Usambara Mountains

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The Usambara Mountains of northeasternTanzania in tropical East Africa, comprise the easternmost, ranges of the Eastern Arc Mountains. The ranges of approximately 90 kilometres (56 mi) long and about half that wide, are situated in the Lushoto District of the Tanga Region. They were formed nearly two million years by faulting and uplifting and are composed of precambrian metamorphic rock. They are split into two sub-ranges the west Usambara being higher than the East Usambaras, which are nearer the coast and receive more rainfall.

The range is accessible from the towns of Lushoto in the west, and Amani in the East. The Usambara are commonly split into two sub-ranges, the west Usambara Mountains and the East Usambara Mountains.The East Usambara are closer to the coast receive more rainfall, and are significantly smaller than the west Usambara.The mountains are in virgin tropical raiforest which has been isolated for a long period and they are a centre of endemism. Historically the were inhabited by Bantu, shambaa, and maasai people but in the eighteen century, a shambaa kingdom was founded by Mbegha. The kingdom eventually fell apart after a succession stuggle in 1862. German colonists settled in the area which was to become German East Africa, and after World War I it became part of the Britsh mandated territory of Tanganyika.


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