Kitulo National Park

Kitulo National Park is at an elevation of 2,600 metres  between the peaks of the Kipengere and Poroto mountains and covers an area of 412.9 square kilometres,  lying in Mbeya Region and Njombe Region. The park was formally established in 2005 becoming Tanzania's fourteenth national park.  Kitulo National Park referred by locals as “The Garden of God”. Kitulo National Park is a protected area of montane grassland on the Kitulo Plateau in the southern highlands of Tanzania.

Kitulo National Park is “one of the great floral spectacles of the world”, a rare botanical marvel and home to 350 species of vascular plants, including 45 varieties of terrestrial orchid, which erupt into a riotous wildflower display of breathtaking scale and diversity during the main rainy season of late November to April.

Kitulo is also the first national park in tropical Africa to be gazetted largely for its floral significance-not only a multitude of orchids, but also the stunning yellow-orange red-hot poker and a variety of aloes, proteas, geraniums, giant lobelias, lilies and aster daisies, of which more than 30 species are endemic to southern Tanzania. But Kitulo is also attractive for bird watching, home to rare bird species. Big game is sparsely represented, though a few hardy mountain reedbuck and eland still roam the open grassland.

But Kitulo – a botanist and hiker’s paradise - is also highly alluring to birdwatchers. Tanzania’s only population of the rare Denham’s bustard is resident, alongside a breeding colony of the endangered blue swallow and such range-restricted species as mountain marsh widow, Njombe cisticola and Kipengere seedeater. Endemic species of butterfly, chameleon, lizard and frog further enhance the biological wealth of God’s Garden.

Good hiking trails exist and will soon be developed into a formal trail system. Open walking across the grasslands to watch birds and wildflowers. Hill climbing on the neighbouring ranges. A half-day hike from the park across the Livingstone Mountains leads to the sumptuous Matema Beach on Lake Nyasa.


Wildflower displays peak between December and April. The sunnier months of September to November are more comfortable for hiking but less rewarding to botanists. Conditions are cold and foggy from June to August.

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