Udzungwa Mountains National Park is one of Tanzania’s most outstanding, pristine, paradise and unique exciting wilderness mountains forested with greatest altitudinal range of forest. It is one of thirty-four “World Biodiversity Hotspot” and one of 200 WWF Ecoregion of global critical importance.
The park is home of primate and known from the treasure of high biodiversity of plants and animals. The park has high density of endemism species with some plants and animals that are only found in these mountains nowhere else in the world can be found hence center for endemism in the eastern arc mountains.
Udzungwa Mountains National Park is part of the Eastern Arc Mountains, which is a series of mountains ranging from Taita Hills in Southern Kenya to the Makambako Gap in Southern central of Tanzania.
The mountain range sometimes is termed as “The Galapagos Islands of Africa” Galapagos Islands found in southern America has unique plants and animals. The eastern Arc Mountains are small and fragmented mountains each block having a patch of remaining dance tropical rain forests with high rainfall which seems as Islands in the sea of arid Savannah vegetation.
The Eastern arc ancient crystalline mountains were formed more than 200 million years ago. Geological changes caused the rising of the central plateau, now the Tanzania/Kenya Highlands, and the formation of the Rift valley.
Eastern Arc Mountains have species concentrations of unique flora and fauna in the world, in addition it contains 30-40 percent of Tanzania plants and animals. Humidity in the air from the Indian Ocean is forced, by the sudden change of altitude, to precipitate as rain in the mountains. Since the prevailing wind comes from east, the mountain range constantly receives rain.
Location and size
The Udzungwa Mountains National Park with it’s area of 1990 sq. km is part of unique Eastern Arc Mountains, which cover about 10,000 square kilometers. The park is centered on 30 41’ E and 70 48’ S in the Iringa and Morogoro regions of south central Tanzania.
Udzungwa Mountains National Park rises between 250m asl Park and 2576m asl Lohomero at the highest peak.
The major attraction is biologically diverse plants, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, birds , butterfly, and insects of which some of species are found nowhere else in the world.
Udzungwa Mountains National Park is the only known National Park in Tanzania with a culturally important natural cave and has survived destruction before gazettement due to traditional taboos and beliefs.