Udzungwa Forest Lodge’s main attraction is Udzungwa Mountains National Park, which is well known for excellent hiking, trekking, mountain climbing and forest walks. With no road access and the only way in being on foot along one of the many trails, the mountains keep their secrets from all but the most adventurous. Once you’ve gained a little altitude, the forest canopy shields you from the heat of the sun and you can enjoy the forest along with the monkeys, elephants, birds, duikers and elephant shrews.
Hiking in the Park (½ day, full day or several days)
Habituated Mangeby (monkeys) hike
At the Camp
With the support and encouragement of Hondo Hondo, a small group of village farmers have formed a drumming group who perform a traditional “Ngoma” (meaning drum in KiSwahili) at Hondo Hondo on request. They also perform in the village at celebrations, weddings and at the end of the harvest. Some of the music is instrumental, with drums, percussion, whistles and some wind instruments and has a very energetic rhythm. The words to the songs are generally ad-lib (created live) and refer to current events and situations. This is a truly atmospheric experience beside a large log fire and burning torches.
Traditional “Ngoma” Drumming (evening after dinner)
Birding around Hondo Hondo – FREE
Nocturnal Bug Spotting – FREE (evening after dinner – ask at the Canopy Bar)
Relaxing around the camp – FREE (ask if you’d like a kids pool set up, or if you need a beer)
Nature trail – FREE
A popular activity from Hondo Hondo is cycling. Come with your own bike, or rent one. We have a selection of mountain bike sizes for all ages and helmets if you like. Unfortunately there are no cycling trails within the National Park itself (and if there were, they’d be a “black run”), but the valley provides plenty of great cycling terrain full of things to see.
You can combine cycling with other activities such as village tour, rubber plantation and canoeing adventures and it is possible to go with one of our guides to explore the local rural villages, and this provides a great opportunity for photography and interaction with rural Tanzanian life.
Cycling (per hour, ½ day or full day)
Mang’ula Village Tour (2h, on foot or cycle)
Rubber plantation visit (half day – by car or cycle)
Magombera forest – (½ day – by car or cycle)|
The main town in the district is Ifakara – about 50km to the south west further up the valley. It is a long ribbon town spreading for a couple of kilometres along the road. The town has a wild west kind of feel, with wooden two story buildings and cow drawn carts sharing the bustling high street with the cars and bicycles. The large market is full of produce and unusually, you’ll have very little hassle from traders, unlike most African markets – Ifakara has virtually no tourists and hasn’t been spoilt by tourists paying over the odds for goods. You can find second hand designer clothes here for just a couple of dollars or a large variety of natural medicines and potions for every ailment. A trip to Ifakara also includes a visit to the Ifakara Womens Weavers Association where you can see the looms in action and buy some of the locally made kikoi. You can also visit the Kilombero River where you can watch the bird life along the river bank, and there are some great photographic opportunities.
Dugout Canoing on the Kilombero River (half or full day)
Mikumi National Park Game Drive (Full day )
Ifakara Town Visit (half or full day)
Overnight Adventure / Flycamping
Canoe down the Kilombero River, in a shaded canoe bird/croc/hippo watching and experience the true pleasure of remoteness. Situated on the banks of the Kilombero River, 4 hours from the Ifakara you’re really “out there”, with the spectacular Kilombero sunset on the decking over the river, dining in style. Return by car, or cycle back to the with vehicle escort before driving back to Hondo Hondo.
Kilombero River staying Mikeregembe fishing village on the edge of Selous.
Mikumi National Park Game Drive (1 or 2 nights )
Kilombero Itete Mission (overnight)