Kitulo National Park is locally known as Bustani ya Mungu “The Garden of God” whereas botanists have dubbed it the Serengeti of Flowers, host to ‘one of the great floral spectacles of the world’. Kitulo is indeed a rare botanical marvel, home to a full 350 species of vascular plants, including 45 varieties of terrestrial orchids, which erupt into a riotous wildflower display of breathtaking scale and diversity during the main rainy season of late November to April.

Perched at around 2,600 meters (8,500 ft) between the rugged peaks of the Kipengere, Poroto, and the Livingstone Mountains, the well-watered volcanic soils of Kitulo support the largest and the most important montane grassland community in Tanzania. Having its unique flower species remained wild, with birds singing and migrating to the highland forests, Kitulo Plateau National Park is the latest and a newcomer to Tanzania’s tourist attraction sites.

Bustani ya Mungu (God’s Garden) is the visitor’s name given to this new park, the only of its kind in Africa, where wildflowers, birds, and harmonious grass-eating mammals are dominating. Kitulo Plateau is perched between the rugged peaks of the Kipengere, Livingstone, and Poroto Mountains in the Southern Highlands of Tanzania. It is the site of one of the world’s great floral spectacles. The eminently hike-able park is carpeted in wildflowers for six months of the year, from November to April. There is a documented 350 species of wildflowers including lilies and fields of daisies.

Although sparse in the big game, this natural botanical garden is highly alluring to bird watchers who thrill to sightings of rare Denham’s bustard, the endangered blue swallow, mountain marsh widow, Njombe cisticola, and Kipengere seedeater.

Endemic species of butterfly, chameleon, lizard, and frog further enhance the biological wealth of God’s Garden. Unique and the only of its kind in Africa for natural orchids and birds, this park has been gazetted last year, set for tourists.

Kitulo National Park stands alone, boasting of being the only tourist attractive site in the continent offering floristic visits than the traditional wildlife photographic holidays which most tourists to Tanzania are used to experience. Tourists from all corners of the world are now exposed to this park and are expected to book their itineraries to this new park.

The park covers 413 kilometers of forestland, dominated by plants and few wild animals, which together form a natural habitat that is tourist attractive by itself. The park’s scenery is as comparable to the Biblical Garden of Eden, as most visitors there say. There are about 400 plant species, most of them are wildflowers and other such attractive, natural plants, which no doubt at all, will attract visitors to go there. Recorded 45 endemic orchid species are found only in the park than in any other part of the world.

Added to its natural attractions and uniqueness, Kitulo Plateau is the natural resting site for intercontinental migrating birds during periods of the year on their way to Europe.

It is only in this park where migrating Storks rest while flying from Cape Town in South Africa to Northern Europe. European White Storks and other species of Storks from Scandinavian countries via West Africa migrate to brood inside Kitulo Plateau on their way, flying across the European and African continents every year. These big, attractive birds stop in this park for some months and later continue with their long journey across the continent.

Kitulo National Park is the only natural habitat area in Africa perched on the sky at a higher altitude than any known park in the continent.

It is located 3,000 meters above sea level on the East African massif, much influenced by the eastern Rim of the Great Rift Valley which stretches from the Red Sea in the Middle East across North and East Africa to Mozambique in Southern Africa.

To reach the park, one has to drive from Chimala town along with the Dar es Salaam to Mbeya highway, then climb the scenic plateau through 57 pin-corners through the spectacular rough road known as “Hamsini na Saba” or Fifty-Seven by the number of its pin, sharp corners.

After few hours of slow driving on the 4 x 4 car, one reaches Matamba the temporary park headquarters, about 50 km south of Chimala. Open walking safaris through the grasslands watching birds and wildflowers, hill hiking on the neighboring ranges during the day gives a visitor fantastic views of Lake Nyasa and its beautiful Matema Beach down the mountains.

Wildflowers blossom between December and April, and the summer months from September to November are best to visit the park. From June to August the entire park is foggy with no visibility during the daytime, and it is hardly possible to view its beauties.

Before its transformation into a tourist park, the area was a livestock ranch set for breeding Merino sheep from Australia and European cattle breeds. British officers mapped the area in 1920 for ranching purposes. Because of its cool and moderate weather similar to Mediterranean or European conditions, the area has since then attracted a number of British and American settlers who reared livestock and practiced small-scale tourist projects.

