The Usambara Mountain are situated in the northeastern part of Tanzania between Mount Kilimanjaro and the Indian Ocean Region of Tanga. It has been called the “Galapagos” of the plant world. This incredibly beautiful and lush area is a welcome retreat from Tanzania’s Game Parks and cities. Because of its pleasant climate, the mountains were favored by the Germans and the English during colonial times, as is evidenced by the numerous historic buildings from the past. The mountain region is ideal for hiking as well as some spectacular driving.
From a distance the mountains are a colorful mosaic. On the fertile slopes around Soni and Lushoto farmers cultivate small plots but further away from the towns large areas are still covered by dense tropical forests.
The viewpoints on the southern and western side of the Usambara are well known for the spectacular views of the plains of Mkomazi and Handeni. Kilimanjaro can be seen on the horizon and at the end of the day the sunset turns the area into a tremendous pallet of unforgettable colors.
Depart Arusha at 9 AM with your driver/ guide for Lushoto. After lunch, you will enjoy a guided flora and fauna walking tour for several hours before returning to your hotel or guesthouse for dinner and overnight.
Tour day begins in Lushoto with an uphill walk to Kwembago village, a typical Shambaa village. You will have panoramic views over the entire area, including the Massai Plains, Lushoto valley and the Western Usambara Mountains. Your hike continues through the Magamba rain forest, home to many rare plant and animal species., after which you will be transported by bus to Mtae where you will have dinner and overnight at a local guesthouse. (4 hours walking, 2 hours driving today)
After breakfast and a walk through the village, you will climb top Shaghain Peak (2220 M), passing through Mpanga village and the Shegayu rain forest on the way. This forest is known to be a playground for a avriety of monkeys. You will return to Mtae via Sunga, the Muslim quarter of Mtae. You will have dinner anad spend the night in Mtae again. (5-6 hours walking today)
Today you can walk to either Mamboleo or Tema villages – both noted for their soil conservation and traditional irrigation projects. You will learn from your guide many details of the traditional Shambaa farming methods and their characteristic architecture. You will spend the night in Mtae, before your early morning departure for Lushoto.
A visit to Soni Falls caps off your visit to the Lushoto area. After lunch, begin your return to Arusha.