Kitulo is Tanzania’s newest national park; and is in the process of development. It is on the Kitulo Plateau and is known sometimes as the Serengeti of Flowers and locally as Bustani ya Mungo (God’s Garden). There are 45 varieties of terrestrial orchids alone in Kitulo, as well as Knipfhopfia,(Red-hot Pokers), proteas, geraniums, giant lobelias, lilies , asters .Thirty one of the plant species in Kitulo are endemic to Tanzania, 16 are endemic to this area alone. The Kitulo Plateau is of volcanic origin and at 2,6000m is one of the largest montane grassland areas in Tanzania. It is ideal for trekking, and is one of Tanzania’s best kept secrets, and a botanists and bird watchers paradise. The orchids are in full bloom in February
Mammals are relatively scarce in Kitulo, but you will sight Bushbuck. Birders will relish the enormous variety of birds some like Denham’s Bustard and there is a breeding colony of the endangered Blue Swallow.
The best time to visit Kitulo is in December to April. The drier months of September & November are less, flower filled, and it can be chilly from June to August. If you wish to combine a hike in Kitulo with a safari on the Southern Circuit, be aware that the Selous is often waterlogged in places in April, May & June. The plateau is criss-crossed by water courses as it is the watershed of the mighty Ruaha River and eventually the water system that feeds Lake Malawi. There are waterfalls and hidden caves to explore in this nature lover’s paradise.
Good hiking trails exist in Kitulo and are being further developed into a formal system of circuits. Shortly there will be seven trails of varying lengths. There is a day hike from the park across the Livingstone Mountains to the sandy and beautiful Matema Beach on Lake Nyasa, which should take about 8 hours. It is also worth noting that Matema Beach is developing into a resort worth a visit with some nice hotels and beautiful lakeside scenery. Horse riding on the plateau is also under development.