Welcome to Mbeya


The surrounding area is lush, mountainous and scenic. It’s also a major farming region for coffee, tea, bananas and cocoa. While central Mbeya is on the scruffy side (especially around the bus station), the cool climate, jacaranda trees and views of the hills compensate, and there are many nearby excursions.


Top experiences in Mbeya

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Mbeya activities

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18 Days, 17 Nights - Best of Southern and Eastern Circuits

ItineraryDay 1: Fly to Town of Mbeya & Transfer to a LodgeStop At: Mbeya Peak, Mbeya, Mbeya RegionCatch a flight at Dar es Salaam International Airport at 12:30 hrs and fly to Mbeya, arriving at 14:00 hrs. Upon your arrival at Songwe International Airport, picked-up by your driver guide and transferred to a lodge, check-in and spend the overnight at Utengule Coffee Lodge (bed & breakfast)Utengule Coffee Lodge offers guests an oasis of calm on the slopes of the mighty Mbeya range in Southern Tanzania, with spectacular views across the East African Rift Valley. For the active guests, the lodge has tennis and squash courts or takes a stroll through nature to the coffee farm and enjoy a personal coffee tour.Duration: 2 hoursMeals included: • Lunch • DinnerAccommodation included: Utengule Coffee LodgeDay 2: A Hike to Ngozi Crater & Visit to Daraja la Mungu (Bridge of God)Stop At: Ngozi Crater Lake, Mbeya, Mbeya RegionAfter breakfast, drive for about 2 - 3 hours to Tukuyu for the visit of ‘Ngozi Crater - the second largest crater lake in Africa. Upon arrival at the entrance gate, you’ll walk for about 45 minutes to an hour to the starting point of the hiking trail.The main attraction is the hike to top of the crater to see the lake. The trail starts in a lush green forest full of wild bananas and massive bamboos. Keep your eyes open to see black and white colobus monkeys and several species of birds, the most frequent being trumpeted hornbills. This area is also famous for the endemic three horned chameleon.It should take between one to an hour to 1.5 hours is t to the top. Once you are at the top you have a breathtaking view of the lake and the crater’s its steep forested banks. If the weather is good then you can really appreciate the color of the water. Later, take a hike to Daraja la Mungu (Bridge of God) – A huge, millions of years old rock that forms a natural bridge over Kiwira River. And just a few kilometers up the valley is the ‘cooking pot’, and the Marasusa Waterfalls.Back from the hike by afternoon, get your lunch and rest until evening while waiting for the dinner to be served, stay the overnight at LandMark Hotel (breakfast, lunch & dinner included)Duration: 4 hoursMeals included: • Breakfast • Lunch • DinnerAccommodation included: LandMark HotelDay 3: Visit Tukuyu Tea Estate & Kaporogwe WaterfallsStop At: Mbeya Peak, Mbeya, Mbeya RegionAfter breakfast, take a tour to the ‘Tukuyu Tea Estate’. On your way to the tea estate you pass small villages and schools and you will have the chance to get a view of everyday life in Rungwe. You can finish the Tea Tour with a tour of the tea factory. Here you can see how the tea leaves are being processed to packed tea. You might even be able to do some tea tasting! Your guide, a tea farmer, will tell you anything there is to know about tea. Then break for lunch.Later, visit the thrilling 25-metre Kaporogwe Waterfalls which originates from Kala River, a tributary of the Kiwira River. A trip to these falls would be an exciting moment.Driving towards the Kaporogwe Falls is as well, an exciting moment. It gives a visitor to this area a thrilling moment when passing through green and fertile land, full of interesting off-road diversions. The journey to Kaporogwe Falls gets a visitor a quick view of perennially lush and bountiful forests of the Livingstone Mountains, adding more travel excitement. There is a natural cave behind the falls and a concrete wall where Germans have built as a fort or a hideout during the First World War. The area around the falls is as well, a pre-historical site after discovery of stone tools there. These include knives, scrapers, picks and axes.After this great experience, back in the evening for dinner, and stay the overnight at LandMark Hotel (breakfast, lunch & dinner included)Duration: 4 hoursMeals included: • Breakfast • Lunch • DinnerAccommodation included: LandMark HotelDay 4: Depart to Matema Beach, Lake NyasaStop At: Matema Beachg, Matema, Mbeya