Thursday, June 16, 2005

Welcome to Tanzania!

JB Bike Company Presents
The West Usambara Cultural Tourism Programme

Welcome to the green and fertile Usambara Mountains, where you can experience all facets of African rural life and enjoy the marvelous views over the area. We offer an array of wonderful bike and hiking tours of our home.

We farmers of the Usambara Mountains offer you:

*visits to superb viewpoints on the edge of the mountains
*a visit to several development projects in the district (soil conservation, irrigation, cross breeding, aforestation, health care)
*a climb to Kwa Mongo, the mountain home to a vast number of beautiful butterflies
*walks through dense natural forests and along small rivers that race downhill
*a view into the history and daily life of the Wasambaa farmers
*a visit to a traditional pottery village
*and much more!

Profits will be used within the several development projects in our district. Your visit helps us to improve our living conditions through your contributions.

An Introduction to the Usambara Mountain Range

The Usambara Mountains are situated in the north eastern part of Tanzania between Mount Kilimanjaro and the Indian Ocean. The mountains rise up steeply from the surrounding plains and can only be entered via a few roads. The Tarmac road winds along a small river, up to Soni and Lushoto, the largest towns in the region.

Because of its pleasant climate, the mountains were favored by the Germans and the English during Colonial times as is evidenced by the numerous historic buildings from the past.

From a distance, the mountains are a colorful mosaic. On the fertile slopes around Soni and Lushoto, farmers cultivate small plots. In contrast, farther away from the town’s most populated areas, you will find land covered by dense tropical forests.

The viewpoints on the southern and western side of the Usambara Mountains are well known for their spectacular views of Mkomazi and Handeni plains. The almighty Kilimanjaro can be seen on the horizon, and at the end of the day, the sunset turns the area into a tremendous pallet of unforgettable colors!

Tour Options
We have developed various tour options that show you the most interesting places to visit in this enchanting village. Please take a look below at our offered tours and contact us for further information and to book a holiday.


Our guides are all former students of the Shambalai Secondary School in Lushoto. Some of them have to wait one year for further education, others won’t continue studying and try to find suitable work in the tourism. All speak English, are familiar with the area, and can tell you many stories about the history and daily life of the Shambaa people.

Important Tip
Please be careful and avoid un-authorized guides. Always demand receipts for any payment—this will help to ensure that your fees go towards development activities in our villages.

Getting there
Halfway between Dar es Salaam and Arusha, Lushoto can be reached within 6 hours by direct buses starting from these two towns. Other coaches have a stop in Mombo, where small buses bring you in 1 hour time to Lushoto.

To Book a Tour
JB Bike Company
Attn: Jerome Mwamboneke
Box NO 191
Lushoto, Tanzania

Phone: 255 0748 44 9311


Day Trips

Start by driving to the top of the hill. First, walk 25minutes, then continue through cultivation areas to the forest, then on to the royal village of Kwembago. Walk downhill to the famous Irene view point. On the way back, visit the Irene Farm and stop for a picnic. Brown bread is served along with a fine assortment of other breads, cheese, and home made jam. The program can also be extended by visiting the school for the blind and an orphanage centre.

Price: US$30 per person

Includes: village development fees, guide fees, food at the farm, forest fees and transportation

Mkuzi Water Falls

Start by driving to the trail origin and then walk 30 minutes. Journey by foot into the rain forest, and admire the beautiful Hornbill and many a mischevious black and white Columbus monkey. This is the home of birds and different endemic species of plants. Afterwards, you will walk back to Mkuzu Village and embark on the serene return drive to Lushoto.

Price: US$25 per person

Includes: village fees, forest fees, guiding fees and transportation

Several Days
( 3-5 days)

Day 1
Travel 6-7hrs from Lushoto to Lukozi Village through natural forest and vegetations. Stay overnight at Lukozi Village.

Day 2
From Lukozi, pass through different traditional villages and agricultural lands to Rangwi Village. Stay overnight at the convent.

Day 3
From Rangwi you walk through a development project and learn about soil conservation techniques, traditional irrigation program, and more. Stay overnight at Mtae--the "world view point" where you can see Mount Kilimanjaro majestically rising in the distance.

