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The Usambara Mountains are a picturesque mountain range located in northeastern Tanzania, known for their stunning scenery, diverse flora and fauna, and rich cultural heritage. The mountains are divided into two sections, the West Usambaras and the East Usambaras, and are part of the Eastern Arc Mountains, a range of mountains that stretch from Kenya to Tanzania.
The Usambara Mountains stretch for over 100 kilometers in a north-south direction and cover an area of approximately 4,000 square kilometers. The mountains are located in the Tanga Region of Tanzania, near the border with Kenya. The West Usambaras are located in the Lushoto District, while the East Usambaras are located in the Tanga District.
The Usambara Mountains are relatively isolated, with few major roads or towns. The nearest city is Tanga, which is about 80 kilometers to the east. The mountains are also near the border with Kenya, with the nearest Kenyan town being Voi, which is about 70 kilometers to the north.
Flora and Fauna
The Usambara Mountains are known for their incredible biodiversity, with many endemic species of plants and animals found only in this region. The mountains are home to over 2,000 plant species, including many rare and endangered species. The forests of the Usambara Mountains are also home to many species of mammals, birds, and reptiles.
Some of the notable wildlife species found in the Usambara Mountains include the Usambara weaver, the Usambara eagle owl, the Usambara tree hyrax, and the Usambara bushbaby. The mountains are also home to several species of monkeys, including the black and white colobus monkey, the blue monkey, and the vervet monkey.
The forests of the Usambara Mountains are also home to several species of snakes and lizards, including the green mamba, the forest cobra, and the Usambara three-horned chameleon.
The Usambara Mountains have a rich cultural heritage, with several different ethnic groups living in the region. The main ethnic groups in the area include the Sambaa, the Zigua, and the Pare.
The Sambaa are the largest ethnic group in the Usambara Mountains, and they are known for their traditional agriculture practices. The Sambaa people farm on the steep slopes of the mountains, using terracing and irrigation systems to grow crops such as maize, beans, and bananas.
The Zigua are another ethnic group found in the Usambara Mountains. They are known for their traditional dance and music, which is performed during weddings and other celebrations.
The Pare are a third ethnic group found in the Usambara Mountains. They are known for their traditional medicine practices, which include the use of local herbs and plants to treat a variety of illnesses.