Tuesday 26th, March, 2019
Amani natural reserve
Amani is the largest forested block within the East Usambara Mountains whereby it occupies the southern edge of these mountains. The Amani Natural Reserve consists of tall luxurious submontane forests, deciduous to semi-deciduous lowland forests and unique varieties of fauna species. With an Area of 83.8-kilometer square, Amani is located in Tanga region and it falls within Muheza and Korogwe districts.
Home for botanist, zoologist and nature lovers The reserve has amazing conservation values that include a rain forest, biological diversity, endemic, endangered and threatened flora and fauna, water catchment and soil conservation values. The Amani Nature Reserve is internationally renowned for the high number of endemism whereby most of the plant and animal species found here and nowhere else. For example, more than a quarter of amphibians and reptiles in East Usambara are found nowhere else in the world.
The exceptionality of Amani natural reserve
Apart from the natural attractions found in this reserve, there are also historical sites and the famous Amani Botanical Garden without forgetting the ethical botanical values for the local community.
The Amani Botanical Garden established in 1902. It is one of the oldest Botanical Gardens in Africa covering 3.4-kilometer square and more than 1 000 species of plants from all over the world have been introduced in the garden. This garden is valuable for conservation, education, and research. The common tree species in Amani Natural Reserve include Cephalosphaera usambarensis, Allanblackia stuhlmannii, Albizia gummifera, Beilschmiedia kweo, Diospyros abyssinica, Englerodendron usambarense and Drypetes gerrardii. Epiphytic lichens and bryophytes are abundant, especially in steep summits.
Amani natural reserve is very rich with waterfalls, beautiful viewpoint which you can also see sunset, night walk, forest hiking, mountain biking, bird watching also apart from this one can enjoy the beauty of Tanga Amboni caves, beautiful town of Pangani which is a small town in East Africa’s coast that was 50 km South of Tanga with long cultural history whereby this town has Arabic, German, Asian and British Colonial rules influence.
How to get there
East Usambara is roughly equal-distance between the largest city of Tanzania, Dar es Salaam, and the center of Northern tourism circuit, Moshi and Arusha. Muheza at the foot of mountains as it is 4 to 5 hours’ drive on a good tarmac road from either Dar es Salaam (330 km) or Moshi (320 km) buses takes 6 to 8 hours to reach Muheza. From Muheza to Amani is 35 km on a gravel road, which is regularly maintained but sometimes a 4WD or high clearance vehicle is recommended, especially during the rains.
There are several option travel from Muheza to Amani you can use public transport, where sometime it may be crowded by local people so it’s advisable to arrive early, it takes 2 to 3 hours to arrive from Muhenza although it will depend on the weather and the condition of the road.
There is also an airstrip at Tanga city, where the local flight from Dar es Salaam passing through Zanzibar to Tanga operates.
For travelers reaching Muheza late for the afternoon bus to Amani, simple accommodation is available in Muheza but a wider choice and a higher standard of accommodation in Tanga city.