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A hot spot for biodiversity

The Usambara Mountains in northeastern Tanzania are known for their beautiful climate, beautiful vantage points and fertile slopes. The mountains are about 90 km long, 45 km wide and were formed almost two million years ago. Usambara has an exceptional range of plants and animals and represents one of the highest levels of biodiversity on the continent.

The climate

The climate in Usambaras is very different from the rest of Tanzania. Rain can and does fall at any time of the year, even if there is a seasonal pattern. The climate on the coast can be hot and humid, but due to the altitude (800-1400m), eastern Usambara is cooler and wetter than the surrounding lowlands. Precipitation averages over 1500 mm per year with an average temperature of 20C.

Lots of birds

Unlike the classic image of East Africa, the savannah, this is a lush and green area and is considered an international “hot spot” for biodiversity. Eastern Usambaras are especially known for their bird life. With over 350 registered species, Usambaras is one of Africa’s best bird watching sites.

African Galapagos

There are many endemic plant and animal species in eastern Usambaras – more than 2,000 plant species of which about 25% are endemic. Of the 276 tree species, 50 are endemic! There are 16 tree species found only in eastern Usambaras. The forests of eastern Usambaras have many rare species in all groups of animals, except mammals. High levels of endemism are found among mollusks, toads and reptiles. Eastern Usambaras have been compared to the Galapagos Islands in terms of diversity of endemic species.

Best time

The whole year

Height ö.h

2400 m


‎90x45 km

Rainy season

April May


Hike to Irente viewpoint

Hike through the fertile farmland

Visit fruit tree school
Visit Irente Biodiversity farm and eat homemade cheese

Visit the village of Vuli to see projects on soil conservation, irrigation and agricultural practices.

Hiking in the dense Magamba forest

See the black and white colobus monkey

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