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Udzungwa Mountain National Park

Udzungwa Mountain National Park

Udzungwa Mountains National Park was established in 1992 and covers a total area of 1990sqkm where geographically, 20% of the total area lies in Morogoro region while the remaining 80% being in the southern highland region of Iringa. The word “Udzungwa” comes from a local word “Wadsungwa” referring to one of the native sub-tribes of the “Hehe” people who once lived in the slopes of the mountains.

Udzungwa National Park harbours one of East Africa’s great forests and the biodiversity of the park contribute the most significant attractions for visitors. The diverse habitat includes tropical rainforests, mountain forests, grasslands, Miombo woodlands, and steppe. The major drawcard includes its biologically diverse forest which harbors some plant species found nowhere else in the World. The spectacular mountains scenery, rocks, grasslands, rivers and waterfalls and unique collections of flora and fauna are the treasure-trove of Udzungwa National Park.

Some of the wildlife spotted in the park includes; bush bucks, duikers, elephants, buffaloes, leopards, palm civets, Miombo genets, honey badgers, buffalo, klipspringers, bush pigs, elephant, leopard, forest antelope, warthogs, bush pigs, Lion live in the woodlands and upper moorlands but are rarely seen, rock hyrax, sables, elephant shrews and hyenas. In addition to the wild animals, Udzungwa National Park also harbours some primate species. Among these include; Iringa red colobus and the Sanje crested Mangabeys.

The notable carnivores such as lions, leopards can also be seen here.   This National park also supports a diverse, large mammal community. It includes Elephants, Buffalos, Lions, Leopards, African wild dog, Waterbuck and the sable. In this park, there are six species of primates. Two are endemic, the Iringa Red Colobus monkey, and the Sanje crested Mangabey which was discovered in 1979. There is also a rich small Bovid community including good numbers of Red, blue and Abbots Duikers as well as the Bushbuck. It has also got the richest forest bird habitat in Tanzania.

With more than 400 species of birds, the park is also a treat for bird-lovers. Some common birds include crowned eagles, dappled mountain-robin, Olive-flanked robin-chat, White-chested Alethe, woodland kingfishers, ruppells vultures, Sharpe’s akalat, silvery cheeked hornbils, crowned eagle, marabous, malachite kingfishers and trumpeter hornbills among others.

The park is also a naturalist’s paradise with dozens of unique species across the animal spectrum from insects to reptiles and also frogs to birds and primates. Six monkey species live in the forests and woodlands, two of which are only found here; the Sanje Mangabey and the Iringa Red Colobus.

Activities in Udzungwa Mountain National Park


The park is well known for its hiking activities besides trekking, mountain climbing and forest walks. You can access the park only on foot hence giving you the chance to explore the mountain secrets and enjoy adventure. There you can enjoy the wildlife of the Udzungwa forest with the forest canopy shielding you from the sun’s heat. It is a great way to observe elephants, monkeys, birds, duikers and elephant shrews.


When to Visit

The best time to visit Udzungwa Mountain National Park is during the dry season, from June to October. During this time, hiking trails are dry and more accessible and also it is easier to spot. However, the park is open year-round.


How to get to Udzungwa Mountain National Park

By Road,

to drive from Dar-Es-Salaam, take the Morogoro road and continue for around 4 hours through Chalinze. Morogoro and Mikumi National Park to Mikumi town. In Mikumi town, take a left turn following the signs for Ifakara and Udzungwa Mountains National Park. You pass through the town of Kilombero and cross the mighty Ruaha River to Kidatu, with its hydroelectric power station and Ilovo headquarters. Here the tarmac road ends, and you continue along on a graded dirt road for 24km.

Look out for Sanje waterfall on your right when you pass through Sanje Village. You will see the sign for the National Park on your right once you reach the village of Mang’ula. Or an alternative route can take you through Nyerere National Park. This route newly completed by TANAPA and allows a circuit driven from Dar to Selous, on to Udzungwa, then up to Mikumi and back to Dar (or the other way around).

By Railway,

The TAZARA railway from Dar-Es-Salaam to Zambia departs on Tuesdays and Fridays at approximately 2pm. The journey to Mang’ula where the park headquarters is takes about 6 to 7 hours. The train is a great way to reach the park, it is comfortable and affordable with food, drinks and cold beers available. It passes through some wonderful countryside including Nyerere National Park where you might see some wildlife.

By Air,

Coastal operate daily flights to and from Udzungwa or Kilombero to Dar-Es-Salaam and Zanzibar. The flight runs every afternoon and links Udzungwa to the rest of the safari circuit. It is also possible to fly to Mikumi airport using Safari Air link and then drive down the valley to Udzungwa.


Accommodations in Udzungwa National Park

Luxury Accommodations

Udzungwa Falls Lodge

Selous Riverside Safari Camp

Udzungwa Forest Tented Camp


Mid-Range Accommodations

Mikumi Adventure Lodge

Twiga Hotel

Kilombero Valley Teak Company (KVTC) Guest House