Chome Eco and Cultural Tourism

Explore the Eastern Arc Mountains paradise

The Southern Pare Mountains are part of an ancient range of the Eastern Arc Mountains family located in the northeastern part of Tanzania. The mountains rise from the lowlands with a forested expanse of sprawling villages, river streams and valleys; simple rural houses surround the areas. Chome is a place of wonders inhabited by Pare people of Kilimanjaro region. The forest has incredible biodiversity where a number of endemic plants and animals live. It’s a great place for hiking and acclimatization for those who are planning to climb Kilimanjaro and go on safari.

A community-based organization made up of a network of local tour guides has been established to help visitors get the best experience while on these mountains. The people of Chome offer the following tours:

* Shengena peak trekking

* Nature walk in Chome Nature Reserve

* Chome village walking tour

* A visit to magni cent view points

* A hike to the Thomson waterfalls

* A visit to a traditional healer

* A visit to weekly local market on Tuesdays

* A visit to local ginger farms

* A view of local irrigation systems

* Pare traditional dance

* Homestay and camping experience

* A trek through butterfly trails

* A view into butterfly farming

* A view of beekeeping projects

* A visit to old churches

* A visit to local schools

Shengena peak trekking (full-day tour)

A walking tour starts from the village then leads into the Chome Forest Nature Reserve, a famous hiking destination in the area where hikers walk through unspoiled natural forest. This trail takes hikers through areas with waterfalls, families of colobus monkeys, numerous forest birds, colourful butterflies and endemic species of amphibians, reptiles and plants. Visitors will proceed uphill to the Shengena peak, which is the highest in the Pare and Usambara Mountains perched at 2,463m. The peak with its watch tower provides magical views of valleys below, fresh springs, magnificent views over Same, Mkomazi National Park and the Usambaras in addition to Mount Kilimanjaro.

Chome Village Hike (half-day/full-day tour)

A walking tour will take visitors alongside the Chome Nature Reserve. The local guides and farmers of the village will share their indigenous knowledge regarding their fields with crops such as maize, yams, potatoes, bananas, vegetables, ginger and coffee. Visitors have a chance to see how the villagers store and preserve maize and other produces. Visitors will also learn how villagers breed tree nurseries for replanting on their farms. A tour ends with visiting historical sites, King’s stone used for making various sacrifices to Wapare gods, magnificent view points and local schools found in the village. The traditional Pare culture is much in evidence in Chome village, and some of the locals still practice traditional agriculture.

Chome Forest Nature Reserve Hike (2-5 hours)

Spend part of your glorious time hiking in a green natural forest to explore the waterfalls, hills and valleys, magnificent views of the forest and villages nestled on this part of Eastern Arc Mountains. The forest is rich in primates, bird life, amphibians and endemic species of flowers.

A visit to a traditional healer (30 minutes to 1 hour)

A tour to a traditional healer’s home is magical. Visitors witness doctorial practices and learn how they use different traditional medicines to cure various diseases. Spend part of your glorious time at the home of the traditional healer, listen to stories and learn where they get their healing powers. This tour can be combine in either your half or full day Chome Village tours.

Multiple-day tours

The local guides of Chome Eco and Cultural Tourism and Tour Operators can craft several days hiking itineraries depending on visitors’ interest, time available and budget.

Four-day itinerary:

Day One: 4-6 hours

Drive from Same to the village of Chome, then trek from Chome to the viewpoints of Flat Rock locally known as ‘Ibwe la Kiindi’ and Namoche Valley through farm lands, traditional villages, to either Chome Forest for camping or Chome village for homestay and overnight in local guest houses. On the way you can get a chance to see animals like monkeys, chameleons and endemic bird species.

Day Two: 5-8 hours

Spend your day hiking to the Shengena peak with your packed lunch for picnic. This trail takes hikers through areas with waterfalls, families of colobus monkeys, numerous forest birds, colourful butterflies and endemic species of amphibians, plants and reptiles.

Day Three: 5-8 hours

A full-day tour in the village will take visitors through fields with crops such as maize, yams, potatoes, bananas, vegetables, ginger and coffee. A tour will also proceed to historical sites and a visit to local schools and old churches.

Day Four: 5-8 hours

After breakfast visitors will take a walk through the villages then visit a beekeeping project, community development projects, butterfly project and the tree nursery where you will get an opportunity to be part of Chome Forest Nature Reserve Carbon Off-setting Program by planting your own tree. Leave to Same in the afternoon.

Value of your visit

Your visit to Chome supports conservation of the Chome Forest Nature Reserve directly through the conservation fees charged. It provides local families with water, food, employment, personal income, medical treatments and education.

Eco-Tour Guides: Our Eco-tour guides are from the local communities surrounding the Chome Forest Nature Reserve who know the area, culture and history. They speak fairly good English.

Getting there

There are two ways to reach Chome village from Same town: One, drive from Same town through Mwembe village for nearly 1.5 hours (42 kms away) or take a round loop through Makanya and drive for 2 hours from Same (56 kms). The buses leave around 2 p.m. daily to the village and it takes 2 hours. Private visitors are asked to use a 4WD. Same town can be accessed by daily buses that ply the way between Dar-es-salaam-Arusha, Dar-es-salaam-Nairobi, Tanga-Arusha, Mbeya-Arusha and Lushoto/Mtae-Arusha then get out at Same bus stand.

Accommodation

The main facilities in the area are two guest houses with basic facilities. There are camping grounds with limited facilities, one inside the reserve and the other one near the entrance gate. Camps are installed with toilet facilities only. The local guides can arrange for a homestay experience in a number of identified families that can accommodate over 60 pax. Homestay facilities can provide fine dining with the host family and hot water shower. The other option is to stay in the three local guest houses available in the village of Chome

For more information and booking:

Contact the Tanzania Tourist Board-Arusha Branch or Chome Nature Reserve through:
Call: +255 (0) 272974105
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Contact the Tour Coordinator through:
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Mob: +255 786703010

Facebook: facebook.com/Chome-Eco-Cultural-Tourism-Enterprise-922304087896889/

Contact Us

Tanzania Cultural Tourism Programme
Museum Buildings, Boma Road
P . O . Box 2348
Arusha, Tanzania
Tel: + 255 27 205 0025
Cell: + 255 786 703 010 / 713 230 134
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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