The uniqueness of Kitulo National Park
These are plenty places of interest inside the Kitulo National Park where tourists can visit, typically for its inherent or exhibited natural or cultural value, historical significance, natural or built beauty, offering leisure, adventure and amusement. The Park has vast expanses of rolling upland grassland, rounded hills stretching away to the horizon, waterfalls, rivers and Crater Lake.
The plateau is characterized by three main vegetation types: Well drained grassland on volcanic soils with species like Aster transaniesis, Kniphofia Grantii and other more, Seasonally or permanently in undated bogs with species such as Lobelia and Gladiolus and Rocky ridges and associated talus slopes on soil derived from metamorphic rocks with species like Moraea callista and Romulea companuloides.
Kitulo National Park is one of the great flowers gardens of the world with over 40 species of ground orchids alone. Flowers come out in their thousands making unparalleled carpet of color especially from late November to April.
Physical Features and Vegetation
Kitulo National Park is floristically touched with at least 350 species of vascular plants documented so far from the plateau. Kitulo highlands appear to be a main geographical ground for species typical of Eastern and Southern Africa region and so tremendously rich in widespread and rare species not protected elsewhere in Tanzania.
Mount Livingstone Forest
Mount Livingstone Forest in Kitulo National Park bares some of the tree species in the forest such as Hagenia abyssinica, Ocotea usambarensis, Juniperus procera, and Khaya anthoceca. The forest is also categorized by baring mountain Bamboo, (Sinarundinaria alpina). Kitulo is rich in flora species with over 350 species of high plants recorded, including 45 species terrestrial Orchids, of which 31 species are endemic to Tanzania, 16 are endemic to Kitulo and Poroto Mountain sand. 3 species are endemic to Kitulo national park. Two species are only known to be in Kitulo and adjoining forest. The abundance of plants in the wet season has been described as the greatest flora marvel of the World.
Nhumbe Valley is often referred as the jewel of the Park where small streams emerges from the verdant hill sides sometimes flowing down in little waterfalls. This forms the heads of waterfall for Nhumbe River and this is the one of the main tributary of the Great Ruaha River. The gap of the valley is occupied by Juniper forest, one of the most extensive in East Africa. They tower to about 50 m high and are indeed the tallest junipers in the world.
The height of Nhumbe Waterfall is approximately to be 100 meter. The waterfall is 20 km from Mwakipembo main gate and takes one hour to walking down the waterfall and up to the picnic site. This place is very attractive. Most visitors cool their bodies and then take brilliant photos.
Mwakipembo Waterfall and Usalama Waterfall
Mwakipembo Waterfall is located along the road to Nhumbe valley 4 km from mwakipembo main gate. Its height is 8 meters. The area is characterized by orchid flowers, everlasting flowers, Erica plants and Clematopsis uhehensis.
Mlivili cave is located along Matamba Ridge after Mwakipembo water fall and Usalama cave about 8 kilometers away from Common works Junction of the the road to Mbeya via Isyonje. During those days of intertribal war, the caves were used as the hiding point by indigenous people from Wawanji, Wakinga and Nyakyusa from Mwakaleli. Now days, these area are used as poachers hides.
Kitulo National Park is an important bird area (IBA) with suitable wintering condition for various bird species from South Africa and Europe. Some species from North Africa, Abdim’s stock in particular use Kitulo as a wintering area. The plateau is also a home of breeding colonies of Blue swallow and Denham’s bustard. Other prevalent bird’s species includes: Lesser kestrel, Pallid Harrier, Cisticola njombe, Kipengere Seedeater and Uhehe fiscal. A number of waterbirds can be found at Dhambwe Crater Lake are: Yellow billed-duck, White-faced whistling ducks, Common teal, Open-billed stocks and Red knobbed coot.
Attractions Outside the Park
These are places of interest which are outside the Kitulo National Park where tourists can visit, typically for its inherent or exhibited natural or cultural value, historical significance, natural or built beauty, offering leisure, adventure and amusement.