Udzungwa National Park




Udzungwa National Park, located in south-central Tanzania, is a hidden gem renowned for its stunning biodiversity and pristine wilderness. Covering an area of approximately 1,990 square kilometers (770 square miles), the park is part of the Eastern Arc Mountains, a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its unique and ancient ecosystems.

The park’s most striking feature is the Udzungwa Mountains, often referred to as the “African Galapagos” due to the incredible diversity of plant and animal species found here. Towering peaks, deep valleys, and cascading waterfalls characterize this mountain range, offering breathtaking landscapes and fantastic hiking opportunities. The park is home to numerous endemic species, including the Udzungwa red colobus monkey, the Udzungwa partridge, and the Udzungwa forest partridge, making it a haven for wildlife enthusiasts and nature lovers.

Visitors to Udzungwa National Park can embark on a variety of activities to explore its rich biodiversity. Hiking is a popular option, with trails ranging from gentle walks to challenging treks leading to spectacular viewpoints and hidden waterfalls. The most famous hike is the Sanje Waterfalls Trail, which takes trekkers through lush forests to the impressive 170-meter (558-foot) high Sanje Waterfalls, offering panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes.

Birdwatching is another highlight of Udzungwa, with over 400 bird species recorded in the park, including the endemic Udzungwa forest partridge and the Udzungwa forest warbler. The park’s diverse habitats, from montane forests to grasslands and miombo woodlands, provide a rich tapestry of avian life.

For those seeking a more adventurous experience, Udzungwa offers camping opportunities at designated sites within the park. Spending a night under the starry African sky amidst the sounds of the forest is a memorable experience, with the chance to hear the calls of nocturnal creatures echoing through the darkness.

Overall, Udzungwa National Park offers a unique and immersive wilderness experience for visitors looking to explore off-the-beaten-path destinations in Tanzania. Whether hiking through ancient forests, spotting rare wildlife, or simply soaking in the awe-inspiring beauty of the Udzungwa Mountains, a journey to this remarkable park promises an unforgettable adventure in the heart of Africa.

How to get there?

By car

Getting to Udzungwa National Park by car is an adventurous and scenic journey through Tanzania’s picturesque landscapes. The park is located in south-central Tanzania, accessible from major cities like Dar es Salaam and Morogoro via well-maintained roads. From Dar es Salaam, it’s approximately a 6 to 7-hour drive, passing through rural villages and scenic countryside. The road trip offers glimpses of local life and stunning vistas of rolling hills before reaching the park’s entrance gate. Once inside the park, visitors can explore its diverse ecosystems, from montane forests to grasslands, by driving along the park’s network of dirt roads. It’s recommended to travel in a sturdy 4×4 vehicle, especially during the rainy season, to navigate the park’s terrain comfortably and enjoy the journey to this captivating wilderness destination.

By air

Arriving at Udzungwa National Park by air provides a convenient and scenic option for travelers seeking to explore this remote and biodiverse wilderness. The park is served by the Kilombero Airstrip, which is accessible via scheduled flights from Dar es Salaam and other major cities. The flight offers stunning aerial views of Tanzania’s landscapes, from the lush forests to the towering peaks of the Udzungwa Mountains. Upon landing, visitors are welcomed into the heart of the park, where luxury lodges, tented camps, and rustic accommodations offer a comfortable retreat amidst the natural beauty. Lodge transfers from the airstrip ensure a seamless transition into an immersive safari experience, with opportunities to explore the park’s diverse flora and fauna on guided hikes, birdwatching excursions, and cultural visits to local communities.

Things to see

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When to visit Udzungwa National Park?

