Kitulo National Park : This botanically protected area of montane grassland and montane forest is located on the Kitulo Plateau in the southern highlands of Tanzania. The park is situated between the summits of the Kipengere and Poroto mountains at an elevation of 2,600 meters (8,500 feet) and encompasses 412.9 square kilometers in the regions of Mbeya and Njombe. Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA) administers the park, which was established as the first in tropical Africa to protect its flora. Botanists refer to the Kitulo Plateau as the “Serengeti of Flowers”, while locals call it “Bustani ya Mungu” (“The Garden of God”). The daily entrance fee to Kitulo National Park is USD$20 per visitor.
Kitulo is a botanical marvel, with 350 species of vascular plants, including 45 species of terrestrial orchids, which explode into a riotous wildflower display of astounding scale and diversity from late November to April.
On their annual migration between Europe and Africa, European White Storks and other Scandinavian stork species migrate across West Africa to nest on the Kitulo Plateau. Before continuing their long migration across the continent, these large, magnificent birds stay a few months in this park.
WHEN TO VISIT KITULO NATIONAL PARK
The optimal time to visit the park depends on visitors’ primary objectives. The best time to attend if you want to see beautiful flowers is between December and April, when wildflowers are at their peak. From September to November, during the sunny season, it is ideal for trekkers and game viewing but less so for botanists. However, the best time to visit the park is during the dry season, when not only are the roads better, but also wildlife viewing and hiking are at their peak.
HOW TO GET TO KITULO NATIONAL PARK
Air, road, and rail are the most prevalent modes of transportation to Kitulo National Park. The headquarters of Kitulo National Game Park are located in Matamba, Tanzania, in the Mbeya region. The park is roughly an hour’s journey from Matamba’s administrative center. Tourists may choose between public transportation, safari vehicles, and their own private transportation. The park can be reached by train from Dar es Salaam to Mpanda via Tobora, followed by public transportation to Sitalike, where tourists can charter private vehicles for game drives.
Songwe airport, located in the southern highlands of Tanzania, provides domestic flights to Mbeya and the adjacent area on behalf of Air Tanzania, Precision Air, Fast Jet, and Tropical Air.
WHAT TO DO AT KITULO NATIONAL PARK
Kitulo National Park offers a variety of other tourism-related activities that can make your excursion to Kitulo extremely enjoyable and memorable. These activities include the following
Due to its botanical significance, Kitulo national park attracts a diversity of bird species, some of which are resident and others of which are migratory. The Denham’s bustard, which is uncommon in other regions of the nation, the cisticola, and the kipengere seed eater are among the most common.
In addition to enjoying the park’s beauty by vehicle, you can also do so on foot. A park ranger will lead tourists through the park and protect them from dangerous animals. Additionally, rangers are more knowledgeable about the finest locations in the park for breathtaking views of beautiful flowers. In addition to flowers, visitors can go on guided nature hikes through the Livingstone forest region and to the shores of Lake Nyasa, where they can unwind with a picnic lunch at the charming Matema beach.
Kitulo National Park is a must-visit destination for game observing due to its abundant wildlife. Giraffes, cape buffalo, zebra, warthogs, blue monkeys, flamingos, elephants, lions, and black and white colobus monkeys, to mention a few, are all animals that attract visitors.
On a day-long climb to the summit of Mouth Rungwe, tourists can observe primates such as vervet monkeys, Kipunji monkeys with a long hong bark sound, and Columbus monkeys, as well as wildlife such as Reed bucks and elands. The vistas of Kitulo National Park from mountain peaks are even more spectacular.
Camping is an excellent method to have fun in the great outdoors. The park is dotted with a variety of camping areas, all of which are furnished with comfortable lodgings and out-of-the-way restrooms.
WHERE TO STAY AT KITULO NATIONAL PARK
During their visit, visitors to the park have access to a limited number of available lodging options. Mpanda also offers camping, a magnificent tented camp overlooking Lake Chada, and excellent accommodations, as well as a rest camp at Sitalike in Kitulo National Park.
Seasonally open is one deluxe tent resort overlooking Lake Chada. In addition, Mpanda has a number of inexpensive but hygienic hotels.
There are numerous accommodations within the park, as well as a rest house at Sitalike.