“Garden of God” National Park, home to a wide variety of wildflowers
Kitulo, has only recently become a fully protected National Park in Tanzania. Situated on the Kitulo Plateau, which forms part of Tanzania’s Southern Highlands. The park is known locally as the “Garden of God,” provides a home for a wide variety of wildflowers such as balsams, bellflowers, honey-peas, irises, lilies and orchids. Kitulo Park has vast expanses of rolling upland grassland, rounded hills which stretch away to the horizon, waterfalls, rivers and crater lakes. The Kitulo plateau itself is characterised by three main vegetation types – well drained grassland, bogs and rocky ridges. The Kitulo highlands also hold endemic and rare flora and fauna species not protected elsewhere in Tanzania.
Located partly in the Iringa and Mbeya regions Kitulo covers an area of 413 sq. km at an altitude of between 2,500 and 3,000 metres. The history of the park dates back to 1870 when Fredrick Elton, an explorer, visited the area. The plateau was then named Elton Plateau after his name. In the 1960’s a large area was taken over by United Nations Food & Agriculture Organization for wheat and sheep schemes. It later became a dairy farm (which still remains active). Following conservation concerns, parts of the farm, Livingstone and Numbi Forest Reserves have been declared a National Park.
Highlights of Kitulo National Park
|One of the great flower gardens of the world with over 40 species of ground orchids alone.
|Explore Mount Livingstone Forest. Characterised by mountain Bamboo, Kitulo has an abundance of high plant species.
|Take your binoculars and spot birds on Kitulo Plateau, home to breeding colonies of blue swallow and denhams bustard.