Magamba Nature Forest Reserve (MNFR) is a state owned forest reserve in Lushoto District managed by Tanzania Forest Services Agency (TFS) under Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism and it has been designated as Nature Forest Reserve since March 2016. It covers a total of 9,283 ha. This Reserve has remained unspoiled due to the conservation efforts of the Lushoto people and Government.
Reserve is located in Lushoto district at 4°40'S and 38°15'E. The reserve altitude varies between 1650 and 2300 m.a.s.l where Kwehondo peak being the highest peak of the reserve rising to about 2300 m.a.s.l.
Magamba Nature Forest Reserve Head office is about 10 km from Lushoto town driving through Lushoto-Magamba-Mlalo road. The estimated distance from Lushoto-Mombo is 30 km and from Lushoto-Magamba Nature Forest Reserve is 9 km.
FLORA AND FAUNA
Magamba Nature Forest Reserve has high biological diversity with high richness of flora and fauna due to the varied altitudinal and climatic conditions present in the area. The reserve is managed for biodiversity conservation, water sources, ecotourism activities and research purposes. Dominant tree species include: Ocotea usambarensis, Tabernaemontana pachysiphon, Macaranga conglomerata, Albizia gummifera, Vepris nobilis, Syzgium guineense, Aphloia theiformis, Dasylepis integra, Flacourtia indica and Psychotria goetzei. Shrub species include: Chassalia discolour, Dodonea viscosa, Dracaena afromontana, Erica benguelensis, Grewia similis, Gymnanthemum myrianthum, Lijndenia procteri, Lobelia giberroa, Memecylon deminutum and Pavetta abyssinica. Other plants include: Toddalia asiatica (climber), Landolphia kirkii (climber) and Cyathea manniana (fern).
Animals include bush-pig, black and white Colobus monkeys, rabbits, antelope sand squirrels whereas; reptiles include chameleons, lizards and snakes. The forest also has varieties of birds species including owls, swifts, Caprimulgus guttifer (Usambara nightjar) Bubo vosseleri (Usambara eagle owl), Neocossyehus poensis (White tailed ant-thrush), Turdus pelios (African thrush), Turdus roehli (Usambara thrush), Sheppardia Montana (Usambara akalat), Nectarinia usambaricus (Usambara sunbird), Ploceus melanogaster (Black billed weaver) and Pachyphates supperciliosus (Compact weaver) and a number of insects such as butterflies, ants, beetles, millipedes and centipede species.
Visitors can experience the flora and fauna of the reserve through sights seeing, walking and hiking through beautiful mountain forest.
HISTORICAL/CULTURAL AND NATURAL SITES
Various attractive sites for ecotourism are found within and outside the reserve and these include historical/cultural and natural sites such as viewpoints (Jiwe la Mungu, Kigulu Hakwewa Kwehondo and Skyline ), Old German cave, Sungwi waterfalls, Mkussu waterfalls, Hambalawei, Kibohelo and Grewal dams and Old Grewal saw mill.
The reserve head office offers camping sites, hiring of tents and transportation services for tourists. The town has a number of accommodation facilities to visitors ranging from hotels, lodges and guest houses. Also in town there are several tourism information offices such as TAYODEA, FRIENDS OF USAMBARA, MULLERS MOUNTAIN LODGE, COCAFA and MAMBO VIEW POINT which provide tourism information and tour guiding services to tourists.