Amboni Caves

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Amboni Caves
Mapango ya Amboni (Swahili)
In Amboni caves, Tanga.jpg
Map showing the location of Amboni Caves
Map showing the location of Amboni Caves
LocationTanga, Tanzania
Coordinates05°00′S 39°03′E / 5.000°S 39.050°E / -5.000; 39.050Coordinates: 05°00′S 39°03′E / 5.000°S 39.050°E / -5.000; 39.050
Length900 metres (3,000 ft)
Visitorsc. 70 per day[1]

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 under water some 20 million years ago. There are altogether ten caves but only one is used for guided tours.


Amboni Limited, a company which 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.


The cave attracts tourist as well as students for their geography lessons. The attractions include:

  • Popo flight - (Popo means bat in Swahili). Many of them live in the caves. Every evening at sunset they fly out of the cave entrance.
  • Rocks in the shape of: a sofa, a ship, a crocodile, an elephant, map of Africa, Statue of Liberty and a head of a male lion.



  1. ^ "Amboni Caves: Where fertility 'god' and 'goddess' reside". The Citizen. 4 January 2015. Retrieved 4 January 2015.

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