Lushoto & Usambara mountains 25 – 26 June 2021

  • Barry 

We left Mwanga lodge early after being woken up by the sound of sweeping – the cement floors were diligently being swept by an older woman and a young boy – on and on this sweeping sound on cement continued- it was a bit strange and climbing down out of the tent was like we were something of a spectacle.
We continued on down the T2 highway to the town of Mombo and then turned into the mountains.
From the plains the road rapidly climbs upward- quite harrowing as although it is tarred it is mostly a single lane and the 20 seater buses were relentless in their maintenance of speed – clearly to meet their schedules.

The scenery from the road was lovely

We had been told about Lushoto and the area by French friends we’d met in Siavonga, Zambia. They highly recommended a visit the hilltop area of Loshoto in the Usambura Mountains (north eastern Tanzania).

Loshoto is a popular hiking area with beautiful forests and splendid views. We camped at Irente Eco farm, which was established by the German Lutheran Church. They produce cheese, milk, honey, jam, bread and meals, all which go to running a home for handicapped kids.

We did a couple of walks the first was through a village to an outlook called Irente view – there is a hotel next to this point and if you choose to walk through the hotel it costs TZS2000 (R12) unless you buy a drink then when you get to the view you need to pay a further TZS2000 to the local villagers – we elected to walk around the hotel – this is the side path

and a close up of a flower along the path – looked like big cosmos

this is the Outlook from Irente View

Another walk was to the waterfall up in the mountains – we got lost along the way as there is no signage but an angel came to our rescue – he was working on his small plot of land and understood where we wanted to go so he kindly took us there and shared some of his sugar cane that he was chomping on – he had to ask some locals who were moving rock close to the river – so we had two young Tanzanians guiding us   – both carrying big machetes- we did not feel at all vulnerable and quietly remarked to ourselves this would not sit so comfortably in South Africa – this is the waterfall

and Jules with our guide

Back at Irente Eco farm we were shown a interesting looking chameleon

And then we noticed the back left tyre was losing air – on closer examination we discovered a pucture from a screw we’d picked up on the journey in … which was quite challenging to sort out.

First the tyre repair kit was retrieved and we to repair in situ – which is always first prize

Well the reaming did not work as the angle of the wheel and the steel belt did not allow for reaming – the tyre lost air – so it needed replacing – so highlight jack came out

School boy error – the ground was a bit soft and even though we got the tyre off

We still needed to use the second jack

And then had to dig out the ground to replace the tyre

So our planned updating of blogs and a cup of tea became a 2 hour saga of the tyres but it certainly did not dampen our spirits

At Irente eco farm we met another South African – Hein from Cape Town ( had supper together for the two nights) who is working in Arusha – he told us about his plans to fly back to Cape Town via Ethiopian airlines from Kilimanjaro airport via Addis Ababa to Cape Town – this was so exciting. So we changed plans and decided that this is what Jules would do and Barry could stay at Twiga Shaw lodge in Arusha – this is the joy of travel without fixed dates and agendas.

We had  a great few days in Lushoto at Irente Eco farm it is an experience we’d recommend highly!

and so we headed back to Arusha…

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