Mambo View (West Usumbaras)
Trip Start Apr 24, 2012
146Trip End Ongoing
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Leaving Lake Chala we took the main road to the Usumbaras Mountains. Neither of us knew what laid ahead. At first the road was all tar. Very easy going with the dogging of a couple of pot holes. We turned toward the mountains. The road is a dirt road and in a fair condition.
In one of the villages along the route we turned right on to a strictly 4 x 4 route. Right from the onset one could see that this road is not frequently travelled. The road was not much more than an animal track at times. Where the bridge was washed away, we simply drove in the river bed until we could join the road again. It is a 20 km drive and would take an estimated hour. We climbed 1300 m. It was great fun!! Far better than any corrugated flat road or any other road for that matter
The Usumbaras mountains, for the most part, is completely under cultivation. The mountain side – no matter how steep, has been made into terraces. From what we could see they grew just about anything one could imagine. The inhabitants were all very friendly and made us feel welcome in their little part of paradise. Little is not the right word to use as these mountains stretch over .....kms. I don’t know if it was the combination of the exhilarating drive and the spectacular views or just the altitude, but we were all on a “high”.
This is definitely the most beautiful part of Tanzania. So far at least.
The Mambo View resort lies on the peak with a panoramic view that takes ones breath away. The air was much cooler up here too. The resort does not really cater for campers with only one stand. We both squeezed in there and booked ourselves in for dinner at the lodge.
The owner is also Dutch. We spent an relaxing evening around the fireplace in the lodge. It was very interesting to hear about the normal run of the mill of things at Mambo.
Next day however – the clouds would not clear and we decided to carry on to Irente Farm, where apparently we can get bread and cheese. Irente Farm is close to Lushoto, which also lies within the Usumbaras Mountain range.