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Tanzania Trekking - Pare Mountains

Pare Mountains

The Pare Mountains, northwest of the Usambaras, are also part of the Eastern Arc chain, and like the Usambaras they are divided into two ranges north and south. The main ethnic group in the area are the Pare, also called the Asu.


The Pare mountains are not as developed for tourism as the Usambaras. Due to their relative inaccessibility, the mountains have remained fairly isolated and over the years have seldom been visited by outsiders other than missionaries. As a result, the rich traditions and folklore of the Pare remain largely untouched.

The Pares offer very good village based hiking and good birdwatching. There is no major base with developed infrastructure from which hikes can be undertaken. The best way to explore the mountains is to spend a night at Mwanga or Same and then head up to either Usangi or Mbaga. From each of these places there are several good hikes, ranging from half a day to three days or more in length.

Same

Same is the main town in the southern Pares. There is little tourist infrastructure here, and the town is more suitable as a starting point for excursions into the Pares than as a base. There are several walks into the hills behind town and the main hiking area reached from Same is Mbaga.

Places to Stay and Eat
Amani Lutheran Centre near the market. Tukutane Guest House Kambeni Guest House Elephant Motel.

Getting there and away
Minibuses go several times a day between Same and Dar es Salaam, Moshi and Mombo, from where you can get transport to Lushoto. There is also daily local transport to Kisiwani, and on most days to Mbaga and other nearby hill villages.

Mbaga

Mbaga, about 30km south east of Same next to the Mkomazi Game Reserve, is a good base for hikes deeper into the surrounding southern Pare hills and villages. You can trek from here in two or three days to the top of Shengena peak (2463m), the highest in the Pares.

Place to stay and eat
Hill Top Tona Lodge 2600158, 2601630.

Getting there and away
There is transport most days from Same to Mbaga via Kisiwani; the last bus departs Same about 2 pm. There is an alternative route via Mwembe, reached by following the Dar es Salaam-Arusha highway 5 km south to the dirt road leading off to the left.

Mwanga

Mwanga, about 50km north of Same on the Dar es Salaam-Arusha highway, is a good starting point for excursions into the northern Pares.
The best place to stay is the Rhino Hotel, signposted about 2km out of town off the road to Usangi.
There is daily transport liking Mwanga with Arusha, Moshi, Same and Usangi.

Last Updated on Thursday 26th November 2009

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