RegionAfter breakfast, drive for 4 - 5 hours to the northern shores of Lake Nyasa where Matema Beach is, a winding road passes through high mountains and tea estates before it descends to the tropical shores of Lake Nyasa.You’ll arrive in the late afternoon, check-in, rest and unwind at the beach while waiting for your dinner, spend the overnight at Blue Canoe Safari Camp (breakfast, lunch & dinner included) Matema Beach, a beachside town in Mbeya Region, located on the beautiful shores of Lake Nyasa. Matema Beach is among the most scenic tourist attractive site in Tanzania. The lakeshore beach lies on the foothills and the end point of Livingstone Mountains at the place where these scenic ranges ends majestically into Lake Nyasa.Duration: 5 hoursMeals included: • Breakfast • Lunch • DinnerAccommodation included: Blue Canoe Safari CampDay 5: Swimming, Fishing at Lake Nyasa & Relax at the BeachStop At: Matema Beachg, Matema, Mbeya RegionAfter breakfast, you can make canoe trips with fishermen over the lake to the nearby village where women specialize in pottery and to the mouth of the river to spot elephants, giraffes, hippos and crocodiles. You can swim, rest and unwind at the beach - this beach is one of the most beautiful on the lake, which has been referred to as the most scenic body of water in Africa. Relatively undeveloped for tourism giving it an authentic feel and suitable for swimming. Dinner and overnight at Blue Canoe Safari Camp (breakfast, lunch & dinner included)Duration: 6 hoursMeals included: • Breakfast • Lunch • DinnerAccommodation included: Blue Canoe Safari CampDay 6: Depart to Kitulo National ParkStop At: Kitulo National Park, Mbeya, Mbeya RegionAfter breakfast, depart to Kitulo National Park (a 4 - 5 hours drive), arriving in the late afternoon, check-in and get a hot lunch and rest until evening, while waiting for your dinner to be served, stay the overnight at LandMark Hotel (breakfast, lunch & dinner included)Duration: 5 hoursMeals included: • Breakfast • Lunch • DinnerAccommodation included: LandMark HotelDay 7: Hiking Through Kitulo National Park (Garden of God)Stop At: Kitulo National Park, Mbeya, Mbeya RegionAfter breakfast, depart for a hike to the beautiful Kitulo National Park, The Garden of God or The Serengeti of Flowers as the botanists dubbed it.Orchids, irises, lilies, honey-peas, bell flowers, balsams and other wildflowers bloom as far as the eye can see. Kitulo hosts more than 350 species of vascular plants, including 45 varieties of terrestrial orchid, which erupt into a riotous wildflower display of breathtaking scale and diversity. Kitulo is a rare botanical marvel.Later, back to the hotel and rest while your dinner is served, stay the overnight at LandMark Hotel (breakfast, lunch & dinner included)Duration: 4 hoursMeals included: • Breakfast • Lunch • DinnerAccommodation included: LandMark HotelDay 8: Depart to Mufindi Highlands, Town of IringaStop At: Iringa Boma - Regional Museum and Cultural Centre, Iringa, Iringa RegionAfter breakfast, depart to Mufindi (a 6 - 7 hours drive) with your packed lunch boxes, arriving in the late evening, check-in at the lodge, and dinner when you are ready, stay the overnight at Mufindi Highland Lodge (breakfast, lunch & dinner included)Duration: 5 hoursMeals included: • Breakfast • Lunch • DinnerAccommodation included: Mufindi Highland LodgeDay 9: Horse Riding, Tea Tour, Biking and Kayaking at Mufindi HighlandsStop At: Iringa Boma - Regional Museum and Cultural Centre, Iringa, Iringa RegionAfter breakfast, you’ll choose to have as many activities to do as you prefer - you can do horse riding. Surrounded by tea plantations, montane forest and rural villages, the area is away from any tourist route and maintains a natural charm. Meats, dairy products and organically grown vegetables are all produced on the working farm.The whole area is perfect for cycling with farm tracks, bridleways and footpaths running through plantations of pine, eucalyptus, tea and coffee as well as ancient forests and pristine lakes perfect for fishing trips and kayaking.After these great experiences, you’ll get back to the lodge for your dinner to be served, stay the overnight at Mufindi Highland Lodge (breakfast, lunch & dinner included)Duration: 8 hoursMeals included: • Breakfast • Lunch • DinnerAccommodation included: Mufindi Highland LodgeDay 10: Visit Isimila Stone Age Site & Depart to Ruaha National Park (with Maasai Boma Tour)Stop At: Ruaha National Park, Iringa, Iringa RegionAfter breakfast, collect