Hiking at the Usambara Mountains in Tanzania
Visit the Usambara Mountains with the best tour operator in Tansania! Let's view Tanzania offers various options for hiking – ranging from day hikes up to 6 days at this beautiful and still mostly undiscovered paradise.
The Usambara Mountains are a combination of 2000m tall ridges and forests located in the north east of Tanzania about 6 hours from Daressalaam on the way to Kilimanjaro.
The area is divided in two main parts: The Usambara Mountains and East-Usambara. Both areas are shaped very differently. While the Usambara Mountains mostly consist of hills and steep ridges, East-Usambara offers lakes, lots of waterfalls and tropical rainforests.
The area is a true paradise for hikers who want to enjoy the serene surroundings and the tranquil hiking paths away from the crowds that visit Mt. Kilimanjaro.
The Usambara Mountains are part of the Northern Safari Circuit in Tanzania. It is also right next to Mkomazi National Park which makes it an ideal area for a combination of hiking, leisure and safari.
Where to start hiking the Usambara Mountains?
In the 19th century, German settlers brought crops such as coffee and tea and built many churches in the area. They brought the concept of separating the forest and villages which was assimilated by the locals. The landscape varies from tropical rain forest in the valley to fertile grounds that are used for irrigation and farming. The biggest settlement within this area is Lushoto town. It is a busy trading center and offers many street markets where locals are trading their products.
Lushoto is also the starting point for hikes to the mountains. Our experienced guides will show the most beautiful parts of the Usambara Mountains so that you will discover the best kept secrets and hike along the most scenic trails.
What to see at the Usambara Mountains?
There are several viewpoints along the ridges that can be reached by hiking along many small trails that lead through farms, tea and coffee plantations, forests and hills. A famous viewpoint is the Irente Viewpoint in the west of Lushoto. Irente Viewpoint can be reached as a dayhike at Usambara Mountains from Lushoto. It is a great place to see the sunset. Other viewpoints on the mountain ridge are Mtae Viewpoint and Mambo Viewpoint, named after the nearby village. There are several starting points from where to start hiking to Mambo Viewpoint, depending on your schedule and preferred hiking times. It is possible to go hiking at the Usambara Mountains as a daytrip, but also 2 days hiking at Usambara and up to 6 days is recommended. Here you can enjoy breathtaking views of the valley beneath and hike along the steep ridge. The highest peak is Chambolo Peak with an altitude of 2 289m (7 510ft a.s.l.) On a clear day Mt. Kilimanjaro can be seen at a distance. There are a couple of nice lodges and accommodations such as Mullers Mountain Lodge, Swiss Farm Cottages, Bushbaby Homestay, Mambo Viewpoint Lodge and even a convent by Rangwi Sisters Convent. You will enjoy the smell of fresh roasted coffee along the many coffee farms and small villages with its very friendly inhabitants. The most famous creatures are the Usambara chameleons that can be found in the many dense forests of the Usambara Mountains. Additionally, there are plenty of bird species, monkeys and butterflies. In the south of Lushoto you can visit the beautiful Kisasa waterfalls. In the center of the Usambara mountains you can also visit the Mkuzi waterfalls. All this combined makes it a very beautiful, versatile and tranquil hiking area worth a visit. If you have some additional time, the East Usambara Mountains are worth a visit with the tropical Magoroto Lake to relax after your hike where you can enjoy swimming and easier hikes through the tropical rainforests. One of the best options for some additional overnights are Magoroto Estate and Amani Forest Camp.
- Visit the markets of Lushoto
- Find traces of the first German settlements
- Visit Mkuzi & Kisasa Waterfalls
- Enjoy the view at Irente Viewpoint & Mambo Viewpoint
- Relax at Magoroto Lake
- Go on safari at Mkomazi National Park
Best accommodations at the Usambara Mountains:
- The Lawns Hotel Lushoto
Nice little house in Lushoto with a beautiful garden in a calm surrounding. It’s an ideal place to start hiking in the Usambara Mountains.
- Mullers Mountain Lodge
Great accommodation in a traditional setting with a great view of the Usambara Mountains and beautiful garden and terrace including a barbeque place.
- Swiss Farm Cottages
Beautiful cottage homes in the middle of nature with all comfort. The cottages are surrounded by the Usambara Mountains and offer spacious rooms with a great variety of food.
- Mambo Viewpoint Lodge
Probably one of the most beautiful and spectacular accommodations right the the cliff of the Usambara Mountain ridge with a stunning view of the surrounding and great service.
- Bushbaby Homestay
Basic homestay accommodation with great hospitality to spend a night while hiking at the Usambara Mountains. The owners offer a great service for tired hikers.
- Rangwi Sisters Convent
Basic but charming rooms in a very traditional setting at a real convent. The guest rooms offer hot water and simple beds that are serving its purpose to get a good night’s rest. The sisters of the convent offer great hospitality. Enjoy some of the fresh coffee from the surrounding plantations!
- Amani Forest Camp
Beautiful camp that is nestled inside East-Usambara. The camp is an ideal starting point for various easy hikes and offers camping options as well as basic cabins and rooms.
- Magoroto Estate
A true hidden gem at East-Usambara right next to Magoroto lake inside the rainforest. The accommodation offers small cottages and treehouses with a great view over the lake. It is the ideal place to relax after your hike at the Usambara Mountains.
Trekking and Hiking
Everyone at Let’s view Tanzania is passionate about adventure trekking and hike Everyone at Let’s view Tanzania is passionate about adventure trekking and hiking – it’s the core of what we do and we specialise in making challenging destinations accessible to every fit, weekend trekker.
So whether you want to climb Kilimanjaro, trek to Mount Meru or visit the others we can help you create an adventure that will become a lifelong memory.ing – it’s the core of what we do and we specialise in making challenging destinations accessible to every fit, weekend trekker.
So whether you want to limb Kilimanjaro, trek to Mount Meru or visit the others we can help you create an adventure that will become a lifelong memory.