Tourism and Wildlife
The wildlife resources found in Mbeya Region are extensive. The two game reserves of Lukwati in Chunya and Usangu in Mbarali district have quite a good number of fauna for tourist hunting.
This is so because of costant patrols in these areas, education on community conservation awareness and contribution of some funds by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism towards the
development of villages surrounding the wildlife areas.
In addition there are open areas with a good number of wildlife like Piti, kipembawe, Kwimba in Chunya and Usangu open areas in Mbarali district. With the establishment of Kitulo National Park and Mpanga/Kipengere Game reserve famous for its unique birds and flowers, the Region attracts massive number of tourists.
Tourism: The Situation
The country’s tourist market is divided into three major tourists’ circuits: the Northern circuit, Southern circuit and Western circuit. Mbeya region belongs to the Southern circuit which commands several tourist attractions including extension of Ruaha National Park, Usangu and Lukwati Game reserves, mountains, Sandy beaches on Lake Nyasa shores, the Rift Valley Plains, unique ecological features of rain forests, historical features as well as cultural tourism.
There are several game animals like buffaloes, elands, elephants, lions, reedbuck, roan antelope, hartebeest, crocodiles, leopard, zebras, waterbucks, greater kudu, jackals, impalas, hippos and various types of birds.
Tourist attractions in Mbeya Region
There are both natural and manmade tourist attractions; they include national parks, game reserves, mountains, sandy beaches on the shores of Lake Nyasa, the Rift Valley Plains, unique ecological features, historical features as well as cultural tourism.
i. Ruaha-Usangu National Park within Mbeya and Iringa, with a large number of flora and fauna.
ii. The unique ecological features of the tropical rain forest.
iii. The wildlife in the Lukwati Game Reserves in Chunya district.
iv. Mpanga - Kipengele Game Reserve in Mbarali district.
v. Protected variety of Game stock and wild animals such as rare monkey species known as Rungwecebus kipunji.
vi. The Rift Valley – Usangu plains.
vii. The warmth of Lake Nyasa and Rukwa.
viii. Sandy beaches of lake Nyasa.
ix. A unique Ngosi Crater Lake, located on top of Rungwe rainforests and other crater lakes of Masoko and Kisiba in the Rungwe District.
x. Ihefu wetland systems in Ruaha river basin which can be toured by flying boats.
xi. Natural bridge formed on Kiwira river in Rungwe District
xii. Meteorite site in Mbozi “Kimondo cha Mbozi”. This is a rare and spectacular sight and is the eighth largest meteorite in the world, weighing about 12 tonnes.
xiii. Museums, Monuments and Heritage.