Udzungwa Mountain National Park is the largest and most diverse biodiversity of a chain of a dozen large forest-swathed mountains. Basically, they rise tremendously from the flat coastal scrub of eastern Tanzania. Famously known collectively as the Eastern Arc Mountains, this archipelago of isolated massifs has also been christened the African Galapagos for its hoard of endemic plants and animals, most familiarly the intricate African violet.
The brooding and ancient forests of Udzungwa seem positively delightful, a lush refuge of sunshine-dappled glades enclosed by 30-meter-high trees, their buttresses layered with fungi, lichens, mosses, and ferns make it furnished with spectacular receptions.
Udzungwa, among the ancient ranges of the Eastern Arc, has been accorded national park status. It is also unique within Tanzania in that it is a closed-canopy forest. Further, the canopy spans altitudes of 250 meters to above 2,000 meters without interruption.
Not a particularly game-viewing destination, However, Udzungwa is arguably a magnet for hikers. An excellent network of forest trails includes the popular half-day ramble to Sanje Waterfall, which plunges 170 meters through a misty spray into the forested valley below. The more break-born two-night Mwanihana Trail leads to the high plateau, with its scenic views over surrounding massive sugar plantations, before ascending to Mwanihana peak, which is the second-highest point in the range.
Ornithologists also are attracted to Udzungwa for its birds’ wealth, embracing more than 400 species that range from the lovely and readily-located green-headed oriole to more than a dozen secretive Eastern Arc endemics.
In Either case At Udzungwa, four bird species are peculiar to Udzungwa only. To put it clearly, those species include a forest partridge. In the same way, the species were first discovered in 1991 and are significantly more closely related to an Asian genus than to any other African fowl.
The park accommodates six primate species documented. Basically, the Iringa red colobus and Sanje Crested Mangabey. Peculiarly both occur nowhere else in the world except here – the latter, remarkably, remained undetected by biologists prior to 1979.
Without a doubt, this great forest has yet to reveal all its treasures:
Without a doubt, ongoing scientific exploration will surely add to its diverse catalogue of endemics and more because this is the land of exploration.
About Udzungwa Mountains National Park
The Udzungwa Mountain National Park covers the size: of 1,990 sq km,
located five hours 350 km from Dar es Salaam; 65 km southwest of Mikumi.
You need to drive from Dar es Salaam or Mikumi National Park.
What to do
You can spend a two-hour hike to the waterfall or engage in a camping safari. Nevertheless, you can combine with nearby Mikumi, or en route to Ruaha.
When to go
You can possibly explore the Udzungwa Mountain National Park all year round although it is slippery in the rain.
The dry season starts in June-October before the short rains but be ready for rain anytime. That’s the nature of the place.