The Usambara mountains are located between Kilimanjaro and the Indian Ocean. Some of the tops rise to well over 2000m. Between steep cliffs and rocky hilltops are set small communities of the pastoral Usambani tribe. The high altitude and fertile soils attracted German, British and other European settlers. This is an excellent place to visit for a few relaxing days if you are travelling overland between the coast and Kilimanjaro and the northern gameparks. Lushoto, at the heart of the Usambara, can be reached in a 5 hour drive from Moshi. It is a further 4 hours drive to Tanga from where there are daily flights to Zanzibar, or 5-6 hours drive to Pangani or Saadani. Although a variety of accommodation is available in the area we recommend:
Muller’s Lodge a beautifully built old farm house with a very relaxed, comfortable atmosphere taking you back 50 years in time. Amongst the early settlers in the Usambara was Grant, a retired forestry officer and provincial commissioner one of whose hobby was carpentry. In 1935 he built his home, later called ‘Grant’s Lodge’, located at 1700m amongst the rolling, forested hills above Lushoto – the main town of the region. The lodge is solidly built of brick and is renowned for its splendid and well-cared for woodwork and furniture.
In the 1970’s Grant left Tanzania and eventually the lodge was taken over by the Muller family who gave it its present name. Around the lodge are pleasant gardens and lawns amongst shady trees. Numerous walks are available in the area (guided or unguided) offering excellent bird watching opportunities and of considerable botanical interest. The walks are well-documented and guide sheets are available at the lodge. Additionally, Amazing Usambara Trekking and Safaris can guide you on walking and driving tours of the area.
The cuisine is excellent and the atmosphere tranquil and very relaxing . Evenings can be spent in the comfortable sitting room by a log fire. There is a small library and a collection of games.