The Usambara Mountains form the first part to the Eastern Arc Mountain Range in Tanzania. This biodiversity hotspot is home to numerous endemic species of flora and fauna. Mammals, birds, amphibians, insects and reptiles are all represented and it is easy to see examples of these rare species on your guided walks.
- Birding: Excellent numerous forest specialists
- Best time to visit Usambara: June - March
- How to get to Usamabara: you need to drive but you can fly to Tanga which is close.
- Safari types available: Walking Safaris
Usambara's forests are over 20million years old and have giant trees towering to over 50m. These mountains themselves are over 100 million years old and rose when the Rift Valley fell.
The Usambara Mountains can be split into two distinct blocks, East Usambara and West Usambara. In East Usambara we recommend Amani Nature Reserve in East Usambara as this has both decent accommodation (at Amani Forest Camp - Emau Hill) and great forest. In West Usambara Lushoto is the main destination for visitors to the Mgamba and Ambangulu Forest Reserves.
Usambara Mountains Locations view all
Amani Nature Resrve is located in East Usambara. One of the smallest and lowest ranges in the Eastern Arc, the East Usambaras are one of the most important in ecological terms, supporting some of the most extensive and least degraded montane forest in Tanzania.
Lushoto is the main town in the West Usambara Mountains. Although not as biologically diverse as the East Usamabaras there are suburb walking opportunities in the area, and viewpoints offering stunning views out over the escarpment. The main attractions in the area are the Magamba and Mkusu Forest Reserves, Irente Viewpoint and several small waterfalls.
Tanga is a typical sleepy colonial town on the 'fever coast' of Northern Tanzania. It has wide boulevards, a vibrant market and a typical local night-life. The town is the starting point for several interesting excursions in the area including Amboni Caves. It also provides good access to the East Usambara Mountains and Pangani.