Mountains Udzungwa hiking

Off the beaten track

Udzungwa National Park is located far from the main road and few people come here. There are no roads in the Park; instead, there are 7 main and several smaller  Udzungwa hiking trails. Most are on the east side of the park, although a few are also open to the west, including several shorter daytime routes in the baobab planted northwest corner of the park around Msos Ranger Post. The road can be difficult in some parts: the network of trails is limited, and those that exist are often muddy, steep, wet, and densely overgrown. The infrastructure is basic, during tents accommodation in tents. The route can only be overcome with a guide. In areas deep into wildlife, an armed guard is required.

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Udzungwa hiking- If you want to visit Udzungwa, plan at least three days and connect with a visit to Mikumi Park.

Special camping sites can be organized in the Udzungwa Mountains National Park itself. We will organize everything for you, including the necessary equipment, all meals, porters, chefs, etc., and all you have to do is enjoy the wildlife and the magic of the forest night.

Mountains Udzungwa Hiking- Day trips

Recommended as part of the safari to Mikumi Park

Sonjo trail, 3km, 1-2h, height increase 120m
Sonjo is a short trail that includes two waterfalls. This is a good option for less avid tourists because the path is not steep and the trail is short, it only takes 35 minutes to reach the 2nd waterfall, but still passes through the pristine rainforest. A short (20min) easy trail to the Sonjo waterfall, with the option to continue up a steep path for 15 minutes to reach the second waterfall. This trail is also a popular second hike for those who beat Sanje the day before and can be done after leaving the park. Optionally, you can “go and return” the same path or cross the water at the 2nd waterfall and make a steep 30 m up a few hundred meters to the ridge and go down a different path. Both paths connect to the road at a distance of 20 m from each other. The Sonjo Trail is also the starting path for those entering Mwanihana.

Prince Bernhard trail, 1 km, ½h, height increase 30-80m.
The shortest route of all offers about 30-45 minutes hiking and is ideal for an afternoon stroll. Along the way, you can see several small waterfalls, monkeys, baboons, duikers, as well as a magnificent view of Bokela Mountain. Prince Bernhard waterfall named after Dutch Prince Bernhard who visited Tanzania and opened the Udzungwa Mountains National Park at the age of 84. At this age, he was unable to enter the Sanje Falls, so instead, he went a short distance. Just 500 meters from the park’s headquarters, these small waterfalls are an easy walk and a good addition to the Njokamoni trail.
      A little further up the track at campsite 2 there is another, larger waterfall. You can extend the walk (1.5 km) to campsite 2 to spend a little more time in the forest without long climbing. If you are not an avid tourist but want to taste the forest, this path is for you.

 

Sanje trail, 6km, 4-5h, height increase 450m
The trail leads along with the Miombo vegetation, where some rare primates spend most of the day. While hiking, you can also admire the various species of butterflies and birds. The Sanje Trail is the most popular trail in Udzungwa. This 180-meter waterfall is very impressive, surrounded by rainforest with great views of the Kilombero floodplain. Upstairs, you can swim in the refreshing water pool of the highest waterfall (about 40 m high) surrounded by thick rainforest. Usually, people go up and down the short route – this is the easiest and easiest way to the top. It is still quite a steep climb, especially in the heat, so be prepared and take a lot of water with you. Add a lot of salt for breakfast. The trail leads past several houses and small farms to the park border and the beginning of the forest. A well-trodden and well-maintained trail zigzags up the ridge until you reach the picnic bench and viewpoint with spectacular views of the waterfalls halfway up. A shortfall leads to the crossing of the path to the base of the waterfalls, and then the path rises a little steeper up. At the top, you can follow the short path to the rocks at the top of the waterfall and have lunch enjoying the fantastic views, or go a bit to the upper waterfall and take a dip in it. There is an alternative and less frequently used path up or down, starting from the guard post in the south. This route is a bit longer and less used, but it gives you even more chances to see Colobus monkeys. You can reach Sanje at any time of the day, but preferably in the morning, in the south, it can be very hot

Njokamoni trail, 5km, 4-5h, height increase 700m
Njokamoni is a trail with a length and height close to Sanje – about 6.5 km and rising about 700 meters. The trail begins at the park’s headquarters. Njokamoni is rarely chosen, so there are often large groups of monkeys and ejsNjokamoni trail, 5km, 4-5h, height increase 700m
Njokamoni is a trail with a length and height close to Sanje – about 6.5 km and rising about 700 meters. The trail begins at the park’s headquarters. Njokamoni is rarely chosen, so there are often large groups of monkeys and is here a good chance of meeting a group of Mangaba monkeys. Mangabas are very used to people and can get very close, which gives the best opportunities to take pictures and the chance to see this rare primate in high detail. It is a good climb with several vantage points along the way, and the Njokamoni Waterfalls are an impressive 40-meter cascade into a shallow pool, ideal for sitting and bathing.ts here a good chance of meeting a group of Mangaba monkeys. Mangabas are very used to people and can get very close, which gives the best opportunities to take pictures and the chance to see this rare primate in high detail. It is a good climb with several vantage points along the way, and the Njokamoni Waterfalls are an impressive 40-meter cascade into a shallow pool, ideal for sitting and bathing.

