The park is located in Mbeya and Njombe region in Tanzania. It was established in 2002 and gazetted in 2005. It lies at an elevation of 2600m between the peaks of Kipengere and Poroto Mountains, and covers 412.9skms
There efforts of expanding the conserved ground to also cover Mountain Rungwe forest. It’s the first park in Tropical Africa to be established primarily to protect flora. Locals have termed the park as: Bustani ya Mungu (translated as the Garden of God) and to the Botanist, it’s referred to as a Serengeti of Flowers. The Park also protects montane grasslands on Kitulo Plateau in the southern highlands of Tanzania. Apart from flora, you will see more amazing things in this park including one of the 25 most endangered primates in the world, the Highland Mangabey, commonly known as Kipunji, 45 endemic orchids, in this park only and these can’t be found in any other part of the world, 350 species of wild flowers, among others.
How to access the park
The park can be accessed by road transport. You will board public or use private means. Board from Dar-es-Salaam to Matamba in Mbeya Region. Your car should be a 4 wheel drive. It’s an hour’s drive from Matamba. Railway transport can be used from Dar-es-Salaam to Mpanda via Tobora, then use public transport to sitalike.
What to Carry
Necessary Items include: light clothing, pants and shirts for the sunny days, warm clothing for the cold nights, a hat, gloves, insect repellent, water proofed backpack, a hat, a very good camera with spare batteries, sun glasses, drinking water, hiking boots or shoes, a note book, a mosquito net, gloves, note book, guide book, a pair of binoculars, among others. In case you fail to bring all that you might need, no need to worry, you still have a chance of hiring them at an affordable fee from places of accommodation.
Things to do
Although not so many compared to other parks, the park has wildlife that you will enjoy to see. You won’t miss the likes of elands, waterbucks, primates like the blue monkey, the endangered Kipunji monkey.
One of the highlights of the park is the above activity. The park is a paradise for birds. These include: cisticola, Denham’s bustard as one of the commonest, kipengere seed eater, among others. You will get to enjoy these during your guided walks in the park or on a hike or if you visit bird’s favorite spots.
Guided nature walks
The beautiful park is better explored on foot. You will visit the unique wild flowers, the grasslands, see the various orchids, among others. Along this walk you have a chance to visit the Livingstone forested area, visit Lake Nyasa shorelines and enjoy great views of water birds, more plant species, among others.
The park lies close to Rauaha River. The river is clean and swim under the sun will be so refreshing after a long walk in the wilderness.
This is one of the commonest activities in the park. The activity will expose you to the best of nature in the park. You will set foot on the montane grasslands, where you will proceed and meet the wild flower species, lizards, butterfly species, chameleons, wildlife like elands, waterbucks, among others. You will enjoy a scenic views of vegetation and the landscape.
When to visit the park
The park can be visited throughout the year but the best time to visit the park between April and December.
The months between December and April is the peak season for the wildflowers. In the dry season, hiking and guided nature walks. December and January register the peak season of bird watching.
In June to August the weather in the park is cold and floggy. Wildlife is easier seen in the dry season of September to November
Most of the unique birds in Tanzania will be seen in this park. You will enjoy more views during the early wet season when migratory birds visit the park. With the support of binoculars, await to have pleasant views of the like of mountain marsh widow, Cisticola and kipengere seedeater, endangered blue swallow, and Denham’s bustard among others.
The most unique wildflowers can only be found in this park. This can be seen during the wet season. The park is amazing with the beautiful plantations. You will have a moment to take beautiful pictures.
Primates and other wild animals have a home in the park. Reptiles like; chameleon, frogs, wildlife like; reedbucks, elands, primates like; blue monkey, Angola pied colobus monkey, the endangered Kipunji monkey. Once you visit the park, you will have amazing and unforgettable views of them.
- Mexons Cliff Hotel, Songea Road
- Mbeya Hotel
- Impoma Garden Lodge
- Capetowm Hotel
- Midtown Hotel
- Capetown Annex Guest House
- Link Hill Hotel