Udzungwa Mountains National Park
Location and Size of Udzungwa Mountains National Park
The Udzungwa Mountains hold an area of 10,000 sq. km. The mountainous formation begins in the Northern Kenya Taita Hills and spreads to the eastern and Tanzanian south-central area. This area known as the Eastern Arc Mountains is a mountainous range belonging to the Eastern Arc, which is about several million years now. The Indian Ocean cools the eastern rainforest of the Eastern Arc. The somewhat permanent climatic situation in the area preserves the environment and the biodiversity of the area to date for Tanzania Safari lovers, inflicting only negligible changes on the bio-diversity of the park.
More than other sites in the Eastern Arc, most of the rainforest flourishes in the Udzungwa Mountains. In the Kilombero valley of the Udzungwa Mountainous area, the rain forests grow at an elevation of 250 m and even at 2000m. The park is about 360 km away from Dar es Salaam city and is very close to the Mikumi National Park. Those who are on a Tanzania Safari and driving to the Udzungwa Mountains Park have to take the Morogoro Road. They can reach the park within four hours if they drive through Chalinze to Morogoro and then to the Mikumi National Park and to Mikumi town. Thereafter they have to turn from where the Ifakara sign is and reach the Udzungwa Mountains National Park. Those who drive from Dar es Salaam can take the Morogoro road to reach Chilanze and then to Mikumi town and follow the same route to the park. On this route, visitors can view Kilombero town and cross over the Ruaha River and reach Kidatu where a significant hydroelectric power station provides hydro driven energy to the Llovo headquarters. From there, the roads up to 24 km may cause some problems for the drivers. But even after facing such difficulties the road goes passes by the magnificent Sanje waterfall that is worthy of seeing. When Tanzania Safari lovers reach this way to the Mang’ula village, they will see the board that indicates to the National park. Those who come from Selous Game Reserve can reach the park via a new road that begins from Dar to Selous and then to Udzungwa and Mikumi. On
Tuesdays and Fridays, Udzungwa Mountains Tanzanian Holiday lovers can take a train scheduled at 2pm. from Dar es Salaam. It takes about 7 hours to reach the Park headquarters which is in Mang’ula. The train journey to the park is cheap and convenient. Travellers by train can purchase food, cold beers and soft drinks in the train. The trail by train runs providing sights of Selous Game Reserve that will interest travelers. The train returns to Dar es Salaam on Thursdays and Sundays, via Mang’ula. However, the train journey can take much more time than expected. Visitors can also take flights from Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar. The flights are available every afternoon. They can also take flights from Mikumi airport.
Special Features of Udzungwa Mountains National Park
Udzungwa is the largest mountain range in eastern Tanzania and it shelters the most number of plants and animals in Africa. The trees in the Udzungwa mountain range grow more than 30 m high and ferns, fungi, lichens and mosses engage in an eternal embrace with these trees. The Udzungwa Mountain also takes the title, African Galapagos for its diverse animals and plants.
Of the Eastern Arc, which consists of about dozen mountains, only Udzungwa has the honour of being a national park. Another significance of the Udzungwa makes its forest grow from the 250m-altitude to more than 2000m-altitude. The mountain provides excellent sites for Tanzania Safari hiking. The Sanje Waterfall cascades from the height of 170m to the valley painting a breathtaking view of its Tanzania Holiday visitors.
The next highest peak of the Udzungwa mountain range, Mwanihana welcomes its visitors who reach it through the Mwanihana Trail. There are more than 300 avian species. Greenhead oriole, forest partridge and about six bird species endemic to the area are visible in the Udzungwa mountain range including African fowl. Mangabey, colobus, sanje and Iringa are common pirates in the forest.
Why To Go To Udzungwa Mountains National Park
Many visitors on a Tanzania Budget Safari to Udzungwa visit to go hiking. The environment of the Eastern Arc Mountain ranges including Udzungwa provides breathtaking sceneries for nature lovers. The forest contains rare locations of biodiversity, wildlife, trees, fauna and flora researchers. The Udzungwa mountain reserve shelter over seven species of endemic birds and animals. Many visitors hike to see the Sanje falls in the park.
Udzungwa authorities allow only walking safaris in their territory. At the Sanje waterfall, one can find excellent spots for swimming. In the area surrounding the mountain, many use bicycles to view the environments. Native lifestyles in nearby villages can also be observed. Bicycles are available for rent from camps outside the park.
Those who visit Ifakara can purchase exquisite souvenirs from a very charming and not-so-busy market. There is an institution that provides weaving jobs to local women. Visitors can buy excellent napkins, mats, and blankets, among others from them.
Surrounding the area of the Udzungwa Mountains are sites of rubber plantations where visitors can witness how to prepare rubber sheets with the extracts of rubber trees. They can also meet witch doctors who use varied lotions, and concoctions to cure many diseases. Visitors to these areas can also view the traditional Ngoma dancers.
When To Go To Udzungwa Mountains National Park
The Udzungwa Mountains National Park and surrounding area open for visitors throughout the year. However, many prefer to visit Udzungwa during the dry season which prevails from July to October to rainy season. During rainy season which begins in March and prevails till May, visitors there have to more cautious since many hiking trails in the park are slippery and treacherous.
Extra Information on Udzungwa Mountains National Park
Visitors on a Tanzania Budget Safari who arrive at the Udzungwa Mountains National park can camp in the park provided they have necessary goods and equipment. Inside the park, many small camp providers also operate. Those who camp in the park have to pay a fee ($30 for adults and $5 for children) to the National park. In the forest camp of Udzungwa Mountains, visitors also can prepare their own accommodations. While engaging in long walking safaris, visitors have to take along their meals since the surrounding has no lodges and hotels. It is advisable to hire good, knowledgeable guides to engage in walking safaris in the park because some guides do not possess required knowledge to explain plants and birds and even animals. Visitors cannot expect from them any familiarity with birds by hearing their chirps.