The Nyumba Nitu natural forest is located in Mlevela village, some 15 kilometres from Njombe Township just after wattle estates which border the Nyumba Nitu village.
The forest has its root from Nyumba Nitu caves and had derived its name from the dark caves which have been associated with a myth of black cows which dwelt inside the caves.
Inside the caves, local Wabena people hid or took refugee during tribal wars between rival Wahehe fighters during Chief Mkwawa conquests in Iringa region, way back in last quarter of 19th century. The caves also provided safe hideout from German forces during the Maji Maji uprising.
Several tales and myths surround Nyumba Nitu forest, where wild hens are found living since time immemorial. The Wabena communities are the owners of the forest where they pay homage calls to conduct rituals and sacrifices to their unseen ancestors.
The natural caves could accommodate up to 100 people at a go, and have been a home of early people before houses or settlements were discovered.
You can visit Nyumba Nitu to enjoy its thrilling atmosphere and share experience with local communities neighboring the forest.
Mdandu historical site is part of Nyumba Nitu forest. It is an interesting area with a historical touch. Mdandu is the origin of the name Njombe which the region has been named, deriving its name from Mdzombe tree, only available in this area.
There is an old German court where locals were prosecuted and hanged at a nearby tree. Mdandu was also a stopping centre for slaves from Makete to Bagamoyo and is located along the old slave trade route.