SENE has developed an exclusive route from Mambo Village on the western tip of the Usambara Mountains to Tanzania’s beautiful Swahili Coast. There are plenty of sweat-inducing uphills and long winding descents on this magnificent backroad ride passing through picturesque villages across the spine of the Usambara Mountains, through tea and coffee farms, two nature reserves, and onto the coastal plain to the warm waters of the Indian Ocean. Four days of cycling, all on smooth dirt roads or singletrack.
Day 1 Kilimanjaro to Mombo Village
Drive from Kilimanjaro to the edge of the Usambara Mountains, which offer wide vistas, a cool climate, winding paths, and picturesque villages. Optional 4-hour hike from the base of the escarpment to the ridgeline, where Mambo View Point EcoLodge sits at an altitude of 1,900 meters. Breathtaking views of the Pare Mountains, Mkomazi National Park, and Mount Kilimanjaro.
Approx. drive time: 4 hours
Day 2 Mambo Village to Mkuzi Village
Today’s ride takes us through multiple lush valleys and small villages into Shume, a former German colonial outpost where many of the early settlers’ buildings are still in use. Outside of Shume we have long ascents across two forested mountain ridges followed by a long descent into a densely settled valley.
Approx. distance: 61km cycling
Day 3 Mkuzi Village to Kizara Village
Start with a climb up a steep dirt track into the forest, eventually opening up to stunning views in all directions. From there we have a long descent through villages nestled on the mountain slope. We continue over ridges with gentle drops to the fertile valleys below, and one long 5.5km uphill hugging a mountainside. The day’s ride
ends at Bumbuli (42 km.) or 15 kilometers farther at Funta. Load the bikes onto the trailer and drive 50 kilometers across the hot and dry Lwengera Valley. Camp is at the road’s end on the edge of the
Nilo Nature Reserve.
Approx. distance: 42km cycling
Day 4 Kizara Village to Amani Nature Reserve
The first several kilometers are on a dirt track through the dense forest of the Nilo Nature Reserve before pening out to views of the eastern Usambaras and a series of small villages along a mountain ridge. We ride this ridge as we pass between villages, forests, and numerous tea plantations, strategically sited on steep mountain slopes.
Day 5 Amani Nature Reserve to Pangani
The final day covers the most distance, but is almost all downhill. Start with a gentle descent through dense tropical forest from Amani in the mountains to the gateway town of Muheza. Cross a tarmac road marking an abrupt change from lush mountain environment to coastal plain. The soil is sandy, the scent of the sea
is in the air, and the tropical heat intensifies. The coast is home to the Swahili people, whose livelihood comes from the sea, and whose villages have a distinctly different look and feel than those in the mountains. The Indian Ocean draws us along on this mostly flat section to our final destination at the beach.
Approx. distance: 78km cycling
Day 6 Pangani
Day at your leisure to enjoy the beach and ocean. Note: lunch and dinner not included.
Day 7 Pangani to Kilimanjaro
Depart mid-morning for the six-hour drive back to Kilimanjaro to catch your flight home or continue on to your next adventure.
Lunch en route.