ruaha national park

Ruaha National Park

Background Information

Ruaha national park is one of the few Tanzania’s famous wilderness area where one can have a rare experience of game viewing spiced up by the fascinating landscape. The park is rich of plants and animals such as Greater Kudu (Tragelaphus strepsiceros) which can not be found in any other national park. The park boasts of her almost untouched and unexplored ecosystem, making visitors’ safari experience very unique.


Ruaha is believed to have high concentration of elephants than any national park in East Africa. It is also a place where, magnificent mammals like Kudu (both Greater and Lesser), Sable and Roan antelopes can easily be spotted in Miombo woodland. The male Kudu have beautiful spiraled horns while male Sable antelope have impressive curved horns. The park is also a habitat for endangered wild dogs. Other animals in the park include lions, leopards, cheetah, giraffes, zebras, elands, impala, bat eared foxes and Jackals.

The park is one of the Tanzania birds’ paradise with more than 571species and some of them are known to be migrants from within and outside Africa. Migrating species from Europe, Asia, Australian rim and Madagascar have been recorded in the park. Species of interest in the park include Ruaha red-billed hornbill (Tokus ruahae) which is dominant in the area. The recently annexed wetland, the Usangu basin is one of the country’s important bird area (IBA) as recognized by Birdlife International. Though birds can be seen all the year around, the best time for bird watching is during the wet season.

The Great Ruaha River as other rivers like Mwagusi, Jongomero and Mzombe save as the life line of the park. During dry season, these rivers become mostly the main source of water for wildlife. There are few natural springs saving the same purpose.

In the pick of dry season, elephants obtain water from dry sand rivers using their front feet and trunks. The remaining water falls along the Great Ruaha River are also important habitat for hippopotamus, fish and crocodiles.

The park is rich of plants and animals such as Greater Kudu (Tragelaphus strepsiceros) which cannot be found in any other national park. The park boasts of her almost untouched and unexplored ecosystem, making visitors’ safari experience very unique.

Where to find Ruaha National Park

About Mkomazi National Park:
The park is about 130 kilometres west of Iringa. The park is a part of the 45,000 square kilometres Rungwa-Kizigo-Muhesi ecosystem, which includes the Rungwa Game Reserve, the Kizigo and Muhesi Game Reserves, and the Mbomipa Wildlife Management Area.

Getting there:
By Air: There are both scheduled and chartered flights into the park mainly from Arusha, Dodoma, Kigoma and Dar-es-salaam. Park’s airstrips are located at Msembe and Jongomero

By Road: It is about 130km drive from Iringa town and 625km from Dar-es-salaam city. The road into the park is passable throughout the year.

What to do:
Tourism activities in the park include Game viewing, long and short wilderness walking safari, bird watching, picnic, bush meals (break-fast, lunch, dinner) in the untouched bushes.

When to go
Best time to see predators and large mammals is during the dry season (mid May-December).
The wet season (January –April) is best for bird watching, lush scenery and wildflowers. The male Greater kudu is most visible in June which is their breeding season.

Accommodation:
There are only a few safari lodges in Ruaha National Park, all of which offer drives, while some offer guided walks as well as fly camping, which are exciting activities appealing to the more adventurous guest.

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