Udzungwa Mountains National Park is, by all means, one of the most exceptional and thrilling wilderness areas in Tanzania, containing some unique wildlife species in its forests. The park is well known for its primates, as there are 12 species that include two endemic ones, such are Sanje Mangabey and the Iringa Red Colobus. Udzungwa is home to some 400 species of bird, many of which cannot be found anywhere else in the world.
Udzungwa mountain range is often dubbed to as – The Galapagos Islands of Africa, due to its high levels of biodiversity and endemism.
The park’s scenery is magnificent, woven with the rainforest spreading across the hills, valleys and mountains. Within the park there is a range of impressive waterfalls, including Sanje Waterfalls, which is the highest waterfall in Tanzania. Swimming in the plunge pools of the waterfalls is extremely refreshing following a hot hike.
Despite the fact that Udzungwa is not a prime game viewing destination, it is still a magnet for hikers. With a range of forest trails, and ultra popular half-day walk to Sanje Waterfall, it rewards the visitors with the splendid sceneries and diversity, like of which you will not find in the world today.
There is a more challenging 3 days hike through Mwanihana Trail, leading to the high plateau and its panoramic views over the surrounding sugar plantations, before ascending to Mwanihana peak, the second-highest point in the range.
For bird watchers, taking a carved canoe ride along the Kilombero river is a must, because it is easy to spot the endemic Kilombero Weaver, bee eaters, pelicans and other seasonal water-birds. You might as well see hippos, crocodiles and Nile monitor lizards. All this combined makes it a great way to spend a relaxing afternoon, enjoying a picnic lunch in unforgettable natural environment.
Drive from Dar es Salaam or Mikumi National Park.
What to do
From a two-hour hike to the waterfall as well as camping safaris. Combine with nearby Mikumi or en route to Ruaha.