Kitulo plateau national park is situated onto the Kitulo plateau in southern highlands of Tanania covering an area of approximately 412.9 square kilometers with basically montane grassland.
The park is at an elevation of 2,600 meters between the peaks of the Kipengere and Poroto mountains in Mbeya Region and Njombe Region. The park was the first national park in tropical Africa to be established primarily to protect its flora.
The spectacular Kitulo plateau is inhabited in the Park and the local people refer it to as “Bustani ya Mungu” which means, the Garden of God, well as botanists refer to it as the “Serengeti of Flowers”.
The protection of the Kitulo Plateau’s unique flora was first proposed by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) in response to the growing international trade in orchid tubers and increased hunting and logging activities in the surrounding forests.
The Park protects one of the world’s most 25 endangered primates called ‘’highland Mangabey’’ though it is also locally known as Kipunji. A visitor in the Park will enjoy some interesting activities there such as; hiking trails, open walking across the grasslands to watch birds and wildflowers, hill climbing on the neighboring ranges and a half-day hike from the park across the Livingstone Mountains leads to the sumptuous Matema Beach on Lake Nyasa.
The best period for visiting the Park is in-between December and April when the wildflower displays peak however for the hikers should best visit the Park in dry months such as in September to November which is the most comfortable time to hike.
Accommodations for the visitors to the Park are most likely to stay in Mbeya which is serviced by everything from luxury hotels to simple guesthouses and some few simple guesthouses also exist in Matamba. For those who will also visit Matema beach, there are also some moderately priced church-run hostels.
Kitulo plateau is really a rare botanical marvel with over 350 vascular plant species and it is also among the most important watersheds for River Ruaha. Kitulo is famous for its floral significance including its multitude of orchids, yellow-orange red-hot poker plus a variety of aloes, lilies, giant lobelias, proteas, geraniums and aster daisies of which more than 30 species are endemic to southern Tanzania.
A visitor can also spot elands and mountain reedbucks in the open grassland of Kitulo. For the wildlife lovers, you are however emphasized to try any other best destination in the country such as Serengeti national park or Lake Manyara national park because Kitulo is most ideal for botanists and hikers plus bird watchers.