ruaha national park
One of Tanzania's best kept wildlife secrets is the Ruaha National Park.
Ruaha National Park is the country's third largest park (13,000 km2) and also the biggest elephant sanctuary and it takes its name from the Great Ruaha's River that flows along its eastern border with spectacular gorges.
We call Ruaha the Red Park, its soils are very RED.
Ruaha, comparative inaccessibility has ensured it has remained
unchanged for centuries, unaffected by the ravages of mankind.
Wildlife in Tanzania but without the crowds!
Hardly 200 tourists per year make it to the Ruaha making it an ideal safari destination if you are into quite peaceful remote locations.
We encourage people to get off the beaten track to the lesser known remote parks of Southern and Western Tanzania.
Why? Well here are just
some of the reasons:
• The Tanzanian Government has set aside an extraordinary quarter of Tanzania's land surface area for protection yet most of this wildlife heritage is in the South & West of Tanzania with the less well known Selous, Ruaha, Katavi, Saadani, Mahale and Udzungwa Mountain National Parks.
• Ruaha has just been doubled in size to become the largest National Park in Tanzania but what is most unique about Ruaha is that it is where you can find both Eastern and Southern African Mammals, Birds, Plants etc in the same place!
The Ruaha's miombo woodland on the surface looks like a rather monotonous thicket of verdure but in actuality it is a thriving biosphere.
Here more the 1600
species of plant and
over 400 species of birdlife have been identified, some of which are not
found in northern Tanzania.
The sharp ornithologist can easily spot the violet-crested turaco, Dickenson's kestrel, pale-billed hornbill, racquet tailed roller and occasionally, the elusive Eleonora's falcon.
The park's main wildlife spectacle however centers around the Great Ruaha River. Here crocodiles bask, hippos wallow and clawless otters zip to and from.
Grazers came down through the acacia to drink under the gaze of lion, leopard, spotted hyena, jackal & hunting dog.
Eurasian migrant birds flock here twice a year and join the resident water birds- from kingfishers to egrets.
The grassland ribbons on either side of the river team with kudu, elend, impala, Grant's gazelle, dik-dik and warthog as well as mongoose, porcupine, wild cat and the rare civet.
The Great River Ruaha is home to hippo & crocodile. Other animals include waterbuck, reedbuck, buffalo, lion, hyena, jackal, various antelope species, zebra, wart hog, mongoose, wild cat & civet.
This, the second largest National Park, covers 13,000 sq. km. Its name derives from the great Ruaha River which flows along its entire eastern border.
The Park is famous for its herds of greater kudu, roan and sable antelope, elephant and a rich variety of birdlife.
About Ruaha National Park
Size: 10,300 sq km (3,980 sq miles), Tanzania's 2nd biggest park.
Location: Central Tanzania, 128km (80 miles) west of Iringa.
Scheduled and/or charter flights from Dar es Salaam, Selous, Serengeti, Arusha, Iringa and Mbeya.
Year-round road access through Iringa from
Dar es Salaam (about
10 hours) via Mikumi or from Arusha via Dodoma.
What to do
Day walks or hiking safaris through untouched bush.
Stone age ruins at Isimila, near Iringa, 120 km (75 miles) away, one of Africa's most important historical sites .
For predators and large mammals, dry season (mid-May-December);
bird-watching, lush scenery and wildflowers, wet season (January-April).
The male greater kudu is most visible in June, the breeding season.
For anyone seeking a true African wilderness experience, a visit to Ruaha National Park is essential.
Although the second largest in Tanzania, the reserve is perhaps the
least well-known and yet to connoisseurs it is without doubt one of the
most spectacular in Africa.
Covering a conservation area of 10,300 square kilometres in the south-west of the country, Ruaha sprawls within and along the Great Rift Valley, covering a unique transition zone where the Eastern and Southern species of both fauna and flora meet against a dramatic topographical backdrop.
If you only visit one national park in Africa, it should be Ruaha National Park. Remote, with a dramatic topography of mountains, river and plains, its ragged beauty is only outmatched by the variety and density of wildlife and exotic birdlife.
Resorts, Camps and Lodges the Ruaha: