The Udzungwa National Park : The name;

The mount Udzungwa is the name given to one of the famous national parks in African continent, Iringa region near Kilombero District Council in Morogoro. The name Udzungwa was named after the mountains of Udzungwa that means the country of Dzungwa people in Hehe tribe. The park is located almost about 350 kilometers far from eastern part of Dar es salaam and about 65 kilometers from Mikumi national park. It is one of few historical sites and tourist attractions in Iringa region. The size of Udzungwa mountain is about 2579 meters to its peak known as mount Luhombero in Iringa region and it covers almost about 1990 square kilometers.

What makes the Udzungwa mountain national park looks wonderful?

As human being is, we differ physically, mentally, psychologically as well as emotionally. Even our national parks differ. Every national park has its uniqueness and other distinctive features that makes it look different from other parks or reserves. The park has also its distinctive features. Hereunder, are some of them;

The most strange and wonderful thing is that visiting Udzungwa mountains involves walking on foot as the place has no roads to support modern transports such as motor vehicles. The mountains involve mainly hiking as well as trekking only. It is very possible to swim in the waterfalls as the national park involves beautiful waterfalls when you are hiking the trails in the place. Also, the nature of the forest and the environment at large does not support using electronic transport.

There are different species of animals that has been recorded in the area such as different species of primates. Almost about six species of primates are recorded in the park in which about five of which are endemic species.

There are several habitats that are contained within the Udzungwa mountain national park. Some of these habitats are tropical one (rainforest), mountain of the forest, the woodlands of miombo, also the steppe and the vertical one.

Availability of various species of birds; The park is also famous for accommodating various species of birds. It is one of the few national parks in the country that are able to accommodate such number of species at time in Tanzania. Udzungwa mountains national park is said to be able to accommodate more than four hundred (400) species of birds.

The Udzungwa National Park
Bird watching

Presence of enough species of plants; The park is also able to accommodate a good number of floras. It is said to be able to accommodate more than two thousand and five hundred (2500) species of plants. These plants are of various shapes and size. They are also of different ages and able to live for a certain time.

Biodiversity; this involves the diversity of plant as well as animal life in a particular habitat or in the world as a whole. To the most extent, a high level of biodiversity is desirable.  This is the second national park in Africa for having the largest biodiversity. This is just because as it has been said before that the Udzungwa mountain national park is endowed with a lot of flora and fauna species that tend to decorate it and make it look so beautiful.

The scientific discoveries; the discovery of some species of birds in early 19700s also make the Udzungwa mountain national park look like an island of wonders. For instance, the bird species known as Sanje crested mangabey that was discovered in 1979 makes this national park looks so unique. This is because the type of bird species named is very rare in Tanzania, east Africa and the entire Africa.

The Udzungwa mountain national park has been also made the significant and main settlements for the most species of birds in Africa. This is due to various reasons such as some species of birds are still in scientific investigations only in Udzungwa mountain national park and not any other place.  For example, there are four species of birds that seem to be new in the world and are available only at Udzungwa mountain national park. Some of them are the not so much famous specie of bird known as the rufous winged sunbird.

The big five animals; also, the mount Udzungwa national park is decorated with the big five of the worlds. As we know that the world has been endowed with these five biggest animals. They are also available at mount Udzungwa national park. Some of them are the lion, elephants, rhinos and some other more animals.

Eleven species of monkeys; apart from the big five, mount Udzungwa national park has almost eleven species of monkeys which are so wonderful and among those species, the two of them are said to be available only in Udzungwa mountain national park. These two species are not available in any other place of Tanzania, east Africa, Africa and the world at large but only in mount Udzungwa national park. Among these two monkey species which are available only in mount Udzungwa national park is red monkeys known as Iringa red colobus monkey and the other monkeys called Sanje crested mangabey. These monkeys are said to be not existing in any other place of the world. They are only available in Tanzania specifically in the mount Udzungwa national park.

The African violet; this is one of the unique flowers available in mount Udzungwa national park. They are located between some big trees with almost thirty meters length.

The Sanje river; the presence of river Sanje also decorate the mount Udzungwa national park. This is one of the famous tourist attractions in the area. River Sanje has waterfalls with almost 170 meters length. The waterfalls pass through the forests to the rift valley. Many tourists are likely to visit these marvelous creations in the site.

The Udzungwa National Park
The Udzungwa National Park

How to get there?

You can take a land transport by using bus from Dar es Salaam city or from the Mikumi national park.

When to visit mount Udzungwa national park?

One can visit mount Udzungwa national park in any season of the year but some seasons are more favorable and one may feel comfortable getting there. You are advised to visit mount Udzungwa national park during dry season specifically from June to October. This is because the environment is not that much favorable during rainy season.

Finally, the mount Udzungwa national park is one of famous cross cutting area for economic prosperity in the country. It is great hope that this national park has a lot of significant reserve that the country we can be proud of. The ongoing scientific researches and some more discoveries will bring awareness about the biodiversity in mount Udzungwa national park. The research also will lead to the discovery of some more flora and fauna available in the area. It is our duty to conserve, preserve and keep it for our cultural heritage and the future coming generations.

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