Rungwe Mountain
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Rungwe Mountain Catchment Reserve

 


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 RUNGWE Mountain, Catchment forest Reserve

 
 

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Rungwe Mountain is the second highest mountain in Mbeya region and dominates the skyline for several kilometers around. It is composed of 10 or more dormant volcanic craters and domes.
Rising above the small town of Tukuyu, at 2,960m Rungwe Mountain is the southern Tanzania's second highest peak; the mountain is surrounded by the catchments forest reserve that gazetted in in 1949, which incorporates montane forest, upper montane forest and montane grassland, with lesser amounts of bushland and heath at the upper elevations found in low bushes along streams and at the edges of montane forest.  The southeastern slopes of these mountains receive up to 3,000 mm of rainfall a year, the highest rainfall in Tanzania.
The mountain has spiritual significance to the Wanyakyusa and Wasafwa tribe for medicine and praying.
The forest is home to a variety of significant forest flora and fauna, including the threatened Abbot's Duiker and it is regarded as important bird Area with two species listed as 'vulnerable'. there are also two new species of primate (the Kipunji monkey and the Rungwe Galago) and over 530 species of orchid.
In 2003 a new species of monkey was discovered on the volcano. It is called the highland mangabey (Rungwecebus kipunji). Fewer than a thousand highland mangabey exist. Scientists have assigned it to a new genus, Rungwecebus, named after Rungwe volcano, where it is found
Catchments from the reserve feeds numerous villages and towns from Kiwira to Katumba to Tukuyu and Kandete, and all settlements in between. All streams from the north, west and southwest flow into the Kiwira River. These streams include the Marogala, Sinini, Kipoke, Kilasi and Mulagala. In the southeast begins the Mbaka River, with the Suma River feeding into it. In the east the Mrambo and the Mwatisi flow out of the reserve. All of the above rivers flow into Lake Nyasa.
Hiking: Well-defined hiking trails have been established to enable hikers to reach the top, the famous route is from Rungwe Secondary School and can be measured in a day
Walking : Tea farm walking/Forest walking through local villages and several catchments which dominated with pure clear water is fascinating.
Best visit June to October when it is dry and warmer
   

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