Is Pugu Forest Value for Money

Is a visit to Pugu Forest value for money?

pugu-forest-pugu-hills-23042012-cropped

Photograph Courtecy of Sean Lues

 

We received an enquiry from a visitor of our website http://pugukwakiki.com. The person concerned asked if the Pugu Coastal Forest is worth a visit from a "nature lover" point of view. He found information that Pugu Forest Reserve is only existing on paper and best described as "dry bush and only a tree here and there".

We have to admit that the status of "global biodiversity hotspot" a status once linked to the Pugu Forest, is at present a sweet or bitter memory, but there are still some spots in the forest where the noice pollution from Dar es Salaam does not reach and the environment ressembles a primary forest including the sounds and scents.

The interest of visiting the remaining patches of pugu forest since the introduction of the new Government Fees of 10usd for foreigners and 3,000tsh for Tanzanian Citizens, suggests however that still few people realise that there is an exceptionally beautiful, though small forest area some 20km outside Dar es Salaam. Considering the distance to the nearest forest which would require at least crossing the Rufiji river, we do believe it is worth a visit even balanced against the 10usd for the Government Fee (children < 5 years are free and up to 18 years 5usd).

The image on the left (April 2012) shows that the remaining forest is limited to the valley with the water reservoir and Wazaramu Cave which is at the bottom left of the image. (not counting the Pugu Hills Centre forested area which expands into the public land at the bottom right). Close to Kisarawe town the Western slope of the Pugu Forest also indicates some major stand of mature trees (this section is not visible on this image) .