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Udzungwa Mountains National Park

The Udzungwa Mountains National Park is a beautiful area in the southern part of Tanzania. It has various habitats such as tropical rainforest, mountain and miombo forest, grassland and steppe. There are more than 400 species of birds, thousands species of plants and six species of monkeys – including the rare Iringa red colobus and the Sanje crested mangabey. These two types can only be found in this region. The Udzungwa national park has the second largest biodiversity of any national park in Africa. A very interesting national park to visit during a Tanzania Safari!

Udzungwa Wildlife

Udzungwa Mountains has a good variety of wildlife. They are home to many animals, including Abbott’s duiker, Kipunji and unusual animals such as the grey-faced sengi . Elephants are living in the forests along the southern escarpment. Also six registered primate species call Udzungwa national park their home. The Iringa red colobus and the Sanje crested mangabey live only in this area and nowhere else in the world! The latter, remarkably, remained undiscovered by biologists before 1979.

The Kihansi spray toad lives around a waterfall on the Kihansi River. It was briefly extinct in the wild in 2009 when an upstream dam altered its habitat. Scientists successfully managed to reintroduce them back after a successful captive breeding program.

Birds in the National Park

As a bird lover you will be drawn to Udzungwa Mountains National Park for its abundance of birds, which includes more than 400 species. Bird-watchers regard the area among the top three African mainland bird conservation areas.

Some of the bird species in Udzungwa include the African marabou, Crowned eagle, Ruppells vulture and the African hobby. Scientists discovered the Francolin and Rufous-winged Sunbird only in the last few years. It also hold species such as Dappled mountain-robin, Sharpe’s akalat, Olive-flanked robin-chat and White-chested alethe. The Udzungwa forest partridge was only discovered in 1991 and is a species, with its closest relatives appearing to be the hill partridges of Asia.

Most common animals in Udzungwa National Park

  • Elephants
  • Abbott’s duiker
  • Kipunji
  • Grey-faced sengi
  • Iringa red colobus
  • Sanje crested mangabey
  • African marabou
  • Crowned eagle
  • Ruppells vulture
  • African hobby
  • Francolin
  • Rufous-winged Sunbird
  • Dappled mountain-robin
  • Sharpe’s akalat
  • Olive-flanked robin-chat
  • White-chested alethe
  • Udzungwa forest partridge
Udzungwa Red colobus money

Facts about Udzungwa National park:

  • Size of the National Park: 1990 km2
  • tropical rainforest, forest, grassland and steppe
  • More than 400 species of birds
  • 2500 species of plants
  • 6 species of monkeys

Climate in Udzungwa

Most of the rainfall occurs in the November and March-to-May wet season, although mist and light rain occur at higher elevations during the dry season months. Temperatures are cooler at higher elevations. A visit to the park is not recommended in the rainy season. Best time is June to October.

Travel time to Udzungwa National Park

  • From Dar Es Salaam to Udzungwa: 6 hrs
  • Udzungwa to Mikumi: 1.5 hrs
  • To Ruaha: 6-7 hrs by car

Travel Tips from our experts about Udzungwa

My name is Harrison and I am a guide at Udzungwa National Park for 9 years. Most of our guests come here to see the many species of bird – and of course the rare Iringa red colobus!

My advice:

How long to stay? 1-2 days

Which hotel?

  • Udzungwa Falls Lodge (Silver)
  • Hondo Hondo Udzungwa Forest Tented Camp

Sanje Waterfall in Udzungwa

Udzungwa Sanje Waterfall

Besides bird watching, Udzungwa is a magnet for hikers. Udzungwa National Park has no paved roads and is only accessible on foot. An excellent network of forest trails includes the popular half-day hike to the Sanje Waterfall, which tumbles 170 meters through a misty spray into the wooded valley below. It is one of the larger waterfalls in Tanzania and lays hidden from the rest of the world in dense rain forest.

Other activities:

  • Traditional Ngoma drumming
  • Ifakara market tour
  • Dugout Canoeing on the Kilombero River
  • Mang’ula village tour
  • Rubber plantation tour
  • Prince Bernhard Falls
  • Sonjo Waterfalls