Udzungwa Mountain National Park

Udzungwa Mountain National Park has an area of 1990 sq km, bordered by the Great Ruaha River to the north, with Mikumi National Park and Selous Game Reserve located further to the north and east. The park is attractive for its waterfalls to the Mwanihama peak which can be climbed for three days. Hiking to Udzungwa requires a high level of fitness as it is a very steep climb. The north western side has deciduous trees dominated by acacia while in eastern side of the park has evergreen moist forest of both lowland and montane forest.

Amongst the larger attractions are 10 species of monkey, three of which are endmic: the Uhehe red Colobus, the Matunda galago and the Sanje Crested Angabey. The last of these is amongst the world’s 25 most threatened primates (monkeys). With a day to explore slowly, you will usually see the red colobus, along with the black and while Angola Colobus. Blue and vervet monkeys and yellow babooms are also common.

More than 400 species of birds have been recorded including many regional  endemics like the  Udzungwa forest partridge, which was new to science in 1991.  With more scientific research, further new species are bound to be discovered. A quarter of plants at Udzungwa are endemic including some Saitpaulia species closely related to African Violets. There are also endemic amphibians, reptiles and butterflies.  This, the major attractions include its biologically diverse forest, harboring some plant species found nowhere else in the world, from a tiny African violet to 30-metre high trees.

Apart from providing habitat to about six species of primates, its plateau contains populations of elephants, buffalo’s, lions, leopards, African hunting dogs and several forest bird species.

Walking safaris to the Sanje River waterfalls (170 metres) is one of the popular activities in this park. Udzungwa Mountains can conveniently be combined with game drives in nearby Mikumi National Park, an hour·s drive to the north, or be included in the Ruaha National Park (4-5 hours drive) and Selous Game Reserve itineraries. The park can be visited throughout the year although it is a bit slippery during the wet rainy season. The dry season extends from June to October.