Udzungwa Mountains National Park is a forest park where only hiking is allowed. Walking amongst 60m tall trees and swimming in 180m waterfall plunge pools really is something different. This allows you to get out of the car and break up your safari. Udzungwa is a biodiversity hotspot and is part of the Eastern Arc Mountain Range. This range is home to over 40% of Tanzania's plant and animal species.
- Birding & Primate Viewing: Excellent
- Best time to visit Udzungwa : June - November
- How to get there: you can drive or catch the train to Udzungwa
- Safari types available: Walking Safaris only
Udzungwa is not that busy so you are likely to have the forest to yourself and the monkeys as you hike. Depending which trail you choose to follow you may be accompanied by an armed ranger as there are elephants and buffalo. Trails vary from Day hikes like Sanje Falls and Njokamoni to three day camping adventures like Mwanihana Mountian, the second highest peak in the range.
Udzungwa is excellent for birdwatching and primate viewing. For the birders there are notable endemics such as the Rufous Winged Sunbird and the Southern Seedcracker. Diurnal primates found in the park include the endemic Iringa Red Colobus, the Sanje Mangeby and the Kipunji Monkey. You can arrange to go on a specific trek to see a habituated troup of Sanje Mangeby if you wish. Just let us know.
There is no accommodation in the park other than camping, outside the park there are several options with prices fanging from $40 - $150 but by far and away the best is Hondo Hondo Tented camp located on the edge of the Udzungwa Mountains National Park.
Udzungwa Mountains Locations view all
Baobab Valley is situated between Mikumi and Iringa on the edge of the Udzungwa Mountains National Park which is bordered here by the Great Ruaha River. As the name suggests there are many Baobab trees (Adansonia digitata) in this valley and they create a beautiful primeval feel when combined with the rugged mountain scenery.
Mang'ula Village is located in the Kilombero Valley about 60km from Mikumi. It is nestled agains the Udzungwa Mountains National Park and is home to the Park Headquarters. This friendly village has three major tribes: the Wapogoro, Wandamba and Wabena.
Mwanihana Peak is the second highest peak in the Udzungwa Mountains and suitable for the keen hiker only. It is a magnificent trek. You begin by ascending through the miombo woodland of the valley edge, through to sub-montane forest. There is a lush highland plateau to navigate. The second day sees you climbing steeply through montane forest, and finally bamboo, before reaching the summit. It is possible to complete the whole 35km and 2000m ascent in 2 days/1 night, but rather than return rapidly to the hotel in Mang'ula, it's better to spend the 2nd night in the forest as well. Since the walk must begin early, it is necessary to spend a night in the Udzungwa/Mikumi region before starting. This works well as part of a southern Tanzania safari including Mikumi and Ruaha National Parks.
Sanje Waterfall is an idyllic location to include in your Tanzania safari. It is a rich primate park, home to the endemic Sanje Crested Mangebey and Udzungwa Red Colobus monkey.v The waterfall crashes in a spectacular 180m plunge over the Udzungwa escarpment into the Kilombero floodplain. The panoramic view from the top allows you to see the vast Kilombero floodplain and the Selous. Further up river from the main falls are two other falls of 30m and 40m respectively. All three plunge pools are excellent for swimming and cooling off from the hot climb.
The main area for visiting the Udzungwa mountains National Park is on the south east side in the Kilombero valley - the most accessible.The main hikes of Sanje waterfalls, Njokamoni and Mwanihana are on this side along with a host of other activities arrange by Udzungwa Forest Tented Camp - Hondo Hondo