kitulo national park tanzania africa

Kitulo National Park

The land has volcanic origin, well irrigated by rainfall and is the first natural park in Africa destined mainly to protect the flora.
The locals refer to the Kitulo plateau as "Bustani ya Mungu" ("The Garden of God"), while botanists define it as the "Serengeti of the flowers".
The protection of the unique flora of the Kitulo plateau was initially proposed by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), in response to the growing international trade in orchid bulbs and the increase in logging and timber trading activities in the surrounding forests.

Kitulo is precious for its exceptional flora, made possible by the particularly cool climate, the abundant rainfalls and the diversity of the micro-ecosystems presents in the area.
On the Kitulo plateau there are wide areas of mountain meadows and dense forests, of which a large portion is very difficult to access, given that it is a cliff that declines in a few kilometers from the 2,500 meters of the peaks of the Kipengere mountains.
More than 40 species of orchids are recorded and is also relevant the exceptional beauty of its Kniphofia, yellow and orange, the great variety of Aloe, the Protea, the geraniums, the giant lobelias, the lilies, the asteracee of which 30 species are endemic of southern Tanzania.

The large predators are absent and only a few specimens of ruminants roam in the open grassland areas, such as: eland and antelope of mountain reeds.
In 2005 a new primate was discovered in the area around the mountain.
Originally baptized as Mangabey, its name was later changed with the Tanzanian term of Kipunji, it is one of the 25 most endangered primates on the planet.
In the park lives the only Tanzanian colony of the Denham bustard, as well as a breeding colony of blue swallow, threatened with extinction, and other species found only in Montanga, such as the Euplectes psammacromius, Cisticola njombe and Crithagra melanochrous. Finally, you can find species of butterflies, chameleons, lizards and frogs.

What to do

Bird watching, walking safaris, wildlife safaris, camping.

Position

Kitulo National Park is a protected area on the Kitulo plateau, in the southern mountains of Tanzania.
The park is located at an altitude of 2,600 m, between the peaks of Kipengere and Poroto, covering an area of 412.9 km², is located between the provinces of Mbeya and Njombe.

Getting There

You can get there by jeep from Chimala.
There are also public transports, but they are not regular and do not offer many comforts.

When to go

The flowering of the plateau is spectacular and takes place from December and April.
The sunny period from September to November is the best for climbing and hiking, but less recommended for the botanical part.
Cold and foggy weather from June to August.

Where to Stay

In Matamba, on the plateau, there is the headquarter of the park and also a basic accommodation where to stay overnight.

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