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Udzungwa Mountains

Tanzania Safaris - Udzungwa Mountians
Tanzania Safaris - Udzungwa Mountians Sanje Waterfall

Brooding and primeval, the forests of Udzungwa have a magical Tanzania Safari aura: a verdant refuge of sunshine-dappled glades enclosed by 30-metre (100 foot) high trees, their buttresses layered with fungi, lichens, mosses and ferns.

Udzungwa is the biggest and most biodiverse of a chain of a dozen large forest-swathed mountains that rise majestically from the flat coastal scrub of Southern Tanzania. Known collectively as the 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.  A treat for any walking safari or Tanzania safari enthusiast.

Udzungwa alone among the ancient ranges of the Eastern Arc has been given 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.

Tanzania Safaris - Udzungwa Mountains
Tanzania Safaris - Udzungwa Mountains

Ornithologists are attracted to Udzungwa Tanzania Safaris for an avian wealth embracing more than 400 species, from the lovely and readily-located green-headed oriole to more than a dozen secretive 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.

Of six primate species recorded, 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.  Let's hope you see one on your Authentic Tanzania Safari!

Undoubtedly, this great forest has yet to reveal all its treasures: ongoing scientific exploration will surely add to its diverse catalogue of endemics. Discover them for yourself on an Authentic Tanzania walking safari!

Udzungwa Mountains National Park - Fast Facts

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.

Getting there

Drive from Dar es Salaam or Mikumi National Park.

What to do

From a two-hour walking safari to the waterfall to camping safaris. Combine with nearby Mikumi or en route to Ruaha.


Sanje waterfalls
The falls are in 3 stages that drop from 200m, 70m and 40m respectively. All the falls have natural pools which provide refreshing swimming.

A primate park with 10 species of primates with 4 endemics :
Sanje Mangabey, Iringa red colobus, Matundu galago and Mountain dwarf galago

Hiking trails
Several hiking trails for walking safaris have been established.

Sonjo Trail – 6 km/3 hrs
Attractions – 2 waterfalls, primates, birds, miombo vegetation

Sanje Circuit – 5 km/4 hrs
Attractions – 3 waterfalls, primates, birds, butterflies, a variety of vegetation

Prince Bernhard Trail – 1 km/40 min
Small waterfall, baboons, primates, red duiker, birds, good views of Bokela Mountain

Mwanihama Trail – 38km, 3 days/2 nights
The summit is at 2500m and trail passes through different vegetation types according to altitude.

For further information on alternative trails and specialized guided hiking trips and walking safaris for groups please contact us.

When to go

Possible year round. The dry season is June to October before the short rains.

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