Tanga Day Trip: Amboni Caves, Sigi River and Tanga City Tour

Our local guide Mr. Happiness was set to pick us from Tanga Beach Resort for our day tour. Having arrived in the evening, we would hardly make out where we were staying apart from being close to the ocean. As we drove out of the resort into town the next morning, we noticed that most buildings were painted white as is characterized by most coastal towns. The walls were low that allowed us to have an extensive view of most buildings that seems to be constructed during the pre-colonial era.

Exploring Amboni Caves

After a 20 minutes’ drive we arrived at the entrance of Amboni Caves, we disembarked from the vehicle and made our way to the cave’s main entrance. There were huge bamboo trees that provided shade along the footpath, interesting rock formations and a huge signage indicating visitors’ charges at the main entrance. 

Green algae had grown on the walls giving the walls captivating wall coloration and designs.

Our first interesting rock formation was that of a lioness head. Inside the cave we found one popular worship spot that had liquor and other paraphernalia at one hollow corner offered as gifts to gods by its visitors.

There were also stalactite and stalagmite formations. A stalactite is produced by precipitation of minerals from water dripping from the cave ceiling; they mostly have pointed tips. A stalagmite is an upward-growing mound of mineral deposits that have precipitated from water dripping onto the floor of a cave. Most stalagmites have rounded or flattened tips. Our guide echoed that these are most probably the biggest limestone caves in East Africa.

Other interesting features include; rock formations that look like the Map of Africa, and a statue that looks like the Virgin Mary. Christians of Catholic faith believe that the Blessed Mother serves as the patron saint of all human beings, watching over them with motherly care due to her role as the mother of Jesus Christ, whom Christians believe is the world’s savior.

Our guide narrated that the caves were also used by freedom fighters during the struggle for Independence in Tanzania

We also came across a round hole on the roof of the cave that had interesting bat droppings in a circular formation.

Rock formations that seemed to have hoof like footprints were quite a spot to see.

Light, shadow and algae also displayed an aurora feel effect.

After our two hours tour, we left the caves that seemed to be a popular attraction for domestic tourists especially school children and young couples. There was a small curio shop that had bracelets, necklaces and earrings on display for visitors to buy. A local trader had ice cools made from Baobab seeds that offered a soothing and refreshing feel from the hot coastal midday sun.

Sigi River – Mganga Kutoka Tanga

Coming from Nairobi “Mganga kutoka Tanga” signage on electricity poles, fake text messages from scammers are very popular. We were quite keen to find out from our guide the cause of this fame and elevated gimmick marketing in Nairobi. He elaborated that our visit to Sigi River might partly answer our questions.

We made a sudden stop at a cluster of houses that seemed to be homesteads for factory workers. Our guide told us that Tanga was once a thriving port city in Tanzania’s north coast region and had a robust Sisal Industry but came to an abrupt end due to technological changes and seasonality. We walked along an old rickety bridge with old wooden planks with gaps that instill the fear of heights as we walked through and saw the flowing river underneath. 

Our guide stopped at a local den where they were making palm wine for sale. We bought some Mnazi (coconut) to drink enroute to Sigi River. One of the brewers told us that he came to Tanga from Mombasa during the Sisal boom in search of work; he married and settled here. After the collapse of the industry, he now sells coconut and palm wine.

We walked through homesteads and cultivated farms until we came about a small stream that had white-green algae flowing.

We crossed a small stream with light blue water and emerged at an area that had flags of different colours. This stream has sulphur dioxide and the locals use it to treat skin ailments.

Our guide explained that visitors to the Mganga usually carry gifts and offerings as appeasements to connect with the spirit world and ancestors. There was a chair covered with a white piece of cloth and our guide narrated that the visitors to the mganga usually seat on the chair and instruct his visitors to either kneel or submerge into the river as he performs his rites and rituals.

Tanga City Tour

The relaxed, peaceful and slow paced town of Tanga is a historic town that depicts both the British and German influence in Tanzania.

We had a drive through Tanga town as we noted old buildings including; Old Orthodox Church, a Catholic Church, Tanga City Council, The Tanga Library (Formerly King George VI Memorial Library), an Old City Clock dated 1901, The Post Office, Mkonge Hotel, we also passed by some old pre-colonial and modern homes.

According to our guide Mr. Happiness, the people of Tanga are very hospitable to visitors, generous and kind to each other. He elaborated that if you are looking for love and a romantic getaway then Tanga is a must visit.

After the visit, we headed back to Tanga Beach Resort to retire for the day. Call, Text or WhatsApp +254 732 281 432 or Contact us via tours@beadsafariscollection.co.ke for day trips to Tanga.