Udzungwa Mountains to feature Longest Aerial Forest Walkway in East Africa

Udzungwa Mountains are about to set record in having the Longest suspended walkway in East Africa soon to be established in the adjacent National Park.

The longest aerial forest walkway that aims at bringing visitors much closer to nature is among the new projects that Tanzania is hatching to boost tourism in the Southern Circuit.

It is expected that once completed the aerial nature walkway will extend to more than 1000 meters in length, essentially more than a kilometre.

Udzungwa Mountains National Park which boasts the second largest biodiversity in Africa measures 1,990 square kilometers.

 The lush-green National Park features tropical rainforest, mountain forest, Miyombo woodland, grassland and steppe.

There is a vertical height range of between 250 meters and 2,576 metres, the highest escalation peaking at the summit of Lohomero.

The Reserve incorporates the Udzungwa Mountains part of the Eastern Arc Mountains, with more than 400 bird species, 2500 plant species most being endemic and six primate species. 

The Udzungwa Forest Walkway will be three-times longer than the treetop walkway found within Lake Manyara National Park.

The Lake Manyara treetop walkway is a 370 meters long walkway with a short boardwalk that gradually rises from the ground up the canopy of the forest in the National Park.

Tanzania has meanwhile inked eight project agreements for the proposed construction of roads, airstrips and other infrastructural developments in the country’s reserves.

The projects will specifically be implemented in National Parks, Game and Forest Reserves mapped within Southern Highlands Tourism Circuit.

The projects worth 157.3 billion/- come in two categories and will be executed under the Resilient Natural Resource Management for Tourism and Growth (REGROW) project.

The Minister of Natural Resources and Tourism, Mohammed Mchengerwa witnessed the signing of the projects’ agreements in Arusha City.

From the agreements, Tanzania will construct at least four airstrips, several roads and walking trails in Ruaha, Mikumi, Nyerere and Udzungwa National Parks.

The works also extend to the Kilombero Natural Forest Reserve.

The infrastructural developments are meant to facilitate tourism, transport and easy accessibility.

Construction of tourism centers, entry gates, information portals, hostels and rangers posts will also be executed in the second part of the signed projects.

Funded by the World Bank, REGROW is a special program which entails the improvement and the management of natural protected areas and their ecosystems in the southern highlands of Tanzania.

Though the initiative opportunities will also be created to improve livelihood and enable economic development and growth for the local communities in the areas.

More than 20,000 households living near the priority protected areas, stand to benefit from the project.

Also to benefit are various farmers located in the Great Ruaha River basin are being supported with more efficient irrigation and crop production methods.

It is anticipated that there will be increased economic gains from tourism.

It has been observed that limited infrastructure of the ‘Southern Circuit,’ including airstrips, visitor services and logistical facilities are major obstacles in directing tourists to the destinations in the precinct.

The REGROW project was designed for the Southern Circuit, which features the two largest National Parks in Tanzania that are Nyerere and Ruaha.

The Southern Precinct is also home to other attractive but less trodden destinations such as Katavi, Kitulo, Mahale, Mikumi and Udzungwa Mountains National Parks. Essentially this is where the future of Tanzania Tourism Industry is being pegged.

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