Destroying rainforest for the sake of economic gain is compared to burning a Renaissance painting to cook a meal. Whenever the country Tanzania comes to our minds, we probably think Kilimanjaro, Serengeti, or Ngorongoro Crater. Even though these beautiful natures are world-famous, there is more to Tanzania than meets the eye.
The Usambara Mountains, stretching into neighboring Kenya and located in the north-eastern corner of Tanzania, are one of Tanzania’s hidden treasures. The Usambara Mountains are unique, containing protected lush stretches, possess rich biodiversity and have a virgin tropical rainforest; this makes them amongst the last true Tanzanian wildernesses.
The Usambara Rainforest is a hiker’s paradise. It possesses stunning views, magically winding paths, a round-every-corner kind of adventure and a cool climate which is refreshing. Have you been looking for an experience that is beyond the usual tourist spots? Then Usambara Rainforest is your answer; it will not break the bank.
The Usambara Rainforest is ideal for biking and hiking since it has breath-taking viewpoints, a magnificent landscape, and vivid hillsides.
Why you should find yourself in Usambara Rainforest
- The Usambaras is yet to be fully explored, so now is the time to go
- It gives a high value for money in that within a short time, your expenditure will be little, and you are also getting lots of impressions
- Within three days only, you will be packed with experiences which will make you feel as if you have been toured the place for weeks
- The Usambara mountains scene is as striking. You can start by picturing yourself in a Hollywood surreal production where everything is perfectly jaw-dropping
There are many places in the Usambaras where you can visit, which are all breathlessly beautiful- It is for sure a tough choice. They comprise the Eastern Arc Mountains easternmost ranges. These ranges are situated in the Lushoto District of Tanga, approximately 90 kilometers long and about half that wide. They formed as a result of uplifting and faulting, nearly two million years ago, and are composed of Precambrian metamorphic rocks.
They are Usambara Rainforest has been split into two sub-ranges;
- The West Usambaras, which are higher
- East Usambaras, which receive more rainfall is nearer the coast
Virgin tropical rainforest found in this mountains is a center of endemism and has been isolated for a very long period of time. Whenever you plan to visit the Usambara Rainforest, ensure that your adventures encompass in all the following inspiring highlights:
In a shady valley is a bustling town, Lushoto. It is the heartland of the Wasaamba people and the capital of the Usambara Mountains region. Lusaka is a great base to do some short hikes for example to the Mkusu and Magamba Forest Reserves and Irente Viewpoint. It is advisable to start your Usambara adventure here.
- Irente Viewpoint
Irente Viewpoint is an easy 6-kilometer walk from Lushoto. You will wander through cultivate farmland and villages up to the Irente Viewpoint. Do not look down since it is an 800-meter vertical drop.
Stop at Swedish-owned Irente Farm Lodge on your way back. You will experience a biodiversity reserve for a healthy farm lunch of cheese, bread, and yogurt, which are home-made jam which includes pineapple and fresh fruit. You can as well check out how they make their cheese.
This is a delightful village high up in the mountains. There is a constant energy bustling of regular Tanzanians living their lives and a colorful Thursday market. Here, you will find a warm welcome here being a hub for some incredible experiences.
You can stay at the MamboViewPoint Lodge which is a comfortable eco-lodge that is perched on a dizzying cliff’s edge, with fantastic, spectacular views at 360 degrees. The lodge possesses a campsite as well as a full menu of activities which include bike riding, Mambo Caves visit, hiking for three hours to a series of geological accidents. These have hidden Mambo villagers from attacks by the Maasai for centuries, with traces of ancient peoples.
There is also a series of preserved “footprints” in a rock which could be ancient hominids’ tracks entirely something else. The MamboViewPoint Lodge can as well arrange cookery lessons, Kiswahili lessons or a traditional healer visit.
This is a tiny hilltop village. It gives a view over Tsavo Plains, down to Mkomazi National Park. Kilimanjaro is seen on a clear day the rooftop of Africa. Also take a trip to nearby Mazumba Forest to take an evening walk amidst chameleon and colobus, the butterflies, and tea plantation and factory.
- Shagayu Forest
Rich in biodiversity and one of the oldest natural forests, botanists will love to hunt for the flora and fauna species which are unique to the Usambara Rainforest. Watch out for the Usambara weaverbird, rare juniper calodendrum eickii, African Violet, the little akalat in the montane forests and the chunky Usambara Eagle Owl.