Usambara Mountains, Tanzania

After a long ten hour drive to the Usambara Mountains, we camped for two nights in the Lushoto district at the 100 year old Lawns Hotel. The area was previously a German colony, and originally home to the Wasambaa tribe. There are over 200 different villages in the Usambara Mountains with up to 1 million people total. The Usambara Mountains are called the “Galapagos of Africa” due to the plethora of biodiversity and number of endemic species. It is also called the “Alps of Africa” given its dramatic elevation. We had great views of the mountains during our 13 kilometer village walk that took us to the Irente Viewpoint, as well as a local lunch and traditional dance show.


Tanzania was formed in 1964 after the mainland called Tanganyika and Zanzibar were joined. Like Kenya, Swahili is the official language. We learned a few Swahili phrases listed below.

Asante sana : Thank you very much

Karibu: Welcome

Sawa sawa: Ready or okay

Mambo: How are you?

Poa: I’m good

Jambo: Hello


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