With its 350 species of vascular plants including the 45 varieties of terrestrial orchid, Kitulo National Park is a rare botanical marvel in Tanzania. Locals refer to it as the Bustani ya Mungu and dubbed the Serengeti of flowers.
It tempts travelers with its World’s great floral spectacles. The park’s riotous wildflower display breathtaking scale and diversity in the rainy season (late November to April).
This Park is perched at around 2600m between the rugged peaks of Poroto, Kipengere and Livingstone mountains. Its well watered volcanic soils support the largest and important montane grasslands.
Adding to the important watersheds of the Great Ruaha River, this park is known for its floral significance.
Some of these species are stunning yellow orange red hot poker, multitude of orchids, proteas, geraniums, giant lobelias, lilies, aster daisies and varieties of aloes. Most of these species are endemic to the southern Tanzania. Few hardy mountain reed-buck and eland that roam the open grasslands add to the Big games.
Although Kitulo is a botanist and hiker’s paradise, it is also alluring to bird watchers. Tanzania’s rare Denham’s bustard is the main resident together with a breeding colony of the endangered blue swallow.
More birds on list include the mountain marsh widow, Kipengere seedeater and Njombe cisticola. Other species in the Park are chameleon, lizard, butterflies, and frogs to name but a few.
How to get there
If not the spectacular day’s drive from Mbeya (550 km) or from Kigoma (390 km), you can go by charter flights from Dar es Salaam or Arusha town.
Airplane means is the fastest way to reach the Plateau. It is also possible to reach Mpanda by rail from Dar, then catch a public transport to Sitalike, the hub for game driving.
What to do in the Park
Aside from the Car, you can take in the Park’s beauty on foot. Tourists are assigned a park ranger guide to lead the excursion around and protect them from dangerous animals. Rangers are as well more informed of the best areas for remarkable views of numerous wild animals.
With its variety of Wildlife, Kitulo National Park is a must for game viewing. It tempts tourists with views of giraffes, cape buffalo, Zebra, warthogs, blue monkeys, flamingo, elephants, lions, black and white colobus monkeys to mention but a few.
Apart from wild animals, the birdlife in the forests of the park is amazing. You won’t fail to see some of the a hundred bird species recorded in the Park. Common species in the Kitulo include bar tailed trogon, Narina trogon to mention but a few.
For those planning a trip to Tanzania mainly for its bird species, don’t miss to check out Kitulo National Park. This protected area is recorded with a number of bird species and there are different hot spots where you can’t fail to see some of your favorite species.
For incredible encounters, it is recommended to arrange for the excursions usually early in the morning hours or evening time.
If you fancy a great experience in the wild, you should try camping. The Park is scattered with varied camping ground that come well facilitated with comfortable accommodation and bush toilets.