Remote South of Tanzania: Land of cocoa, Livingstone Mountains, Lake Nyasa and Wildlife of the undiscovered Ruaha

Remote South of Tanzania: Land of cocoa, Livingstone Mountains, Lake Nyasa and Wildlife of the undiscovered Ruaha

Remote South of Tanzania: Land of cocoa, Livingstone Mountains, Lake Nyasa and Wildlife of the undiscovered Ruaha

Remote South of Tanzania: Land of cocoa, Livingstone Mountains, Lake Nyasa and Wildlife of the undiscovered Ruaha

Remote South of Tanzania: Land of cocoa, Livingstone Mountains, Lake Nyasa and Wildlife of the undiscovered Ruaha

Remote South of Tanzania: Land of cocoa, Livingstone Mountains, Lake Nyasa and Wildlife of the undiscovered Ruaha

Remote South of Tanzania: Land of cocoa, Livingstone Mountains, Lake Nyasa and Wildlife of the undiscovered Ruaha

Remote South of Tanzania: Land of cocoa, Livingstone Mountains, Lake Nyasa and Wildlife of the undiscovered Ruaha


November 1 - 12, 2023






This tour is among the very special tours in our portfolio that we have the necessary knowledge, expertise, and courage to offer to you. The trip combines one of the most exciting parts of Tanzania - the Southern Highlands, Lake Naysa (also known as Lake Malawi), and the completely unexplored Livingstone Mountains. 

The tour itself is a unique and absolutely one-of-a-kind experience of the deep interior of Southern Tanzania which is so culturally diverse and incredibly scenic. During the course of the trip, we will introduce you to one of the biggest cocoa farms in Tanzania and will see the process of coca production from beginning to end. We will pass the fishing villages and will visit the fishing markets as well as travel by boat to experience the local way of lake life and aquatic landscape. 

This tour has not been ever done before except for our founder Antonina Zharko, who will carefully guide you through the entire journey together with her local Tanzanian partners on the ground and with the invaluable assistance of the renowned professional photographer and experienced photojournalist Francesco Lastrucci who will guide you through the storytelling part of the journey where you will be able to create meaningful photo stories, portraits, gorgeous landscape images, video footage and much more. 

We will end up our journey in one of the remotest national parks of Tanzania - Ruaha National Park. Besides walking safaris in the wild bush and game drives, we will get insight into wildlife conservation by directly participating in the conservation process in that park and interacting with the researchers and conservationists. We believe that this approach to that kind of wildlife viewing will contribute to our understanding of the importance of animal conservation and will change our perspective on the nature around us.

This unique route is an absolutely life-changing opportunity and we encourage you to follow our lead to experience the image of Africa that is overlooked by many, but which is very precious and memorable.

Francesco Lastrucci your Tour Leader:

Photo by  Ray Phillips

Born in Florence in 1977, Francesco Lastrucci is a freelance documentary photographer who mainly focuses on editorial stories and long-term personal projects. After his studies in architecture, he moved to Stockholm and dedicated himself to photography. Since then he has lived in Hong Kong and New York and has worked on both self-produced stories and magazine assignments in Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, and East Asia.

Now based in Italy, he is currently producing long-term personal projects in Colombia (2010-present), India (2015-Present), and the Mediterranean area (2009-present) as well as taking assignments all over the world. His documentary projects focus on the multilayered aspects of people's daily life, the rich complexity of their culture, and the interactions between man and the environment.

His work appeared in major North American, European, and Asian magazines. Among them: National Geographic, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Monocle, The Smithsonian, GEO (France), Vanity Fair, WIRED Middle East, VOGUE Arabia, The Independent on Sunday, CNN, L'Express, Geographical (UK), Afar, Asian Geographic, IL (sole24ore), Prime Russian Magazine, Reader's Digest, Marie Claire, Afisha-Mir.

His work has been exhibited in the USA, Italy, The Netherlands, the UK, Singapore, Mexico, Colombia, and Hong Kong.

Our driver will be waiting for you at the airport to transfer you to your lodge in Dar es Salaam. Upon arrival at the lodge, your tour leader and a member of our team will meet you for a briefing and Q&A about your trip.

Accommodation: Alexander's Hotel

Single and twin rooms will be available.

Your plane will arrive at Mbeya in the late evening and our land cruiser vehicle will be waiting for you to meet you at the airport and take you to your guesthouse. The guesthouse is a local comfortable guesthouse with ensuite hot shower and all other necessary facilities for comfortable stay.

Single and twin rooms are available.

