The Usambara Mountains

The Usambara Mountains

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 range is accessible from the towns of Lushoto in the west, and Amani in the east. The Usambaras are commonly split into two sub-ranges, the West Usambara and the East Usambara. The East Usambara is closer to the coast, receives more rainfall, and is significantly smaller than the west

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 levels 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 Usambara Mountains

Visitors come to the Usambaras to enjoy its nature, relax and hike. The main centre for visitors in the Western Usambaras is Lushoto town. In Lushoto, you can walk through the arboretum, hike in the forest, and look for old buildings from the German and British colonial eras. A fascinating stop is the herbarium (pressed plant library) in Lushoto, which houses 1000s of pressed plants from Tanzania dating back to German times (1886-1916).

Because of the flexibility of this destination, as professional being our core value and interest, we encourage our precious travelers to design their trip by choosing the activities that they would like to enjoy here and we can plan that for you.

 

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