The Uluguru Mountains are found within Morogoro District (majority), Mvomero District and Morogoro Municipality – all within Morogoro Region. The main Uluguru Mountains is a ridge running approximately north-south and rising to 2,630 m altitude at their highest point. The greater Ulugurus area also includes a number of isolated massifs surrounding the main block – Kitulangh’alo, Dindili, Mkumgwe, Mindu and Nguru ya Ndege. On the main Uluguru range, 50 villages touch the forest boundary and over 151,000 people are found within the mountain area, often at increasing densities at higher altitudes up to the forest boundary.

The Uluguru range contains one Nature Reserve (formed of Uluguru North, Uluguru South and Bunduki Forest Reserves with a corridor across the Bunduki Gap) that is found in both Morogoro and Mvomero districts and Morogoro Municipality. In addition there are five Forest Reserves supporting Eastern Arc forest habitats within Morogoro District (Kasanga, Mkangala, Mlaliwila, Ngambaula, Tongeni River). Within the same district, Eastern Arc forest is also found in five outlier mountain block reserves (Mkungwe, Nguru ya Ndege, Dindili, Kitulang'halo, Mindu). In total these reserves cover 35,700 ha. Within Mvomero District there is an additional two Forest Reserves are found on the main Uluguru ridge (Shikurufumi), which covers around 280 ha.

Uluguru landscape

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-montane, montane and upper montane forest types. It also includes an area of afromontane grasslands on the Lukwangule plateau. All these habitats are rich in endemic species and are all of high conservation priority.

Afrixalus uluguruensis - nne of
several species of tree frogs
found in the Uluguru Mountains

In terms of endemic species the Uluguru mountains possess at least 14 strictly endemic vertebrate species with at least 3 additional species that have not yet been described. A further 16 Eastern Arc endemic species have also been identified in this mountain. There are also at least 26 Eastern Arc endemic trees. The forests of the main ridge are quite well known biologically, although each new survey continues to find additional species. The outlying blocks are poorly known, with some having almost no biological investigation.

Fire is one of the major threats to
the Eastern Arc Mountain Forests

Farmer in the Ulugurus

The main threats to the Uluguru Mountains are fires that spread from farmlands and into the forest, intensive fire wood collection in higher, colder and more densely populated areas, deforestation of unprotected forests (in the north), encroachment into the reserves in the south, and the presence of invasive species (Rubus in the south and Maesopsis in the north).