Tanzania Coast & Dar es Salaam

A few hours north of Dar es Salaam by car is Saadani National Park, a rather unique coastal wildlife reserve, and also Pangani, a really great beach stop. For most people, Dar itself is only an ‘if-you-must’ stopover, though there are a couple of spots south of town that are perfect for a few leisurely nights by the ocean.

We were the only 2 people at Simply Saadani so were treated like royalty. Breakfast in the tower and a lobster dinner on the beach on our last night.

  • Aerial view of Simply Saadani camp on the Tanzania coast © Simply Saadani

    Aerial view of Simply Saadani camp on the Tanzania coast

  • Beach at The Tides Lodge, Pangani, Tanzania coast © AGMarks

    Beach at The Tides Lodge, Pangani, Tanzania coast

  • Aerial view of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania coast © MHusein,Shutterstock

    Aerial view of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania coast

  • Simply Saadani camp on the Tanzania coast © Simply Saadani

    Simply Saadani camp on the Tanzania coast

  • Lioness in Saadani National Park, Tanzania © AGMarks

    Lioness in Saadani National Park, Tanzania

  • Salt flats in Saadani National Park, Tanzania © AGMarks

    Salt flats in Saadani National Park, Tanzania

  • Canoeing in Saadani National Park, Tanzania © AGMarks

    Canoeing in Saadani National Park, Tanzania

  • Saadani Wildlife Research Centre on the Tanzania coast © Simply Saadani

    Saadani Wildlife Research Centre on the Tanzania coast

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If you fancy a few nights by the Tanzania coast and don’t want to head over to the Indian Ocean islands such as Zanzibar or Pemba, about an hour south of the city is Amani Beach or you could head north up the coast to the gorgeous beach at Pangani, or also to Saadani for a bush-and-beach experience.  Saadani might not be the best wildlife experience you’ll have in Tanzania but it’s a unique coastal reserve where you might have the unusual sighting of an elephant on the beach. The beach at Saadani is fairly shallow for swimming, but Pangani is a great spot for some beach R&R.

Due to flight timings, it’s sometimes necessary to have an overnight in Dar es Salaam. There are some good hotels and restaurants here.

  • Pangani: Beach lodges at Pangani make a nice mainland alternative to Zanzibar. They are much quieter. Being mainland coast, the waters here are not quite so clear as around Zanzibar but still excellent. The Tides Lodge is a great choice here.
  • Coast and bush:  Saadani’s location is unusual in that you get the best of both worlds: beach and bush. There are few other visitors to this area so no crowds and you might see some of the wildlife interacting with the sea - you don’t get that anywhere else in Tanzania. Try Simply Saadani as your base here.
  • Amani Beach:  This resort is only an hour or so south of Dar (traffic in Dar willing) on the Ras Kutani coast. Whilst the hotel doesn’t have a particularly African feel to it, it does boast large, manicured gardens dotted with swaying palms and a lovely beachfront location.
  • Dar es Salaam: Dar is an international entry point to Tanzania so it’s quite possible that, due to flight timings, you might need a night here. There are a few good hotels to choose from. However, it has to be said that most people tend not to linger here. It is large, it’s busy and the traffic is awful. We always recommend spending very little time here.
Tanzania Coast & Dar es Salaam map pin

Tanzania Coast & Dar es Salaam

Aerial view of Simply Saadani camp on the Tanzania coast

On Tanzania's mainland coast there is a bush-and-beach game reserve (Saadani), excellent beaches such as at Pangani, and the busy city of Dar es Salaam.

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