Kitulo National Park is a protected area of alpine grassland and montane forest in the Southern Highlands of Tanzania. The Park was formally gazetted in 2005, becoming Tanzania’s 14th National Park and covers an area of 412.9 km2 (159.4 sq mi), lying partly in Mbeya Region and partly in Iringa Region. The protected area includes the Kitulo Plateau and the adjoining Livingstone Forest. Locals refer to the Kitulo Plateau as ‘Bustani ya Mungu’ (The Garden of God), while botanists have referred to it as the Serengeti of Flowers. From Chimala, 78km east of Mbeya along the surfaced main road to Dar es Salaam, head south along the rough but spectacular dirt road to the temporary park headquarters at Matamba, from where it’s another hour’s drive to the plateau. Basic and erratic public transport is available. Wild flower displays peak between December and April. The sunnier months of September to November are more comfortable for hiking but less rewarding to botanists. Conditions are cold and foggy from June to August.
What to See/Activities
Good hiking trails exist and will soon be developed into a formal trail system. Open walking across the grasslands to watch birds and wild flowers. Hill climbing on the neighbouring ranges, A half-day hike from the park across the Livingstone Mountains leads to the sumptuous Matema Beach on Lake Nyasa.