Udzungwa Mountains

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The Udzungwa Mountains are a mountain range south east of Dodoma in Tanzania and are part of the Eastern Arc Mountains. They are covered with tropical rainforest, mountain forest, miombo woodland, grassland, steppe and are home to many large mammals, including the Udzungwa Red Colobus and Tana River Mangabey, and unusual animals such as the Grey-faced Sengi. The area has extremely high biodiversity with numerous endemic species (more than 25% of the vertebrate species).[1] They rise to 2579m at Luhombero and 10% of them are protected by national parks (the Udzungwa Mountains National Park and Udzungwa Scarp Forest Reserve).

It is possible to visit the Udzungwa Mountains National Park and go hiking and trekking. The park has no roads passable by vehicle and is accessible only by foot. The trekking routes vary, from the short easy one hour Sonjo Waterfall hike to the extremely difficult 6 day trek the Lumemo Trail. The most popular route is the Sanje Waterfalls trail, taking about four hours to complete - this trail provides visitors with access to the breath-taking views from the top of the 170m Sanje waterfall and includes a swim in the plunge pools, water levels permitting.

Accommodation choices for tourists within the park consists only of camping because there are no lodges inside the park itself. Next to the National Park Headquarters is the Hondo Hondo Udzungwa Forest Tented Camp, an ecolodge powerede by hydro and solar and providing ensuite accommodation for visitors. In the nearby village of Mang'ula there are some local guesthouses offering a budget accommodation choice.

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References[edit]

  1. ^ Newmark, W. D., 2002, Conserving Biodiversity in East African Forests, a Study of the Eastern Arc Mountains. Ecological Studies 155. Springer-Verlag, Berlin, pp. 197

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