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Udzungwa Mountain National Park, Tanzania

Time to leave your cars behind and hike on foot to see the wonders of woodland wildlife of Tanzania. The most extensive mountain range in the country, Udzungwa stretches to the southeast from the capital, Dodoma. Covered with tropical rainforest and thick grasslands, Udzungwa is home to a large amount of endemic species of animals and plants that have evolved and survived here through millions of years. Be prepared to find yourself face-to-face with red Colobus monkey, nocturnal galago, and Sanje mangabey – all of them are among the rarest and most endangered primates on Earth. Keep an eye on everpresent cheeky baboons and vervet monkeys who may try to snatch your supplies.

 

The forest hosts over 400 species of birds, many of whom can only be seen in this region, as well as extremely rare endemic plants, reptiles and butteflies.

 

Spirals of forest trails will lead you through fascinating water cascades, mountain rivers and rocky hilltops. The trails vary in length and difficulty: from 4 hours to 6 days. A two-day trek will lead you to a magnificent plateau with sugar plantations, and further on to Mwanihana peak. Imagine yourself taking a dip in a plunge pool, or standing on top of a 170m waterfall, with a full panorama of the forest below and the mountain tops ahead in the distance. If you are taking a longer trek, be prepared for wild camping along the trail, since no proper accommodation is available in the mountains, except for the ecolodge at the Park HQ and several basic guesthouses in the nearby village of Mang’ula.

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