The Mahenge massif rises up to 1,040m altitude. It is entirely located within Ulanga District in Morogoro Region. The population of Mahenge is about 32,000 people. The Mahenge mountains contain 7 catchment forest reserves (Ligamba, Mahenge scarp, Mselezi, Muhulu, Myoe, Nawenge, Sali), covering some 4,956 ha. These reserves contain lowland, sub-montane and some montane forest, although most of the forests are small and often heavily degraded.

In terms of biodiversity value the Mahenge massif has relatively low value with 0 strict endemic vertebrates, 2 Eastern Arc endemic vertebrates and 5 Eastern Arc endemic trees. However, not all the forests have been surveyed, with the most intensive programme being undertaken by Frontier-Tanzania between 2000 and 2003.

Pit sawing in action

Threats to the forests include serious fires, heavy utilisation of woody materials, and conversion to agriculture with one reserve having people living inside and causing serious forest loss.