THE WESTERN CIRCUIT SAFARI PARKS AND SITES
Saadani National Park is a one of a kind paradise with unique ecosystem where beach life meets wilderness. This gives you not only the opportunity to plunge into the Indian Ocean straight after your safari, but also to be submerged in a unique display of both marine and mainland flora and fauna in a naturally fascinating setting.
The name Saadani National Park has a close link to the Arab settlement in the area during the 19 Century. The name of a fishing village that, origin ally known as Utondwe which changed to Saadani.Saadani is such an important name in the country’s history since the time immemorial centuries or more, mentioned in chronicles of the Portuguese and notable travellers like Johannes Rebman, El-Masoud, Ptolemy, and Richard Burton among others. The historical Saadani leaves us with the evidence of not only visits of these travellers, but also of a former town which was once a trade centre coordinating overseas and hinterland bather trade, including slave trade.
It was officially declared to National Park status in 2005 under Government Notice No. 188. The Park covers an area of 1,100sqkm after annexation of the former Saadani Game Reserve, Mkwaja Cattle Ranch, Zaraninge Forest Reserve and Wami River.
The Park experiences an Eastern African coastal climate with bimodal rainfall, which ranges 800 – 1200mm annually. Long rains fall from March to June and short ones from October to December. February and July are the best driest months with peak temperatures reaching up to 29C. The best period for visits is the dry season, although the Park remains attractive year-round.
Protection and conservation of coastal zone and its diverse resources and range of activities including the Beach , Green turtle and its habitat, Zaraninge low land forest, Estuaries and mangrove at Wami river, endemic, rare and endangered species, historical and cultural sites and interesting mix of scenery.
HOW TO GET THERE
Charter flight from Dar es Salaam, Zanzibar, Tanga, Arusha or any other major town landing at all seasons Saadani Airstrip in the South or Mkwaja Airstrip in the North.
- 131km from Dar es Salaam via Bagamoyo off Makurunge to Gama Entrance Gate
- 146km from Tanga via Pangani and Mkwaja to Madete Entrance Gate
- 225km from Dar es Salaam off Chalinze and Mandera junction via Miono to Mvave Entrance Gate
- On the Arusha – Dar es salaam road, off Mkata Junction via Kwamsisi to Madete Entrance Gate 79km from Mkata to Madete.
Best Time To Visit
The park can be visited throughout the year; however the best time to visit is between June and February. Short rains are usually experienced in October to November while long rains are from March to May. The climate is coastal, hot and humid with annual maximum temp of 29C and with an average rainfall varying from 800 to 1200mm.
|Coordinates||05°00′S 39°03′ECoordinates: 05°00′S 39°03′E|
|Length||900 metres (3,000 ft)|
The Amboni Caves are the most extensive limestone caves in East Africa. They are located 8 km north of Tanga City in Tanzania off the Tanga-Mombasa road. The caves were formed about 150 million years ago during the Jurassic age. It covers an area of 234 km². According to researchers the area was under water some 20 million years ago. There are altogether ten caves but only one is used for guided tours.
Amboni Limited, a company which was then operating sisal plantations in Tanga Region acquired the area in 1892. The company notified the British colonial government about the caves who in turn declared the caves a conservation area in 1922.
It is not known when the caves were exactly discovered but reports indicate that ethnic groups such as the Segeju, Sambaa, Bondei and Digo who lived near the caves used it for prayers.
In 1963, the then government of Tanganyika handed over the caves to the Department of Antiquities.
The cave attracts tourist as well as students for their geography lessons. The attractions include:
- Popo flight – (Popo means bat in Swahili). Many of them live in the caves. Every evening at sunset they fly out of the cave entrance.
- Rocks in the shape of: a sofa, a ship, a crocodile, an elephant, map of Africa, Statue of Liberty and a head of a male lion.
