Tukuyu is a small town south of Mbeya in Tanzania.
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.
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.
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.
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.
For Lunch there are many shakes right next to the dalla-dalla parking place.
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.
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.