Hidden Valley Trail, (Camping 3) 14km, 6-8h, height increase 1000m
This is the longest day trip. The trial lasts about 6-7 hours and rises to a height of 1300 m, where it is pleasant and cool under the tall trees covered with moss. It is a long and steep walk. The trail briefly leads to the end of the Njokamoni trail, and then branches off into the ridge and climbs a little over 1000 m, where it meets the Njokamoni River. This is the beginning of the Hidden Valleys. Since you are going up the river through grassy valleys with lots of elephants and buffalos, you must have an armed guard. During the season, watch out for African violets on the side of the path, with their round hairy leaves and small purple flowers.
The trail branches off into a side valley and leads to the catchment area between the Njokamonni and Moyer rivers. You will follow in the footsteps of elephants along the steep and sometimes slippery path to the Moyer River. Along the hidden Moyer Valley, several rivers flow until you reach the edge of the escarpment again and begin a steep descent to the Moyer Falls. The trail will give you the opportunity to see lots of wildlife.

Mountains Udzungwa Hiking - Multi-day trips

Recommended as stand-alone safari together with a safari to Mikumi

Sanje trail -9km, 2 days /

1 night, height increase 450 m

(125€ per person + 40€ per group, excluding transfer and all park fees) 

For those who would like to spend a little more time in the bosom of nature, instead of a few hours of wandering to the Sanje waterfalls, we offer a two-day night overnight trip in the forest. Spend an afternoon in the woods, followed by a magical evening under a canopy of trees, eating in the light of the fire and sleeping under canvas to the sound of the forest. Wake up early for breakfast with a view of the Kilombero Valley from the top of the waterfall, and then a morning walk in the woods, watching wildlife and splashing down the waterfall on the way down. It can be an unforgettable adventure for older children. Our team provides everything you need for this trip – you take your camera and a good mood.

Lumemo Trail (Rumemo) – 65 km,

5 days / 4 nights

(550 € per person + 160 € per group, excluding transfer and all park fees)

This is the longest and most troublesome trail in Udzungwa, offering unforgettable experiences. It begins after Ifakara on the Lumemo River and follows a path along the river. There are three campsites on the trail, approximately 7 to 8 hours apart. Return the same way as Mwanihana. This trail leads deep into the heart of Udzungwa, climbing to the ridges and going down two deep valleys – areas, where wild animals, have practically no contact with people. You must be a competent traveler in good physical condition to try this trail.

The trail leads through tropical forests, mountain forests, miombo forests, meadows, and steppes. You leave the sounds of civilization behind for 5 days. On the trail you still feel the presence of animals, even if you do not meet them all – you hear their sounds, you see traces. Some of them you can see – monkeys, red colobus, and black and white colobus, yellow baboon, sykes monkeys, sanje mangabey, buffalo, elephant, and red duikers. There are many species of birds on this trail, including the Pels owl, which is an indicator of the river’s richness in fish. In the river, you’ll see jumping fish and diving otters.

We recommend hiking this trail in the dry season from June to November, because in the rainy season the river becomes agitated and restless, and thus dangerous. A rough river may hide crocodiles. This is not an experience for the faint-hearted, but if you love wildlife and real adventures, you can’t miss it.

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The campsites offered during the hike are basic campsites. Remember that in Tanzania it simply means space for tents. All visitors must be accompanied by a guide (for longer hikes, an armed guard). Maximum group for 1 guide / guard – 6 people.

 

Mwanihan Trail – 38 km, 3 days / 2 nights,

altitude increase of 1850 m

(300 € per person + 80 € per group, excluding transfer and all park fees)

This is a 38-kilometer route for an avid tourist, deep into the forest to an altitude of up to 2140 m. The Mwanihan peak is one of the highest peaks in the Eastern Hatch. The trail begins in the village of Sonjo and passes two waterfalls on the Sonjo trail. There are several steep sections interspersed between the constantly growing path from 300 m to the campsite at 900 m. Wandering is amazing, and with the increase in height, you can see a change in vegetation, from miombo forests, through grassy plateaus, foothill forests, mountain forests, and bamboo finally on top of heather. On this trail you can meet elephants and buffaloes on the plateau, so the walk will be accompanied by an armed guard.
A significant part of the trail is on open meadows on both sides of the high forest. You will spend the night at Njia Panda Campsite (branched path), next to a stream, where you can wash and get some drinking water.
The next morning, you’ll start hiking early to climb the summit. The path runs up and down to the first stretch of a grassy ridge, but when it reaches the forest (1500 m), it climbs steeply through giant trees. Halfway there is a nice stream for filling water bottles.
Around 1900 m you suddenly leave the forest and enter the bamboo clearing rustling in the wind – in recent years this zone has become significantly exhausted due to climate change and reduced rainfall on the mountain tops. From here you can clearly see the three humps that make up the peak of Mwanihana. After entering the summit, return to Njia Panda campsite, and on the third day take a leisurely stroll on the way back, enjoying the last moments in the midst of wildlife.

monkey udzungwa hiking

When packing for Udzungwa hiking, take a variety of clothes with you to ensure your comfort during the day and evening. You should bring a light jacket or sweater, comfortable trekking shoes, and rain gear, especially if you visit during the rainy season. Also take a hat to protect your eyes and face from the sun, as well as sunscreen, and do not forget about a bathing suit if you decide to swim in a beautiful natural, refreshing pool under the waterfalls. Bring a water filter for longer hikes.

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