your packed lunch boxes and drive for about an hour to the ‘Isimila Stone Age Site’.ISIMILA STONE AGE HISTORICAL SITE: A Walk through The Canyons – It is well-known for its archaeological sites, some of these sites yielded very important fossils that enlighten us about the origin of mankind. In the late 1950’s archaeologists unearthed some of the most significant stone age finds ever identified. Most of these finds were tools, estimated to be between 60 000 and 100 000 years old. They also found fossilized bones of mammals; an extinct hippopotamus and something similar to the modern day giraffe but with a shorter neck.There is evidence which shows that the area around the Isimila site was a small lake. This would have been a perfect hunting ground for hominids who lived there between 300 000 to 600 000 years ago. The tools found there confirm this theory. Looking at the site today you might be able to imagine how the land was eroded from a lake to a large canyon. Harder rock types more resistant to erosion has remained, leaving thin rock towers as high as 30m.After the visit, you’ll drive for about 4 hours to Ruaha National Park, arriving in the late afternoon. Conduct a Maasai Boma Tour on arrival - this cultural tour aims at familiarizing you with the Maasai tribe - their culture, occupation and lifestyle.Later, check-in at the lodge, dinner when you are ready and stay the overnight at Ruaha Hill Top Lodge (breakfast, lunch & dinner included)Duration: 5 hoursMeals included: • Breakfast • Lunch • DinnerAccommodation included: Ruaha Hill Top LodgeDay 11: Full Day Game Drive at Ruaha National ParkStop At: Ruaha National Park, Iringa, Iringa RegionAfter breakfast, collect your packed lunch boxes and depart for a full day game drive across this largest park in the country to experience its abundant wildlife until sunset. Ruaha National Park: This is the largest national park in the country, currently bigger than The Serengeti; it has the size of 20,226 sq. kms, the name of the park is derived from the ‘Great Ruaha River’ which flows along its southeastern margin and is the focus for game-viewing. The park is one of the few Tanzania’s famous wilderness area where one can have a rare experience of game viewing spiced up by the fascinating landscape. The park is rich of plants and animals and boasts of her almost untouched and unexplored ecosystem, making visitors’ safari experience very unique. Magnificent mammals such as both greater and lesser kudu can be spotted here. The park has high diversity of plants and animals including elephants, buffalos, antelopes and some of rare and endangered species like wild dogs with a great number of birdlife, over 570 species have been identified so far. In the evening, you’ll drive back to the lodge, rest and later have your hot dinner and spend the overnight at Ruaha Hill Top Lodge Lodge (breakfast, lunch & dinner included)Duration: 8 hoursMeals included: • Breakfast • Lunch • DinnerAccommodation included: Ruaha Hill Top LodgeDay 12: Full Day Game Drive at Ruaha National ParkStop At: Ruaha National Park, Iringa, Iringa RegionAfter breakfast, collect your packed lunch boxes and depart for another full day game drive through this enormous park to once again explore and experience its wildlife until sunset. You’ll get back to the lodge by 6:30 pm, get some rest while having a magnificent view of the Ruaha River from the lodge, later you’ll have dinner and stay the overnight at Ruaha Hill Top Lodge (breakfast, lunch & dinner included)Duration: 8 hoursMeals included: • Breakfast • Lunch • DinnerAccommodation included: Ruaha Hill Top LodgeDay 13: Depart to Mikumi National ParkStop At: Kinole Waterfall, Morogoro, Morogoro RegionAfter breakfast, collect your packed lunch boxes and drive for about 5 hours to Mikumi National Park, arriving in the early evening, check-in then rest while your dinner is served, and spend the overnight at Tanswiss Lodge (breakfast, lunch & dinner included)Duration: 5 hoursMeals included: • Breakfast • Lunch • DinnerAccommodation included: Tanswiss LodgeDay 14: Full Day Game Drive at Mikumi National ParkStop At: Kinole Waterfall, Morogoro, Morogoro RegionAfter breakfast, collect your packed lunch boxes and depart for a full day game drive to the beautiful Mikumi National Park to explore its wildlife until evening.Mikumi National Park: Established in 1964, it is the fourth largest park in the country covering an area of 3,230 sq. kms. The landscape of Mikumi is often compared to that of the