Kitulo National Park
Kitulo National Park is located between the provinces of Mbeya and Njombe on the Kitulo plateau. It is a protected natural area in the southern mountains of Tanzania.
It extends for 412.9 square km at an altitude of 2,600 m, between the peaks of Kipengere and Poroto. The soil is of volcanic origin, well-watered by rainfall. CLIMATE
The plateau has a cool and moderate climate, similar to Mediterranean or European conditions, made unique by a diversity of micro-ecosystems. From June to August there can be mists, without visibility during the day, and it is almost impossible to see the beauties of the park.
Wild flowers bloom between December and April but the best months to visit the park are February and April until December, when temperatures are pleasantly warm. The rainy season is between November and April with maximum rainfall in January with 175mm.
The dry season, which runs from May to October, has its minimum rainfall in July with only 4mm.
The hottest month is October with maximum temperatures reaching 30°C (86°F) and minimum 17°C. June is the coldest month with a maximum of 23°C (77°F) and a minimum of 12°C (53,6°F).
The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) has established this protected area to fight against the growing international trade in orchid bulbs and against deforestation caused by increasing trades, in timber in the surrounding forests.
It was established in 2002 by President Benjamin Mkapa and officially became a Park in 2005. TANAPA (the authority that manages parks in Tanzania) said that the park could expand in the near future up to the forests of Mount Rungwe.
It is the first natural park in Africa intended primarily for the protection of flora and is known by locals as "Bustani ya Mungu" ("The garden of God") and by the British "Serengeti of flower".
There are no large predators and only a few specimens of ruminants can be found in the open prairie (eland and reedbucks). In 2005, in the area around Mount Rungwe and in the Livingstone forest area within the park, WCS researchers discovered a new primate.
Originally called Mangabey, and only later with the Tanzanian term of Kipunji, it represents today one of the 25 most endangered primates on the planet.
From a birdwatching point of view, the park is extremely interesting with the only Tanzanian colony of the rare bustard of Denham, as well as a colony in reproduction of blue swallow (endangered) and other limited species such as the Euplectes psammacromius, Cisticola njombe and Crithagra melanochrous.
In this park the Storks (European white storks, and other species) rest during their journey to Cape Town from Northern Europe.
Wonderful endemic species of butterflies, chameleons, lizards and frogs have been recorded.
L’altopiano del Kitulo è prezioso per la sua flora eccezionale che prolifera su praterie montana e zone forestali.
Vi si trovano più di 45 specie di orchidee, di cui molte sono endemiche. Sono state inoltre registrate più di 400 specie di piante insieme alle Kniphofia gialle e arancioni di eccezionale bellezza, varietà di Aloe, Protea, gerani, lobelie giganti, gigli, e asteracee (di cui 30 specie sono endemiche del sud della Tanzania).
The plateau of Kitulo is precious for its exceptional flora that grows on mountain grasslands and areas with forests.
There are more than 45 species of orchids, many of which are endemic. More than 400 plant species have been recorded along with yellow and orange Kniphofia of exceptional beauty, varieties of Aloe, Protea, geraniums, giant lobelias, lilies, and asteraceae (of which 30 species are endemic to southern Tanzania).