Dry season

Visiting Udzungwa National Park during the dry season, from June to October, offers an ideal opportunity to explore this biodiverse paradise in Tanzania. The weather is pleasantly mild, with clear skies and minimal rainfall, making it perfect for hiking the park’s scenic trails. The iconic Sanje Waterfalls trail beckons adventurers through lush forests to witness the majestic 170-meter cascade, surrounded by vibrant greenery and the songs of endemic bird species. The dry season also draws wildlife to the park’s water sources, offering excellent chances to spot the elusive Udzungwa red colobus monkeys, the Udzungwa partridge, and various bird species. It’s an optimal time for photography, with the clear visibility showcasing the breathtaking landscapes and the intricate details of the park’s flora and fauna.

Heavy rain season

Exploring Udzungwa National Park during the heavy rain season, typically from November to May, reveals a lush and vibrant landscape teeming with life. The park’s waterfalls, including the iconic Sanje Waterfalls, are at their most impressive, cascading down the mountainsides in a spectacular display. The rainforest comes alive with a symphony of birdcalls and the chatter of monkeys, as the abundant rainfall rejuvenates the vegetation. Hiking during this season offers a chance to witness the park’s diverse flora in full bloom, with colorful flowers and lush foliage lining the trails. Although the trails may be muddy and challenging, the reward of encountering rare wildlife, such as the Udzungwa red colobus monkeys and endemic bird species, amidst the lush greenery makes it a memorable and enchanting safari experience.

Short rain season

Visiting Udzungwa National Park during the short rain season, typically in November and May, offers a delightful mix of lush landscapes and manageable rainfall. The park’s trails are refreshed by brief showers, creating a pleasant and verdant atmosphere for hiking. This season provides a perfect balance, allowing visitors to witness the stunning Sanje Waterfalls in full flow while enjoying relatively clear skies for wildlife spotting. Birdwatchers will appreciate the arrival of migratory species, adding to the already impressive birdlife. The cool and misty mornings create an ethereal ambiance, perfect for capturing the park’s diverse flora and fauna through photography. With the landscape alive with vibrant colors and the sounds of nature, exploring Udzungwa during the short rain season promises a captivating and immersive safari experience.
















Places to stay

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Tours & Safaris

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Frequently Asked Questions

Popular experience in Udzungwa National Park

Udzungwa National Park is located in south-central Tanzania, near the town of Iringa. It is part of the Eastern Arc Mountains, a biodiversity hotspot in East Africa.
The best time to visit Udzungwa National Park is during the dry season, from June to October, and also during the short rain season in November and May. These periods offer pleasant weather for hiking and wildlife viewing.
Udzungwa National Park is home to a variety of wildlife, including the Udzungwa red colobus monkey, which is endemic to the area. Other species include elephants, buffaloes, leopards, various antelope species, and a wide range of bird species.
Yes, Udzungwa National Park offers a network of hiking trails that range from easy to challenging. The most famous trail is the Sanje Waterfalls Trail, which leads to the spectacular Sanje Waterfalls
Yes, camping is allowed in Udzungwa National Park at designated campsites. This offers visitors the opportunity to spend more time exploring the park’s diverse habitats and wildlife.
Yes, guided tours and nature walks are available in Udzungwa National Park. Experienced guides lead visitors on informative hikes, pointing out wildlife, plants, and sharing insights into the park’s ecology.
Yes, Udzungwa National Park is considered safe for visitors. However, it is important to follow the guidance of park rangers and guides, especially during hikes and wildlife encounters.
Udzungwa National Park can be accessed by road from major cities like Dar es Salaam and Iringa. The park is approximately a 5 to 6-hour drive from Dar es Salaam. There are also scheduled flights to nearby airstrips for those who prefer air travel.
Udzungwa National Park is renowned for its rich biodiversity, with numerous endemic species found nowhere else on Earth. The park’s stunning waterfalls, lush rainforests, and diverse wildlife make it a paradise for nature lovers and photographers.
Yes, Udzungwa National Park offers a range of accommodation options, including lodges, tented camps, and campsites. These facilities cater to different preferences and budgets, providing a comfortable stay amidst the park’s wilderness.

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