UDZUNGWA MOUNTAINS NATIONAL PARK
Udzungwa Mountains National Park covers an area of 1990km2. 20% of the total area lies in Morogoro region while 80% being in the southern highland of Iringa region. Udzungwa Mountains National Park is a national park in Tanzania with a size of about 1,990 km². The habitats found within the park include tropical rainforest, mountain forest, miombo woodland, grassland and steppe.
Udzungwa Mountains National Park is one of Tanzania’s most special features because of its expanded biodiversity. The Udzungwa Mountains is the part of the Eastern Arc Mountains which are also found in Kenya and Tanzania. These mountains were formed centuries ago. Currently, these mountains hold a unique collection of flora and fauna which cover only 2% of Tanzania’s total area but hold between 30-40% of the country’s plant and mammal species. The park is also a home of 6 species of primates, 2 of which the Iringa red colobus and the Sanje crested Mangabey occur non else in the world.
Mammals found in the Udzungwa Mountain National Park include elephants, leopards, bush bucks, duikers, palm civets, Miombo genets, elephant shrews and hyenas and there over 400 species of birds in the park. This characteristic treats the park as a place for bird watchers to experience differences during their visitation in Tanzania. Some birds are endemic to the Eastern Arc Mountains and four among them are found only in Udzungwa. Other common birds in the park include ruppell’s vultures, crowned eagles, marabous, malachite kingfishers, woodland kingfishers, silvery cheeked hornbills and trumpeter hornbills. Over 2500 species of plants have been discovered in the park of which 26% are endemic to the area. Recently, there is a new species of snakes found in the park and it is claimed to be endemic.
The vertical height of the Udzungwa forests ranges from 250 m to 2,576 m and with numerous forest trails which offer different kinds of activities including hiking. A day tour to Sanje waterfall at a soaring of about 170 m is definitely worth activity.