of indigenous experts. The Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA) uses the ANR as a training field. The same applies to the University of Dar es salaam and the forestry Training Institute of Olmontony Arusha. The ANR has been used for short and long term research programmes for forestry, botany. Zoology, ecology and social anthropology, it includes aspect of long term biodiversity and ecological monitoring.
Internationally ANR has been used as a source of knowledge. Examples of this include 24 Americans despite of studying about primates, spent two days at Amani studying aspects of nature conservation and biodiversity. During the month of march 1996 ANR hosted a group of 29 Americans who came for biodiversity training. A one week field camp training on plant conservation techniques for East Africa was conducted by the Royal botanic gardens Kew in association with the National Museums of Kenya was held at ANR and fifteen participants from East Africa attended the training.
These Examples indicate the importance of the ANR not only for eco tourism and economic development but also for generating relevant knowledge and information deemed necessary for our Sustainable development and survival.
How to Get There:
Amani Nature Resource can be reached either from Dar es salaam Tanzania’s Capital city and main business centers situated on the Indian Ocean in the East or from Arusha city and Moshi municipal centre in the Northern curcuit where in
both cases accessibility is good. Driving from Dar es salaam to Tanga takes about four to five hours and from Arusha it takes five to six hours using hired or personal driven cars. With public transport it may take more hours than indicated ones.
The road to ANR branches off at Muheza urban centre, which is also the Muheza District headquarters. The road is about 35 km to Amani. Although it is pass able but it is not in very good conditions hence four wheel drive vehicle with high clearance are highly recommended.
Currently entry fees at ANR are 10 USD per person and children below 18 years pay half and it is free for those below five years. For guided walk the cost is 15 USD per day. Vehicles are charged 10 USD for less than two tones and 15 USD for those above two tons. These charges are subject to changes without notice.
Other Tourist Attractions in Tanga region: Amboni Cave:
Tanga Region has some historical sites like Amboni caves. First spectacular world war German grave yard and the Tortern Island. These sites are within the Tanga city area and accessible. The Amboni caves are among the earliest settlement with good ancient paintings and other artistic work.
Darkness inside Amboni Caves not only scares many visitors who attempts to venture into these famous limestone caves in Tanga Region, but legend has it that the spirits are always there to please visitors with a good will and charm.
Located at some 8 km North of Tanga city on the way to Mombasa, Kenya border the beautiful Amboni Caves are the product of Limestone formations sculptured by nature through fascinating and various colors depicting an underground wonderful world. They are always dark and thousands of bats and snakes have made their natural homes inside.
Visitors to the Caves may get scared to get further inside but a distance of one kilometer is enough to satisfy a visitor curiosity. It is daring to walk what would be considered the whole length of the caves because no known person has ever discovered the last limits of these Natural caves. From the ceiling of the caves come huge and small stalactites projectiles of calcium carbonate met almost halfway from the ground stalagmites resembling the inverted stalactites formed from the dripping of percolating calcareaous water.
Local legends has it that the caves exit out in some locations themselves north ward close to slopes of mount Kilimanjaro before heading east to the coast. No body can say for sure that how far they really go. If one venture further than the known limits legends say one must prepare to cross several underground rivers. Stories abound about one European man who in 1914 accompanied by his dog ventured in but only his dog was found dead a few days later in Mombasa. The mysterious Amboni caves have different geological feature such as huge open ground with high ceiling where visitors could arrange their picnic’s. There is also a place where visitors could rest or camp for an overnight stay.
A scripture of virgin Mary is somewhere on one of the many walks of the caves and no body could tell its origin. An arm chair made of stones stands near the scripture and visitors can take a rest on it. New York city statute of liberty. Ancient animals paintings animal foot prints are naturally painted on each roof of the caves and no one has any record of when such paintings could have been done, but it is claimed that the caves were from time memorial some claim for the past 600 years, were used as sacred place by the local people of the area.
No doubt that Amboni caves are one of the world’s greatest underground natural wonders, Sculptures and produced by natural powers of fascinating limestone formations in a wide variety of colors. It is indeed a thrill to visit this wonder of Tanzania.
