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Home>parks>Southern Circuit

Tanzania Safaris

- overview -
Camping Safaris
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Mountain Climbing Tanzania
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Tanzanias Southern Circuit

 

 

Includes:

Kitulo Plateau

Mikumi National Park

Ruaha National Park

Selous Game Reserve

Udzungwa Mountains National Park  

 

 

 

KITULO PLATEAU
Area: 402 kmē


 

 

Kitulo is commonly known as Bustani ya Mungu (God's garden in Swahilli).The first area in Africa protected for its flowers.

Apart from the Kitulo Plateau, the Southern highlands of Tanzania includes Mount Rungwe, Uporoto, Ngosi, Ukinga, the Mbeya range, the Livingstone Mountains, Umalila and Ufipa Plateau.

The Mbisi Forest Reserve is the eastern-most portion of Congolese forest in Tanzania and it is here that the central African Red Colobus monkey may be seen. Due to the high altitude and resulting lower tempratures, this population has grown longer coats than those found elsewhere in Africa.

Flora / Fauna

Almost 2,000 species of flowers occur in the southern highlands, Many species of flora and fauna are endemic to this area, Flowers include ground orchids, red-hot pockers, gladioli and irises.

Birds include Blue swallow, Denham's bustard and many others.

Southern Highlands colobus monkeys exist on the plateau's edge.

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Mikumi National Park
Area: 3,230 kmē

 

 

Mikumi is the access point for the southern Tanzania tourist circuit. A tented camp lies to the south of the main road at Vuma hill and there's another campsite just north of the road.

Trees and other plants distinguish Mikumi. Marula trees (Mng'ongo in Swahilli) are common.
This tree occurs in Deciduous, wooded grassland from south Africa to Ethiopia and the fruit is used to make the Amarula wild fruit cream drink that is indigenous to Africa.

Elephants regard the Marula as a delicacy, vigorously shaking the tree to dislodge the fruit. Tamarind with its many medicinal uses, grotesque but distinctive baobabs, sausage, cassia, black thorn and African blackwood trees exist in Mikumi as do a profusion of flowers.

Flora / Fauna

floodplain, grassland, wooded savanna, miombo covered hills.

Habitat

eland, Greater kudu, Yellow Baboon, Vervet Monkey, Serval, sable antelope, hippopotamus, zebra, lion, wildebeest, impala, buffalo, giraffe, elephant; Lilac-breasted roller, Yellow-throated longclaw, Bateleur Eagle, waterbirds,more than 400 bird species.

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Ruaha National
Area: 10,300 kmē  

 

 

In terms of its size, remotness, wilderness quality, austere baobab trees, large concetrations of rare species and few visitors, Ruaha is unrivalled.

A most memorable sighting at Ruaha is of a mature, spiral-horned male greater Kudu. Greater Kudu males are solitary or found in bachelor herds exept during mating. In contrast, females may be seen throughout the year, usually in dense bush country in groups of 6 to 10 including their offspring.

Elephants are in abudance and Ruaha has been nicknamed "Giraffic Park" because of its 8,000 Maasai giraffe.

Lying in the rain shadow of the Udzungwa Mountains, the park is bisected by the great Ruaha river. It is the moust southern extension of the Maasai steppes and is among the most arid of Tanzania's 14 national parks.

Ruaha is a transition zone where much of the flora and fauna that distinguishes east and southern Africa meets and overlaps.

Flora / Fauna

miombo woodland, savanna

Habitat

elephant; hornbill, kingfisher, sunbird, white stork; African Wild Dog, Sable Antelope, Greater Kudu; Crested Barbet, Yellow-collared Lovebird
more than 400 bird species, high diversity of antelope.

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Selous Game Reserve
Area: 44,800 kmē

 

 

 

The Selous is known in swahili as Shamba ya Bibi - literally translated as "women's garden". It has the largest number of several species of animals found in a single reserve anywhere in the world:

  • elephant - 65,000
  • Bufalo - 110,000
  • Hipopotamus - 40,000
  • Lion - 3,000
  • The endangered African Hunting Dog - 1,300

The Selous ecosystem encompasses a wide spectrum of wildlife habitats including open grasslands, miombo woodlands that cover three quarters of the reserve, and riverine forests. As a result of its unique ecological importance, the Selous was declared a World Heritage Site in 1982.

Selous was the son of a chairman of the London Stock Exchange, Born in England in 1851, he bacame a noted naturalist, conservationist and big game hunter. He was killed in 1917 while a Captain leading a detachment against a German position.

Flora / Fauna

miombo woodland, open wooded grassland, riverine swamps

Habitat

African Wild Dog, Elephant, Cheetah, Giraffe, Hippopotamus, Buffalo, Crocodile, White Rhinoceros
largest game reserve in Africa; 350 bird species.

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Udzungwa Maountains National Park
Area: 1,990 kmē

 

 

 

Udzungwa Mountains National park has no tourist accommodation. It is a camping and hiking wilderness retreat with few defined trails, extremely beautiful scenery including endemic trees, shrubs and herbs, and precious few visitors.

The mountain range makes up only 2% of Tanzania's land area, but the forests contain 30% - 40% of the country's plant and mammal species. They also have the secound highest bird diversity in Africa behind the less accessible ituri forest in the DRC.

Flora / Fauna

tropical rainforest, mountain forest, miombo woodland, grassland, steppe

Habitat

Rufous-winged Sunbird, Udzungwa Partridge; Sanje crested Mangabey. Iringa red colobus, Rungwecerbus kipunji, Matundu dwarf Galago, Mountain dwarf Galago; reptiles and amphibians; Hyrax, Squirrel; also big mammals
more than 400 bird species, 2500 plant species; many endemics (25 % of plant species, 5 primates)

 

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