One of Tanzania’s best kept secrets, the mainland East Coast boasts magnificent stretches of broad, powder-soft beaches with a wild and expansive feel, set against a rich backdrop of lush mangrove forests, river deltas, cashew plantations and charming thatched villages. It’s best to avoid the tropical rains of March to May, and it can get very hot during the popular December to February holiday season, so the ideal time to visit is during the pleasantly warm June to October months.
Most travellers arrive via the bustling town of Dar Es Salaam,Tanzania’s largest city. Although not the capital, and still touched to some extent by poverty, this commercial and cultural hub is firmly set on a path towards prosperity. Many travellers choose not to stay overnight, but those who do will be pleasantly surprised by the town’s colourful markets, churches, museums and eclectic restaurants.
Although just a stone’s throw from the hubbub of Dar Es Salaam, both Ras Kutani and Pangani are lovely destinations in the northern reaches of Tanzania’s Indian Ocean coastline. Relatively accessible, yet remote in feel, both are ideal places for unhindered rest and relaxation before or after a busy safari. Depending on precise location, a small number of low-key activities might be offered including birdwatching, kayaking, horse-riding, sailing, snorkelling, excursions into indigenous forests with the promise of a glimpse of rare colobus monkeys, and trips to sleepy local villages where the centuries-old Swahili culture continues to thrive.
Mainland coast lodges tend to be small-scale, characterful, and few and far between. Levels of service vary, so it’s important to choose wisely. However, high quality accommodation can be found at superb value, particularly when compared to the more elevated prices on nearby Zanzibar Island.
Tanzania’s East Coast is perfect for adventurous travellers seeking a pure and restful barefoot beach experience, untainted by hectic activity schedules or commercial feel. While this is not a top destination for divers (there is no significant coral), and the coastline may not be home to the myriad activities Zanzibar and other islands can offer just offshore, it is without doubt one of Africa’s hidden treasures and a wonderful hide-away in its own right, offering laid-back tranquillity and great value for money in an enchanting and relatively untouched setting.
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Explore Selous and Ruaha National Parks in Southern Tanzania and relax on the Tanzania coast.
Tailor-made Luxury 11 days
Adults from $8,388 pp plus flights
'From Price' is the average per person price for ground arrangements for two people sharing.
Flights are typically an additional $728 per person economy class from London
Families from $6,722 pp plus flights
'From Price' is the average price per person for ground arrangements for a family of four (two adults + two children under 12).
Flights are typically an additional $728 per person economy class from London
Stunning bush camp offering a wildlife experience & pristine beach all in one location.
Tailor-made Luxury 8 days
We know our onions. Our specialists have vast experience of their destinations.
Our prices are often better than booking direct. We'll match any quote from a UK or US Tour operator.
As a comprehensively bonded ATOL and ABTA tour operator with 24/7 emergency support we've got your back.
Everything was exceptionally well arranged and the whole trip, from checking in on line and printing out the outward journey boarding cards from home, until return to Heathrow, was completely seamless.
Although arriving slightly earlier than scheduled, we didn't have to wait before being collected at Nairobi by Elijah, our guide and Samuel the driver. On being told that we had hardly slept at all on the outward journey, they took us to a small B&B place they use (sorry, I've forgotten the name of the place) and we were able to rest/sleep for some 3 hours before setting off on our adventure. This was very much appreciated by us as that first day was full on after that.
They looked after us really well and both were very knowledgeable and good company and were flexible to our needs, with nothing being too much trouble for them.
The accommodation you picked for us was spot on. We were particularly taken with Sunbird Lodge (I could have spent the whole week there if it were not for being on the move due to the nature of the trip), which was quite informal and extremely friendly. We then moved on to the Maji Moto Eco Camp, where again everything was fine. Having stayed in similar places before, at my age now, the one night suited well and I was surprised when Dan was so taken with the place that he would have liked to stay another night! I think the camp fire might have had something to do with it. The visit to the school was also well worth it from Dan's perspective.
On then to Ilkeliani and I concur with what you say about it being so well priced for what it offers, that it is a good recommendation. This was slightly more formal at mealtimes than Sunbird Lodge but nevertheless, the staff were equally friendly. As adults, both my husband and myself enjoyed the food although the feedback I provided on their customer satisfaction questionnaire was that perhaps the evening meals could possibly have slight variations for children. We didn't see any signs of the suspended footbridge and as we didn't ask about it, I don't know whether it's still there or not.
I have to say that the beds in both Sunbird and Ilkeliani were very, very, comfortable.
The Mayfair Southern Sun was again a good choice although I think the room we had was perhaps a standard twin room. There were two what I call "three quarters" sized beds, i.e. larger than a single but not quite a double bed size, which meant it was a bit of a squeeze for 2 persons in one bed.
Both the Giraffe Centre and the David Sheldrick Wildlife Sanctuary were ideal additions to the itinerary. We had a 10 year old who was reluctant to leave Kenya!
Martha Ann Eileen Curry reviewing Maasai Family Adventure on 14 May 2018
The walking in the mountains was a fantastic experience, helped by our perfect guide Ibrahim. He was intelligent, kind, cheerful and looked after us very well. He could answer all our questions on flora, fauna, geology, history and local culture. He walked at a steady phase that suited all and made sure everyone was happy. We could not have asked for more.
Our favourite place to stay was the Azzaden trekking lodge where we were welcomed warmly with slippers, dates, milk and a hand wash. The food was excellent and the breakfast was very impressive. The hospitality of Mohamed was second to none. The view from the balcony was amazing and when it got dark the stars came out in their millions. ( we did however not manage to find out in which bed Daniel Craig had slept).
When we reached Kasbah Toubkal the weather had turned cold and wet so we could not enjoy the roof terrace and the outdoor area.
Riad Tzara was excellent and Naima, Khadija, Abdul and Mohamed looked after our every need. We had dinner one night on the roof of Dar Hanane where the view over the city was great. We also liked the cozy roof terrace in Riad Tzara where the perfect temperature was in the afternoon after escaping from the noises and fumes of the Medina.
Inga Olafsdottir reviewing Atlas Valleys & Villages Comfort Trek on 27 February 2018
The highlights for us were the accommodation choices - we loved each place we stayed and for quite different reasons.
We found the food really delicious at all the places. We were really impressed. We ended up eating dinner every night at Dar Housnia, which was really tasty but a bit expensive but we loved the convenience of it and loved everything else about the place.
My 9yr’s favourite place was Douar Samra - he liked the rooms and all the meals. We all like the communal meals there. It was good to get to know other travellers. But my husband and I really loved the Douria Suite at Dar Housnia as it was great to the have space and down time by ourselves there. We spent some hours just lazing on the terrace after walking around Marrakech for hours.
We also thought Kasbah Ellouze was really lovely too. They were super helpful accommodating the kids. They made sure we could celebrate NYE dinner with the kids as they go to bed early. It was really kind of them.
We had a Hussain as our guide for trekking and he went with us on the road trip. We really liked him: friendly & kind, and not too loud & talkative (our family is on the quiet side!). Hussain was great with our two boys. He made them feel comfortable, kept them safe on the treks (ie speed walking ahead with them when they wanted (our 4yr old loved this!) and holding them securely on mules over the rough terrain) and he played football with them too!
We had two different drivers who were both good - helped out when our 9yr old vomited from car sickness and were happy to drive slowly as needed.
Also we thought your organisation of everything and choice of accommodation & guides was excellent. We had no complaints. We had a splendid, relaxed and easy holiday - we didn’t have to think of anything & it was all great.
Helen Newman reviewing Morocco Family Holiday: Kasbahs, Mountains & Souks on 30 January 2018