Kitulo National Park Tanzania
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Kitulo National Park Tanzania
Kitulo National Park is a protected area of montane grassland on the Kitulo Plateau in the southern highlands of Tanzania. The park is at an elevation of 2,600 meters (8,500 ft) between the peaks of the Kipengere and Poroto mountains and covers an area of 412.9 square kilometers (159.4 sq mi) lying in the Mbeya Region and Njombe Region. The park is administered by Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA) and is the first national park in tropical Africa to be established primarily to protect its flora.
Locals refer to the Kitulo Plateau as “Bustani ya Mungu” (“The Garden of God”), while botanists have referred to it as the “Serengeti of Flowers”.
Protection of the Kitulo Plateau’s unique flora was first proposed by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), in response to the growing international trade in orchid tubers and increased hunting and logging activities in the surrounding forests. In 2002, President Benjamin Mkapa announced the establishment of the park. The park was formally gazetted in 2005, becoming Tanzania’s fourteenth national park. TANAPA has stated that the park could be expanded in the future to include the neighboring Mount Rungwe forest.
In 2005, field scientists from the WCS discovered a new species of primate on and around Mount Rungwe and in the Livingstone Forest area of the park. Initially known as the Highland Mangabey, later changed to its Tanzanian name of Kipunji, it is one of the 25 most endangered primates in the world.
Size of Kitulo National Park Tanzania
Located about 100 kilometers from Mbeya town in Southern Tanzania, Kitulo National Park (413 sq km) is a botanist and hiker’s paradise.
Location of Kitulo National Park Tanzania
Kitulo National Park is a protected area of montane grassland and montane forest on the Kitulo Plateau in the southern highlands of Tanzania
How to get to Kitulo National Park
Charted flights can be arranged to the Mbeya airport upon arrival a transfer by car can be arranged to Kitulo national park
the park can only be accessed using a 4WD vehicle by the road connecting from Chimala, 78 kilometers east of the town of Mbeya on a surfaced main-road to Dar es Salaam, drive south on the rough yet impressive dirt road – known as Hamsini na Saba following the number of thin bends down its length all the way to the provisional park headquarters found at Matamba, and then from here drive on for another hour to the plateau.
Mbeya is the main gateway to the region. Tanzania-Zambia Railway (TAZARA) can approach the park from Dar-es-salaam or Zambia. The park can also be reached by road from Dar-es-Salaam and neighboring countries; Zambia via Tunduma border and Malawi through Karonga border, also public transport is available.
Things to do in Kitulo National Park Tanzania
There are amazing hiking trails that will or later be developed into a formal trail system.
Open walks across the wide grasslands to see birds plus wildflowers.
Climbing of Hills in the adjacent ranges. A half-day walk from this park to the Livingstone Mountains takes you to the splendid Matema Beach found on Lake Nyasa.
When to visit Kitulo National Park Tanzania
The most sensational time to travel to Kitulo national park is during the Wildflowers blossom season between December and April, and the summer months from September to November are best to visit the park.
Where to stay in Kitulo National Park Tanzania
There is no accommodation in the park as yet, but very basic accommodation and meals are available at the adjacent Kitulo farm. Also, two moderately priced church-run hostels are situated on Matema Beach. Mbeya town is serviced by everything from luxury hotels to the simple guest house, while two simple guesthouses also exist in Matamba.
Here are some of the lodges you can look out for 1.Royal Tughimbe hotel, 2.Mbeya hotel, 3.Karibuni center, 4.Malasi rest house, 5.Utengule coffee Lodge, 6.ifisi community Lodge, 7.Fq hotel Mbeya.
THINGS TO DO
|Hiking safaris in Kitulo national park|
|Visit Lake Nyasa|
|Visit Matema beach|
|Birding safaris in Kitulo national park|
HOW TO GET THERE
|How to get to Kitulo national park|
|4 Days Kitulo national park safari|
|6 Days Kitulo and Matema beach safari|
WHEN TO GO
|Best time to visit Kitulo national park|
WHERE TO STAY
|Royal Tughimbe Hotel|
|Malasi rest house|
|Utengule coffee Lodge|