Pugu Kazimzumbwi Nature Forest Reserve

"The lungs of Dar es Salaam"


Region: Pwani

Category: Nature forest reserve

To-do activities:

Hiking, picnicking, kayaking, birdwatching, cave and botanical explorations

Best time to visit:

Throughout the year. 


Various accommodation options available in Dar es Salaam and around Kisarawe

About Pugu Kazimzumbwi Nature Forest Reserve

Deriving its name from the endemic Mpugupugu (milletia puguensis) tree, and spanning over 12,015 hectares (120.1 sq. km), Pugu Kazimzumbwi Nature Forest Reserve, a remnant of the oldest lowland Coastal forest in Tanzania, is a must-see destination for nature enthusiasts. The reserve is found just 12 kilometers outside of Dar es Salaam to the Southwest and boasts an impressive array of flora and fauna.

This reserve is renowned for its exceptional biodiversity which has resulted in the creation of several tourist attractions within the reserve. Visitors can explore the dense forest, which is home to a variety of plant species, or admire the towering bamboo groves. The Minaki dam is another popular attraction, along with the bat caves and the viewpoints of Dar es Salaam city. Some of the local communities still use Pugu for pilgrimage, worship and ritual practices. If you are lucky, you may find some of their tools of worship or even such societies at the caves at some point. However, it's important to abide to what the guide tells you when engaging with them

The full hike at Pugu covers about 8km but with the steep slopes and nature, this takes up to two hours and more to get to the city's viewpoint (Msolo Peak) which is at the end of the hike. Descending is not as challenging as ascending, and with the recent upgrade of stairs the hike must be more smooth than in the past.

Interesting facts about Pugu Kazimzumbwi Nature Forest Reserve

  • The name Pugu is derived from one of the most common tress in the reserve scientifically known as milletia puguensis or Mpugupugu in Swahili

  • From Pugu's highest viewpoint, the entire Dar es Salaam region can be seen

  • Pugu Kazimzumbwi Nature Forest Reserve is the remnant of the oldest lowland Coastal forests of Tanzania.

Journey to Pugu Kazimzumbwi Nature Forest Reserve

Found about 12km Southwest of dar es Salaam, Pugu Kazimzumbwi Nature Forest Reserve can be easily accessed by tarmac road from Dar es Salaam. The road passes by the Julius Nyerere International Airport (JNIA) and connects to other nearest attractions such as Nyerere National Park (formerly known as Selous National Park). Opposite the gate to the reserve is a historic school known as Minaki, which is the third oldest secondary school in Tanzania after Tabora schools and St. Mary's secondary education.

Personally, the documented trip to Pugu was one of those that I made the most of an office trip in commemorating World Environment Day. Other tips on how to go about traveling with a full-time work schedule may be found here

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