West Usambara Mountains: Lushoto - Mambo, 5 Days Hiking Itinerary

There are two main options for getting to Lushoto from Arusha (via Moshi) by bus. First, there are two direct buses per day, both theoretically taking around 6 hours and departing at about 6am from Arusha. The other option is to take an express bus, and alight at Mombo, from where there are frequent daladalas and buses to Lushoto. The experience tells, it will need always at least 8 hours. Of course we also organize a private transfer. The route runs over 200km west and parallel to the North and South Pare Mountains. South of Same then the huge Usambara mountains rise from the plain. On the right hand extends the sheer endless expanse of the Maasai dry savanna, the Masai steppe.

Usambara Mountains: Tourist streetmap Lushoto map

Day 1…  Arusha to Lushoto

If all goes well, you will arrive in Lushoto in the early afternoon and have time for a city walk, before or after your move into your room in the Lawns Hotel. You will meet your local guide at the hotel.

Usambara Mountains: Lushoto, Lawns hotel Usambara02 view to Lushoto

 

Day 2… Tour to Irente Viewpoint and Kisasa Waterfalls in Magamba rainforest.

After breakfast you will walk to the Irente view point by the shortest way through agricultural areas and forest. After thoroughly enjoying the phenomenal view and also the wonderful views over the Mkomazi floodplains, you walk back on the normal road and stop by the Irente Farm for a pre-ordered lunch. The distance is only 1,7km.

UsambaraMountains: Irente view point, view to the left Usambara Mountains: Irente view point, view to the right

  Usambara Moutains: Irente view point,  rock Usambara Mountains: Irente view point

The Irente Biodiversity Reserve which extends about 200ha operates on four pillars: Nature based tourism, food processing, Biodiversity protection, Farming. The nature reserve is owned and managed by North-Eastern Diocese of the Lutheran Church of Tanzania.

Usambara Mountains: Irente farm sign Usambara Mountains: way to Irente farm

 The lunch: rye bread, tilsiter cheese, goat cheese, quark with herbs, cut fresh vegetables, fruits, different kinds of mustard and and…..

Usambara Mountains: Irente farm lunch Usambara Mountains: Irente after lunch

Hope you will enjoy this very special lunch and then make a nap or walk around the farm lodge and relish the view and the garden.

Usambara Mountains: Irente farm view Usambara13 Irente farm garden

To shorten the walking time you will go back to Lushoto by motorbike and then continue hiking in the Magamba nature reserve to the waterfalls.

  Usambara Mountains: way to Lushoto Usambara Mountains: Lushoto chameleon green

On the way to the Kisasa waterfalls you pass little waterfalls as well.

Usambara Mountain: Waterfall on the way to Kisasa Usambara Mountains: Kisasa Waterfalls

Maybe you will have some interesting meetings with little pets at the Kisasa waterfalls also.

Usambara Mountains: black chicks with chicken UsambaraMountains: Leopard turtle

You will go the same way back to Lushoto and then to the hotel.

Usambara Mountains: view to little Waterfall Usambara Mountains: Lushoto, sugar cane sqeezing

 

Day 3…  Drive from Lushoto to starting point between Lukozi and Malindi - Hiking to Rangwi

After breakfast and check out from your hotel, you will buy some provision at the market and shops in Lushoto for the next two days and then drive by taxi or daladala to the starting point for your day hike. It will be between Lukozi and Malindi about 40km far from Lushoto.

Usambara Mountains: Malindi Usambara Mountains: which way?

It is not a signposted footpath. Your local guide will lead you up and down through the landscape. If it is too steep for you, he will use another path. It is a walking time from ca. 4 hours. So it is enough time for detours.

Usambara Mountains: to Rangwi ants Usambara Mountains: to Rangwi

Arrived in Rangwi and finally at the convent of Rangwi sisters.

Usambara Mountains: Rangwi sign Usambara Mountains: Rangwi village

If it is market day, you will go there first and then explore the village.

Usambara Mountains: Rangwi market Usambara Mountains: Rangwi market

Usambara Mountains: woman goes to work  Usambara Mountains: canna indica

  Usambara Mountains: Rangwi women Usambara Mountain: Rangwi

Back at the convent of the Rangwi sisters, you can relax with a contemplative walk through the extensive garden area. The convent was founded by German missionaries in 1953.

Usambara Mountains: Rangwi sisters   Usambara Mountains: Rangwi sisters pear

You will have lunch and dinner there and stay overnight in the guesthouse.

Usambara Mountains: Rangwi sisters Usambara Mountains: Rangwi sisters

 

Day 4…  Rangwi – Mambo

After breakfast we leave Rangwi and start with a steep climb the way to Mambo. The tour will last approximately 4 hours.

Usambara Mountain: Rangwi Usambara Mountain: way to Mambo

  Usambara Mountains: forest to Mambo Usambara Mountains: way to mambo beehives

You reach Mambo and visit the pottery. It is a cooperative of women. They show their products and how to make them.

Usambara Mountains: Mambo pottery Usambara Mountain: Mambo pottery

After the demo you continue to the viewpoint.

Usambara Mountains: Mambo footballfield Usambara Mountains Mambo viewpoint guesthaus

The view is phenomenal. If you are a darling of fortune, you will see the Kilimanjaro.

Usambara Mountains: Mambo viewpoint Usambara Mountains: Mambo viewpoint

 After a long break, you will walk through Mambo to your lodge,  Magumba View Cottages for dinner and overnight.

Usambara Mountains: Mambo Usambara Mountains: Mambo

  Usambara Mountains: Mambo Lodge Usambara Mountains: Mambo Lodge, Magumba view Cattages

From the Magumba viewpoint you have a fantastic view as well all the way to Kenya and Mt. Kilimanjaro if the weather allows it.

Usambara Mountains: Magumba viewpoint Usambara Mountains: Magunda viewpoint

Day 5… Mambo – Arusha

The bus departing 5.30 am in Mambo takes you direct via Lushoto to Arusha (via Moshi).

  Usambara Mountains: Magumba viewpoint sunset Usambara Mountains: Mambo sign