3 Days Hiking in Odzungwa Forest

3 Days Hiking in Odzungwa Forest : The Odzungwa forest and national park found on the central part of Tanzania between Iringa and Morogoro regions within eastern arc mountains. It was declared as the national park in the year of 1992 and covers the total area of 1990 square kilometers. It has the variety of vegetation covers such as Miombo woodland, grassland, tropical rainforest and mountain forest which is the habitat for different wildlife and over 400 different bird species. The dense vegetation is because of the significant rainfall that is formed as the result of humidity from the Indian Ocean that condenses at Luhomero which is highest peak of this national park.

Safari at the Odzungwa mountain national park is exceptional as it gives the opportunity to explore the landscape and enjoy hiking to the mountain ranges with the rainforest as well as arid savannah vegetation. The Galapagos Island of Africa that’s the famous name of this forest and its named because of the levels of biodiversity and endemism in other words it means it has the ecological state that is very unique to define a geographical location.

The wildlife of the Odzungwa forest and national park.

This forest is the sanctuary of different wildlife, the elephant’s lives in the forests along the southern part of this thick forests.  Across the eastern arch of the mountain this national park supports the diverse wildlife such as buffalos, lions, leopard, wild dogs as well as elands.

The Odzungwa Mountain is habited by different animal’s species such as the bushbucks, sable, greater Kudu, Harvey’s Red Duiker, bush duikers, sun squirrels climbing mouse’s as well as the Hippos.

 Primates are also found in this forest, about 6 different species of primates inhabits this forests which are the yellow baboon, grants Galago, small-eared Galago, Greater Galago, vervet monkey, Sykes monkey. The most unique primates are the endangered Iringa red colobus monkey and the Sanje crested mangabey which are not found anywhere else in the world except here in Odzungwa forests.

  The birds of the Odzungwa forest

This forest is regarded as the top three areas in Africa mainland where the birds are being conserved. This forest is the home of more than 400 different bird’s species hence it’s considered as the best destination for the bird loves. Birds such as the African marabou, crowned eagles, Ruppells vulture and the African hobby.  The beautiful birds will not disappoint you even during the hiking as they sing beautiful and entertain your ears and make you less tired on your way up to the Odzungwa Mountain.

3 Days Hiking in Odzungwa Forest
African marabou

3 days hiking at the Odzungwa mountain forest.

The hard 3 days of exploring the steep slopes, the unique plants, tracing animals, and enjoying the land where the forest cover is unbroken from the lowlands and all the way up to the high mountains. They will be a worthy days that you will always treasure the memories forever, the safari is combined with a lot of activities that will make you want to stay a little longer after that, activities such as hiking, game drives, birds watching and so much more that will excite you right from the moment you step in this area.

 Day 1

The day one begins on the arrival on this national park, this park is 283 kilometers away from the city of Dar es salaam. The hiking of Odzungwa forest normally begins with the tour at the Mikumi national park and later on towards the Odzungwa forest. After the game drive from the Mikumi national park the next stop is normally here.

On the arrival depends on what time you will arrive first it all begins with registration then the next thing is going for the game drive and enjoying seeing animals found here. Hiking does not begin on the day of arrival instead on the following day.

Mang`ula is the place for registration on the arrival and there after you move to starting point of hiking which is at Sanje trails. If you have arrived early you will have a half day trekking or even game drive where you will enjoy seeing different animals and primates.

Day 2

The 2nd day of your 3 Days Hiking in Odzungwa Forest, normally begins earlier as it the official day of hiking hence breakfast is also taken earlier around 7am. The hiking has to start earlier to avoid the hot sun, the first target is to first reach the Sanje waterfalls which is 180 meters it’s the most beautiful scenery as it is surrounded with the rain forest. The most unforgettable view of the impressive kilombero floodplains as well as the view of the evergreen tall standing forest. The refreshing plunge pool will not disappoint you after hiking for over half day nothing can make you feel good and caress your skin the water of this pool which are found at the top. Packed lunch have even a better taste at this high peak at this point is where you will have lunch and enjoy the amazing view. During this trails its common to meet the unique primates that are only found here the Iringa red colobus and the Sanje crested mangabey. The routes to way up depends on the guides because there are optional roads towards the Sanje water falls. After this you will head back to the camps and hotels for dinner and resting.

3 Days Hiking in Odzungwa Forest
Sanje water falls

The Sanje water falls has 3 different stages that is at 200m, 70m as well as the 40 meters. It can a day trial which is just visiting the Sanje water fall without reaching the peak that is the Mwanihana peak, which  is normally on the third day hiking. The two days hiking ends at this water falls. From the starting points there are 3 different trials towards the Sanje falls which are

  1. Sonjo trails that is the way that leads to two waterfalls and it takes 3 hours of hiking its about 6 kilometers this trail it’s mostly beautiful because of the primates that you will see along the Miombo vegetation.
  2. The Sanje circuits takes up to 3 hours of walking and covers the distance of 5 kilometers. This trial lead to the 3 water falls, the colorful butterflies and the singings of the birds with bring the chill in your back bone as they accompany you all the way up. The amazing water pools that will cool your blood after few hours of hiking is all you will want after reaching the peak and the waters will surely not disappoint you.
  3. The shortest trial in this forest is named as the prince Bernhard, which is just one kilometer away from the reception and normally takes only 45 minutes of hiking. It’s a perfect hiking during the afternoon because its will not make you tired at all as you enjoy the view of baboons and the impressive view of the Bokela Mountain during the trial

Day 3

The day as usually begins early with breakfast then on the way up towards the Odzungwa Mountain towards the Mwanahina summit. This is the moment where you will meet the true montane vegetation among the giant Erica’s.  The Odzungwa forest mountain is the more like the pristine paradise with a very unique and exciting wildlife surrounded with the forest of greatest altitudinal ranges. The beautiful sceneries and watching water fall will amaze you all the way up to the peak the felling of excitement will make you feel less tired. This is normally the longest route and takes a whole day its walking for almost 38 kilometers and its summit is 2150 meters. This trial is wonderful as you watch the changes of vegetation cover and the landscape of this forest.

The best time to visit the Odzungwa forest for hiking

Visitors goes to this park throughout the year but most of them prefer during the dry season that is normally around June to October. During this time the vegetation is less thick the animal viewing sights is perfect as well as the routes for hiking more clearly. But for the bird lovers the perfect time is during the wet season as there are a lot of birds both natives and migratory. The choice of the visitor depending on their preferences.

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