Kitulo National Park

The Serengeti of flowers & garden of God


Region: Mbeya/Njombe

Category: National Park

To-do activities:

Bird watching, swimming, waterfalls, wildflowers, and hiking.

Best time to visit:

Late November to April for seeing the blooming garden scenery


Facilities available within the park and nearby towns.

About Kitulo National Park

It is no accident that locals and botanists, respectively, refer to Kitulo National Park as the garden of God and the Serengeti of flowers. Kitulo National Park is one of the most rewarding destinations to visit in terms of spectacular natural beauty, bird viewing, waterfalls, and botanical studies.

The park is situated between the Livingstone and Poroto Mountains in Tanzania's Southern Highlands covering over 413 kilometers of land in the Mbeya and Njombe regions. One of the best places that the world, and notably Tanzania, is endowed with, this wonderful land is primarily covered with flora, with a few animals, water bodies, and waterfalls. Several bird species from South Africa, North Africa, and Europe winter in Kitulo National Park, making it a unique and popular destination for birdwatchers.

The climate around the park is generally cold. The normal temperature ranges between 14 and 18C but can go up to below 7C during cold seasons.

Interesting facts about Kitulo Natioonal Park

  • The first national park in tropical Africa to be created primarily for its floral value.

  • There are 350 species of wildflowers that have been identified, including lilies and fields of daisies.

  • The park was gazetted in 2005, by President Mkapa's administration, making it the 14th national park in Tanzania

  • Storks use Kitulo National Park as a resting ground when flying from South Africa to Europe.

  • There are over 1000 steps ascending down the Nhumbe waterfalls viewpoint

Journey to Kitulo National Park

Found in Njombe and Mbeya regions, Kitulo National Park can be easily reached from Mbeya via Chimala or Isyonje. The shorter route is the one via Isyonje which is 67 km from Mbeya town, and 85 km from the Songwe Airport. The one passing via Chimala is about 105 km. There is another route from Njombe through Makete which is 165 km.  Coming from Dar es Salaam, one may either use the road, a flight to Songwe airport, or the TAZARA railway (Iyunga or Makambako stations).

After Chimala/Isyonje, the road to Kitulo is a rough road and it is highly recommended you use a 4x4 car to smoothly traverse through it. However, during summer and dry season one may even use a 'normal' car - without 4WD - to reach the park. For the route passing through Makete, there is ongoing work to tarmac it.

I first visited Kitulo National Park in July, and although it was stunning in my eyes the guides and locals said the best time to visit the park for exhilarating views and bird watching is between December and April

All activities in the park may be completed in a day if you wish. The most demanding one is visiting the Nhumbe waterfalls, where the trail may take up to 3 hours. After there you may go for a safari walk in the park, chill a bit at the Mwakipembo falls, and watch the great scenery of flowers and birds

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