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.
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.
inaccessibility has ensured it has remained unchanged for centuries, unaffected by the ravages of mankind.
Tanzania but without the crowds!
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.
• Boat Safaris and Walking safaris on the Rufiji River in Selous
which is a world heritage site and one of the largest conservation
areas in the world;
• 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!
• Udzungwa Mountain National Park - often referred to as a 'Mountain
Archipelago of Rainforest' due to the remnant island patches of
rainforest that have evolved in isolation over the millenia so that
if you go there today a quarter of the plant species are unique to
Udzungwa and scientists are still getting excited about new
Find out about the primates (5 out of 11 species are unique to
Udzungwa - come and see the newly discovered Kipunji monkey),
mammals (this year another discovery - the giant elephant shrew was
announced!), and numerous birds recently discovered in Udzungwa and
found no where else.
• Southern Highlands 2000ft rift valley escarpment, rainforests, tea
estates, and the orchids of Kitulo National Park. Or the Livingstone
mountains that plunge into Lake Nyasa. The highlands also offer an
unforgettable cultural experience.
• Chimp trekking in Mahale Mountain National Parks on the shores of
the World's longest & 2nd deepest Lake Tanganyika.
• Katavi National Park with its huge crocs, & vast herds of game all
kept in balance by an abundance of predators.
• Not forgetting of course the Indian Ocean with the Spice Islands
of Zanzibar, Saadani Park (where beach meets bush), the slave town
of Bagamoyo and the uninterrupted beaches at Lazy Lagoon Island.
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,
billed hornbill, racquet
tailed roller and occasionally, the elusive Eleonora's falcon. The
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
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,
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
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
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
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
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