Usambara Cultural Tourism

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Usambara Cultural Tourism

The Usambara Mountains situated in the north-eastern part of Tanzania, are known for their pleasant climate, beautiful viewpoints and fertile slopes. Favoured by the Germans and English during colonial times, the area is rich in historical buildings from the period.

The following is on offer:

  • A visit to panoramic viewpoint from the mountainside
  • A visit to several development project in district–soil conservation, irrigation, cross-breeding, a forestation and health care
  • A climb to Kwa Mongo, the mountain home to beautiful butterflies
  • Walks through dense natural forest and along small rivers that race downhill
  • A glimpse of the history and daily life of the Wasambara farmers
  • A visit to a traditional pottery village

There are many day walking tours from Lushoto:

1. Montessori Sisters of Ubiri
Take a short walking tour from Lushoto to the Catholic Mission of the Montessori Sisters in Ubiri. Taste and buy locally made cheese, wine and jam.

2. Irente viewpoint
Hike up to the Irente viewpoint to get a panoramic view of the Maasai plains and Mazinde village. On the way back, visit the Irente Farm cheese factory and the royal village of Kwembago.

3. Usambara flora and fauna
Walk through the fertile farmlands of Jaegertal to a fruit tree nursery and learn about different varieties of fruit trees and their propagation. Continue uphill to the village of Vuli to see projects on soil conservation, irrigation and farming methods.

4. Magamba rainforest
Walk uphill from Lushoto to the royal village of Kwembago, where you learn about the culture and history the Kilindi ruling clan. Proceed to the Magamba rainforest, home to black and white colobus monkeys. Return via an old Germany Middle School, a German trench dug during the first World War and the village of Magamba.

5. ‘Growing Rock’
The ‘Growing Rock’ tour starts from Soni. Walk to the top of Kwamongo mountain, farmous for its butterflies and enjoy views of soni, Lushoto and the Handeni plains from the peak. Visit the villages of Shashui and Kwemula on the way. Descend to the village of Magila at the foot of the ‘Growing Rock’ to visit a soil conservation project and learn the mystery behind the rock.

6. Bangala river tour
From the village of Mbuzii, go down the steep slopes to the Bangala river valley. Entroute see traditional irrigation systems and scenic views of the Maasai plains. On the way back, visit a local farm or tree nursery.

Several Days Tours:

1. Western Usambaras
From Lushoto, pass through tropical rain forests, trek the mountains and walk through valleys to the villages of Luzoki, Manolo and Sunga before reaching the historical village of Mtae. Enroute, visit various development projects.

2. Mazumbai forest
Walk from Soni and pass through Kwamongo and Magila. Continue to the Bumbuli Mission – a historic German settlement and the Mazumbai rainforest, rainforest, a bird-watcher’s paradise, Return via the villages of Mgwashi and Kwesine. New walking tours have been started. These include a walk to the viewpoint at the Carter’s place, a hike up to Migambo peak, a 3-4 days walk to Mlalo, a session with a traditional healer and a visit to a mountainside village of potters. Customized tours can be organized.

Getting there:
Lushoto is a half way between Dar es Salaam and Arusha and can be reached by bus in 6 hours. (Income from tourist visits will be used to support the development projects in the district).

For further information contact:
Tel: + 255 784 449311 / 784 423917 784 420310 / 787 102737
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