Walk around old town
Monkeys and lizards
Tanga. Famous for it’s historic down town and old colonial buildings.
It is about 200 km north of Dar es Salaam and the countries third biggest city. It doesn’t feel it though in the area we are staying.
It feels like a laid back mid size town. Tanga was only a small town till the Omani Arabs arrived in the 18th century. They used it as a base for their slave and ivory trade. It became an imported harbor and by the end of the 19th century the Germans had moved in. They introduced sisal and within 20 years there were millions of sisal plants in the Tanga region. At one point this was the world leader in sisal production. Off course this is no longer the case, as synthetic materials have wiped out the demand for sisal, but there are still farms around. The port is apparently still Tanzania’s second biggest, but it does not look very busy.
Tanga has an overall feel of faded glory. The colonial buildings that are left overs from the Germans and the British later are really not that great, and most look like they won’t last much longer. The walk around town doesn’t take very long, so we head for the beach. The beaches here are not very nice, because the coast is all covered in mangrove forest. We walk out to Ras Kazone where, we were told, the prettiest beach is. Most of the sea side here is taken up by big hotels and resorts, and there is no way for us to even see the ocean, let along walk down to it. Big fences and concrete walls separate us from the water. Eventually we spot a little track along a wall, that seems to be heading down. Following this we run into a tree full of monkeys. Later we find out that they are the very common Vervet monkey. We don’t care about their names and find a place to sit and watch them for a bit. Light coloured bodies with black faces and extremely long tails. This is more like it!
We make our way further down through the mangroves and find a little stretch of beach.
Little ghost crabs are out and the occasional black ones with big orange claws. Tanzania is the land of wildlife, and this might be small, but it is wildlife none the less! We start walking back to town along the beach. A few men are about in their canoes and spear fishing. The beach very quickly turns into mangroves again, but there are paths we can follow. It is a nice and quiet walk and the first time we can really relax. The only problem is that we are now walking under the big fancy resorts and there are concrete walls on this side too. There does not seem to be a way for us to get back up to town. Hopefully, once we make it to the port, we can get back up there. Every now and then the shrubbery moves and big lizards pop out. Mostly the standard greeny browny colour, but big ones! At the end of our walk we meet the highlight of the day : A blue, black lizard with a bright orange head!He is absolutely stunning and is not scared of us so we get a good look. Unfortunately we did not bring the camera on this walk, as the locals advise against it due to safety issues, but we have borrowed some photo’s from online.
The walk has taken easily a few hours and we do not realise how sun burned we had gotten till we make it back to the hotel. Bright red.. Oops..