Take a day trip to Ifakara, the largest town in the Kilombero Valley, and visit the large and colourful market, the Women's Weavers Workshop, and the Nuns bakery. Take a traditional dug-out canoe trip on the river, birdwatching and enjoying the amazing natural scenery.
About 45km from Hondo Hondo along the dirt road Ifakara is a long ribbon town, along the main road, and has a slightly Wild West feel. This is because the road into the Kilombero valley is effectively a dead end, and beyond Ifakara, the landscape just gets more wild and leads into the great Kilombero Flood plain. Despite this, Ifakara is an extremely friendly place, and for visitors to walk around it is hassle free, which is rare for a large African town.
The Market has a large area selling vegetables and fish, and also a big clothes section, where second hand clothes from the west are sold, and you can find real bargains - designer labels, or quality items of clothing that look brand new for just a few Pounds/Dollars/Euros. Tables selling mysterious objects are tended by the local witchdoctors, and you can even buy the local specialty for pregnant women - bricks in easy-to-chew sizes!
The Women's Weavers is an initiative set up to empower women, and they have a good number of wooden looms. The material produced is of high quality and they'll demonstrate the looms for you. We would encourage you to buy the products, and Hondo Hondo uses Ifakara Womens Weavers fabrics for beds and table items.
The Nuns have set up a bakery, where you can see bread being made. The bread and cakes you buy here are all freshly made, utterly delicious, and all funds support their work in the town with the orphans.
For birders, canoeing in a locally carved traditional dug-out on the Kilombero river is a must, and its easy to see the endemic Kilombero Weaver, bee eaters, pelicans and other seasonal water-birds. You'll likely see hippos, possibly crocodiles and Nile monitor lizards. Being punted up the river is about as peaceful and relaxing as it gets. Take a cool box of drinks and a picnic with you from the camp, and don't forget spare batteries for your camera.