Mbeya lies about 872 km southwest of Dar es Salaam, its landscape characterized by relief forms created by the volcanic effects of the African Rift Valley.
A visit to the region includes:
– A visit to the Ngozi Crater Lake
– A view into the traditional culture of the people of Mbeya
– Climbs to different mountain peaks in the area overlooking the East African Rift Valley
– Visit to the Mbozi Meteorite Stone and the Natural Bridge at Kiwira
Different tours are on offer:
Climb to Mbeya peak reaching the Mbeya peak (2,826m) is a steep climb taking about three hours. As you go along the mountain slopes, you see the indigenous flowers and colourful butterflies.
Ngozi Crater Lake
Ngozi Crater Lake lies 38 km south of Mbeya, in the direction of Tukuyu and Lake Malawi. A narrow footpath winds uphill through a dense tropical jungle full of bamboo and wild banana trees. Small mammals and colourful birds hide behind the thick vegetation. After a climb of one hour, you arrive at the crater rim for a magnificent view of the Crater Lake.
Kiwira Natural Bridge and waterfalls
The Kiwira Bridge was created by the powers of a fast flowing river. Locals call this miracle ‘Daraja la Mungu’ or Bridge of God’. Worth visiting are the nearby Kijungu waterfalls.
Rungwe Mountain climb
Rungwe Mountain at 2,960m is the highest peak in southern Tanzania. This volcano, active over the past million years, dominates the whole area around Tukuyu. It is a vast wild area, more than 100 sq km of forest, upland scrub and rock terrain, completely uninhabited and visited only occasionally. Take a long like to the crater rim.
The 130 km drive from Mbeya to Matema beach is among the most scenic in Tanzania. A winding road passes through high mountains and tea estates before it descends to the tropical shores of Lake Malawi. From Materma, you can make canoe trips with fishermen over the lake to the nearby village where women specialise in pottery and to the mouth of the river to spot hippos and crocodiles. It is also possible to organize hikes to Livingstone Mountains. Mbozi meteorite and Sisi kwa Sisi farm 40 km South-East of Mbeya, lies the meteorite stone of Mbozi. This is the eight largest meteorites in the world, weighing about 12 tonnes and dates back to at least a thousand years. Nearby the stone, the Sisi kwa Sisi society is worth a visit to experience true African rural life.
Several hot water springs, and underground crater known as ‘bat caves’, ruins of a 200 year old fort, Kaporogwe falls and Usangu basin are some of the other sites.
Getting there: There are daily buses leaving from Ubungo bus stand in Dar es Salaam that take about 10 hours to reach. Railway services are available from TAZARA. (Income from tourist visits will be invested in agricultural projects of the Sisi kwa Sisi Society).