Amboni Caves Tanzania
Located nearly 8 km from Tanga town, the Amboni Caves are the most extensive limestone caves in East Africa. They are located 8 km north of Tanga City in Tanzania off the Tanga – Mombasa road. The caves were formed about 150 million years ago during the Jurassic age. It covers an area of 234 km². According to researchers, the area was underwater some 20 million years ago. There are altogether ten caves but only one is used for guided tours.

Amboni Limited, a company that was then operating sisal plantations in Tanga Region acquired the area in 1892. The company notified the British colonial government about the caves who in turn declared the caves a conservation area in 1922.

It is not known when the caves were exactly discovered but reports indicate that ethnic groups such as the Segeju, Sambaa, Bondei, and Digo who lived near the caves used it for prayers. In 1963, the then government of Tanganyika handed over the caves to the Department of Antiquities.

These caves have been the subject to local legends and a number of mythical and awe-inspiring stories have been attributed to the caves. To the local people, the caves are regarded as supernatural formations where supernatural powers commonly known as “Mizimu” are believed to have been residing since the formation of the cave. There are chambers treated as sacred chambers for worshipping some spirits. One of them is called “Mzimu wa Mabuvu”. Some believe that there is a powerful deity that can alleviate their sickness, sufferings, or increase their fertility.

These limestone caves are formed by a special nature of erosion. According to Mturi (1975:18-19), there are three theories that explain the formation of the Amboni Caves. The first theory is known as the vadose process. According to this theory, rainwater absorbs carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and forms a weak carbonic acid which is capable of dissolving calcium carbonate minerals of which limestone is formed. When this acidulated rainwater seeps through the limestone it is dissolved and cavities and caves are formed.

The second theory is that of phreatic origin. According to this theory, the caves are formed by erosion from the sub-water table. The rainwater with carbonic acid rapidly seeps through the limestone and reaches the water table before being a saturated solution of calcium bicarbonate. At this stage, it is still capable of acting as a dissolving agent for the calcium carbonate.

The Amboni caves are believed to be the most extensive limestone caves in East Africa, located in Kiomoni village. The caves, a one, and half kilometer stretch are a fascinating historical site, which was used as hiding places for the locals.

The Amboni caves are among the area’s most popular attractions that have attracted, over the years, a hundred thousand tourists both local and foreign.

The caves are very dark inside and potentially lethal. Nearly all tunnels or chambers are accessible to tourists via a guided tour.

The Amboni caves are among the area’s most popular attractions and feature vast below-ground halls with towering formations. Visitors are advised to wear comfortable shoes and to bring a pocket-size camera since it’s cumbersome to bring a camera with a large lens as walking is through tight squeezes. And before entering some tight spots, visitors are asked to leave large bags in an area to pick up later.

The views of towering formations in the caves are an admiration. Nearly all its tunnels or chambers are accessible to tourists via guided tours. Walking through squeezes while getting treated to views of incredible formations makes the visit well worth it.

The caves have religious significance to the local people who pray and make offerings in one of the shrines. For a section of locals, the caves have been long-known as the place to worship to pray for different needs. Chamber number one is used for the prayers, in what many people associate with superstitions. Different items are deposited here during prayers ‘gifts that the local villagers offer to the spirits.

The caves’ upkeep is under the Department of Antiquities in the ministry of natural resources and tourism.

Tanzania Travel Tips

Our team carefully researched and focused on trips which attract people with the same interest and naturally get on well with each other through their shared interests.

Once you confirm your booking on a tour you will be sent further practical information – packing tips, detailed itineraries, including advice on health, passport and visa requirements, and minimum and maximum numbers of guests on tours.

Memorable meals are one of the hallmarks of an excellent holiday. With the support of the best cooks, the quality of food and drink service is guaranteed. Depending on the service level or type of tour you have chosen, pre-discussion with your tour planner is a win-win situation for an enjoyable diet. Other tours are accompanied by our cook and others are inclusive service from our accommodation partners include hotels, private camps, and luxury lodges.

The answer is absolute yes! The areas where safaris are organized are safe and free of political chaos. We conduct safaris in places that are politically stable to assure our clients’ safety and enjoyment.

Our Professional Safari Guides are well trained about wild animal behaviors and they have enough experience to lead our clients in the wilderness. Our vehicles are 4×4 Toyota Land Cruiser and Land Rovers with a hutched roof to give maximum visibility of a game.

African safaris guarantee unlimited sightseeing; millions of animals, birds, and plant life are the core characters of the African savanna. You roam across the countryside in search of Elephants, Lions, Rhinos, Cape buffalo, and Leopards (the so-called “Big Five”). On any given day, you will encounter Blue Wildebeests, Zebras, a large variety of antelope species, Gazelles, Giraffes, Baboons, and Hippos. The birdlife is fantastic – in some areas, up to 400 bird species have been identified! Think of the majestic Baobab tree (some tribes believe that the tree was indeed planted upside-down!), and there are hundreds of varieties of thorn trees! You will also see the acacia-dotted landscape, endless plains, majestic mountains, and the most beautiful sunsets and sunrises one could ever imagine! Think of a late afternoon thunderstorm, short but violent, and then the beautiful rainbow.

Tanzania destinations are accessible throughout the year but we advise you to take your tours during the dry session for the safari so as you can enjoy the best sightings at this time as the grasses and bush are at their least dense. July to October and December through February. The green session includes March through June. Discuss with us for the best option if you have also a plan to coincides with Wildebeest Migration in Serengeti National Park’

(We suggest you remember) insect repellent (the best way to prevent malaria and other insect-borne diseases), sunscreen, cap or hat, sunglasses, binoculars, detergent powder if you want to wash some clothes yourself, hand-wipes small flashlight, aspirin, diarrhea medicine, rain jacket, poncho, or collapsible umbrella, plastic bags (for wet clothes, swimsuit and for keeping dust away from camera equipment), Kleenex/toilet tissue a neck chain for eyeglasses if you take them off to use binoculars and cameras, any medical prescription you need, masking tape or labels for marking exposed films cans, film, extra camera batteries.

Although more than 200 languages and dialects are spoken throughout Africa, this presents no problem as English is spoken throughout East and Southern Africa. Apart from English, all our professional guides are multilingual so we get you covered.

African safaris guarantee unlimited sightseeing; millions of animals, birds, and plant life are the core characters of the African savanna. You roam across the countryside in search of Elephants, Lions, Rhinos, Cape buffalo, and Leopards (the so-called “Big Five”). On any given day, you will encounter Blue Wildebeests, Zebras, a large variety of antelope species, Gazelles, Giraffes, Baboons, and Hippos. The birdlife is fantastic – in some areas, up to 400 bird species have been identified! Think of the majestic Baobab tree (some tribes believe that the tree was indeed planted upside-down!), and there are hundreds of varieties of thorn trees! You will also see the acacia-dotted landscape, endless plains, majestic mountains, and the most beautiful sunsets and sunrises one could ever imagine! Think of a late afternoon thunderstorm, short but violent, and then the beautiful rainbow.