Digital Detox in Usambara Mountains
Usambara mountains region is still underrated destination in Tanzania, which has so much to offer to nature lovers and hiking enthusiasts! On the other hand, not being flocked with tourists is the place where rural Tanzania comes out in all its beauty.
Irente View Cliff Lodge is located in the heart of Usambara Mountains, right at the top of the massive cliff in Irente village on approx. 1600m, overlooking spectacular mountain peaks.
This was my second visit to Lushoto, Irente View Cliff Lodge and Usambara mountains. Nothing changed much since my last visit some years ago, not even room prices in the lodge.
Sparing a few days at Irente Lodge will definitely recharge your batteries. A perfect place to go perhaps even digital detox for a few days.
You come to Irente View cliff lodge for several reasons. First and the foremost for outstanding views and due to location, an excellent base of any kind of a trek or hike in the Usambara region.The Irente View Cliff lodge is great base for hikes in the area, going to Lushoto town or Magamba forest and other peaks nearby.
Lazy travellers will be delighted to know, the Irente View Cliff Lodge borders to Irente view cliff point view, which is only a few minutes away from the property.
Rooms With Superb Views of Usmabara Mountains
Some of the rooms are a bit outdated (style wise), but clean! During my visit there were renovations going on, they were refurnishing and upgrading some of the luxury rooms and updating the furniture. Bathrooms all have water heaters so hot water is not under the question here.
The common inside area is huge although a bit depressing and dull and could be turned into more African lodge atmosphere. The strongest side of each room in Irente View Cliff Lodge is that each room has a balcony with amazing views of surrounding neighboring massive Usambara Mountains. Rooms are very quiet at night where all you can hear are chirping birds and if you are lucky, a shy bush baby monkey will pass by your balcony. Since the area could be a bit chilly at nights, warm blankets are on disposal, so is a water cattle for making tea or coffee in the room. This applies to luxury rooms, but Irente View Cliff Lodge staff will be happy to bring it also to standard rooms, if requested.
There is also a place for camping on the property if you bring your own tent or come with a camper van.
Fresh Seasonal Food from The Village
Food is available from the menu that hasn’t changed from my last visit, and it is always freshly cooked, which means a little bit of waiting. Usually Irente View Cliff Lodge staff will come to the room and request an order beforehand in order to avoid waiting at the table.
When food is ready they call you to the table. You can find everything for each taste. When there is avocado season I strongly recommend fresh avocado mango salad, that is one of the best I ate in Tanzania. Breakfast is included in the room price and comes with wide variety of food. Yoghurts, bread, toast, sausages, potato, mandazi, corn flakes, fresh fruits, butter, jam, coffee, tea, fresh seasonal juice, all version of eggs. Other meals are a la carte and of course prices are slightly higher for drinks and food than in Lushoto town.
Wifi in Irente View Cliff Lodge
There is free Wifi for guests of Irente View Cliff Lodge, which to be honest, I didnt use much as I had my local sim card and internet mobile bundle on my phone. Vodacom is the best choice for this region. It works well although signal might get weaker during the cloudy days and bad weather.
My days in Irente View Cliff Lodge passed by too quickly. Each day I hiked to different peaks in Usambara mountain range with my local guide James, so personally I could stay there for a while without problems and explore even more. Irente Lodge was tranquil cozy place to return to after a long day of walking and I cant tell how much I enoyed spending the rest of the evenings on my balcony and just listen to the sounds of nature!
Hiking Usambara Mountains
Irente View Cliff Lodge is perfect base for hiking Usambara mountains. The Usambara region I hiked for three days and explored, reminded me on green Swiss forests, even the schools and shops and other facilities can be found in the lush green surroundings in the hills where locals live their life almost independently from Lushoto town.
The beauty of Lushoto and area is that you can as equally enjoy hiking Usambara mountain on short amount on time or spending days hiking and walking through the villages. It is possible to do hikes independently, but if not familiar with the area, it is strongly recommended to hire a local guide. Having a local guide in Usambara wiill introduce you to many secret places that are harder to find!
Viewpoints and Waterfalls in Usambara Mountains
There is abundance of hiking options in Usambara mountains. Some peaks are easily reached by easy walking others need a bit more stamina, but all will reward you with stunning views of Tanzanian landscape!
- Mombo viewpoint
- Mkuzi waterfalls
- Soni waterfalls
- Ndaekai view point
- Kambe peak view
- Mtae Peak
- Magamba Forest
Disclaimer: I was invited to stay at Irente View Cliff Lodge free of charge, but of course all opinions expressed are my own.
All pictures by Nina Zara