Udzungwa Mountains National Park
Udzungwa national park is found in the south of Tanzania, Morogoro region in a district called Kilombero which is about 65km from Mikumi National park. Udzungwa forest encompasses diverse animals, insects and plants that are rare and uncommon to find elsewhere around the world.
Within 1990km2 and 350km drive from the south of Dar es salaam you will find two mountain peaks inside the Udzungwa mountain. First one is called Mwinihana with about 2500m and another one is called Luhomero with 2576m which are the most famous attraction in Udzungwa National park and one of the best-hiking expedition in the South of Tanzania.
About 70% of the water used in the country is coming from Udzungwa mountains which make it the most important place in the country and as well as to its people. This park is regarded as a hiking paradise with scenic views rich in tropical vegetation and below I have narrated 6 best that are must to do once visiting Udzungwa mountains national park.
Understand the History of Udzungwa National Park
Udzungwa national park was established in 1992 and before that it was a forest reserve until the government of Tanzania decided to make it a national park due to the interference from daily human activities which was destructing the nature and water sources inside the park.
Udzungwa national park was named after the mountains of Udzungwa which means the country of “dzungwa branch of Hehe tribe” which is the famous tribe from Iringa, a region located at the south of Tanzania and it’s people used to live on the mountains before it was made the National park.
Udzungwa national park can be found in two different regions where 20% of it is found in Kilombero Morogoro and 80% of it can be found in Kilolo, Iringa. You can always find wildlife animals on the Iringa part of the park while there are few or no wild animals on the Morogoro side of the park and that is why you can do different walking tours and hiking to the Sanje waterfall which is the highest waterfall in all the national parks in Tanzania.
Learn About Plants and Trees
You can find different and many trees and plants in this place and Udzungwa forest have more than 2500 plant species while about 160 of them were used by Hehe tribe as medicine, the Hehe people used the roots, leaves and cortex to cure themselves and 50 of the plants cannot be found any other place in the world except in Udzungwa mountain. Once walking in the park you will find trees with name tags that will help you understand and learn more about this amazing forest nature.
Discover the Insects and Animals
Udzungwa national park is named as a trendy and cool Natural spot because of its richness in insects and animals, and one of the famous and beautiful insects which you can find here is a butterfly where there are more than 250 types of butterflies and 3 of them can only be found here. Some of the insects can be found here includeSome of the animals that can be found here include primate, Udzungwa red colobus, nyika climbing mouse, wild dogs, spotted hyena, waterbuck, bush pig, kudu and many more. All of this attraction make Udzungwa mountains being one of the best spots to visit in the world for family and friends due to its calmness and hidden rare wild experience.
Trek to the Sanje Waterfall
The whole trek will take about 7hrs include climb down. Sanje Waterfalls this is a multi-levelled waterfall with 3 levels the tallest being slightly above 170 meters of height making it the tallest waterfall in the country easily accessed by a day hike of 8 Km for a complete circuit. It is important that you bring your hiking boot, it is an adventure of its own and it gets more incredible once you reached the top of the mountain where you can see the sources of water and get rewarded with the breathtaking views. Hiking to this mountain can be tough if you are not a hiking person, so remember to bring mountain sticks since you will always need one during your hike and if you don’t have you can rent one before starting your trek at the entrance gate which will cost you about 2 USD
During your hike, you will always have a break to get some short rest and specifically at the Sanje viewpoint where you will stop for some minutes while having the best view and nice shots of the Sanje waterfall and from here you will hike for about one hour or more to reach to the top of waterfall and you will always have to walk slowly (pole pole) which will help your body to gain the altitude height and environment and while walking you have a good look of the tree and plants as well as the green natural environment which is there throughout a year.
After reaching the top of the waterfall which is about 200m and flow down to the forest, you will be rewarded with the breathtaking view of Selous national park, sugar cane and rice farms and incredible sound from the water and birds.
During all the time of hiking your guide will be pointing interesting things that will give you more knowledge about the park also, he will teach and explain to you about the plants, trees, insects, birds as well as animals.
Fascinating Bird watching
Apart from hiking activities and wildlife viewing as well as exploring the nature and vegetation, Udazungwa forest is again the best location for birds watching, more than 400 birds species have been recorded here and some of them includes African finfoot, olive sunbird, tropical boubou, golden oriole, peter’s twinspot and many more. This paradise forest will provide you with many birds view option where your guide will be pointing, explain and teach you especially for those which you can not find elsewhere in the world like a quail bird and Crimson Sunbird.
Have time for Photograph and film shooting
Udzungwa mountain is one of the outstanding parks in Tanzania and perfect for photography and film shooting moments. The incredible views, fascinating nature and stunning animals and insects will provide you with the best photos opportunities that no other park in Tanzania you can find. This an awe-inspiring park is truly a natural paradise that anybody will wish to spend time. The park authority gives a permit also to conduct research or film shooting for business or advertisement purpose and this makes more interesting for the photographers who are dreaming for green and natural photo spot in Tanzania.
Make sure you stay Here
During your visit to Udzungwa national park, you will find different places where you can have a night accommodation but I recommend Hondo Hondo Udzungwa forest tented camp due to its outstanding tented camp with an open bathroom and ability to view the outside while from the bed. The camp is located in a perfect rural area location and it is not the route that most tourists travel which making it even more special, comfortable and safe. The rooms are clean and with modern types of equipment while the surrounding is filled with birds sounds. You will have a perfect time observing the sunrise and sunset as well as spotting different coloured colobus monkey jumping around the trees together with more than 90 different types of birds. Friendly staff and knowledgeable about the animals around the camp and always ready to assist and surely a nice base for the many walks in the park and indeed a perfect hideout for family, honeymooners and friends who wish to go off-beaten and find themselves.
Apart from having the best experience at Udzungwa Forest but still the government of Tanzania has put much effort to make sure that they are improving the facilities in the park, as for now, the park authority is working on the roads to the mountains since variables hike is available from hours to several days, there are more than six ways you could use to hike the Udzungwa Mountains and some of the routes you can as well go for mountain biking which is one among the activities you can do while visiting the Udzungwa mountains, and the government up to now they are working on more than 67km different roads that will help many hikers to reach Udzungwa mountains peaks while having the extraordinary hiking experience.
You can always contact us if you wish for more information or plan to visit this place. We have plenty of free tricks and tips and as usual, feel free to leave a comment below.