The name Pangani owes its name to the river that runs through the northern part of this historical town. Pangani is an ancient town, and is believed to have been established before the 6th Century BC and played an important role during the slave trade era.
It is mainly a fishing town dotted with coconut trees, providing beautiful beaches for a quiet vacation. Pangani is situated about 50km south of Tanga on the mouth of River Pangani that flows from the slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro.
Pangani River hosts birds and crocodiles. Maziwi Island is a nature reserve which provides an opportunity for snorkeling and dolphin tour. A walking tour though the town allows one to see some of old buildings that are over 200 years old, as well as visits to a former slave labor camps and slave market site.
Pangani town elders serve as knowledgeable guides who can impart their vast knowledge of Pangani history and culture going back to the 15th century as they take you through the town. In 1810 the Arabs constructed the central boma building; people were buried alive under the pillars during construction as it was believed this would ensure strong foundations. Later the German administration used the buildings as a colonial district office and added a European-style roof giving the building a unique appearance. The intricate Arab-carved doors and foundations (still strong!) remain and the building is now used as the district commissioner office.
The city has numerous historical monuments: the original slave depots and slave market where Arabs traded slaves to India and Arabia; the Freedom Grounds, Islamic and German graves, ancient mosques and traditional houses.