Welcome to the Usambara Mountains
the north-east 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 . Have a look at
Nobody knows which people first settled in
Usambara's, only that the ancestors of the present Sambaa people came
hundreds of years ago. In the mid 18th century a Sambaa kingdom existed
which had about 60.000 people.
In the latter half of the 19th century it is reported that there was a
lot of war and terror with neighboring tribes which ended with the
The Germans discovered
the charm of the Usmabara's and they
Lushoto (during those days Wilhelmsthal)
and it was a favoured holiday spot for colonial administrators. Today you still
find many traces of the German times.
became a British mandate territory after World
War I. The British
administration continued to reserve and exploit forests.
After independence in 1961 the Ujamaa politics or so called "African
socialism" of president Nyerere brought
one of the best organized village communities in Africa which still
exists today in the Usmabara's.
Besides the historical sites the Usambaras
have a lot of interesting places and activities. It is a exquisite place
for hiking, bird watching, mountain biking or relaxing.
Download the Usambara streetmap
|Facts and figures
|Main cities / villages:
||419.000 (120 persons / km2)
||16 - 30 gr.
11 - 16 gr. oC (night time)
||1000 - 2200 m
||agriculture (maize, cassava, potatoes,
tea, cardamom, vegetables, fruits and much more)
||Dry season: December-March and June -
Wet season: April-May and October-November
|Forest and national park:
||Mkomazi / Umba (1600 km2)
various natural forest (420 km2)
||218+ primary schools
17+ secundairy schools
1 institute of judiciary administration
||2 hospitals (Lushoto and Bumbuli)