Amani Nature Sanctuary

Established on the 8th May 1997 to protect the extraordinary flora and fauna of the Eastern Usambara Mountains, Amani Nature Sanctuary is a spectacular Protected Area found in Korogwe and Muheza Districts within the Tanga Region of Tanzania within the Tropical East Africa. It is found at the heart of a century-old German Botanical garden set high within the forested Eastern Usambara and is an ideal site for spotting numerous bird species and mammals. The parts of eastern Usambara such as Udzungwa forms part of the eastern Arc Mountains and are popular for the rich diversity of endemics, with the common ones being the small flowering African violets (under the genus Saintpaulia and are common pot plant within Europe and United States.

This forested Area within the east of Usambara Mountains is a biodiversity hotspot covering an area of 83.8 square kilometers (32 square miles) of mainly tropical cloud forest habitats and is a focus of conservation efforts and botanical research for more than a century. At least 10.7 square kilometers (4.1 square miles) of the Protected Area’s forest is managed by local tea estates while Amani Botanical Garden extends for 3 square kilometers (1.2 square miles). The people that live in villages surrounding the Reserve have used the Forest as a source of medicinal plains, timber and firewood but also a place where they would hunt for bush meat and gather fruits as well as honey.

Flora and Fauna within Amani Nature Sanctuary

The vegetation within this Reserve has been generally characterized by an intermediate evergreen forest or sub-montane evergreen forest, a type of vegetation that grows on the seaward side of both East and western sides of Usambara Mountains with the dominant tree species being Newtonia buchananii, Allanblackia stuhlmannii, Cephalosphaera usambarensis, Parinari excelsa, Macaranga capensis, Myrianthus holstii and Isoberlinia scheffleri.

The abundance and biological importance in terms of fauna species of Usambara Mountains have been compared to those of the Galapagos Islands due to its numerous mammals, reptiles, Amphibians, freshwater crabs, butterflies and birds among others. Few large mammal species are found within the Amani Nature Sanctuary much as the smaller ones such as bush pigs, giant elephant shrew, monkeys, small antelopes such as duikers and oribis as well as the elusive long-tailed forest warbler are sheltered within the Sanctuary.

So far, more than 340 species of birds including the globally threatened species have been recorded within the Amani Nature Sanctuary, making the site a superb spot for bird watching.  This Sanctuary’s floristic composition is very diverse and outstanding with a high population of endemic species found within the area.

The Usambara Mountains are home to several endemic species such as Usambara eagle-owls, Usambara weavers, Usambara hyliota and Usambara alkalat but some exceptional species such as Amani tailorbird and Amani sunbirds were named after the Nature Sanctuary. However, there are some endemic chameleons and frogs that are extraordinary to the area.

Activities within Amani Nature Reserve

  • Guided Nature walks

Guided nature walks are an extraordinary activity within this Nature Reserve and offers unsurpassed opportunity of spotting numerous flora and fauna of the Reserve up-close, and for any interested botanist, the Amani Nature Sanctuary offers rich diversity of plant life (totaling from 600 to 1000 species).

Access to Amani Nature Sanctuary

This site receives few tourists but is accessibly from Tanga and M0shi or through the old Botanical gardens.

In conclusion, the Amani Nature Sanctuary is a center of biological diversity with extraordinary mammals being bush pigs, giant elephant shrew, monkeys, duikers and oribis and reptile, birds and Amphibians that you cant afford to miss during your safari in Tanzania.