The Uluguru Mountains in eastern Tanzania are one of the most important mountains in Africa for the conservation of biological diversity. They are also the source of the water supply for the largest city in Tanzania, Dar es Salaam, which has between 3 and 4 million people. In addition to these global and national values they are also home to over 100,000 people in the Luguru tribe who prefer to live on the mountains because of the favorable climate which allows them to grow crops through much of the year, including fruits and temperate vegetables which they can export to the townspeople of the lowlands.
Conservation of the Uluguru Mountains first started during the German colonial period, when several forest reserves were established for the protection of the water supply and to slow erosion from the steep mountain slopes. These efforts complemented those of the chiefs of the Luguru people, who protected forest areas for their ancestors to live in.
In the early 1950s the British colonial government tried to force ‘improved’ agriculture onto the Luguru people through a large authoritarian project. The Luguru people rejected the project and set fire to the mountains in protest. These actions sparked some of the first elements of revolt which culminated in the Independence of Tanzania from Britain in 1964.
Between the 1960s and until the early 1990s the Ulugurus was a sensitive area, with military importance and used for locating training bases as a part of Tanzanian support to the African National Congress of South Africa. At the end of the Apartheid regime in South Africa the South African ANC members returned home and the bases were closed. The Ulugurus were then opened up for external project support. A two year project supported by the European Union started conservation work on the Ulugurus, and this has been followed by three years of support by the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA).
Vegetation and Climate at Luguru Mountains
The vegetation of the Uluguru main ridge and the outlying blocks is extremely variable. It ranges from drier lowland coastal forest habitats, to transitional rainforests, to sub-mountain, and upper mountain forest types.
Climatically, the Uluguru mountains capture moisture passing inland from the Indian Ocean and the east facing slopes are especially wet, with rainfall estimated at over 3,000 millimeters (120 in) per annum, with some rain falling in every month.
What Do You Need For Camping Safari in Uluguru
Camping gear: Tent, sleeping bag, extra blankets and jackets (in winter), camp-beds (if you find them more easy than sleeping on sand), axe, shovel, cooker, water bottles, pots, non-breakable dishes and cups, torches, matches, tin-opener, knife, batteries, bulbs for torches (a good supply), candles, gas lamp (gives lots of light), folding tables and chairs, a large cold-box, masking tape, cello tape, safety-pins, sewing kit, penknife, first-aid kit, buckets and basins, Thermos flask, mosquito coil and insect repellent, toilet paper and basic tools.
Local People -Luguru Mountains
Bush Routes Adventures can take you to visit remote communities, unaffected by bus loads of tourists. Learn about the lives of the Tanzanian people, sample their food and listen to their traditional stories. This way you will see the ‘Real Africa’and have an authentic experience to add to your Tanzania safari.
The local people of the Ulugurus are the Waluguru tribe people. They have been living in the mountains for several hundred years, coming from other areas of Tanzania. The land ownership is through the female line and women are powerful in village life, in contrast to other tribes in Tanzania where men own the land and make most of the decisions about its use and management
In the Ulugurus are home to more than 100 plants, 2 birds, 2 mammals, 4 reptiles and 6 amphibians which are known from nowhere else in the world. In addition to these there are a large number of additional species which are only shared with one or two other Eastern Arc mountains, and hence are globally rare. The endemic species include African Violets, Impatiens and Begonias which are popular pot-plants in the rest of the world.