Usambara Mountains Culture Programme

Departure city: Arusha, Tanzania

Accommodation: Budget | National Parks: Usambara Mountains | Special Interest: Cultural Tour

Valid: All year round

only$ 670

* based on 6 participants

The Usambara Mountains are situated in the north-east part of Tanzania and are known for their pleasant climate, beautiful viewpoints and fertile slopes. Favoured by the Germans and English during colonial times, the area is rich in historical buildings from the period.

Day 1: Southern Pare Mountains

Walk along steep slopes, through dense tropical forests and villages of Pare in the Mbaga Hills deep within the Southern Pare Mountains, about 150 km from Moshi.

A tour of southern Pare Mountains includes:

  • A trip to the hilltop Ranzi Dam and Tona grounds to get glimpses of German history, and unique flora and fauna.
  • A climb to the different mountain peaks from where you get excellent views of Mkomazi Game Reserve, Mt.Kilimanjaro, Shengena Peak and Taita Hills of Kenya
  • A view of Shengena Peak, the highest point of the Eastern Arc Mountains
  • A view into Pare culture

Day 2: Usambara Mountains

The Usambara Mountains situated in the north-east part of Tanzania, are known for their pleasant climate, beautiful viewpoints and fertile slopes. Favoured by the Germans and English during colonial times, the area is rich in historical buildings from the period.

Day 3: Pangani home of Swahili Culture

Pangani is a small town in East Africa’s coast with a long history and a culture with Arabic, German, Asian and British Colonial rules influence. This is a place where Swahili, Arab, colonial traditions and modern hospitality blends together.

Located at the mouth of Pangani River that collects its water from Mt Kilimanjaro and Meru to the Indian Ocean, Pangani Cultural Tourism Programme offers various tours.

Here you will enjoy coastline with clean beaches where endangered Green Turtles breeds, historic sites, coral reefs, Old Port as well as a great diversity of tropical marine dwellers.

Day 4: Bagamoyo, World Heritage Site on the Slave Route

Bagamoyo, 45 miles north of Dar es Salaam, is an important cultural heritage site for Tanzania. Famous for its slave and ivory trade, Bagamoyo was also the first capital of Tanzania under German Colonial rule until it shifted in 1892 to Dar es Salaam. An International Conference was organized by scholars and conservationists who are proponents of the idea that that the coastal town should be declared a World Heritage Site of global importance. The conference, under the chairmanship of Prof.Wilbard Kombe of the University College of Lands and Architectural Studies in Tanzania, took place September 9-12, 2002 in Bagamoyo.

Your accommodation will be at special campsites in villages through which your route crosses. All camping equipment (except sleeping bags) will be provided.

Price of the entire trip: $ 670 p.p. with 6 people onboard.
Gather your friends or join with other travellers on this trip to bring the price down!

Terms & Conditions:

  • A better price for everyone! Get a refund for every additional traveller joining your trip.
  • The overall rate of this trip, with every additional passenger, gradually decreases
  • The maximum capacity of this trip is 6 people

This trip is inclusive of: 

  • Accommodation as per the itinerary
  • Lodges/camps on Full Board – cook for camping safari
  • Road transportation in 4wd land Cruiser safari vehicle
  • Game drives as per the itinerary
  • Tents and other camping gears{ for budget camping safaris}
  • Park entrance fees and crater service fees
  • English Speaking guides available for the safari

This trip is exclusive of:

  • Visit of Masai Cultural Village
  • All International Flights/local Flights + Taxes
  • Visa fees, Travel & Personal accident insurance
  • Excursions, services and activities not mentioned in this program
  • Personal expenses e.g. laundry, telephone calls, Drinks, Tips and gratuities

The Usambara Mountains

The Climate of the East Usambaras differs from much of the rest of Tanzania. Rain can and does fall at any time of the year although there is a seasonal pattern. Tanzania has a hot, dry season in December-March, and a cooler, dry season in May to October. The ‘short’ rains occur in November and ‘long’ rains in April-May. The climate on the coast can be hot and humid, however, because of the altitude (800-1400m), the East Usambaras are cooler and wetter than the surrounding lowland. The rainfall averages over 1,500mm a year with an average temperature of 20C.

The East Usambaras are fairly densely populated, and lie within the more densely populated North of Tanzania. The area contains some 18 villages with a total population of about 15,500. An additional 4,000 people live and work on tea plantations in the area. The population is growing rapidly through a combination of natural increase and in-migration.

Different from the classic picture of East Africa – savannah – this is a lush and green area. The natural vegetation of submontane forest supports a wide variety of flora and fauna, much of which is endemic and for which the area is renowned both nationally and internationally. It is considered an international ‘hot spot’ for bio-diversity. The East Usambaras are particularly well known for bird life, with over 350 recorded species. The Usambaras are a bird-watching paradise. Abundant and diverse species can be spotted and according to experts, the Usambaras is one of Africa ’s best bird-watching locations.

There are many endemic plant and animal species in the Eastern Arc Mountains – more than 2000 plant species of which about 25% are endemic. Out of the 276 tree species 50 are endemic! The East Usambara mountains are the closest to the sea (only about 40 km) and due to moist climate the number of endemic species is remarkable. There are 16 tree species which can be found in the East Usambaras only. The forests of the East Usambaras have many rare species in all groups of animals, except mammals. High level of endemism are found amongst molluscs, amphibians and reptiles. The East Usambaras have been compared to Galapagos Islands with regard to diversity of endemic species.

The genus Saintpaulia, or African violet as it is commonly known originates from North-East Tanzania. During the year 1982, Baron Walter von Saint Paul Illaire, then District Commissioner of Tanga Province, found wild plants with small blue flowers. The species was introduced to horticulture and since then it has enjoyed spectacular and ever increasing popularity as indoor plant. Nowadays, the East Usambaras is one of the few places where Saintpaulia still occurs – there are eight species growing in the area.

Passenger Information

  • Passengers should bring only duffle bags safaris {not suitcases}
  • All the passengers must have Identification Card/Passport with them for internal flights.
  • Baggage on domestic flights is strictly limited to 15kgs per person (including hand luggage). Any excess baggage will be charged by the airline at check-in.
  • Passengers arriving in Tanzania may be asked to present a valid Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificate
  • Tourist Visa will be obtained at the entry points, but it is advisable to double check before travelling to Tanzania.