HIKING IN TANZANIA

Without a doubt Tanzania’s best-known mountain and hiking trail also the highest mountain in Africa is Mt. Kilimanjaro  with its peak at 5,895 m. There are six official climbing routes to the top and durations vary from five to ten days. Another mountain an adventurous hiking destination in Tanzania which is less known but just as attractive is Mt. Meru located in Arusha National Park with its peak at 4,566 and is only 80 kms away from Mt. Kilimanjaro. Even hikers without summit ambitions will love Tanzania. On a three to five day trek through the Ngorongoro Conservation Area to Lake Natron, you will experience the Maasai culture and their way of life. In the Western Usambara Mountains, you can visit breath-taking lookout points and do multi-day hikes. In southern Tanzania you can go hiking through untouched nature with endemic flora and fauna in the Uluguru and Udzungwa Mountains. In the Southern highlands get to experience the magnificent adventurous hiking trail of Ngozi Crater Lake with its enchanted sceneries.

Udzungwa Mountains National Park

Harbouring one of East Africa’s great forests, Udzungwa Mountain National Park has an area of 1900 sq km, bordered by the Great Ruaha River to the north, with Mikumi National Park and Selous Game Reserve located further to the north and east. Protected as a national forest reserve until 1992 when it was commissioned as National Park, Udzungwa Mountains is undoubtedly one of the few true virgin and unique forested lands remaining in the world.
The major attractions include its biologically diverse forest, harbouring some plant species found nowhere else in the world, from a tiny African violet to 30-metre high trees. Apart from the forest, which acts as a water catchment area and having a large number of endemic species of both animals and plants, the park has spectacular mountains scenery, grasslands, rocks, rivers and waterfalls. One of the most interesting sights is the presence of two indigenous species of primates, the Iringa red colobus monkey and the Sanje Crested Mangabey, not known until 1979. Apart from providing habitat to about six species of primates, its plateau contains populations of elephants, buffalos, lions, leopards, African hunting dogs and several forest bird species.

3 DAYS/2 NIGHTS

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UDZUNGWA ITINERARY

Please take note that U.D.Z. 002 indicates the number of nights you will spend at Udzungwa Mountains National Park.

 

Itinerary – Hiking

 

DAY 1:

8:00 am – Commence your Safari for a 7 hour drive from Dar to Udzungwa Mountains. Enjoy your view of the countryside as you pass through Morogoro town where you shall have your lunch. After lunch you shall continue your journey and check in for 2 nights at Udzungwa Falls Lodge upon your arrival at Udzungwa Mountains.

7:30 pm – Dinner and overnight at Udzungwa Falls Lodge in Udzungwa Mountain

DAY 2:

7:00 am – Breakfast

8:00 am – After breakfast, set off on five hour hike further into the mountains along a rural road/path. Arrive at Sanje waterfall which plunges 170 meters (550 feet) through a misty spray into a forested valley below. Here you shall set up camp. Udzungwa is the largest and most biodiversity of a chain of a dozen large forest-swathed mountains that rise majestically from the flat coastal scrub of eastern Tanzania. Known collectively as the Eastern Arc Mountains, this archipelago of isolated massifs has also been dubbed the African Galapagos for its treasure-trove of endemic plants and animals, most familiarly the delicate African violet. Its a unique attraction within Tanzania in that its closed-canopy forest spans at an altitudes of 250 meters (820 feet) to above 2,000 meters (6,560 ft) without interruption.

1:00 pm – Enjoy a magnificent Bush Lunch in the Mountains

2:00 pm – Continue exploring surrounding areas, swim in either of the two pools of the waterfalls.

7:30 pm – Dinner and overnight at the Campsite in Sanje Waterfalls in Udzungwa Mountains.

DAY 3:

7:00 am – Breakfast

8:00 am – Pack up camp and descend to base of Waterfall. One hour hike down to Sanje village, depart for Dar Es Salaam.

Usambara Mountains Lushoto

Situated in the North-Eastern parts of Tanzania with their wide vistas, cool climate, winding paths and picturesque villages, the Usambara's are one of Tanzanian's highlights. The Usambara’s are a part of the ancient Eastern Arc chain which mountains stretch in a broken crescent from the Taita hills in Southern Kenya down to Morogoro and the Southern highlands. They are estimated to be at least 100 million years old and the rocks forming them may be as much as 600 million years old. 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 habitation of the Usambara´s goes back to at least 1,5 million years. Traces which are unique in world history were found near Mambo and still can be seen

4 DAYS/3 NIGHTS

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 USAMBARA ITINERARY

Itinerary – Hiking

 

DAY 1:

7:00 am – You will be picked up at your hotel in Dar-Es-Salaam by your driver guide and be taken to Lushoto, a leafy highland town nestled in a fertile valley at about 1200m, surrounded by pines and eucalyptus mixed with banana plants and other tropical foliage. It’s the centre of the western Usambaras and makes an ideal base for hikes into the surrounding hills. On the road enjoy the view and get to see real traditional African villages and the locals going about their business.

