Udzungwa Mountains National Park

Udzungwa Mountains National Parks
The Udzungwa Mountains are almost unearthly. Anenchanted forest of leafy glades, freckled with sunshine, where fungus, lichen, moss and ferns ingratiate themselves into every damp crevice, it is at once both vivid detail and larger than life. A new variety of African violet was discovered in the shelter of a 30 meter high tree, it is a hot-house nurturing species  found nowhere else on earth, a secret bank account of precious genetic stock. Of its six types of primate, two are endemic - the Iringa red colobus monkey, and the sanje crested Mangabey, not discovered until 1979. Four previously unknown birds, including the rufous -winged sunbird and a new species of the partridge-like francolin, make this Tanzania's richest forest bird habitat and among the three most important bird conservation areas on the continent. One of East Africa's great forests, this undisturbed habitat undoubtedly has new treasures yet to reveal.
A link in the chain of Africa's eastern arc mountains, Udzungwa is made for hiling and climbing on trails through the rainforests and along the escarpments. The plateau is a natural tower top, with views of sugar plantations against a patchwork of grassland and mountain forest extending over 100 km. But the centrepiece is the Sanje River, which reinvents itself as a spectaculare waterfall, plunging 170 meter through the forest to land in a mist in the valley below. Visit the Udzungwa Mountains year round, but be prepared for rain any time. 


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Endemic Species of Birds
The Udzungwa Mountains National Park is home to approximately 400 species of bird, many of which are endemic to the area. Known as the Galapagos of East Africa due to the spectacular levels of biodiversity and endemism, the bird watching opportunities here are unrivalled in Tanzania and the park ranks as one of the top ten bird watching locations in the whole of the African continent.
The list of birds includes one of Udzungwa's most unusual birds, the Udzungwa Forest Partridge. The partridge, endemic to Tanzania and the Udzungwa Highlands, was only recently discovered in 1991 and is listed in the IUCN Red List 2008 as "globally threatened". Other Udzungwa bird species that are worthy of note include the Rufous-winged sunbird, which was discovered in 1981, and also Swynnerton's robin the Dappled mountain robin, the green-headed oriole, and the Usambara eagle owl. Other bird species, common and rare, are found throughout the forest.
Another unique endemic species found only in this area is the Kilombero Weaver. A day trip down to the market town of Ifakara will include a trip to the ferry over the Kilombero River, and there you can wander along the riverbank and observe this brightly coloured endemic bird flying in and out of its remarkable nests. An afternoon trip down the river in a local dugout canoe will surely afford you more glimpses of this rare bird, among other birds congregating around the river and along its banks.
Of particular relevance to the Udzungwa Forest Tented Camp are the Hondo Hondo or Hornbills found in profusion in and around the campsite. Located on the forest edge, the campsite plays host to a remarkable nightly sight, as the three species of hornbills for which the camp is named come home to roost. Trumpeter, Silver-cheeked and Crowned Hornbills soar in across the forest at dusk, their calls echoing over the valley. You can watch as they call and settle in the surrounding trees, without having to leave the comfort of your campsite!

Bird list
African Pied wagtail 
Bronze manikin 
Southern Red Bishop 
Grey Kestrel 
White bowed coacal 
Fan tailed widbird 
Grey heron 
Arrow marked babbler 
Yellow vented bulbul (common bulbul) 
Grey hooded king fisher 
Common wax bill 
Pulm nut venture 
Village indigo bird (steel blue widow finch) 
Emerld spoted wood done 
Long Crested eagle 
European Honey buzzard 
White naped reven 
Open bill stork 
Black Leaded weaver 
Speckled mouse bird 
Botin's spire tail (Bat like spire tail) 
Lesser striped swallow 
Red eyed done 
Holub's golded weaver 
Black backed puff back (coastal race affini's) 
African Harrier hawk 
Pin tailed whydah 
Black winged red bishop (fire crowned bishop) 
Lesser masked weaver 

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