“The Unearthly Mountains”
Udzungwa is the largest and most biodiverse of a chain of a dozen large forest-swathed mountains that rise majestically from the flat coastal scrub of eastern Tanzania. Known collectively as “Shining jewel of the Eastern Arc Mountains”, this archipelago of isolated massifs has also been dubbed the African Galapagos for its treasure-trove of endemic plants and animals, most familiarly the delicate African violet.
Udzungwa Mountains alone among the ancient ranges of the Eastern Arc has been accorded national park status. It is also unique within Tanzania in that its closed-canopy forest spans altitudes of 250 metres (820 feet) to above 2,000 metres (6,560 ft) without interruption.
Not a conventional game viewing destination, Udzungwa is a magnet for hikers. An excellent network of forest trails includes the popular half-day ramble to Sanje Waterfall, which plunges 170 metres (550 feet) through a misty spray into the forested valley below. Udzungwa Mountains National Park is one of Tanzania‟s most outstanding, pristine, paradise and unique exciting wilderness mountains forested with greatest altitudinal range of forest. It is one of thirty-four “World Biodiversity Hotspot” and one of 200 WWF Ecoregion of global critical importance.
Ornithologists are attracted to Udzungwa for an avian wealth embracing more than 400 species, from the lovely and readily-located green-headed oriole to more than a dozen secretive Eastern Arc endemics. Four bird species are peculiar to Udzungwa, including a forest partridge first discovered in 1991 and more closely related to an Asian genus than to any other African fowl.
Udzungwa is home to eleven types of primate and out of them, the Iringa red colobus and Sanje Crested Mangabey both occur nowhere else in the world – the latter, remarkably, remained undetected by biologists prior to 1979. The Udzungwa Tour is supported by population of elephants, buffalo, lion and leopard. These larger species tend to be found in the less accessible area of the park. The major attraction of Udzungwa National Park is biologically diverse plants, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, birds , butterfly, and insects of which some of species are found nowhere else in the world.
Undoubtedly, this great forest has yet to reveal all its treasures: ongoing scientific exploration will surely add to its diverse catalogue of endemics.
About Udzungwa Mountains National Park
Size: 1,990 sq km (770 sq miles). Location: Five hours (350 km/215 miles) from Dar es Salaam; 65 kms (40 miles) southwest of Mikumi
Detailed Itinerary: 4 Days, 3 Nights Selous - Mikumi – Udzungwa
Day 1: Dar es Salaam - Selous (280km)
Full board. You start the Selous safari around 9am by visiting a supermarket for to buy small snacks for the drive. Driving to Selous takes some 6 hours. Half of the trip we drive through the African villages. The car will arrive at Mbega Camp, a luxury tented camp, along the Rufiji River bank for a nice dinner and 2-night accommodation - hippos at your footsteps and primates at the treetops.
Day 2: Selous
Full board After breakfast at the camp, the car departs for a full day game ride in Selous around the lakes and hot volcanic springs depending on the season that will include a boxed lunch. We end up to Mbega camp North for overnight accommodation.
Day 3 Udzungwa Trek
Full board After breakfast at the hostel/lodge, we depart and drive to Uduzungwa where we arrive around AM 10. We have one day of trekking inside the Udzungwa Rain Forest with stops at waterfalls and watering holes. Accommodation in the Udzungwa tourist hotel
Day 4: Mikumi National Park
Full board. We drive t Mikumi National Park (60km) and have a day drive in the park. About PM 4 we start driving back to Dar es Salaam. We arrive to Dar es Salaam depending on the traffic about PM 8.
$1600 USD per person NB: Trip for Udzungwa Mountains National Park only can be arranged upon the request.