Udzungwa Mountain National Park
The rarely visited, slightly offbeat national parks of Mikumi and Udzungwa offer special wildlife experiences.
Selous Game Reserve - Nyerere National Park
Udzungwa Mountains National Park is one of the national parks of Tanzania that is located in the South. The park covers a total land area of 1,990 square kilometers, its dominated by the rainforests, Miobo woodlands and the wide range of mountains. The park got its name from the large and highest peak found at the park called Udzungwa Mountain. The highest peak of the mountain is called Lohomero which is 2,576 meters. The mountains are incorporated by the Eastern Arc Mountains. The name of the park or the mountains was derived from the Local Kihehe word “Wadzungwa” which means “the people who leave by the side of the mountains” These mountains have preserved their biodiversity for over years with minimal or no change due to respect from the local communities who have never touched the forests or mountains.
The natural Udzungwa Mountains National is gifted with more tourists attractions which are breathtaking. Its great place of relaxing and catching cold fresh breath after long African trip in overcrowded national parks. The park is one of the hot spot for Tanzania tourist destinations which must not be missed due to its unique landscapes that are formed by the massive ridges of the Eastern Arc Mountains. Below are some of the highlights of Udzungwa Mountains National.
The Udzungwa Mountains National pride is the unique waterfalls that offers travelers the best scenic and sightseeing experience. The Sanje water fall found in the heart of the park is the highest waterfalls in Tanzania. The waterfall is compressed of three different stages or breakings. Depending on the physical ability of the traveler we can visit all the stages in your one day hike to the top of water fall. The first stage which is the longest is at 170 meters, followed by the one with 30meters and finally the 70 meters which is the second longest. You are freely allowed at the bottom of the falls to take your bath. Each stage has deep pool of water which experienced swimmers can enjoy. The park has also small water falls like Prince Bernhard which was named after the Prince who was the foiunder of the falls, Mwaya falls, Sonjo falls and Njokamoni falls.
Mountain peaks and trails.
The name of the park was derived from the name of the highest mountain at the park. The park is dominated by mountain ranges which is one of the key attraction at the park. The Udzungwa Mountains are composed of the ranges that give you great canopy views of the park. Hiking to these peaks donot need more hiking experience. You only ned some level of fitness inorder to finish the hike successfully during your safari to the park. The forests and the mountains have trekking trails that hikers and birders use for experiencing the park. The magnificent forest is mostly visited by researchers who want to discover more about some rare tree species at the forest. The park remains one of the untouched forest in Tanzania since the time of its gazetting. The hike trails start from one day hike to Sonjo trek to the 6 days hike to Lumemo trail. The park has poor road networks that makes the park to be only accessed by foot not cars.
Cultural and historical sites
Udzungwa Mountains National is also a site of more history and culture with more sites that offer more historical attachment. The park is attributed to more historical setting of more Tanzania tribes that long lived in the Southern part of Tanzania. Most of these tribes settled around the mountains before they spread allover the other southern parts of the Tanzania.
Primates and birds
Udzungwa Mountains National is ahome of rare primates that canot even been seen from any part of the world except only this park. There six recorded primate species with the most notable ones are the Sanje crested Mangabey and Iringa red colobus.
Birding is excellently done in Kilombero floodplains where there are more bird species of both wetlands and forest bird species. The main road is near only 2 kilometers north of Mangula town which is next to the Hondo Hondo camp. The park has recoded over 400 bird species which are both forest species and wetland species. Some of the bird species include African fowl, Forest Partridge, green-headed oriole and others.
Udzungwa Mountains National remains one of untouched and less exploited national park in Tanzania receiving less visitors in a year due to poor road network inside the park.
Udzungwa Mountains - The Eastern Arc'
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Udzungwa, in particular, is of considerable scientific importance for its forest-swathed wilderness, while Mikumi offers a gentle savannah wildlife experience.