Eastern Arc Mountains

The Eastern Arc mountains are a chain of isolated mountain ranges, running from the Taita Hills close to the Kenyan border with Tanzania, down through eastern Tanzania to the gap between the Udzungwa Mountains and Mt. Rungwe (Makombako Gap). From north to south the Eastern Arc comprises the Taita Hills in Kenya, the North and South Pare, the East and West Usambara, the North and South Nguru, the Ukaguru, the Uluguru, the Rubeho, and the Udzungwas. There are also smaller isolated outliers such as Mahenge Escarpment to the south of the Udzungwas across the Kilombero Valley and Malundwe Hill in Mikumi.

As the Eastern Arc Mountains possess large numbers of endemic plants, and animals at some of the highest densities in the world, it has been dubbed 'The Galapagos of Africa'. Globally recognized plant groups such as African violet (Saint Paulia) and Busy Lizzie (Impatiens wallerana) are endemic to the Eastern Arc. The Eastern Arc forests are characterized by a high number of restricted range species that occur in only a few localities, or are found throughout much of the Arc but not anywhere else.

The eastern Arc is home to 17 endemic bird species so far. With superb locations such as the Udzungwa Mountains and Amani Nature Reserve the Eastern Arc has some of the best birding and trekking in Africa. Please contact us for more information.

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