Serengeti. The road that crosses the park divides it into two areas with partially distinct environments. During game drive at this park, you can see a rich variety of bird species, as well as large numbers of giraffe, buffalo and elephants. You may also be able to spot lions, leopards and African wild dogs. Likely to be seen animals include zebras, hippos, hartebeest, wildebeest, impala, warthog, eland and antelope.In the late evening, you’ll drive to the lodge, rest and later have your hot dinner and stay the overnight at Tanswiss Lodge (breakfast, lunch & dinner included)Duration: 8 hoursMeals included: • Breakfast • Lunch • DinnerAccommodation included: Tanswiss LodgeDay 15: Depart to Saadani National Park & An Evening Boat SafariStop At: Saadani National Park, Pangani, Tanga RegionAfter breakfast, collect your packed lunch boxes and depart to Saadani National Park (a 4 - 5 hours drive), arriving in the afternoon. In the evening, you’ll be picked and depart for a boat safari along the Wami River to experience the aquatic life (mostly hippos and crocodiles) and a rich birdlife with an amazing view of sunset.A view of the mangrove trees along the Indian Ocean is nicely seen from this comfortable boat safari.Back to the lodge in the late evening for dinner and stay the overnight at Saadani Safari Lodge (breakfast, lunch & dinner included)Saadani National Park: Is the only sanctuary in the coutry bordering the sea. Tourists can view animals basking along the Indian Ocean shores. It has an area of 1,062 sq. kms and was officially gazetted in 2005, from a game reserve which had existed from 1969.Duration: 3 hoursMeals included: • Breakfast • Lunch • DinnerAccommodation included: Saadani Safari LodgeDay 16: Full Day Game Drive at Saadani National ParkStop At: Saadani National Park, Pangani, Tanga RegionAfter breakfast, depart for a full day game drive at this beautiful park that borders the Indian Ocean to experience its wildlife until early evening. The park does not offer a huge number of wildlife but it possess an environment like no other park. In the evening, after the game drive, you can have a chance to relax, swim and unwind to its beautiful beaches lying over the ocean.You’ll then be transferred to the lodge, rest while your dinner is served, stay the overnight at Saadani Safari Lodge (breakfast, lunch & dinner included)Duration: 6 hoursMeals included: • Breakfast • Lunch • DinnerAccommodation included: Saadani Safari LodgeDay 17: Depart to Town of Bagamoyo - Visit the Kaole Ruins and Catholic MuseumStop At: Bagamoyo Museum, Bagamoyo, Pwani RegionAfter breakfast, depart to Town of Bagamoyo - with its cobwebbed portals and crumbling German-era colonial buildings, Bagamoyo is well worth exploration. You’ll find the old German boma, built in 1897, and Liku House, which served as the German administrative headquarters.Just southeast of Bagamoyo are these atmospheric ruins (Kaole Ruins). At their centre are the remains of a 13th-century mosque, which is one of the oldest in mainland Tanzania and also one of the oldest in East Africa. It was built in the days when the Sultan of Kilwa held sway over coastal trade, and long before Bagamoyo had assumed any significance.About 2 kms northwest of town and reached via a long, mango-tree-shaded avenue is the ‘Catholic Mission and Museum’, one of Bagamoyo’s highlights, with well-labelled displays from Bagamoyo's heyday. In the same compound is the chapel where Livingstone’s body was laid before being taken to Zanzibar Town en route to Westminster Abbey. The mission dates from the 1868 establishment of Freedom Village and is the oldest in Tanzania.Caravan Serai Museum - This undistinguished museum has a small display documenting the slave trade. It's at the town entrance, More interesting than the present museum is the site at which it is built, which was formerly the starting point for slave and trade caravans to the interior.Back in the evening, dinner and stay the overnight at Travelers Lodge (breakfast, lunch & dinner included)Duration: 4 hoursMeals included: • Breakfast • Lunch • DinnerAccommodation included: Travelers LodgeDay 18: Depart to Dar es SalaamStop At: Dar es Salaam Marine Reserve System, Dar es Salaam, Dar Es Salaam RegionAfter breakfast, depart back to Dar es Salaam (a 1 - 2 hours drive), arriving in the early afternoon, and transfer you to the hotel/catch your flight back home (breakfast & lunch included) Duration: 2 hoursMeals included: • Breakfast • LunchNo accommodation included on this day.