Usambara mountains

usambara mountains and rainforest

The Usambara’s are one of Tanzanian’s highlights. The mountains are home to an exceptional assortment of plants and animals and represent one of the highest degrees of biodiversity on the continent. The Usambara Mountains are ideal for hiking and biking because of its magnificent landscape, breathtaking view points and vivid hill sides.

Seasons: December-March and June – September

Get itinerary 
Irente viewpoint

Irente viewpoint

Start:             Dar es Salaam/Lushoto
Finish:           Tanga ( for your flight to Zanzibar)
Theme:          Nature/Trekking/Adventure
Days:              4
Breakfasts:   3
Lunch:
           3
Dinner:          3
Excursions:  3 

Why we love this trip

  • The Usambara mountains scenery is as striking as it gets. Picture yourself in a surreal Hollywood production where everything is jaw dropping perfect
  • The Usambaras is still relatively unexplored- now is the time to go
  • 3 days only will be packed with experiences making you fell like you have been gone for weeks
  • Easily combined with a trip tp Zanzibar
  • High value for money- short time, less expenditure, lots of impressions
 
Children playing among the sugarcanes in Usambara

itinerary 4 days/3 nights

Trekking around Irente and Magamba Rainforest
There are many places to visit in the Usambaras and they are all breathlessly beautiful – a tough choice. A few days in the Usambaras before your Zanzibar visit will be so dense of experiences and emotions it will feel as you have been gone for weeks.
We choose Irente Farm Lodge because of its stunning location and view, the amazing homemade food, cheese, yogurt from the farm, and the friendly staff that love to welcome you. Just staying at Irente Farm is enough for the 3 days but close by you have various view points, trekking paths, rain forest and more offering striking nature and explorations.

Day 1

Day 1 Arrival to Lushoto and Irente Farm Lodge
Our guide meet up in Dar Es Salaam and together you will take the bus from Dar es Salaam to Lushoto. It is an 8 hour drive in reasonably comfortable buses and you will see and experience a lot on the way. Flying to Tanga is an option, then it is 3 hours from Tanga to Lushoto.
Arrival to Lushoto and Irente Farm Lodge in the afternoon. Today we get  to enjoy the striking scenery around Irente Farm and just breath and relax.

In the evening three courses home cooked dinner in the farm house, maybe in front of the fire, made of raw material from the farm and surrounding areas.

 
Irente Farm Lodge is overlooking the valley below. Huge birds in the trees, stunning scenery and cozy atmosphere.

Irente Farm Lodge is overlooking the valley below. Huge birds in the trees, stunning scenery and cozy atmosphere.

Day 2

Day 2 Hiking around the mountains and villages
In the morning we take a tour up the mountain (2 km) and discover the life of the Wasambara tribe living on the mountain slopes. We walk on twisting paths passing picturesque villages in settings so beautiful you just want to inhale it.  When reaching the 1400 m high point we will have the wide plain below us, mountains around us with villages in surreal locations which you suddenly find yourself in a few hours later.

We go back to Irente Farm Lodge to enjoy a lunch under the trees where big birds have their homes and we overlook the valley below.

After lunch we walk (6 km return) to another viewpoint 1750 m above sea level, to end the day with a sunset over the Usambara plain and mountains. We will talk to the people and find something to drink in one of the small bars that surprisingly enough exists.

In the evening we sit together for another well prepared meal in the farm house.

The area around Irente has breathtaking views.

Amazing colors and landscape around Irente

 
view over the Usambara plain

Breathtaking view over the Usambara plain

Day 3
Day 3 Magamba Rainforest
Magamba rainforest is reached from Irente Farm Lodge passing pretty areas and villages on the way. Once inside the dense rainforest ( 15 km return) we enjoy this special place and observe the life in the canopy. The forest is home for a big population of White and Black Colobus monkeys. At the  view point, 1850 m,  overlooking the whole area of Irente, we can observe the various weathers passing. Here we eat our lunch pack from Irente Farm Lodge with homemade cheese and other specialities.

After a full day we will be back at the farm in the afternoon to enjoy the peace and surroundings. Dinner at the farm house with locally produced raw material.

View over the Magamba Rainforest

View over the Magamba Rainforest

Day 4

Day 4 Flight to Zanzibar
After breakfast on the terrace overlooking the valley and birdlife we head back to Tanga to catch the afternoon flight to Zanzibar. The stretch Tanga – Zanzibar is direct and takes about 20 min.

House in the Usambara

When trekking around Irente you come close to the life in the Usambaras

 

Included

  • Buss from Dar es Salaam to Lushoto with or without guide
  • Taxi Lushoto- Irente farm/return
  • 3 dinners
  • 3 lunch
  • 3 breakfast
  • 2 half days hikes
  • 1 full day hike
  • Bus Lushoto- Tanga with our without guide
  • Flight Zanzibar-Tanga

 

 

For whom: Adults, Professionals, People with disabilities
Difficulty: Medium (2-5 miles/ 3-8 km walking distance on walk able paths)
Total km: 23 km
Total Hours trekking: 12 h
Clothing: Hiking boots or hiking shoes. Sunhat if needed. Rain clothes in bag.
Equipment: Sunscreen lotion, Water.
Participants: 1 to 6
Languages:  English, Swahili

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The Usambara Mountains
 The Usambara Mountains are ideal for hiking and biking because of its magnificent landscape, breathtaking view points and vivid hill sides. They are considered being one of the world’s biodiversity hotspots with several endemic species and some areas are still covered by dense tropical forests and protected zones . The highest peak is at 8,000 ft (2,440 m) and on the fertile slopes and on the plain below, farmers cultivate. Usambaras´ viewpoints invite to spectacular views of the plains and in the evening the sky turns pastel toned and even Kilimanjaro can be spotted.
Forests and national park:
Mkomazi / Umba (1600 km2)
Mgamba forest
Shagayu forest
Various natural forest (420 km2)
Rainforest
Rainforests are characterized by high rainfall and around 40% to 75% of all biotic species are indigenous to the rainforests. Despite providing us with important services as it store hundreds of billions of tons of carbon and hold up against flood and drought, the rainforests are rapidly being destroyed by human activities. Industrial agriculture — especially monoculture and livestock production — is the dominant driver of rainforest loss worldwide. Unique vegetative structure Rainforests consists of several vertical layers. On top is the canopy, up to 100 feet (30 m) above the ground where the vast majority of the plants and animals in the rainforest live. The canopy is a dense ceiling of leaves and tree branches formed as the trees stand close together. The canopy offers sources of food, shelter, and hiding places, providing for interaction between different species. http://rainforests.mongabay.com/