Udzungwa Forest Tented Camp
FLY – Mikumi National Park
There are several aviation companies offering regular flights to Mikumi National Park, which is also only about 70km scenic drive away. We organise transfers to and from the airstrip, and its possible to do a short game drive in Mikumi before or after your flight. Charter flights are available to our nearby (25km) Kilombero Sugar Airstrip.
BY CAR – most people who visit Hondo Hondo are self-drive or come by road with their tour operator.
Hondo Hondo is about 360km almost due west of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, not far after Mikumi National Park. To drive, take the Morogoro road out of Dar es Salaam, and continue for around 4-5 hours through Chalinze, Morogoro and Mikumi National Park to Mikumi town. Leaving Dar very early (before 6am) can help to avoid some of the heavy traffic on the roads. We also recommend taking the Bagamoyo to Msata Road if you live on that side of town and to return as it i quicker than the Morogoro road to Chalinze road.
In Mikumi town, just before the steep hill heading to Iringa, you will see a left turning, where there are green signposts for Ifakara and the Udzungwa Mountains National Park. Take this turning and drive towards Ifakara and Kilombero. This very scenic road descends 700m through a gorge to the Kilombero floodplain and the Ilovo sugar plantation. The road runs along the edge of the Udzungwa escarpment. There are many people living along this road so take car of pedestrians and cyclists.
After 34 kilometres on the tarmac road, you pass through the town of Kilombero and cross the mighty Ruaha river to Kidatu, with its hydroelectric power station and Ilovo headquarters.
Here the tarmac road ends, and you continue along on a graded dirt road for 24km. Look out for Sanje waterfall up on your right just before you pass through Sanje Village (home of Udzungwa Mountain Spring Water.)
You’ll see the signs for Hondo Hondo on your right, after the road swings away from the forest edge, and before you reach Mang’ula village and the Park Headquarters. Turn up our drive and after 300m, you’ll reach the camp. Karibu!
There is also a new road linking Selous to Udzungwa via the southern part of Mikumi National Park, roughly following the railway line. More information here.
On Tuesdays and Fridays, a train departs Dar es Salaam at around 10am on the 6-7h journey to Mang’ula and Hondo Hondo. Whilst not always 100% reliable, the train is a pleasant and safe way to come down to Hondo Hondo. A 1st class ticket only costs 13,000 Shillings (about $10), and they have waiter room service and cold beer. Much better than the bus, in a train you can walk around, go to the toilet, and lean out of the window as you pass through the Selous Game Reserve and if you’re lucky, you might see some wildlife. The train can also be taken to return to Dar. See The full timetable.
A Word Of Caution
Although they are trying to improve services, TAZARA is notoriously unreliable, and trains are frequently late and occasionally canceled altogether. Even once a ticket has been purchased, it may end up being for a different class or date than you wanted! We can of course help you with ticket purchase but we cannot take any responsibility should things not go according to plan due to TAZARA problems. If you are on a tight itinerary we strongly recommend using either a Hondo Hondo vehicle, your own vehicle. At Hondo Hondo we will do our best to be flexible and accommodate you even if TAZARA fails – but this will depend on camp availability.
GPS Data 7deg 50min 05 sec S 36deg 53min 23sec E, Elevation 319m