Perched at an elevation of 1,737m in a valley below the extensive Mbeya Range. Mbeya was established in 1927 to service the Lupa gold fields near Chunya. Although the mining ceased in the 1950s, Mbeya has continued to prosper thanks to the rich agricultural land that surrounds it. With a population of 230,000 (this may have increased by now), it is today the third largest town in Tanzania. Mbeya is an appealing town, with a skyline dominated by the impressive – and climbable – Mbeya and Loleza peaks. It is a good base for exploring for exploring the southern highlands. We will explore cocoa farm while in Mbeya with full insight in the cocoa production.

We will finish our day roaming the streets of Mbeya for any photographic opportunities.

Accommodation: Local guesthouse.

It will take us about 2 hours to get to the picturesque Matema Beach. Upon arrival, our camp will be set up for us on the lake shore. Sunset at the lake and interacting with local people, most of them are Nyakyusa tribe and immigrants fishermen from Malawi. Those who are brave can go fishing in local dhow for the entire night.

Accommodation: camping in the Lake Nyasa shore.

Early call time. 5 am quick breakfast and go to the fish market in Matema to meet the fishermen coming from their night fish hunt. Prepare for crowds of people. We will wait till the market is about to finish and will continue mingling with the locals. The we proceed to your camp for a bit of rest and lunch.After lunch jump on the boat (paddle boat) depending on the lake condition, we may change the plan and will do the boating early morning instead when the lake is steal. We will play it by ear. We will boat down Lyufilyo river, which takes its beginning in Lake Nyasa. You may come across people on the way and may hang out with them. You are free to stop and photograph if needed.

After boating, get back to your camp for sundowner or go explore the fishermen evening life and sit by the fire with them. You are absolutely free to explore the area and communicate with people. They love discussing things with strangers. We may stop by at local bar for couple of beers and discuss matters with local men. This is part of the experience and integrating with the people is priceless, expect surprises on the way. You never know who you going to meet on your way and that is a beauty of such an improvised exploration.Return to your camp and spend evening by the fire, dinner and sleep.

Accommodation: camping at the Lake shore.

Early morning at 6am we should be at the market where the boats depart to other villages. We will take a public boat to Ikombe village. The boat will be overcrowded with people and other load. You will have enough space as tourism council of the region and us, as a company, will make sure you are safe.Located on the peninsula of Lake Nyasa, at the foothills of the Livingstone Mountains, this remote village village can be reached by boat or foot from Matema or Lyulilo. This is the village where most of the pottery sold in Matema and the surrounding areas is produced (in furnaces). Most of the people living in this industrial area earn their livelihoods through the production of pottery.We do hope we will see the traditional dance of Nyakyusa people. We usually do not force anyone to perform but if people are in the mood they will be happy to make a party and we will be welcome to participate.In the afternoon we set up camp on the shore of the lake with a sundowner, and enjoy sunset. The lake will be our shower. The lake is clean and you are free to take a refreshing bath there.

Accommodation: Camping at the Lake shore.

Early morning we take a public boat heading to Lumbila. About 2 hours by boat. Upon arrival to Lumbila, we will have quick lunch and will start hiking the Livingstone mountains. Up and down for about 7 hours. We will cross the Livingstone mountains range and will get to the nearest village by early evening. Get your warm clothes ready, it will be cold at the village.
We set up our tents at the village facing the breathtaking view of the Livingstone mountains. Sundowner. Dinner and sleep.

Accommodation: Camping in the mountains.

As an option, we can camp in the Livingstone mountains for the night before we reach the village in the next morning. This option will be adjusted along the way.

Sunrise in the mountains with hot coffee. Feel free to roam around the village. The village is located on the hill, up and down, but gorgeous among the mountains and hills. Get ready to take motorcycle to drive to the town of Njombe. You will pass through the pine trees plantations with stanning views of Livingstone mountains chain. Get your warm clothes on, it will be chilly. Enjoy the ride. The vehicle will be waiting for us in Njombe from where we will depart to Iringa and will check into local hotel in the late afternoon (evening).

Accommodation: Local guesthouse.

Another exciting part of the tour – Ruaha National Park, and one of the most remote, incredible natural gems in Tanzania. We check in Usangu camp and proceed exploring the park with game drives and walking safaris, nighttime safaris as well as get some insights into wildlife conservation.

Accommodation: Usangu Camp

In the morning be ready for the flight back to dar es salaam, where our services will end.
However, if you wish to proceed to Zanzibar, Pemba or Mafia Islands or any coastal areas we can arrange the extension trip for you at extra cost.

We are here for you to make your trip exciting and memorable.

Want to book this tour? Inquire about the price by sending us a message.

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