A visit to Tanga

Tanga, an important port during the slave trade and colonial times, is a sleepy town with many buildings from the German and British occupation. Besides buildings from around 1900, we noticed also many from the 1950s in a modern style. Sadly maintenance is something which doesn’t happen and all this treasures are crumbling away.

Floor from Villeroy & Boch

We visited the museum, which was once the administrative building of the Germans. An association to rescue what is left of historic buildings and artefacts in Tanga, does their best to protect and restore them. We got a fascinating guided tour through the building, learned about the sisal production in the area and saw many old photos on display.

1. floor veranda with tiles from Villeroy & Boch
A photo of the same veranda with the German governor and his wife
The club house of the Germans still exists but has lost all its splendour we were told
Modern architecture and VW beetles
Tanga Library
Building from the 50s, slowly turning into a ruin

If it wouldn’t have been raining all morning, a walk through town to discover all the treasures would have been nice. Instead we took some shots from the car and soon left the town again.

Clock tower

We wonder about the clock towers, which the Germans built in every town in Tanzania. Did they try to teach the locals punctuality? That would be very German 😉

Abandoned Automobiles dealer
Market during the rain

We left Tanga on the road going along the coast to Pangani. We expected a gravel road, but what we got was roadworks and mud all the way. As long as cars, busses and lorries were coming from where we were heading, we felt assured, that the road is passable. The deviation where a bridge was under construction was especially tricky. The rain had washed away a lot of the material leaving a very narrow road, with deep mud on one side and an abyss on the other. “Close your eyes (or better not) and hope for the best!”

We ended at Peponi Beach, where the sky thankfully cleared and we could spent a lovely afternoon.

The next day we had to go back to this bridge and luckily there was an excavator bringing new material and remodelling the road. We also found a route to avoid the worst part of the roadwork, going to Pongwe instead of back to Tanga, reaching the main road again on an easy gravel track.

We are now on our way to Malawi and will report from there next.

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