We took an incredibly dusty ride from Sumbawanga to Mbeya on Sumry bus. They are a luxury line and I frankly can't imagine what the non-luxury buses look like on this route. It was a long 6 hours - I was nauseous most of the time although I managed not to puke during the ride.
We stayed with an American woman in Mbeya who runs an orphanage she started a few years ago called The Olive Branch for Children. She is a great woman and, from what I can see, is very passionate about the work. Plus she put us up for a night - almost complete strangers!!!
We all went for Indian food at Mbeya Hotel, which was delicious-tasting. However, soon afterwards I retreated to the bathroom and vomited all over the floor. So that was fun. Still not sure what caused me to feel sick, but I am guessing a combination of bumpy roads and the dust. Anyway, I felt better soon afterwards.
We decided to take this route (after the falls, heading for Malawi via Mbeya) because crossing into Zambia would have cost us 100 USD for the visa, and we didn't even plan to spend much time there. It was a good decision - it was nice to have one last night in Tanzania.