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Udzungwa Mountains

Introducing Udzungwa Mountains National Park

The Udzungwa Mountains are almost unearthly. An enchanted 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 were discovered in the shelter of a 30 meter high tree.

Udzungwa Mountains National Park's Wildlife and Nature & Wildlife Safari Experience

Udzungwa Mountains National Park is a hothouse 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. As 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 hiking 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 kilometers. But the centerpiece is the Sanje River, which reinvents itself as a spectacular waterfall, plunging 170 meters 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.

Mountain Cuisine: The menus for all climbs are specially prepared to provide a balanced diet of fresh fruit, vegetables, plenty of protein and carbohydrates. We have tried to choose food items that are easiest to digest at high altitude. Our cooks undergo extensive training and we have ongoing workshops to review menus. The cooks are particularly vigilant in  their hygiene practices as contracting stomach bugs is common for visitors to the developing world.

Dinners are typically a main course with vegetable and salad. Chicken and fish are served at some of the days during the climb, with pastas and rice dishes being served in the middle of the climb while up high. Lunches are often on the trail and usually consist of cold cuts and  vegetables laid out on a table so you can make your own sandwich. Fresh  hot vegetable soups are served at every meal, and packet soup is  available on request between meals as is coffee and tea. Breakfast is  your choice: granola, toast, fruit, eggs, and sometimes pancakes or French toast. While hiking some people have a favorite snack that they like; it is a good idea to bring this from home.

Fit to trek. The Machame Route is a strenuous, but not technical, climb and no mountain-climbing experience is necessary. But there's no avoiding the steep ascents and high altitudes that make robust physical fitness (and a minimum age of 16 years) a prerequisite for this trip. You'll want to consult your physician before undertaking this unforgettable adventure. Alternative independent itineraries. These include the more remote anddemanding Rongai, Shira, Umbwe and Western Breach routes - ask for details.

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