MOUNT KILIMANJARO NATIONAL PARK
UDZUNGWA MOUNTAINS NATIONAL PARK
Mountains are almost unearthly. Primeval. Burgeoning with rampant, verdant
growth. An enchanted forest of leafy glades freckled with sunshine, where
fungus, lichen, moss and ferns ingratiate themselves into every damp crevice. It
is at once vivid detail and larger than life: a new variety of the tiny African
violet discovered in the shelter of 30 metre high trees. It is a hothouse
nurturing species found nowhere else on earth, a secret bank account of precious
genetic stock. Of its six types of primate, two are endemic – the Iringa red
colobus monkey and the Sanje Creseted Mangabey, not detected until 1979. Four
previously unknown birds including the rufous-winged sunbird and a new species
of the partridge-like francolin, make this Tanzania’s richest forest bird hbitat
and among the three most important bird conservation areas on the continent.
One of East Africa’s great forests, undoubtedly this undisturbed habitat is yet
to reveal all its treasures, waiting for further scientific exploration to
catalogue its wealth.
A link in
the chain of Africa’s eastern arc mountains, Udzungwa is made for hiking and
climbing with trails through the rainforest and escarpment. The plateau is a
natural penthouse, with views of sugar plantations against a patchwork of
grassland and mountain forest extending over 100 kilometres. But the centrepiece
is the Sanje River where it reinvents itself as a spectacular waterfall,
plunging 170 metres through the forest to land in a spray of mist in the valley
1990 sq kms
5 hours (348 km, about 215 miles) from Dar es Salaam; 64
kms (about 40 miles) southwest of Mikumi National Park.
Drive from Dar es
Salaam or Mikumi National Park.
What to do
From a 2 hour hike to
the waterfall to camping safaris. Combine with nearby Mikumi National Park
or en route to Ruaha National Park.
Possible year round although slippery in the wet. The dry
season is June-October before the short rains but be prepared for rain
Camping inside the park. Bring all food and supplies.
Accommodation just outside the park entrance, Luxury Mobile Camping.