Amani Nature Forest is the largest forested block within the East Usambara Mountains and occupies the southern extremity of these mountains. The ANR consists of tall luxurious sub montane forests and deciduous to semi-deciduous lowland forests with an Area (ha) 8,380 ha (This includes 1,065 ha of sub montane forest) .Amani is located in Tanga region and it falls within two districts Muheza and Korogwe and lies within Latitude 5o 05’ – 5 o 14’ S and Longitude 38 o 40‘- 38 o 32’ E s
Altitudinal range approximately 300 – 1,128 m (Kimbo Peak), with a central plateau having a mean altitude of 930 m. The western side borders Lwengera Valley and rises sharply from lowlands at 150-300 m to form rocky escarpments, such as Mnyuzi Scarp.
The Amani proximity (40 km) of the Indian Ocean is the wettest of all the East Usambara forest blocks, with at least 100 mm rain falling in most months. Monthly rainfall peaks April-May and October-December. Mean annual humidity is 87 % in the morning and 77 % at midday. Mean annual temperature at Amani Conservation Centre (900 m) is 20.6oC, with mean daily minimum and maximum temperature of 16.3 oC and 24.9 oC, respectively. The hottest season is January-February and the coolest is July-September.
The reserve has exceptional conservation values that include a rain forest, biological diversity, endemic, endangered and threatened flora and fauna, water catchment and soil conservation values. There are also historical sites and the famous Amani Botanical Garden without forgetting the ethical botanical values for local community.
Magoroto Nature Forest
Magoroto forest is situated in the East Usambara Mountains in north-east Tanzania. The East Usambaras form part of the mountain chain called the Eastern Arc which ranges from southern Kenya to southern Tanzania. These mountains are known for their high levels of species endemism and rich floral and faunal diversity (Hamilton, 1989).
Magoroto with its tropical rain forest is the perfect spot for a getaway.The estate is located on an altitude of 850m above sea level where temperatures are pleasant all year long. The estate offers stunning views from the Muheza Valley to the Indian Ocean. Enjoy the lush rain forest with rare plants and bird species, explore the dense tropical forest with organic spices or have a picnic or swim in our beautiful lake!
25 mins from Muheza (13 km), 1 hour from Tanga, 1 hour from Segera. In Muheza turn off the main road and drive towards Amani Nature reserve. 2 km outside Muheza turn right at the Amani sign and follow the rough (all weather) road for 1 km. When you reach the Magoroto Estate sign follow the road for 1 km to the headquarters.
– Lake Trail, Mgambo trail, Mwembeni Bird Trail, Kitulwe trail, Mlinga Mountain Trail, Magula Trail, Manga Spice Trail
Swimming, Picnic at the lake, Fishing, Bird Watching, Forest Walk, Mountain Biking, Spice Tour, Factory Tour, Bonfire, Camping, Meditation, BBQ
Welcome to the Usambara Mountains
Situated in the north-east of Tanzania. With their wide vistas, cool climate, winding paths and picturesque villages, the Usambara’s are one of Tanzanian’s highlights.
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.
Nobody knows which people first settled in the Usambara’s, only that the ancestors of the present Sambaa people came hundreds of years ago. In the mid-18th century a Sambaa kingdom existed which had about 60.000 people.
In the latter half of the 19th century it is reported that there was a lot of war and terror with neighboring tribes which ended with the German colonization. The Germans discovered the charm of the Usambara’s and they established Lushoto (during those days Wilhelmsthal) and it was a favoured holiday spot for colonial administrators. Today you still find many traces of the German times. Tanganyika became a British mandate territory after World War I. The British administration continued to reserve and exploit forests. After independence in 1961 the Ujamaa politics or so called “African socialism” of president Nyerere brought one of the best organized village communities in Africa which still exists today in the Usmabara’s.
Besides the historical sites the Usambaras have a lot of interesting places and activities. It is a exquisite place for hiking, bird watching, mountain biking or relaxing.
Lushoto is the name of the district but also of the capital of the Usambara Mountains in Tanzania.
Lushoto village with about 100.000 inhabitants is a lively village between high forest peaks.
Lushoto (altitude 1400 meter) ensures a cool and temperate climate all year round, and made a favoured mountain retreat for German colonial administrators, who called the town Wilhelstal.
Lushoto village has a NMB (center) and CRDB (PostOffice) bank with an ATM machine, these work with VISA or other international credit cards with CRDB only.
In Lushoto village you will find several local guest houses and other accommodations. The mid range hotels are all outside the village between 3 and 60 km from the centre.