Explore the Amboni caves in the Tanga region, Tanzania.

Explore the Amboni caves in the Tanga region, Tanzania : Amboni Caves (Tanga Caves), Tanzania‘s largest cave complex: everything you need to know: These limestone caves, which have been the topic of local folklore for a long time, are one of the largest underground networks in East Africa and a fascinating expedition for anyone interested in spelunking. They are still a place of prayer and ritual even if they are now home to hundreds of bats, contrary to what was once thought to be the case. Once you get beyond the trash at the entrance, you may visit a small piece of the cave network, which is rather interesting.

History of the Amboni Caves

The caves was formed During the Jurassic period, some 150 million years ago. Around 20 million years ago, the area was submerged in water, according to researchers. When the caves were first found and utilized by humans is unknown. According to reports, local ethnic groups like the Segeju, Sambaa, Bondei, and Digo frequented the caverns for ritual purposes.

By acquiring mining rights over the area, a firm called Amboni Limited rediscovered them in the late 19th century. The colonial administration was notified of the discovery by the corporation, and in 1922 it designated the region as a conservation reserve. Guerrilla rebels used the cave as a hideaway during the fight for independence from the British Empire. They discovered nooks that were connected to the surface where they could light fires. A foreigner once attempted to explore the uncharted depths of the caves by himself while being accompanied by his dog. The dog was later discovered in Tanga, but he was never seen again.

Explore the Amboni caves in the Tanga region, Tanzania.
Explore the Amboni caves in the Tanga region, Tanzania.

The Kenyan Mau-Mau is alleged to have utilized the caves as a hideaway from the British in the 1950s. Originally believed to be 200 kilometers or more long. The largest of the caves surveyed was only 900 meters long, according to a 1994 survey, although there are still rumors that they extend all the way to Mombasa.

The caverns can best be reached by bicycle arranged through Tanga Cultural Tourism Enterprise, which is located about 8 km northwest of Tanga off the Tanga-Mombasa road (about Tsh65, 000 per person including entry fee, bicycle rental, and guide). An alternative is to take a Daladala (Tsh1000) to Amboni village and get off at the exit for the caves, which is next to the forestry office. The caves are located about 2.5 kilometers west of Kiomoni along the Mkulumuzi River and can be reached on foot. Wearing closed-toe shoes will save you from having to pick bat droppings off your feet later. Also don’t forget to bring a flashlight for lighting as the caves are dark.

Curiosities and peculiarities of the Amboni Caves of Tanga

Numerous ponies live in the Amboni Caves (called “bats” in Swahili). Every evening at dusk, they perform a very captivating spectacle by flying out of the cave entrance. In addition to the large number of bats, these caverns include many other intriguing elements that have captured people’s curiosity for thousands of years. They still do it today. According to legend, rocks have the form of a sofa, a ship, a crocodile, an elephant, an African map, the Statue of Liberty, the Arabic alphabet, a male lion’s head, a penis, and a vagina. Also local guide claims that you may go through this natural underground maze to get to Mombasa, which is in Kenya.

 How to get to Amboni Caves

Just 8 miles from Tanga, off the main road leading to the Kenyan border and Mombasa, are the caverns. Zanzibar and Pemba Island may both be reached by boat from Tanga. It’s incredibly simple to get there in your own vehicle because their position is shown on all the most widely used mapping programs. However, take caution because the final kilometer is off-road and challenging for a vehicle with limited ground clearance.

As an alternative, you can ride a motorcycle or a Tuk-Tuk from the city center; just be sure to pre-arrange the payment. Your fee shouldn’t be higher than 5,000 TSH. The caves’ entrance is situated in a gorgeously forested area that is bordered by an emerald-green river. Unfortunately, it appears that swimming is not permitted there. The existence of crocodiles is said to be the cause. Most likely, the underlying motivation is not to have foolish individuals break their bones on a slippery rock.