Udzungwa Mountains National Park
Location:Udzungwa Mountain National Park is recently established conservation area of 1,990 sq. km (770 sq miles); South central Tanzania in Iringa and Morogoro regions in the Eastern Arc Mountains. Udzungwa is about 10km south west of Mikumi National Park. Park HQ is at Mangula.
Background: The word “Udzungwa” is probably a linguistic corruption possibly by the Germans of the word “Wadsungwa” which means the people who live on the slopes of the Mountains. The Eastern Arc Mountains, which are almost entirely in Tanzania, have been described as the “Galapagos Island of Africa”. They are arcs shaped hence the name. The importance of protecting these mountains with National Park status gained momentum in the late 1980’s. Support for the effort to establish the park, and for Basic Park infrastructure, was provided by WWF. The bill to establish the park was passed by a resolution of the National Assembly on 23rd of January 1992 and the President Proclamation announced the new park on the 29th February 1992. The Founder President of WWF, HRH Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands, officially opened Udzungwa Mountains National Park on 20th October 1992.
The major attraction of park is its biodiversity and unique rain forest, where many rare plants not found anywhere else in the world, have been identified, from tiny African violet to 30 metre high trees. It is also unique within Tanzania in that its closed-canopy forest spans altitudes of 250 metres (820 feet) to above 2,000 metres (6,560 ft) without interruption. Also a home of about six types of primates, including four endemic species both occur nowhere else in the world – the Iringa red Colobus monkey, the Sanje crested mangabey, Matundu galago and Mountain dwarf galago – the plateau supports even if they are not often seen by visitors, animals like; leopard, elephant, buffalo and hyena. So, depending on where and when you go, you may need escort by an armed ranger. Wild dogs as well as rare species of forest birds, four of which were only discovered last few years are commonly spotted. Real biodiversity hotspot!! The park offers the greatest altitudinal range of the Eastern Arc Mountains and has an incredible range of biological species as well as several endemic species. The undisturbed forest areas offer good hiking opportunities and bird watching and the park receives very few tourists.
From a two-hour hike to the waterfall to camping safaris. Combine with nearby Mikumi, or en route to Ruaha, Selous, or Katavi.
Main activity in Udzungwa is walking. Available trails and itinerary for Udzungwa provided by Classic Tours & Safaris is shown below:
Name of trail
Distance / duration
65 km (5 days/nights
38km (3days/2 Nights)
NB: The distance/duration is go and return. Classic Tours & Safaris advise to hire a guide for a day walk and a ranger for a long walk.
Classic Tours & Safaris will take you through Udzungwa Mountain National Park to experience to the fullest the trails up the peak.
2 waterfalls, primates 4 species endemics: Sanje crested Mangabey, Iringa red Colobus, Matundu galago and Mountain dwarf galago, birds, miombo vegetation
3 waterfalls in stages that drop from 200m, 70m and 40m respectively, primates, birds, butterflies, a variety of vegetation
Small waterfall, baboons, primates, red duiker, birds, good Bokela Mountain view
The summit is at 2500m and trail passes through different vegetation types according to altitude Mwanihana is more challenging trail that leads to the high plateau, with its panoramic views over surrounding sugar plantations, before ascending to Mwanihana peak, the second-highest point in the range.
The trail passes along the saddle between Luhomero and Mwanihama peaks. May encounter herds of buffalo, elephant and good bird watching.
When to visit:
Possible all year round although slippery in the rains. The dry season is June-October before the short rains but be prepared for rain anytime.
For further information on trails and guided hiking trips for groups please ask to the Classic Tours & Safaris; Your friends in Tanzania for greatest safaris, unlimited adventure.