Mutunguru tree is believed to be the tallest tree in Kenya and the third tallest in Africa with the 62.5 feet and 3m circumference, after the Entandrophragma Excelsum which is the tallest tree in Africa, Kilimanjaro valley in Tanzania which stands at 81.5m (267ft) tall, see here and here and comprehensive information on Kilimanjaro Experience and Eucalyptus saligna in South Africa, which non-endemic to South Africa but from Australia, in other word, it is planted, more details here.
This tree is located on private land of 78 year-old Mzee Zaberio Mbuba, in Chuka, Igamba N’gombe constituency, Tharaka Nithi County.
The Mutunguru tree is visible as far as 40km away and is used by many as land mark to tell the direction especially visitors.
Residences around Mutunguruni village believes that ancestral spirits linger around big tree and need to be protected, and that is why the family of Mzee Mbuba is determined to conserve this magnificent tree.
The tree is believed to be over 200 years-old, and was left behind when land, which was once forested was cleared for human settlements. The tree has enjoyed the test of time even in time when this family faced financial problem including huge hospital bills and the time when the country has been facing illegal logging when numerous indigenous trees like Mutunguru have disappeared from the face of the earth.
The tree today is worth Ksh 500,000 if harvested for timber.
Moses Gitaari has collected numerous seeds of Mutunguru of which he has sold to even outside the country and Kenya Forest Service (KFS).
The tree is well taken care of and the families doesn’t charge any visitors coming to marvel this iconic tree, but they gladly accepts the gifts from the visitors.