Climbing, Hiking, Rain Forest and more...

Usambara Mountains

The mountain region of Tanga are the Usambaras, they consist of two mountain blocks. The smaller East Usambaras lie closer to the coast, are less populated and the primary attractions are the two nature reserves, Amani and Nilo. The West Usambaras are separated from the East by a valley and are approached via the district centre of Lushoto. The Usambaras are part of the Eastern Arc, a world biodiversity hotspot. This exceptional diversity attracts naturalists from all over the world who come to watch birds, study trees and flowers or butterflies. Besides the two nature reserves of the East Usambaras, there are in the Western Usambaras the newly gazetted Magamba Nature Reserve (includes Shume forest), the privately owned and well-protected Mazumbai reserve, and a number of other forest reserves like Shagayu, Mkuzu and Ndelemai.

What to do:

  • Forests, which are among the biodiversity hotspots in the world, are best visited with a guide from a number of guide organizations in Lushoto, Mtae and Mambo or guides working for hotels or lodges
  • Hike or Bike through the Usambaras for one or more days
  • Cultural Walks - These can visit villages, farms, markets and food processors. The mountains are rich in fruits and vegetables. Visit tree and fruit tree nurseries and the Tanzania forest research institute in Jaegertal, Lushoto.
  • Tea Factories - Visit a tea factory and learn where your daily cup of tea comes from.
  • Viewpoints - The mountains overlook vast plains and on a clear day you can almost see forever (Irente view point, Nyumba ya Mungu, Mambo view point, Mtae views) From the last two you can even see Kilimanjaro!)
  • Climb Mtumbi peak (2270m) or Kideghe peak (2215m) the highest peaks in the Usambaras
  • Waterfalls – Visit a waterfall after a trek through forest and farmland (Soni waterfalls, Mkuzu waterfalls, and Kideghe falls).
  • Historical Places - Old buildings from the German colonial time on Boma road in Lushoto; from the police station, up the road to the district office, passing the post office building (built 1913). The State house situated on the road up to Magamba was built for the German Kaiser and it today used by the government. Also near Mambo some old German farms are found.

  • TATONA members in the Mountains:
  • Mambo View Point Ecolodge, Mambo Mtae
  • Lawns Hotel, Lushoto