Udzungwa Mountains National Park is perhaps Tanzania’s most important sanctuary of terrestrial biodiversity.
Udzungwa’s 1,900km2 of land ranges from canopied rainforest through arid woodland to barren semi-desert. It is the only site in East Africa with an unbroken canopy forest stretching from lowland altitudes of 250m to montane forests at over 2,000m above sea level.
Consequently a full quarter of Udzungwa’s floral species are endemic, and it has the highest ratio of endemic fauna of any East African range. Its most exalted endemic residents are primates: the Sanje crested mangabey, the Matunda galago and the Uhehe red colobus.
Udzungwe has many other mammals, though not the typical safari game you’d expect of Tanzanian reserves. Its mountains are fascinating to bird watchers, with at least 400 recorded species, 25 endemic.
Udzungwe is an esoteric safari destination, but true nature lovers should not pass up the opportunity to experience it.