Volcanic mountains crater Lakes, green hills and lash valleys with hurling rivers – Rungwe District, Just south of Mbeya, is one of the loveliest areas of the country. When you’re traveling in the South of Tanzania, or if you’re on your way to Malawi or Zambia, Rungwe is not to be missed! Stay for a day or two and hike, relax and explore this unspoiled part of Tanzania.
The following is on offer: Mount Rungwe
One of the highest mountains of Tanzania, Mount Rungwe (2,960m) dominates the area. This great volcano, active over the past million years, can be climbed on a full day hike. The climb takes you through tropical forest, upland scrub and rock terrain. You might even see the recently discovered monkey species, the Highland Mangabey.
Ngozi Crater Lake
Ngozi is another million year old volcano that can be climbed. The centre of this volcano collapsed and has later been infilled by the Ngozi Crater Lake. Climb to the top through dense bamboo forest and tropical vegetation. When you reach the rim, you’ll be rewarded with a spectacular view of the lake, lying 200 meters below.
The Bridge of God
In the Kiwira valley, you can find a famous local attraction: the Bridge of God (Daraja la Mungu). A millions of years old rock forms a natural bridge that crosses the river. This bridge is only one of the attractions here. Just a few kilometers up the valley is the ‘cooking pot’, where the Kiwira River falls into a seething cauldron or sump, and the Marasusa waterfalls.
Lake Nyasa (Lake Malawi)
Relax on the shores of Tanzania’s third largest lake at Matema beach in the neighboring Kyela district. From the wide, sandy beach of Matema you have spectacular view of Lake Nyasa and the Livingstone Mountains. Swim, snorkel, canoe and … relax!
Rungwe Tea and Tours, a cultural tourism program set up by the RSTGA, the local tea farmers Association, offers you tours to these and other beautiful places. Scenic drivers and beautiful hikes will make your stay in Rungwe a memorable one. To explore the area, the town of Tukuyu makes a great starting point. It offers accommodation of all standards.
Getting there: There are daily buses from Dar es Salaam to Tukuyu that take 12 hours to reach. Once there, ask for the offices of Rungwe Tea & Tours.