1:00 pm – After lunch at Irente View Cliff Lodge, hike to Irente View point for spectacular view of the village of Mazinde and the Maasai plains almost 1000 meters below.

7:30 pm – Dinner and overnight Lushoto

DAY 2:

7:00 am – Breakfast

8:00 am – Visit tea and coffee plantations and the pristine Mazumbai Forest. You shall go for a short walk here looking out for a huge tree, wild flowers and the black and white Colobus monkey. Mazumbai forest is a great place for bird watchers, anthropologists and botanists as it is also known as botanical Mazumbai garden

7:30 pm – Dinner and overnight Lushoto

DAY 3:

7:00 am – Breakfast

8:00 am – With picnic lunch visit Bumbuli and enjoy its beautiful scenery, from there you will be taken to Soni Waterfalls for a good swim and enjoy your picnic lunch at the waterfalls and later return to the lodge

7:30 pm – Dinner and overnight Lushoto

DAY 4:

7:00 am – Breakfast

8:00 am – Drive back to Dar-Es-Salaam

Ngozi Crater Lake

The Ngozi Crater Lake is located in the east of Mporoto Ridge Forest Reserve. The forest reserve has an area of about 9332 hectares, and is located at 8’58-9’05 and 33’26-33’36’E with altitudes ranging from 1750-2620 m. The crater is roughly 15 km southeast of the city of Mbeya. It is accessible by a dirt road in the dry season; in the wet it can be difficult. The lake is reached by a one hour hike through the forest. This stunning lake is located in a caldera, which is 2.5 km long and 1.6 km wide. The crater dates from some time in the Neogene period. The water is slightly brackish, contains some fish, and is up to 75 m deep. The lake has spiritual significance for the local inhabitants. The slopes of the crater wall are covered by Upper Montane Forest, grassland and bamboo. Other attractions you shall get to explore in this hiking tour are Kiwira natural bridge nicknamed the “Bridge of God” (Daraja la Mungu) in Swahili language which was naturally formed without any human engineering. The bridge was formed by powers of a fast flowing river down along the rocky valley creating a hole through a hard surface hence leaving behind a rocky span that cuts across two sides of the river in the shape that exactly looks like a single lane bridge, big and strong enough to allow to allow more than a hundred tons of heavy load across. Local people call this miracle “Daraja La Mungu” for its providential existence and for the traditional beliefs attached to it. You shall also get to see Kijungu Waterfalls not more than ten meters from this bridge.

5 DAYS/4 NIGHTS

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NGOZI ITINERARY

Itinerary

 

DAY 1:

8:00 am – Fly from Dar to Mbeya. Pick up from Songwe airport and transfer to Utengule Coffee lodge located in the outskirts of Mbeya in Mbalizi town, near coffee plantations

1:00 pm – Lunch

2:00 pm – Relax and enjoy your day with panoramic views of the coffee plantation area. Day at leisure

7:30 pm – Dinner and overnight at Utengule Coffee Lodge

DAY 2:

7:00 am – Breakfast

8:00 am – Go explore Kiwira natural bridge nicknamed the Bridge of God which is just outside of Tukuyu town, South of Mbeya. This is a natural lava bridge across a river big enough to have six persons standing on it. The river was named “Kibila”, “Kibira” and “Kiwira”. Today it is called Kiwira, situated near the southern border to Malawi. Then you shall see Kijungu Waterfalls. Kijungu Falls is an attractive natural wonder where the entire river flows into a pot-like hollow before flowing down the rocks and take its natural course. Locals believe that at Kijungu Falls and the Natural Bridge there is a dragon that keeps guard of treasures hidden in the river bed therefore they usually mysteriously make someone fall into the river as sacrifice. Kijungu acquired its name due to the pot like shape of the base where the water falls making a whirlpool and taking a course that takes seven days for the water to return to a nearby spot and continue with its journey downstream.

7:30 pm – Dinner and overnight at Utengule Coffee Lodge

DAY 3:

7:00 am – Breakfast

8:00 am – Depart for a full-day hiking tour of Ngozi Crater Lake. This is a site of outstanding natural beauty and a superb hiking location. A green shimmering lake walled by the collapsed caldera of the extinct Ngozi Volcano. You shall have your bush lunch along the scenery adventurous hiking trail.

7:30 pm – Dinner and overnight at Utengule Coffee Lodge

DAY 4:

7:00 am – Breakfast

8:00 am – Go for coffee tour around nearby coffee plantations and learn how the plant is harvested and all the procedure leading to a finished product ready for consumption

7:30 pm – Dinner and overnight at Utengule Coffee Lodge

DAY 5:

7:00 am – Breakfast

8:00 am – Transfer to Songwe airport to catch your flight back to Dar