Researcher, Mother and traveler

‘Retreat’ in Pangani

‘Retreat’ in Pangani

Last week I had a deadline for a research proposal submission. After several months of writing with the team, it is always a relief when you can push the ‘submit’-button. After that, as it was Easter Holiday for the kids also, I decided last-minute to drive to the coast to relax…I mean…to check out some of the beautiful lodges there. For Caracal Tours & Safaris Ltd, we are always looking for the best places for our guests.


Pangani is a small town on the Tanzanian mainland coast. It was a major centre for the slave trade and trade of sisal from the plantations in Tanga Region. Besides historical sites from that time, there are also some sites remaining from German and British colonial ruling. As most visitors to Tanzania go to Zanzibar for their beach holidays, Pangani has remained ‘untouched’. It is, therefore, a great destination for those who are looking for ‘off-the-beaten’-track destinations. For us, it was a six hour drive from Moshi. A lovely drive with a well-paved road passing along the Pare Mountains, the Usambara Mountains from where the road starts winding through rolling hills while the number of palm trees increases along the way. The last 40 km is through a remote greenish area through plantations with here and there a small authentic village where women walk along the road and  men are sitting beside the road discussing with each other. Suddenly, on top of a hill, the Indian Ocean lies in front of us and we drive down into Pangani. We drove to our first lodge and when we arrived, the kids immediately dressed up in their beach outfits and ran to the beach with their toys. The ‘retreat’ has begun.

The Tides, Emayani and Mkoma Bay

I was surprised to find the beautiful Tides Lodge (and their superb family accommodation Mawimbi villa) on a beautiful white stretch of beach. I realized that it is not necessary to go to Zanzibar and the ocean was even more suitable here to swim, even with the kids. The lodge only has ten bungalows on the beach which are very comfortable, have a marvelous Oceanview and are nicely decorated. They serve fantastic meals (including a wide choice of breakfast options, so not only the same kind of egg every day) and the staff is caring much. The kids (and me) loved it here. After two days of enjoying here, we went to Emayani Beach Lodge. This was only five minutes’ drive, but totally different. The twelve bandas are made of natural and local material and also have a great Oceanview.  After the Tides, we had to adapt a bit, but soon we also enjoyed this place which is set in a large area along the beach with many palm trees in a natural landscape. The ocean was rather shallow, which is great for the kids. After enjoying many hours of swimming and sleeping in the airy banda, we left for Mkoma Bay Tented Lodge. This was a totally different, but stunning experience too. The lodge is set on a cliff overlooking Mkoma Bay and consists of safari tents in a bushy garden. The food here was fantastic also and the curious monkeys that came to the pool when we were enjoying some drinks with roasted peanuts, made it more natural.

That ‘retreat’

Going to the ocean is always a retreat. The waving palm trees, the wind in my hairs, a dive in the warm oceanwater, sand between my toes, stunning sunrises, lovely seafood (I really enjoyed the lobster and prawns) make it a perfect place for retreat. No matter if it is partly for work (as at the same time you need to judge everything, check out the different rooms and facilities, compare etc etc). Besides that, seeing the kids enjoying every single bit of it, makes it even more perfect. And this retreat has also shown me that Pangani is not less than Zanzibar. It is probably even better, because of the remoteness, untouched feeling and the ease of going there. I am ready for new challenges!!!

If you need more information about Pangani and the beautiful lodges, just send an email to