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The Usambara Mountains are a mountain range in North-East Tanzania, approximately 70 miles (110 km) long and ranging from 20 to 40 miles (30-60 km) in width. Mountains in the range rise as high as 8,000 ft (2,440 m). The range is accessible from the towns of Lushoto in the west, and Amani in the east. The Usambaras are commonly split into two sub-ranges, the West Usambara and the East Usambara. The East Usambara is closer to the coast, receives more rainfall, and is significantly smaller than the west.
The Usambaras are fairly unique in that, being in East Africa, their unspoiled regions are covered in the tropical forest which today remains mainly in the west of the continent. Considered tremendously significant ecologically, there are many protected zones throughout the range which are being expanded and contributed to by the Tanzanian government, associated NGO's and research teams, and donor countries such as Norway. Several species are endemic to the Usambara forests, including the Naduk eagle owl, Usambara alethe, the Usambara weaver and Calodendrum eickii.
The surrounding region was among the first in East Africa to be settled, in 1902, by European farmers. The nearby town of Amani was a popular German resort for many years in colonial times. Much of the mountains are used in the production of coffee, sisal, tea, and cinchona, with rice grown in the swampy foothills.
Fischer's chameleon is one of the myterious animals from Usambara.
Usambara three horned chameleon, endemic, (Trioceros deremensis, young) is another one...
Pictures © Pierre-Yves Vaucher