Tanzania’s mainland coast is often overlooked as travellers head to Zanzibar. We are big fans of the region and include a few private islands on this list, the majority virtually untouched by tourism. Vast swathes of beach line the coast, the majority virtually untouched by tourism. There are some real gems here, huge beaches with a couple of lodges – truly wild Africa.
Literally just south of Dar es Salaam are a number of beaches that seem a world away from the hectic city life of ‘Dar’. Our top tip here has always been Ras Kutani, a wonderful stretch of beach that is home to a couple of hotels, one of which is our mainland coast favourite – Ras Kutani.
Further south, 600 km of coastline stretches to Rovuma River on the Mozambique border. Kilwa Masoko, Lindi, Mikindani and Mtwara may not offer as many creature comforts as the majority of Western tourists would like, but this area remains untouched and steeped in history, an interesting region for true explorers.
North of Dar, the huge old trading port of Bagamoyo has faded somewhat yet still forms an integral part of East Africa’s history. Further north, beach meets bush at Saadani, the only safari park of its kind on the continent.
Even further north, running up to the Kenyan border, travellers will find a more developed region than the area south of Dar, with the majority of visitors to this area focusing on the area around Tanga and the sleepy fishing villages surrounding Pangani and especially Ushongo – our favourite beach on the mainland coast after Ras Kutani.