This is one of the most beautiful areas I’ve been to in Tanzania. Lushoto town is the business center of the Usambara mountains, where people come to work or sell their farm produce. That’s also where most travelers stay when coming to hike around the mountains.
As I am not much of a hiker, I was only going to stay a night or two to cut in half the long bus ride from Bagamoyo to Moshi, and ended up staying a whole week. I discovered a beautiful, quiet and green place, full of streams and waterfalls, and nice welcoming people.
The Usambara mountains are home to the Sambaa tribe who are mainly farmers and live in small villages between the mountains. There is a lot to be discovered about their unique culture and their peaceful villages up in the mountains, and I recommend you do that with a guide.
Your visit will be much more interesting as he will take you straight to what you want to see and you won’t waist time looking for it… also find people to be much more welcoming when I was introduced by a guide that is their tribe member or even family. It’s only natural. Another thing is that some people in Tanzania keep their distance just because they are embarrassed to try to speak English, and they feel more comfortable when the guide can help translate.
My travel tips:
🌿 Kosta is a good, reliable and knowledgeable guide. He is a Sambaa himself and as such has a lot of cultural knowledge, including herbal medicine, and knows all the best places – in nature and among the tribe members in the villages. He is part of a group of young local guides who have teamed up to share their tribal culture and beautiful nature with travelers. He made a great effort to tailor the route for me according to my interests and budget, and was also happy to tell me about places I could get to on my own.
Contact him on WhatsApp +255713475928 , facebook
🌿 Among the places I went to on my own – a ride in a Piki Piki (motorcycle taxi) took me to the beautiful Kisasa Falls, and you can also reach a beautiful view point in a 10 minute ride – Irente view point. Of course if you are a hiker who enjoys the walk itself then go for it!
🌿 I stayed 2 nights at the Lawn’s hotel and it was lovely, and when I decided to stay longer I moved to the local Castaway, basic, clean and tidy with hot water and breakfast at 25,000 shillings.
🌿 Asante C@fe’– a nice organic coffee house which also offers wifi. Matson is an artist who moved to Lushoto from Bagamoyo. Here he learned a lot about coffee, and combined with his artistic side he built and designed the café which is also a community project. Matson works with small coffee farms around Lushoto producing hand picked organic Arabica coffee.
Would recommend joining Matson on a coffee tour to one of these farms, I had a lovely morning with him and I learned a lot about coffee…
Read more about my visit here.
🌿 I really like the local food- Kaya restaurant is excellent and especially the pilau- but occasionally feel like western- Pizza mama mia is really delicious and there is wifi.
All the places I mentioned are easy to find on Google Maps, and of course Kosta will be happy to help.