The name Pangani is derived from the river that runs through the northern part of this historical town flowing from the slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro. Located about 50km South from Tanga town, Pangani has a remarkable history dating back to the 15th century and traces of old buildings and monuments still can be seen. It was a trading port dealing mainly with ivory and slaves. Several historical sites, in and around the town, serve as reminders of the strong Arabic influence, and the much later German and British colonial era in Tanganyika. Currently Pangani is mainly a fishing town providing beautiful beaches with coconut trees.
For someone looking for a quiet vacation and an experience of African culture untouched by modern tourism, Pangani could be the place. A walking tour through the town would include visits to some historical buildings of colonial and traditional Swahili architecture some over 200 years old; a former slave labor camp and slave market site where Arabs traded slaves to India and Arabia; the Freedom Grounds; Islamic and German graves; ancient mosques and traditional houses. One will also see the street “carpet” makers, woodcarvers, basket weavers, painters and other artisans sell a wide variety of hand made cultural items.
Other places of interest in Pangani include the Pangani River itself rich in bird life, the palm fringed sandy bay, and Maziwe Island (sandbank) Marine Reserve offering excellent waters for snorkeling.