As of April 2015, we begin diving operations at Fish Eagle Point. We have on hand a dive master and instructor for both PADI and NAUI courses. This area is pristine and not yet dived by anyone other than our exploratory dives which all proved to be extremely successful and has provided another wonderful attraction to our coast!
Beachside and poolside…
Swimming in the warm Indian Ocean currents (26-29 C) around Fish Eagle Point is possible all year, both at high and low tides. High tides reach well up into the bays and during ‘spring tides’ are literally lapping at the rooms and mess. The bays offer very safe and child friendly swimming, with no currents, rips, backwashes or nasty sea creatures (urchins et al). We are privileged to have superb snorkelling right around us, mainly best at mid to high tides around the mangroves and at lower tides within the lagoon and the outer reef drop off, some 300m offshore. We do have a selection of snorkelling equipment, however suggest bringing your own would be a better option. Our freshwater swimming pool is a focal point, loved by children and their parents alike, relaxing and reading under the purgala, or sun bathing on the locally made sun loungers.
Dhow trips out to the sand islands (some 10km offshore, 40-60mins dhow cruise) are always fun days for exploration. These atolls are exposed only during low tides, and a marvel to experience. Snorkelling around the many reefs offer exquisite aquarium – like vistas, while dolphins, bird and fish life are always around to entertain during the trips. Whales are rare in the tropics, however sightings are numerous during August to October when they migrate along the our coast.
Kayaking around our pristine coastline with secluded beaches and amazing coral rock formations is definitely worth the effort, as well as kayaking into the mangroves or around one of the larger bays, including Manza and Moa. We work with Infinite Horizons, an Arusha based company, specialising in extreme and group kayaking.
We are privileged to have all around us mangrove forests, supporting countless species and life from fish to mollusks to bird life. A quiet paddle into the mangroves will offer an exquisite introduction to the very beginnings of sealife! Several pairs of fish eagles reside in the area, (hence our names sake), as well as many other feathered friends including storks, wading birds and the rare palm nut vulture.
Pristine coastal forest…
Around us, besides the mangroves, is pristine coastal tropical forest, also supporting many life forms including a huge variety of birds, night-apes, squirrels, bushbuck, suni, wild pigs, monkeys, baboons… the forest itself beautiful with wild lilies and flowers blooming at different times. Our natural screw pine (Mkadini – Kiswahili) frontage, is an unusual feature, hosting hoards of hermit crabs as well as monkeys and birdlife.
Local German and English fortifications
The history of Tanga and surrounds goes as far back as records allow. Its early history is undeniably linked to the progress of modern day Tanzania. We have encountered an unlisted military fort on the southern end of the Boma peninsula, guarding the Manza bay entrance. Seemingly first built by the Germans in the Great War, where a captured English ship had been used by the Germans to resupply the famous battleship SMS Königsberg, it was subsequently bombed and scuttled in Manza bay. The Brits reused and upgraded the fort substantially during the World War II. It was to be part of the East African sea defences against the imminent Japanese invasion (which never arrived in force). A submarine loop was set up to detect the Japanese, scout plane carrying submarines. See details at http://indicatorloops.com/manza.htm for detailed information on this. It has however, sadly been left to decay and become overgrown over the years. The locals firmly believe that the Germans stashed gold and valuables here during their tenure, resulting in numerous pits, where hopefuls have dug and pursued their luck at locating the rainbows’ end!
Swahili culture, fishing with locals and Amboni caves
Visit the friendly locals in their surroundings, experience their customs and laid back way of life, a far stretch from the modern ‘hurried’ lifestyle most outsiders live. Mainly conservative Muslims, almost like time stood still, happy children, colourful women and ceremonies. Go hand line fishing with the coastal men on a traditional ngalawa or snorkel the inshore reefs with them hunting for octopus and fish with their handmade spear guns. Amboni caves, should be one of the known natural marvels of Tanzania, however sadly it is not, with very little official support, yet visitors to it cannot believe the raw beauty of these extensive limestone caves, with unending tunnels and many unknown secrets. Well worth a visit, it is situated just off the road between Tanga and Fish Eagle Point.
Being right on the ‘famed’ Pemba channel, fishing from Fish Eagle Point can be extremely rewarding. We specialise in extreme jigging, popping and drift fishing, for mainly GT’s, dog tooth tuna, amberjack and many other game fish species. Several billfish species do occur in the channel, including all 3 marlin species, broadbill (swordfish), sailfish and spearfish. To add to that there are the runs of yellowfin tuna, dorado, wahoo, kingfish, grouper, snappers amongst others. Fisherman preferably should bring their own jigging, popping and flyfishing gear, though basic equipment is provided. We do practice and encourage catch and release, therefore all healthy fish will be released.(Other than those few fish we will keep for the BBQ!).
Fish Eagle Point, boasts a vast variety of birds from habitats off shore to tidal the flats, mangroves, tropical coastal forrest, grassland, agricultural fields and inland the famed Eastern Usumbaras (including Amani nature reserve) and southern Mkomazi National Park along the Umba valley, not more than an hour away.
The Africa Naturalists Foundation has written a stellar article on the bird watchers delights to be found at Fish Eagle Point. Find the article here!