It took 3 and half hours to reach Mang’ula. The road is crossing Mikumi, and along the border with the national park I saw many zebras, wildebeest, giraffes, impalas,particularly on the way back. For two-third the road is tamrac, luckily, then it becomes rough, it reaches Kilombero and then crosses other small villages up to Mang’ula, where the gate of the Udzungwa NP is.
The landscape was all green, though the forest is only on one side of the road, while on the other extensive cultivation of sugar cane took over. It was very hot when I reached the UEMC. After a shower I met with a couple of Italian researchers working there, and they briefed me on the hiking trails in the park, and told me a little bit on the ecology of the place. Afterwords I went to the Park office and I booked hikes for 3 days. Then I went around a little bit and I ended up under a mango tree watching young boys from a local school playing football. They were very warm and friendly with me, asking me a lot of questions about Europe and Italy, of course also about Ballottelli. The less shy guy was speaking with me in a very good English and I told him that Italian students wouldn’t be able to do the same.