Udzungwa Mountain National Park, dubbed “The Galapagos Islands of Africa”, has an exceptional bio diversity and is rightly classified as a World Biodiversity Hotspot.
It forms part of the Eastern Arc Mountains and is a pristine region of forested mountain wilderness that contains almost 40% of Tanzania’s flora and fauna species and 60 endemics found no where else in the world.
The Udzungwa Mountains are the largest range in the Eastern Arc Mountains. They are also the most biologically diverse and are protected by several national parks; including the 1990 km2 Udzungwa Mountains National Park.
This ancient mountain chain (formed over 30 million years ago) covers almost 10,000 km2 and extends from Southern Kenya to Southern Central Tanzania.
The variable vegetation ranges from lowland tropical forest to sub-montane forest and on to montane forest. There are also areas of grassland and wetlands. Altitude varies from 250m to 2576m above-sea-level (the highest point being Lohomero).
The Udzungwas are famed for their endemic species. They boast 15 endemic vertebrates, another 27 Eastern Arc vertebrates and 36 Eastern Arc endemic trees.
A notable consequence is the greatly diverse birdlife, with the second highest diversity in Africa (behind only the Ituri forest in the D.R.C.).
Hiking, primate watching and bird watching are Udzungwa’s main draws. Sanje waterfall (170m) is spectacular. Several caves make for an interesting cultural visit and beautiful African violets complete the scene.
The dry season is recommended for hiking, although it may rain at any time of year.
The wet season makes slopes slippery and climbing difficult.