Kitulo is a remarkable botanical miracle, home to 350 species of vascular plants, including 45 varieties of terrestrial orchid, that erupt into a riotous wildflower show of amazing scale and diversity during the main wet season, which runs from late November to April.
If you visit, you will discover that it is a hiker’s and nature lover’s heaven, but it would also appeal to anyone looking to get off the beaten path and enjoy the remote mountain life with stunning and varied landscapes.
It would make an excellent summer getaway destination for individuals living on the coast to escape the heat in December to March, just like the green, cool mountain area of Usambara. This is also the greatest time on Kitulo for the stunning flower bloom season, which has earned the Kitulo Plateau the nickname “Bustani ya Mungu” – God’s Garden – and botanists have dubbed it the Serengeti of Flowers, hosting “one of the world’s great floral spectacles.”
Kitulo can be paired with a visit to Katavi or Ruaha National Parks for a wildlife excursion.
The well-watered volcanic soils of Kitulo, located between the rocky peaks of the Kipengere, Poroto, and Livingstone Mountains at a height of roughly 2,600 meters (8,500 feet), support Tanzania’s largest and most important montane grassland community.
The ascent to the plateau is a thrilling start to an expedition unlike any other, with 57 hairpin bends – but once there, you have access to more than 7 hiking paths through gorgeous environment that will take your breath away!
Kitulo, one of the most important watersheds for the Great Ruaha River, is well known for its floral significance, which includes not only a plethora of orchids, but also the stunning yellow-orange red-hot poker and a diverse range of aloes, proteas, geraniums, giant lobelias, lilies, and aster daisies, with over 30 species endemic to southern Tanzania.
Big game is scarcely represented; nonetheless, a few tenacious mountain reedbuck and eland still graze the open grassland.
Kitulo, however, is a birdwatcher’s paradise as well as a botanist’s and hiker’s paradise.
Along with a breeding colony of the endangered blue swallow and range-restricted species such mountain marsh widow, Njombe cisticola, and Kipengere seedeater, the park is home to Tanzania’s only population of the uncommon Denham’s bustard.
The biological diversity of God’s Garden is further enhanced by endemic butterfly, chameleon, lizard, and frog species.