Price: Please inquire


Eastern side of Usambara Mountains
Lushoto, Soni, Bumbuli to Mazumbai natural forest. (3 to 4 days)

Cycling down a paved hill 12kms and 3kms gently uphill, then downhill again to Soni. From Soni to Sakarani Farm (wine factory), 8kms uphill via tea plantation to Bumbuli mission. 38kms for overnight.

Riding 17kms to Mazumbai rain forest. Hike in the forest for 3hrs and back to the rest house for overnight or camping along the forest.

Day 3
In the morning, ride 20kms from Mazumbai rain forest to Kwesine Village, then uphill to Sakarani. Eat lunch then back to Soni and take a transport back to Lushoto.

PRICE: US$80 per person per day

Includes: Bike rental, guiding fee, village developing fee, forest fee and dinner
Excludes: drinks, things of personal nature and recommended tips
* A group should not be less than 5 people, and if less, then US$15 per person per day should be levied

Western side of Usambara Mountains
to Kilimanjaro region (8 to 9 days)

Day 1
Arriving from Dar es Salam or Arusha by bus, travel to Mombo, then start to ride uphill 17kms to Soni then 13kms up and downhill to Lushoto.

Day 2
Around 10am, ride 10kms to the famous view point. On the way back, ride 2kms to the farm where you sit for a picnic lunch (brown bread, cheese, quark, mueslix, home-made jams and juice). Ride 2kms to visit the children’s home and blind school,then 6kms back to Lushoto.

Day 3
Cycle 8kms uphill to the village of Magamba and 3kms downhill to the Magamba rain forest. Ride 10kms uphill to the summit of the forest, then downhill 10kms to the village of Lukozi for an overnight stay in the local guest house, or ride 14kms more to the Rangwi Mission and spend the night in the sisters' convent.

Day 4
From either Lukozi or the Rangwi Mission, cycle for 28kms up and down to the pottery village of Mabugai. Then cycle 8kms down to the world view point at the edge of the Usambara Mountains (Mtae Village) for an overnight stay in the guest house or Catholic mission.

Day 5
Fantastic 22kms downhill descent to the plains of the Mkomazi Game Reserve. Next, ride on the plain 30kms to Gonja Village for an overnight stay in the local guesthouse.

Day 6
Ride through the plains of the Mkomazi Game Reserve via the rice irrigation scheme. Join the main road from Dar es Salaam and Arusha to the small town of Same 45kms away. Overnight stay in a hotel.

Day 7
Cycle 60kms from Same to Mwanga--City of Lights. Overnight stay at the Angela Inn.

Day 8
Cycle 56kms from Mwanga, on paved road, to Moshi for the last overnight stay. Kilimanjaro, Mount Meru, and safari tours can also be arranged from here for those who are interested.

PRICE: US$120 per person per day

Icludes: Bike rental, camping equipements, forest fee, village developing fee, adiminstration fee, guiding fee and dinner
Excludes: lunch, drinks, breakfast, highly recommended tips and things for personal nature.
* A group should not be less than 5 people, and if less, then US$15 per person per day should be levied.

Western Side of Usambara Mountains to the Indian Ocean Coast
(5 to 6 days)

Day 1
From the quaint village of Lushoto, ride 8kms uphill to Magamba village then down hill through Mkuzi rain forest to Kwesine. Next, cycle 50kms to Bumbuli for an overnight stay at Bumbuli Mission rest house or camping.

Day 2
Cycle 10kms from Bumbuli to Mponde through gently rolling hills. Ride 48kms to Tamota for an overnight stay at a school camping site.

Day 3
From Tamota, ride 42kms through the Balangai Forest to old Korogwe. Overnight at the White House Annex in Korogwe.

Day 4
Cycle 48kms on the main road from Dar es salaam or Arusha to Muheza. Spend the night in the guesthouse.

Day 5
From Muheza, ride 42kms to Pangani Beach and spend a night on one of the most beautiful beaches Tanzania has to offer.


Including: Bike rental, camping equipements, village developing fee, adiminstration fee, forest fee, guiding fee and dinner
Excludes: drinks, lunch, break fast, things for personal nature and recommended tips.
* A group should not be less than 5 people, and if less, then US$15 per person per day should be levied