Lushoto – Tanzania
Lushoto with its mountains, excellent climate, and fertile grounds is a mecca for hikers and foodies. There are spectacular views, pretty waterfalls and lush forests with hiking trails. Or hike through the villages and fields for a different experience.
In the protected nature reserves of the Western Usambara Mountains, you will find many different species of plants, trees, birds and other animals, including many species of chameleon. In fact, this region is sometimes called the Galapagos of Africa as it is a biodiversity hotspot with many endemic species.
The fertile grounds mean lots of produce is grown locally with many lodges creating meals with their own products. Try some of the locally made wines, cheeses, jams and of course the coffee and tea from some of the small plantations. A true heaven for anybody who enjoys beautiful scenery, good, organic food, and drinks.
History of Lushoto
Not much is known about Lushoto’s history until the pale skinned, pale-eyed Kilindi dynasty appeared in the 18th Century, with their rainmaking magic skills. Their chief, King Mbega was given the honorary title of Lion King as he expertly hunted the bushpigs that were destroying the crops. He then ensured his leadership by taking a wife from every clan so each firstborn son would become the clan’s leader.
Attacks from neighbouring tribes and slave traders combined with infighting eventually weakened the powerful family, enabling the Germans to buy land in the valley cheaply when they arrived in the late 1890’s. Lushoto’s favorable climate and fertile soils attracted these settlers to build large farms and plantations and also to establish church missions. They named the valley around the town ‘Wilhelmstal’ after Emperor Wilhelm II as they wanted to set up their capital city here.