24/7 Support number 256-758-540-802

Kitulo National Park

  • Kitulo National Park floral Marvel
  • Kitulo National Park floral Marvel

Kitulo National Park was created in 2005 for its botanical significance, a first in Africa for tropical flowers. It spans 37 kilometres from north to south and encompasses 466 square kilometres. The maximum elevation is 2,700 metres (the highest peak lies just outside the park).

Kitulo National Park – Floral Marvel

Kitulo is the closest thing to nirvana for plant enthusiasts. Welcoming you to Bustani ya Mungu, popularly known as “the Serengeti of flowers” and “The Garden of God,” our translation of the Swahili phrase for this incredible place. Among the more than 350 types of wildflowers found here are more than 40 species of terrestrial orchids, making this one of the most spectacular displays of its kind anywhere in the world. The best time to see It is during the rainy season when the scenery is at its most spectacular.

Some reedbuck and eland, both tiny but hardy mountain animals, may still be found in the wild. Angola-pied colobus and blue monkeys may be heard screaming in the distance. Moreover, a small forest-dwelling bush-baby and the critically endangered Kipunji monkey have also been identified in the region. Neither of these discoveries had occurred in Africa in over 20 years. Despite this, Kitulo is not the kind of park to visit if you’re looking to check off “game spotters” from your list. Instead, it is a hiker’s and botanist’s paradise, with an abundance of plant life that may be overpowering.

The most significant montane and afro-alpine grasslands in Tanzania are home to some of the most visually spectacular blooms in the world, including 45 different species of orchid. Over 30 of them are found nowhere else in the world except in Tanzania, 15 in the Kitulo/Kipengere range and 10 in the Kitulo/Uporoto range.

The Kitulo Plateau and its surrounds are significant because they contain the water source for the Great Ruaha River, which is why they are so visually appealing. In the eastern part of the park lies a roaring waterfall in the Numbe Forest that is worth the trip alone.

It should come as no surprise that birdwatchers find this floral beauty to be equally fascinating. It is possible, but unlikely, that you could see a Denham’s bustard in this area. Additionally, you may see a breeding colony of the critically endangered blue swallow, or encounter rare birds like churring cisticola, the Kipengere seedeater, mountain marsh widow and short-tailed pipit.

Just when you think you’ve seen everything, you can come into a rare butterfly, reptile, or frog that’s only found in that particular area. One of the rarest chameleons on the continent, the Poroto three-horned chameleon, may be found here. Quite simply, Kitulo is heaven on earth. Kitulo is a hiker’s and botanist’s paradise, although the sheer number of plant species here may be daunting.

Climate and Weather for Kitalo National Park

Temperatures range from a high of 25°C during the day and 10°C at night in September and October to a low of 13°C during the day and 0°C at night in June and July.
Wet season extends from late October to May, while the dry season is from June to the middle of October.

Kitulo National Park is most enjoyable between May and September. Most wildflowers bloom between December and April. Dry and sunny from September through November provide for pleasant trekking conditions, but botanists should go elsewhere.

Getting to Kitulo National Park

In order to reach the park, you’ll need a 4×4 vehicle because of its isolated location. The most travelled route covers 860 kilometres over the course of two days, beginning in Dar es Salaam and ending in the village of Chimala (815 kilometres on paved roads), and then continuing on to the Mwakapembe gate (45 kilometres on rough roads). The park’s headquarters are located in the village of Matamba, 10 kilometres before the gate. Kikondo will have a western gate that can be reached via Mbeya town and the Tukuyu road.
An alternate method is to use the TAZARA train (three times a week) from Mbeya’s Songwe International Airport; driving the 123 kilometres to Chimala takes about the same amount of time.

Kitulo National Park Accommodation

There are special and public camping areas on the plateau within the park (bookings through the Park).
Accommodations beyond the park gates include two fairly priced church-run hostels on Materna Beach, as well as other (more opulent) options in Mbeya city.

Kitulo National Park: What to See and Do

Enjoy a half-day trip from the park over the vast uniform bamboo zone of the Livingstone Mountains, home to some of the most remarkable creatures on Earth, to the magnificent Matema beach on Lake Nyasa, go on a guided walking safari, or go bird-watching.