The beautiful scenery of the land below makes the park an ideal place to pay a visit. This unique scenery brings it closer to the northern Tanzania nature parks of Ngorongoro, Serengeti, and Kilimanjaro. When fully flocked, Kitulo National Park will be the leading nature conservation park in Africa, specializing in orchid holidays with fewer wildlife itineraries. It will add a new product to Tanzania’s wildlife-based tourism, which so far, has been competing with other destinations like Kenya, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia, and South Africa. 

What to do in Kitulo National Park

  • Good hiking trails exist and soon will be developed into a formal trail system.
  • Open walking across the grasslands to watch birds and wildflowers.
  • Hill climbing on the neighboring ranges. A half-day hike from the park across the Livingstone Mountains leads to the sumptuous Matema Beach on Lake Nyasa.

Tanzania Travel Tips

Our team carefully researched and focused on trips which attract people with the same interest and naturally get on well with each other through their shared interests.

Once you confirm your booking on a tour you will be sent further practical information – packing tips, detailed itineraries, including advice on health, passport and visa requirements, and minimum and maximum numbers of guests on tours.

Memorable meals are one of the hallmarks of an excellent holiday. With the support of the best cooks, the quality of food and drink service is guaranteed. Depending on the service level or type of tour you have chosen, pre-discussion with your tour planner is a win-win situation for an enjoyable diet. Other tours are accompanied by our cook and others are inclusive service from our accommodation partners include hotels, private camps, and luxury lodges.

The answer is absolute yes! The areas where safaris are organized are safe and free of political chaos. We conduct safaris in places that are politically stable to assure our clients’ safety and enjoyment.

Our Professional Safari Guides are well trained about wild animal behaviors and they have enough experience to lead our clients in the wilderness. Our vehicles are 4×4 Toyota Land Cruiser and Land Rovers with a hutched roof to give maximum visibility of a game.

African safaris guarantee unlimited sightseeing; millions of animals, birds, and plant life are the core characters of the African savanna. You roam across the countryside in search of Elephants, Lions, Rhinos, Cape buffalo, and Leopards (the so-called “Big Five”). On any given day, you will encounter Blue Wildebeests, Zebras, a large variety of antelope species, Gazelles, Giraffes, Baboons, and Hippos. The birdlife is fantastic – in some areas, up to 400 bird species have been identified! Think of the majestic Baobab tree (some tribes believe that the tree was indeed planted upside-down!), and there are hundreds of varieties of thorn trees! You will also see the acacia-dotted landscape, endless plains, majestic mountains, and the most beautiful sunsets and sunrises one could ever imagine! Think of a late afternoon thunderstorm, short but violent, and then the beautiful rainbow.

Tanzania destinations are accessible throughout the year but we advise you to take your tours during the dry session for the safari so as you can enjoy the best sightings at this time as the grasses and bush are at their least dense. July to October and December through February. The green session includes March through June. Discuss with us for the best option if you have also a plan to coincides with Wildebeest Migration in Serengeti National Park’

(We suggest you remember) insect repellent (the best way to prevent malaria and other insect-borne diseases), sunscreen, cap or hat, sunglasses, binoculars, detergent powder if you want to wash some clothes yourself, hand-wipes small flashlight, aspirin, diarrhea medicine, rain jacket, poncho, or collapsible umbrella, plastic bags (for wet clothes, swimsuit and for keeping dust away from camera equipment), Kleenex/toilet tissue a neck chain for eyeglasses if you take them off to use binoculars and cameras, any medical prescription you need, masking tape or labels for marking exposed films cans, film, extra camera batteries.

Although more than 200 languages and dialects are spoken throughout Africa, this presents no problem as English is spoken throughout East and Southern Africa. Apart from English, all our professional guides are multilingual so we get you covered.

African safaris guarantee unlimited sightseeing; millions of animals, birds, and plant life are the core characters of the African savanna. You roam across the countryside in search of Elephants, Lions, Rhinos, Cape buffalo, and Leopards (the so-called “Big Five”). On any given day, you will encounter Blue Wildebeests, Zebras, a large variety of antelope species, Gazelles, Giraffes, Baboons, and Hippos. The birdlife is fantastic – in some areas, up to 400 bird species have been identified! Think of the majestic Baobab tree (some tribes believe that the tree was indeed planted upside-down!), and there are hundreds of varieties of thorn trees! You will also see the acacia-dotted landscape, endless plains, majestic mountains, and the most beautiful sunsets and sunrises one could ever imagine! Think of a late afternoon thunderstorm, short but violent, and then the beautiful rainbow.