Udzungwa Mountains National Park
Udzungwa Mountains National Park is one of the best parks to visit on Tanzania safari. In 2015, this park was ranked the third best place to visit by the New York Times. It is situated south of Mikumi National Park and it is popular as the Galapagos of Africa. It takes its name from the word Wadsungwa which denotes Kihehe language as people living on the mountainside.
Udzungwa Mountains National Park was established in 1992 and it sits in an area of about 1990sq.kms. It is popular as one of the best parks with varying elevations comprising forests, primates, wildlife that are endemic to this area alone. The vegetation in Udzungwa Mountains National Park consists of tropical rain-forest, miombo woodland, grassland, steppe, and mountain forest. Over 2500 species of plants are confined in this park alone and it is rated as the second park in Africa with the largest biodiversity.
Attractions in Udzungwa Mountains National Park
Approximately 6 distinct primate species live in Udzungwa Mountains National Park and 5 of these are endemic species. They include Iringa red colobus monkeys and Sanje crested mangabeys which can be spotted only in this park. The other primates to sight in this park include yellow baboons, vervet monkeys, mountain dwarf galago, black colobus monkeys, white colobus monkeys, blue monkeys, rungwecebus kipunji, Other wildlife species to look out for in this park include duikers, elephants, waterbucks, wild dogs, leopards, Klipspringers, rock hyrax, bushbucks, hyenas, miombo genets, palm civets.
The bird species in Udzungwa National Park are estimated to be 400 and they include malachite kingfishes, silvery cheeked hornbills, trumpeter hornbills, Ruppel’s vultures, marabou storks, Rufous-winged sunbird, green-headed oriole, crowned eagles, woodland kingfishers to mention but a few.
Other attractions include the Udzungwa Mountains which are known for their breathtaking views, Sanje waterfalls.
Activities to do in Udzungwa Mountains National Park
In case you love hiking, a visit to Udzungwa Mountains National Park is worth your time. Hiking experience in this park lets you enjoy incredible views of the surrounding areas, sceneries and also sight variety of birds, butterflies, primates and many other wildlife species. There are designated hiking trails that also take you up to the beautiful waterfalls.
- Game viewing
Game viewing in Udzungwa Mountains National Reserve involves sighting variety of wildlife species including among others elephants, waterbucks, duikers, wild dogs, leopards, Klipspringers, rock hyrax, bushbucks, hyenas, miombo genets, palm civets as well as primates such as red colobus monkeys, Sanje crested mangabeys, yellow baboons, vervet monkeys, mountain dwarf galago, black and white colobus monkeys, blue monkeys, rungwecebus kipunji and not to forget bird sights.
- Guided nature walks
Guided nature walks introduce you to the Udzungwa Mountains National Reserve’s hidden gem. You get a chance to explore a variety of primates, birds, wildlife, butterflies, plants and many more.
- Best time to visit Udzungwa Mountains, National Park
The dry season is considered the best time to visit Udzungwa Mountains National Reserve for wildlife viewing. This starts in the months of June, July, August, September, and October.
- How to get to Udzungwa Mountains National Park
The best way to get to the Udzungwa Mountains National Reserve is by road or by air. By road, visitors can drive from Dar-es-Salaam to this park and this may take you approximately 4 hours via Chalinze, Morogoro and then to Mikumi National Park where you can connect to Mikumi Town. From Mikumi Town, take your left where you can see signposts of Udzungwa Mountains National Park and Ifakara.
By air, fly from Julius Nyerere International Airport and Kilimanjaro Airport to Kilombero airstrip which is 24kms away from Udzungwa Mountains National Reserve.
Related Tanzania National Parks – Where to go for a Tanzania Wildlife Safaris Tour
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