The Kitulo Plateau is referred to as the Bustani ya Mungu by the local people – (The Garden of God) – whereas botanists have called it the ‘Serengeti of Flowers’ as it supports one of the best floral spectacles on the planet. Kitulo is without a doubt an uncommon botanical spectacle, as it supports up to 350 vascular plants species, including 45 types of terrestrial orchid, that erupt into a wildflower display of magnificent scale plus diversity in the major rainy months starting at the end of November to April.
Located high at approximately 2,600 meters or 8,500 feet between the rocky peaks of Livingstone, Kipengere and Poroto Mountains, the properly watered volcanic soils of this Kitulo National park support the biggest and most significant montane grassland in the whole of Tanzania.
Among the most significant watersheds River Ruaha, Kitulo is renowned for its floral importance; not just a large amount of orchids, but as well the spectacular yellow-orange red-hot poker plus a diversity of aster daisies, aloes, lilies, proteas, giant lobelias plus geraniums which over 30 species endemic to the southern part of Tanzania.
Large game is hardly seen, though a couple of mountain reedbuck plus eland may be seen roaming the open grassland.
However Kitulo – a botanist as well as a hikers’ paradise is highly attractive to birdwatchers. The only population of the uncommon Denham’s bustard in the whole of Tanzania can only be found here together with a breeding colony of the decreasing in number blue swallow plus such range-limited species like the Kipengere seedeater, mountain marsh widow and the Njombe cisticola. You will see a number of Endemic species of lizards, butterflies, frogs plus chameleons further that further improve the biological richness of this garden.
Size and location of Kitulo Plateau National Park
this national park covers a total area of 412.9 sq km or 159 sq miles, and it is found in the southern part of Tanzania.
The provisional headquarters of the park found at Matamba are about 100 kilometers or 60 miles from the town of Mbeya.
How to reach of Kitulo Plateau National Park
the park can only be accessed using a 4WD vehicle by road connecting from Chimala, 78 kilometers east of the town of Mbeya on a surfaced main-road to Dar es Salaam, drive south on the rough yet impressive dirt road – known as Hamsini na Saba following the number of thin bends down its length all the way to the provisional park headquarters found at Matamba, and then from here drive on for another hour to the plateau.
Also you can find basic public transport.
Activities to Enjoy in Kitulo Plateau National Park
there are amazing hiking trails which will or later be developed into a formal trail-system.
Open walks across the wide grasslands to see birds plus wildflowers.
climbing of Hills in the adjacent ranges. A half-day walk from this park to the Livingstone Mountains takes you to the splendid Matema Beach found on Lake Nyasa.
The best time to visit of Kitulo Plateau National Park
Wildflower unveils the peak from December to April, while from September up to November are sunnier months and these are more ideal for hiking however less rewarding to the botanists. From June up to August, it is cold and misty.