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Amani Nature Reserve

This mountainous and heavily forested reserve lead to the most accessible part of the East Usambaras and is one of Tanzania’s most attractive and under visited destinations. Amani means peace in Kiswahili. The reserve offers beautiful flora and fauna, a constant chorus of cicadas and tree bush babies at night.

This Reserve is one of Africa’s largest botanical gardens with enough linking trails through primeval rain forest to keep you in raptures for a whole week, even if your interest in botanical things is limited to the greens on your plate. The reserve has over 344 bird species and 100 species of trees, surrounded by 19 villages.

Amani Nature Reserve was officially gazette on 8th May 1997.People are thought to have been living in the East Usambara Mountains for  even more than 2,000 years. The oldest settlements known within the area date back to early iron age in the 3 rd century AD. Most of Amani plateau was densely forested with  scattered settlement concentrated  mainly along  the Western escarpment.

Amani Nature Reserve Location

How to get to Tanga & FAQ's

Fly – in

There are several aviation companies offering regular flights to Tanga or Pangani, which are about 80km scenic drive away. We can arrange transfers to and from the airstrips. You can also book your flights from Tanga or Pangani to Arusha, Dar es Salaam or Zanzibar.

By car

Most people who visit Amani Forest Camp are self-drive or come by road with their tour operator or public transport.Emau Hill is about 400km almost due North of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, not far after Segera on the road to Tanga. Leaving Dar very early (before 6am) can help to avoid some of the traffic on the roads and make for a great sunrise around the Ruvu River (and endemic weavers).

By Bus

There are many buses stopping at Muheza Town from all over the country. There are two buses operating from Muheza to Amani leaving in the early afternoon. We can organise a car to come and pick you up – the most popular option  – from either Muheza or from Amani Village.

When to Visit Amani Nature Reserve

Tanga has a tropical savanna climate. It is warm every month with both a wet and dry season. The average annual temperature for Tanga is 52° degrees and there is about 410 inch of rain in a year. It is dry for 96 days a year with an average humidity of 77% and an UV-index of 7.

The best time to visit Tanga in Tanzania is from January through March, June through October and December. In this period you have a warm temperature and little precipitation. The highest average temperature in Tanga is 84°F in March and the lowest is 78°F in August.

If you’re looking for the very warmest time to visit Tanga, the hottest months are March, April, and then February. See average monthly temperatures below. The warmest time of year is generally mid March where highs are regularly around 91.7°F (33.2°C) with temperatures rarely dropping below 76.2°F (24.6°C) at night.

Things to do in Amani Nature Reserve

Kili-Success Climbing and Safari will take you to eco tourism attraction based on walking and hiking to Amani Nature Reserves.

Walking  and hiking through the forestry is the main attraction. Walking routes are present. While walking you have an opportunity to see black and white colobus, blue monkey, and the nature’s main attraction,  Nduk eagle owl, a specie found only in Amani.

You will also see nine species of African violet garden flowers and colorful butterflies some of them found only in Usambara . Other birds include green headed oriole, Amani sunbirds, Uluguru violet backed, forest warbler . To sum up the area has wonderful birds, butterflies, animals and plants some of them found only in this area.

Is cultural tourism socially responsible?

Cultural tourism can sometimes get voyeuristic and have undertones of ‘slum safari’. As a tourist, you might feel a bit uncomfortable by stepping into people’s homesteads and lives. Sambaa People of  Tannga ensure a socially responsible approach to this type of tourism by supporting local projects and giving money directly to the communities and people that are visited. 

For these people, touristic ventures are an important part of their livelihoods. By going with a guide you can learn about cultural practices and taboos, and they will be able to translate for them. Act responsibly and always ask for permission for photos! Abstain from children projects as the continuous coming and going of volunteers can lead to abandonment issues for children. 

Recommended Accommodation at Amani Nature Reserve

Emau Hill is a comfortable and friendly camp on the border of Amani Nature Reserve, in the heart of the East Usambara Mountains. Amani Nature Reserve is one Tanzania’s least known and yet most beautiful reserves. Built by an entirely local workforce and staffed by members of the community, Emau Hill, or Amani Forest Camp, was originally set up by an NGO working in collaboration with the local church. It has been developed with the aim of improving community livelihoods as well as providing a great place for visitors to visit the spectacular Amani Nature Reserve and stay.

Amani arrange of short night walks departing from Amani Forest Camp –  Emau Hill to find endemic species of chameleons. Chameleons are very hard to find during the day but at night they glow white in torchlight.  This makes them easier to spot.  Our expert guides will accompany you and make sure that you enjoy your night hike – make sure you have a good torch.  This is a great activity for children of all ages.

The camp is known locally as Emau Hill which is the name of the hill on which the camp stands.  Emau Hill’s lush green grounds are on the border of the pristine rain forest of the Amani Nature Reserve and offer excellent views of the forest.

Wander around the camp, and relax in our forest seats, bar or your chosen spot. Some games can be found in the Restaurant as well as a wide range of novels and literature.  Wherever you decide to settle, drinks can be brought to you throughout the day by our friendly staff.

Where to stay in Amani Nature Reserve

Everyone deserves a relaxing shower and a comfy bed to sleep after exploring a Tanga city, enjoying the beach, or facing a crazy adventure in the mountains. It can be a luxury hotel, a cozy guesthouse, or a friendly hostel. It doesn’t matter what type of accommodation you choose, the important thing is that it matches your needs, desires, and pocket. 

Booking the right accommodation can be easy and fun, but also rather challenging and tiring. We know that as we’ve been to all stages of searching, booking, and staying. Sometimes we successfully achieved our target (good shower and bed), others we missed it horribly (bed bugs and cold water). The positive outcome is that we’ve learned how to avoid pitfalls, and now it’s time to share our tips on how to book accommodation worldwide.

Regardless of your budget or your style of traveling, You book any hotel, hostel, camping site, or resort in Tanga. By doing so, you’ll avoid the risks of getting stressed during the booking process and, worse, staying in a bad place that can ruin your entire travel experience.


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