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. A trip to Ifakara also includes a visit to the Ifakara Womens Weavers Association where you can see the looms and buy some of the locally made kikoi. You will also visit the Kilombero River where you can watch the ferry being loaded and unloaded and crossing the river. This is a truly fascinating sight, and really does feel like “the end of the line”. The bird life along the river bank is well worth a look, and there are some great photographic opportunities. Experience the local dried fish – considered a delicacy by the locals – and enjoy a cold drink on the roof of the container bar (literally a shipping container converted into a bar!).
Dugout Canoeing on the Kilombero River
Just past Ifakara, there is a ferry over the Kilombero river. We offer canoe trips in a large dugout canoe, complete with chairs and shade so you can relax while you are punted upstream with a long pole. Its likely you’ll see hippos, crocodiles, Nile monitor lizards and many many birds, including the endemic Kilombero Weaver and if you’re really lucky, a shoebill. The canoe trip can be as long as you wish, from just half an hour, to a full day with a picnic on a sandbank. You’ll see many fishermen in their smaller dugout boats and at the ferry, there are many stalls cooking very tasty fresh fish. Ask your guide to buy some for you and enjoy this local delicacy with a cold drink on top of the unique container bar by the side of the river.
Mikumi National Park Game Driving
Mikumi National Park, an easy day trip from Hondo Hondo, provides some great opportunities for fantastic game driving, with all the usual large mammals and a variety of birds and reptiles to add to the experience. Watch hippos lounging in the hippo pool or mixed herds of zebra and giraffe browsing on the savannah. Lions can be spotted lazing in the shade or feeding on their latest kill. The drive from Hondo Hondo to Mikumi is only two hours drive and the day’s game driving can be a very rewarding experience.