About Mount Hanang Nature Forest Reserve
Mount Hanang Nature Forest Reserve (MHNFR) is central Government Nature Reserve
The nature reserve is situated in Hanang District in Manyara region, between Latitude 040 25.00′ to 040 29.00′ South of the Equator and Longitude 350 21.64′ to 350 27.00′ East of Greenwich. It is about 4 kilometers North of Katesh Township which is the administrative centre of Hanang District.
Access to the reserve is through Southern side at Katesh town ship and Eastern side at Gitting village which is about 240 km from Arusha town. The reserve area is 5,871 hectares, while the border length is 35.676 km.
The mountain is third highest mountain in Tanzania after Kilimanjaro and Meru mountains with elevation of 3,676 m above sea level .The reserve has steep slopes with declining vegetation as you go up. On the western side most part is occupied by rock in steep slopes. The forest is continuously intercepted by ridges and valley on the Western side and that the forest is found in valleys while on South and Eastern side ridge and valleys are covered by forest. The MHNFR is the major source of water in Hanang District with important rivers and streams. Soils are Dark to grey brown and Reddish brown to orange red. The reserve has oceanic rainfall with continental temperatures.
The reserve is comparatively rich in vegetation cover and species due to its wide altitudinal range and rainfall. The vegetations present are; Montane forest on weather Southern and Northern slopes and Dry montane forest- on Western slopes between 1,980-2,780 m, Grassland and Bushland between 2,100-2,700 m. Thicket occurs at the edge of the reserve and Moorland/Heath/upland occurs above 2,700 m. The dominant tree species include; Juniperus procera, Albizia gummifera, Fagaropsis angolensis, Catha edulis, Ficus thonningii, F. sur, Clodendrum capense, Ekebergia capensi, Nuxia congests, and Hagenia abysinica.
The animals present are klipspringer, velvet monkeys, and bush pigs, olive baboons, spotted hyena, leopards and a variety of snakes, birds and insects.
The reserve is used as an important worshiping area for Barbaig and Iraqw tribes the natives of Hanang District. Big ficus trees of thorning species are normally used for the purpose. Three summits of Mt. Hanang, the highest having an altitude of 3,676 m a.s.l which forms special sites where a local scenery of Hanang District can be viewed. Also Soda lakes of Balang’dalalu and Gendabi, underground water of Lake Basotugang, Acacia woodland and 28,000 ha of wheat complex are clearly seen. Minjingu phosphate industry and Makuyuni trade centre along the Arusha to Babati road are among spectacular sites seen from the top of the summit. Also Mount Hanang Forest Nature Reserve is nestled right close to the Great Rift Valley which is a major big game viewing and photographic tourism destination. Clean hotels with reasonable price and good services are available at Katesh Township where you can stay while you are in Hanang like Summit Hotel.
Transport to the reserve is organized by local tour operators available in Arusha and Babati town with their local tour guides