Tongoni is a small fishing village 17km South of Tanga. It is famous for the 15th Century ruins of a mosque and forty tombs that are found in the village. Tongoni was a different place four to five centuries ago contrary to its almost un noticed presence today, it was a prosperous and a respected trading centre during the 15th century. One tradition claims that Tongoni was established by the shiraz (people of Persian Gulf origin) who established many Islamic settlements in Eastern Africa such as Kilwa and Mafia.
There are also claims that the settlement of Tongoni was once dominated by the Wadebuli tribe believed to be of Asiatic – origin coming from dabhol off the western India.
Tongoni remained a prosperous trading centre till the 17th Century. The Economic decline began with the arrival of the Portuguese who disrupted the India Ocean trade in the 16th and 17th Century. Many Swahili Islamic settlements on the coast faced a similar fate. Tongoni is believed to have lost its glory by mid 18th Century.
Vasco Da Gamma, the Portuguese sailor first visited Tongoni in April 1498. He took the opportunity to eat the local oranges which he said were better than those available in Portugal. He made the second visit the following year and spent fifteen days in Tongoni. The ruins at Tongoni are under the antiquities Dept. They have been properly excavated and are open to the public. Tongoni also offers a good insight into typical Swahili – Islamic coastal community. It is traditional village with many houses made of mud and thatched roof. The main activities are fishing and subsistence agriculture. It is worth visiting Tongoni as it has good attractions for tourist and conducive environment.
At 1400m above the sea level Lushoto is a cool gateway in Tanzania again the Germans laid a strong foundation for this little known town Lushoto. Engulfed by Usambara mountain on the West, Lushoto is stunningly beautiful like an enchantress luring you into love making.
In 1880′s the Germans conceived and built Lushoto which was originally named Wilhemstahl after their ruler Kaizer Wilhesm. If the British had not ousted them in world war one, the Germans would have made Lushoto the Capital of German East Africa which include Burundi and Rwanda.
Prior to the Germans the Usambara Mountains were already inhabited by the Lushoto an eco – friendly tourism spot. Lushoto can be reached from Mombo situated on the main Tanga, Arusha highway at the fort of the western Usambara. Driving up here on a tarmac through escarpments is a pleasant experience. Twisting and turning around roads, stopping green and gray walks of the mountains running and falling rivers colorful birds, tiny villages deep in the valleys and over obliging people make Lushoto a focal point for eco – tourists. The town also offers an excellent study of tradition and customs of Wasambaa farmers. Various view points on the edge of the mountain are also interesting parts of the tourism programme. All these can be experienced in places like Irente, Mtae, Mlalo, Soni, and Mazumbai.
Lushoto gives a feeling of being on the Swiss Alps. The town inspires the visitors to include in reverting what is behind the curtains of nature. The Germans have played a very vital role in developing Lushoto. Interiors of the mountains were, made accessible with roads and bridges. Lutheran missionaries established schools and Hospital forests and agricultural activities were also established. This way Lushoto made substantial progress in economic activities.
A major transit port for slaves looked for markets in Zanzibar and beyond Pangani under the control of the Sultan of Zanzibar, grew during the 19th century. It was also a stepping stone for European missionaries and explorers to the interland. River Pangani served as the passage for discoveries of new settlements. History of settlement in Pangani however is believed to exist since Biblical time. Raphta (circ. 100 AD) a boat building centre mentioned in the ancient Greek and Egyptian chronicles is believed to be in Pangani.
During the 14th and 15th Centuries a settlement existed at Muhembo to the North of the present Town. That was the time when the village of Tongoni further North was a permanent settlement. The German established their rule in Pangani in 1886. The German faced tough resistance from the local residents. An Arab named Abushiri Bin Salim stood strong against the colonialists. He rebelled in the year 1888 but was arrested and hanged.
Pangani is very small town in size spectacularly situated on the Indian Ocean beach and the Banks of River Pangani. The most breath taking site in the confluence of River Pangani and the Indian Ocean. From the Hill-top across the ferry, the merging of the river and the sea expresses and district feeling of an ever lasting courtship.
