High on a cliff overlooking the valley of the small Ruaha River, Iringa – once built by the Germans as a bastion against the local Hehe people – is now a nice base for the southern parks of Tanzania and in particular the Ruaha National Park, the famous Isimila stone age site and the Igeleke rock drawings.
Iringa town is a cool refuge at 1,600 meters above sea level, stretching along the ridges and valleys of the Udzungwa Mountains.
- Height 1,600 meters
- Inhabitants 151,000
- spring rainy season around April
- autumn rainy season around November
About Iringa Town
Iringa is a pleasant small town in the southern highlands, with a focus on regional agriculture.
The streets are quiet and peaceful, and the market offers a colorful scene of traditional African culture.
A popular stopping point for visitors to Ruaha National Park.
Culture and products in Iringa
Iringa stretches along a hilltop of the Udzungwa Mountains overlooking the Little Ruaha River to the south, and extends further along ridges and valleys to the north. The area surrounding the town is more than 1600 meters above sea level.
The agricultural sector is the main product of Iringa town; regional agriculture and food processing. Various types of grain are grown and tobacco, but also vegetables and fruit. Iringa is the administrative capital of the Iringa region.
The main ethnic group of Iringa Town are the Hehe; Bantu-speaking farmers occupying the Iringa region of southern Tanzania. In 1898 they were subdued by the German troops after seven years of resistance until 1926. The Hehe practice a grain farming, with maize (maize) being the main crop. They are also livestock farmers and hire out as farm labourers.
Religion revolves around the cult of ancestors for the Hehe, but Christianity and Islam also have many followers.
Climate and Seasons in Iringa
Iringa is one of the coldest regions in Tanzania due to its geographical location. Iringa has a fairly dry subtropical highland climate adjacent to a tropical savanna climate with a wet season from December to April.
The temperature in Iringa is 18.5 degrees on average over a year. There is 700 mm of precipitation. In the months of June, July and August the temperatures are low around the freezing point.
June to October
During this dry period there is almost no rain. The temperatures are lowest in July, with an average of 16 degrees during the day and 11 degrees at night. But temperatures at night can also approach freezing. In the other months of this period, the temperatures during the day rise slightly to about 23 degrees max. and the nights are also cool.
This is the warmest month, with temperatures around 26 degrees in the afternoon and a minimum of 14 degrees in the early morning. The rain showers are increasing.
December to April
The wet period in which almost all rain falls, with the most precipitation in January. There is a shower almost every day. Temperatures average 20 degrees during the day and 15 degrees at night. The humidity is high.
March to May
Just like the rains, temperatures drop considerably during this period. It no longer rains every day and shorter and shorter. Temperatures are around 21 degrees during the day and 12 degrees at night.
1. The name Iringa is derived from the Hehe word lilinga, which means fortress.
2. The surrounding areas can be surveyed from the town.
3. Due to its high location, 1,600 meters high, the inhabitants of Iringa are not unfamiliar with snow.
4. Historically, Iringa was a center of colonial rule.
5. During the German occupation, the German army built the town in the 1890s as a fortified defense against marauding Hehe tribesmen who wanted to drive them out of the region. The uprising, one of the first against German rule, was led by chieftain Mkwawa, who was headquartered in the nearby village of Kalenga.
6. It was only after seven years of resistance that Chief Mkwawa was defeated. In order not to fall into the hands of the Germans, the chief committed suicide in 1898. As proof that the uprising had ended, his head was sent to Berlin.
7. In and around Iringa there was also a lot of fighting during the First and Second World War. Just outside the town are the Commonwealth war graves.
Iringa Town is not only a base for the southern parks, but also offers fun activities in the field of: culture, history and nature.
Animals in the environment
In Iringa Tanzania itself there are no wild animals, just the usual pets and birds.
In the nearby Ruaha National Park you can enjoy the buffalo, elephants, lions, leopards along the rivers (Ruaha, Mwagusi Sand and Mdonya) and antelopes.
Accommodations in Iringa Town
The accommodations in Iringa Town have been selected with care and attention.
Small scale, hospitality and quality are paramount.