- Oct, 16/2019
- By: Fahad
Mount Rungwe Nature Forest Reserve is a tropical montane forest with unique species composition, structure and biodiversity, with an area of 13,652 ha, located in Rungwe district, Mbeya region, Southwest Tanzania covering most of Mount Rungwe.
The reserve is an important conservation area of residual tropical montane forest as well as rare, endemic and endangered biodiversity, in Tanzania as well as having great value at regional and global levels. The main vegetation types of the reserve are lower montane forest, upper montane forest, bushed grassland, bamboo belt, and heath. The tropical forests of MRNR are known for their unique biodiversity, which includes two flagship species: Abbot’s duiker and the Kipunji monkey.
The Mount Rungwe ecosystem is an important water-catchment area. Annual rainfall is 900 mm in the lowlands, 2700 mm in the highlands and an astounding3000 mm on the south-eastern slopes, therefore the Reserve is a key water tower in the region providing water to the major rivers that flow into Lake Nyasa, and to countless villages and towns for domestic, agriculture and industrial use in Mbeya, Rungwe and Kyela Districts.
Mount Rungwe offers a diverse of unique scenery featuring Rungwe Peak (2,981 m above the sea level), a barren mountain top from which one can view Poroto Ridge, Mbeya Peak, Loleza (Kaluwe) Peak and areas stretching down into Malawi. These attract an array of mountain hikers and climbers. Another feature of interest is a Crater Lake Lusiba found at 2,400 m above the sea level, below the bamboo belt. Lusiba-lukafu is an evergreen creek which dries during the dry season and flows in the rainy season. The area is also host to special sites of traditional importance to the surrounding communities, one such is Masieto for the Nyakyusa to conduct traditional rituals or ceremonies.
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