Udzungwa National Park
The Udzungwa Mountains National Park covers 1,990 sq km (770 sq miles) and rises uninterrupted in altitude from 250 meters (820 feet) to above 2,000 meters (6,560 ft).
The Udzungwa Mountain is one of the mountains in the ancient Eastern Arc. Only the Udzungwa Mountain has been accorded national park status within the arc that originates in Kenya and terminates with this mountain. Udzungwa Mountain is the largest and most bio diverse of the forest shrouded mountains that rise majestically from the flat coastal area of eastern Tanzania. It along with Amani Game Reserve is often referred to as the African Galapagos because of its endemic animals, birds, trees and plants.
The Udzungwa Mountain National Park is magnificent for hikers but is not a game drive destination! It boasts an outstanding network of forest trails for hiking that includes a climb to the Sanje Waterfall, which plunges 170 meters (550 feet) through a misty spray into the forested valley below. The Mwanihana Trail leads to the high plateau, with its panoramic view, before ascending to the second-highest point in the Eastern Arc range, the Mwanihana peak.
Over 400 species of birds have been recorded here, including more than a dozen species endemic only to the Eastern Arc. Four bird species are peculiar to the Udzungwa Mountains, including the forest partridge, which was first discovered in 1991. It is home to a rare species of the African violet. Primate inhabitants include the Sanje Crested Mangabey discovered in nineteen seventy nine and the Iringa red Colobus both of which occur nowhere else in the world!
The park is accessible year round although it is hazardous in the rains. The dry season is June through October but be prepared for fast changing conditions even in that season.