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The Kitulo Plateau


Around 75kms East of Mbeya you turn off the Tanzam Highway and take the dirt road to Matamba, gateway to the Kitulo National Park. Kitulo was the first area in East Africa to be given National Park status because of its flora. It reaches elevations of around 8,500 feet and is surrounded by the rugged peaks of the Kipengere, Poroto and Livingstone Mountains. It is one of the most important montane grassland areas in Tanzania.

December and April are the best time to view the Park's botanical splendour when you will see orchids, yellow-orange red hot poker and a variety of aloes, proteas, geraniums, giant lobelias, lilies and aster daisies, many unique to this part of Tanzania

Big game is scarce but visitors interested in birdlife will not be disappointed.

The sunnier months of September to November are the best time for hiking but less rewarding for botanists. It is also possible to hike from the plateau, across the Livingstone Mountains and down to Matema Beach on the shores of Lake Nyssa.


More information

BBC Wildlife: Tanzania's Wildlife

Southern Highlands Conservation Programme

Getting to Mbeya

  • Mbeya can be reached by road: 12 hours approx by bus from Dar es Salaam and approx 90 minutes from the Malawi border. There is a daily bus service from Ubungo bus station in Dar es Salaam.
  • By train: twice weekly overnight service from Dar es Salaam and Kapiri Mposhi in Zambia.
  • By charter plane, a new airport is expected to open at Songwe in 2011.

Latest News

Songea Town developing visitor attractions
Songea near the Malawi border has been declared a site of historical interest by the Tanzanian Tourism Ministry.

Airport at Songwe
Work has started on Songwe Airport which will should mean access to Mbeya region from Dar es Salaam in under two hours. We will provide more information as soon as this becomes available.

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  • We have provided web design and hosting for Sisi Kwa Sisi the help them develop community tourism projects in the Mbeya region.
  • We are grateful to the following people who have supplied photographs for this project: