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Kitulo National Park

Perched at 2.600m (8.500 feet) above sea level between the rugged peaks of the Kipengere, Poroto and Livingstone Mountains, the volcanic soils of Kitulo support the most important montane grassland community in Tanzania. A crucial watershed for the Great Ruaha River, Kitulo, gazette in 2005, is also the first National Park in tropical Africa set aside largely for its floral significance – not only a multitude of orchids, but also stunning yellow – orange red – hot pokers and a variety of aloes, proteas, geraniums, giant lobelias, lilies and aster daisies, of which more then 30 species are endemic to southern Tanzania.

Big game is sparsely represented, though a few hardy mountain reedbuck roam the open grassland, and forest patches support the endangered kipunji monkey, an arboreal primate that eluded western zoologists until as recently as 2003. But Kitulo is also highly alluring to birdwatchers: Home to Tanzania´s only population of the rare Denham`s bustard, a breeding colony of the endangered blue swallow, and such range – restricted species as mountain marsh widowbird, Njombecisticola and Kipengere seedeater. Endemic species of butterfly, chameleon, lizard and frog further enhance the biological wealth of God´s Garden.

Location: Kitulo is best reached from Mbeya. It takes 1.5 hrs drive or from Iringa 5.5 hrs by car.

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