Friday, 8 August 2008

Amani - or where time has stood still since German Colonial Times

Amani Medical Research Station Guesthous
(Tel. 027 264 03 13, ca. 15'000TzSh per resident and night, full board)

Amani Medical Research Station, located on a ridge within the Usambara Mountains, has been made a nature resorve some years ago, when rapid deforrestation became a threat to this fantastic ecosystem. Amani itself, with a government run simple but beautiful guesthouse, is like a German village preserved, and not changed in the last 100 years: the bookbinding atelier is still open, in the library there are hardly any recent books but lots of great atmoshere to do one's one studies, the post office is open every day, and staff super friendly, even though saddened that their centre has now moved to Tanga.
In the surroundings one can go for endless walks, hikes and bike rides through forest, tea plantations and garden landscapes. Rudimentary maps, and guides are available at the Amani Nature Reserve centre just a few minutes below the Resthouse, however you can easily go on yourself as well. There are plenty of people on foot along the tracks and trails to follow and ask.

Pangani - Tanzania's most Underrated Beach Resort

The Tides Lodge in Pangani
(Tel. 0748 22 58 12, e-mail:;, about 75US$ per person half board for residents, with special offers during low season)

Pangani is Coconut land, originally planted by slaves, and up to today supplying much of Tanzania mainland with coconuts. Old German administrative buildings have turned into coconut warehouses, and on the close to town beaches coconut huskes are piled up to enroumous amounts! Overall, Pangani makes a very nice place for a late afternoon stroll, and the local cultural tourism programme has a very good reputation.

North and South of town a number of beach resorts are scattered, which offer great value at much lower prices than in Zanzibar or South Beach. The most recommened comes in The Tides Lodge some 10km South of Pangani crossing the ferry, and large working sisal plantations to reach. Spacious and breezy bungalows are located directly on the sea, a beautiful and very affordable bar invites for sundowners, there is the option for snorkeling on a sandbank, sea cayaking, great walks in the beautiful surroundings, or a day trip into Saadani National Park or back into Pantani town. A special offer is the adjacent Beach House also rented by The Tides lodge on offer with half board. For lunch you stroll down the beach into the local fish market to get your catch of the day - the colder the water the higher the price...