In the year 1892 the first sisal was introduced in Pangani sisal plantations developed in 1890′s. The North and South banks of the Rivers were enriched by these plantations. Pangani offers interesting stretches of beach at Kigombe, 20 km North of the Town, Pangani itself Ushongo,12 km. South and further south to Sakura, Kipumbwi, Mkwaja leading to the Saadani Game Reserve, now Saadani National Park.
Coastal forest, mangrove forests Wildlife and marine reserves have in recent years attracted environmental concern. As compared with the Northern and the southern Tourism circuits of Tourism in Tanzania, Pangani or the Tanga Region as such is isolated in terms of mass Tourism. Local Community leaders say that this is a blessing in disguise, as they prefer to serve only a few environmentally conscious investors and eco friendly Tourists. They hope will turn Tanga into Tanzania’s leading eco – Tourism centre.
Pangani offers wonderful and safe beaches. Beach and resorts offer a peaceful and pollution free holiday. Set amidst coconut plantations and on the sparkling beaches resorts offer an excellent ritual for total relaxation. It is a great joy to see the coastal beauty and explore the History of the bygone era. Pangani Welcomes friends who are prepared to maintain the splendor of the past to get the best of the present.
Mkomazi Game Reserve (now Mkomazi Natioanal Park):
Mkomazi game Reserve contains 90% of all botanic species found in Tanzania with one third classified as unique in the world. The reserve is also home to the Mkomazi Rhino Project. This involves the re- introduction of four black rhino from south Africa which it is hoped will breed before being relocated to traditional natural habitats within Tanzania.
Mkomazi is a 3,700 Sq.Km game reserve in Northern Tanzania. It is a spectacular wilderness of dry bush, ancient Baobab streets, isolated rocky Hills, acacias and shallow valleys of grass land.
The North West is Mount Kilimanjaro to the South the Pare and Usambara Mountains, and to the North KenyasTsavo National Park. Tsavo actually shares a border with Mkomazi allowing huge herds of Elephant to migrate during the Wet season.
Mkomazi was established in 1951 but, remote and inaccessible at that time, never attracted the financial support provided for the better known wildlife areas. By 1988 Mkomazi was in steep decline. Heavy poaching had wiped out its black Rhinos and elephant populations and it was feared that the reserve might be de-gazetted and released for Agriculture. Then, with a view to ensuring the complete rehabilitation of the area and the re-introduction of its endangered species, the Tanzania Government designated Mkomazi a National Priority Project.
Roads, boundaries and air strips were cleared, a new radio network installed water sources sited, dams constructed, rangers recruited and equipped, and hundreds of air-hours flown on anti-poaching patrols.
The Captive Breading Programme for the African wild dog was established and the Mkomazi Rhino Sanctuary constructed and stocked. Both projects form part of the Tanzanian Governments policy on endangered species. The years of hard work have had a pre found effect on the animals in the reserve. In the late 1960′s some 250 black Rhino roused wild in Mkomazi. By the end of late 1980′s there were none. And at the end of 1980 after two decades slaughter at the hands of ivory poachers, only eleven elephants remained. But today the black Rhino has returned to Mkomazi. In 1977 the 28 square mile Mkomazi Rhino Sanctuary the first in Tanzania, received its first four Rhinos from South Africa. Eventually the sanctuary will hold up to 20 Rhinos pending their transfer to other safe and secure areas of the country. During the rainy season close on 1,000 elephants range freely across the reserve, including herds of females with their calves.
Buffalo, eland, giraffe, gerenuk, Grants gazelle, hartebeest, Impala lesser kudu, Oryx Steinbok, water buck and Zebra, share the reserve with the elephant while large predators include numerous Lion, Leopard Cheetah and hyena.
In all, 78 species of mammals have been recorded while a reptile population includes Crocodile and python. The birds of Mkomazi are far more numerous with between 400 and 450 recorded species. Bee-eaters, hornbills guinea fowl starlings and weaver – birds are seen in large numbers but less well – known species include martial eagles, Secretary birds and violet wood – hoopoes. The plant and insect life is probably the most diversified in Tanzania. For Tourists Mkomazi offers abundant game viewing, scenic beauty and a quality wilderness experience ideal for game drives, walking safaris and hiking. It is an ornithologists’ and photographers paradise.