Mbeya Flights:

Flights to Mbeya

image of MbeyaThough Mbeya is an urban and busy city, it does not offer many tourist attractions. When people come to southern Tanzania, they are usually looking for opportunities to see the amazing local wildlife and Mbeya is a great place for that. There are several parks nearby as well as unspoiled landscapes right around the city itself.

Unfortunately, there are no sizable airports close enough for international flights to Mbeya. You will have to arrive at the Julius Nyerere International Airport (airport code: DAR) in Dar es Salaam. That is over 670km away so you will need to arrange significant transport to get to Mbeya from there, which can include regular buses and a weekly rail route. You will be able to get a non-stop flight to Dar es Salaam from South Africa with either Precision Air Services or South African Airways. A flight with Kenya Airways will stop once in Nairobi.

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The Tourist Attractions of Mbeya:

Surrounding Mountains

The mountains that are around Mbeya offer a lot of space for some independent exploring since they are not part of any official protected space. If you don’t mind a rough trail and no facilities, take a hike (or two) through the Poroto Mountains.

Kitulo Plateau National Park

Kitulo Plateau National Park is the nearest official park near to Mbeya though it is much smaller than the other two mentioned next. It’s a mix of mountain forest and grassland, with the high Kitulo Plateau as the central feature. Some species of monkeys live in the park but it’s the wide variety of wildflowers that make it a beautiful spot to see.

Uwanda Game Reserve

To the north-west of Mbeya is the Uwanda Game Reserve that is on the lower shores of Lake Rukwa. Around the lake you can see elephants, giraffes, zebras and lots of hippos. A dozen different species of antelope like the eland, impala and kudu are also very populous here. You will get the best wildlife viewing during the dry season when the animals are at the lake for water.

Usungu Game Reserve

Usunga Game Reserve is the bottom portion that is continuous with the Ruaha National Park, the Rungwa Game Reserve and the Kizigo Game Reserve. Given the total size of the combined parks, you can easily spend a few days there to explore more of the area. There are many camps and lodges for accommodation. Within the park, there are many types of ecosystems including grasslands, river basins, wetlands and heavy forests. Depending on what parts of the park you visit, you can see large groups of antelopes, wild dogs, elephants, buffalos, hyenas, giraffes, lions and more.

When Should You Visit?:

The climate is great for sightseeing in Mbeya and most times of the year will be comfortable in terms of temperature. The hottest months are October and November, which is just before the rainy season starts. It will reach 27C (80F) during the day then. Most of the rest of the year will be warm but comfortable. It cools down the most in June and July, with daytime high temperatures of only 21C (70F), which is also when it is the driest.

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