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Tukuyu

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Tukuyu is a small town south of Mbeya in Tanzania.

Understand[edit]

Tukuyu is an ideal stop for those travelling between Tanzania and Malawi. It is situated in the Southern Highlands, a lush and green mountainous region covered in tea plantations.

Get in[edit]

From the Songwe River Crossing with Malawi Tukuyu lies on the road north to Mbeya and is reached on Coaster Buses marked for 'Mbeya'. The journey takes about an hour. From Mbeya Coaster buses marked 'Kyela' will stop at Tukuyu. The journey takes about 2 hours.

Get around[edit]

Tukuyu itself is small thus within the town you will only need to walk. The surrounding area can be accessed using the taxis and dalla-dallas (small toyota combis and not minibuses) that park across the street from the bus station. Organised tours will often lend you a mountain bike for the day as many of the regions sites lie at the end of dirt tracks unsuitable for vehicles.

See[edit][add listing]

Do[edit][add listing]

Hiking is an obvious activity and can be organised through Rungwe Tea (Michael: +255 757008418) and Tours or Bongo Camping. Kaparogwe Falls also represent a good day out, and can be reached by bike, again organised through the above organisations. Tea plantation tours are also possible. Mount Rungwe and Ngozi Crater require a fee of 20.000 tsh that needs to be paid at the forest reserve office in town. It is quite hidden. From the bus stand take the street uphill and turn right before the Landmark. Take the next left. The office is at a bigger complex at the end of the road with with walls.

  • Hike Mount Rungwe: with 2961m the third highest peak in Tanzania. The whole hike takes about 7-8hour depending on your fitness. Although not really necessary, you are not allowed to do it without a guide. A good option is to do it with Rungwe Tea and Tour, which offers an english speaking guide for 30.000 tsh per person without the 20.000 tsh permit (see above). You can there you can take any dalla-dalla going to Mbeya (1000 tsh). Tell the driver you want to get off at the Mt Rungwe junction. From there it is a bumpy 20min ride to the entrance, which should cost 4000 tsh.
  • Ngozi Crater: nice crater lake that is located on the way between Mbeya and Tukuyu. You can take any bus/dalla-dalla that goes to Mbeya (2000 tsh). Once you are at the junction, you will be approach by local "guides" that take you to their "office", which is just a tiny building. They will request a fee of 10.000 tsh which is false. Show them your license. However, you will need to hire a guide for 20.000 tsh. The hike to the lake takes 2 hour, 1.5 with a local guide since they almost run up there.
  • Tea Tour and Factory: Rungwe Tea and Tour also offers a nice tour to a bigger tea plantation with an english speaking guide for 20.000 tsh without and 25.000 tsh with factory. The scenery itself is worth the trip even if you do not care about tea.

Buy[edit][add listing]

Eat[edit][add listing]

For Lunch there are many shakes right next to the dalla-dalla parking place.

  • Daudi Kitchen: good local food, almost at the end of the street of the CRB Bank.

Drink[edit][add listing]

Sleep[edit][add listing]

Bongo camping is located 4 km north of Tukuyu in a small village. It is a collective run project, an adult school owned by its students. They will be very pleased to have you stay with them and can easily arrange a tent, food and tours. There is also the option to teach a class of your own at the school, often in return for a Kiswahili lesson.

The Langiboss Hotel is centrally located and is perhaps the most popular place to stay in town.

  • DM Motel, (From the bus station walk downhill. It on the right and sign postet). Big and clean rooms with hot shower and a small living room 15.000/30.000 tsh for single/double.  edit

Contact[edit]

Get out[edit]

Coaster Buses run north to Mbeya (2 hours) and south towards Kyela (1 hour). Those travelling onward to the border with Malawi should board buses marked for Kyela and specify that they want to get off at the turning for the border. From here it is very easy to get a bicycle taxi to the border itself, or else its a short (20 minute) walk.

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