Primate Holidays

Ruaha National Park

Ruaha National Park is known as among the largest national park in Tanzania, which is located in the remote south-central region. It is 130 kilometres away from the magnificent Kizigo-Muhesi ecosystem, which includes Rugwe Game Reserve, Kizigo and Muhesi Game Reserve, and Mbomipa Wildlife Management. Ruaha National Park covers an area of 20.226 square kilometres; it is located in the East Great Rift Valley and borders Serengeti National Park to the south and Selous Game Reserve to the west. It is located 455 kilometres from Dar es Salaam’s Julius Nyerere International Airport.

A variety of landscapes are impressing that are located in Ruaha National Park, including rolling hills, steep escarpments, huge open plains, iconic African Baobab trees, the Ruaha River, which is the park’s main permanent water supply.  Ruaha River flows through the park on its eastern border, giving it its name. The word “Ruaha” is a Hehe word derived from the word “Ruvaha,” which means “river.” When Tanzania was taken over by the British colonial masters in 1946, the name of the reserve was changed to Rungwa Game Reserve. Ruaha National Park was first established in 1910 by the German colonial masters as Saba Game Reserve. The southern portion of reserve was designated as Ruaha National Park in the same year, and a little area along the southernmost stretch of Ruaha River was added to the park in 1974. To make Ruaha National Park the largest park in Tanzania, other areas were added to the park, such as Usangu Game Reserve and various wetlands in Usangu basin. Ruaha National Park is a part of the huge Rungwa – Kizigo-Muhesi ecosystem, which covers around 4500 square kilometres.

Having 10% of the lion population remaining in Africa, Ruaha National Park is known for housing the second-largest lion population in the world. The park is also home to one of the four cheetah populations in East Africa, having more than 200 animals. Animals such as lions, cheetahs, African wild dogs, leopards, striped and spotted hyenas, impalas, elephants, bat-eared foxes, jackals, giraffes, zebras, elands, topis, and many more are among the creatures that call Ruaha National Park home. Crocodiles, dangerous and non-poisonous snakes, monitor lizards, and agama lizards are among the reptiles found in Ruaha National Park.

Ruaha national park is an important birding safari destination with over 574 bird species, these birds includes African fish eagle, Ashy starling, crested barbets, black-collared lovebirds, Crested barbet, Goliath heron, vulture, red-billed hornbill, Namaqua dove, egrets, bee-eaters, yellow-collared lovebird, Tanzanian red-bellied go-away bird and many more.

The plains of Ruaha National Park are crossed by a network of rivers that feed the park and its animals and draw large numbers of animals, especially during the dry season. The park is a transitional area for Zambezian vegetation featuring Miombo vegetation and Sudanian vegetation with Acacia vegetation. The Great Ruaha, Mzaombe, Mdonya, Mwagusi, and Jongomero are among these rivers. Mkwawa, Mwayembe, Makinde, and Majimoto are just a few of the natural hot springs found in Ruaha National Park that are connected to the foot of the Western Rift Valley Escarpment.

Safari activities to do in Ruaha National Park. 

Game viewing. 

The vast variety of wildlife species that reside in the park’s various plain zones, including miombo, acacia woodland, baobab forests, and open savannah, make Ruaha National Park the ideal location for a game viewing safari excursion. There are morning, afternoon, and nighttime wildlife drives available in Ruaha National Park. Expect to see many different animal species during this encounter, including lions, elephants, leopards, cheetahs, African wild dogs, leopards, stripped and spotted hyenas, impalas, bat-eared foxes, jackals, giraffes, zebras, elands, Topis, crocodiles, and more. When they come to drink water, these creatures can best be seen near the banks of the big Ruaha, Mzombe, Mdonya, Mwagusi, and Jongomero rivers.

Ruaha National Park
Ruaha National Park

Bird watching.

One of the most fascinating safari activities to partake in while on a safari is bird watching at Ruaha National Park, which is home to over 574 different bird species that can be seen across the park’s varied ecosystems. While on bird watching activity look out for birds like open-billed storks, Yellow-collared loverbird, Southern ground hornbill, speckle-fronted wavers, African fish eagle, Goliath heron, miombo grey tit, Eleonora’s falcon, spot flanked barbet and many more. Since the area is one of the migration routes for Eurasian and Paleatric birds, expect to see some of them. Bird species in Ruaha National area are easily visible, especially on the banks of Ruaha River.

Walking safari. 

A walking safari in Ruaha National Park is a fantastic way to experience the park’s many dimensions and provide you the chance to explore areas of the park that aren’t accessible by car. Walking safaris are available in sessions of short walks and long walks, with the shorter lasting 1-4 hours and the longer lasting more than 5 hours. They are conducted under the direction of an experienced ranger. You will encounter and see animals, birds, visit riverbanks, and take in panoramic vistas of the park, including its imposing baobab trees, throughout this adventure.

Where to stay in Ruaha national park.

There are many different types of accommodation facilities in Ruaha National Park that provide travelers visiting the area with a place to stay. These facilities range from luxury to midrange to budget. Accommodation facilities in Ruaha National Park include Jabali Ridge Lodge, Ruaha River Lodge, Ikuka Safari Camp, Mwagusi Safari Camp, Tandala Camp, Ruaha Hilltop Lodge, Jongomero Tented Camp, Granda Ruaha Tented Lodge, Mdonya Old and many more.

How to get to Ruaha National Park.

There are two means to travel to Ruaha National Park: by plane and by car. The majority of safaris to the park start at Dar-es-Salaam, which is 448 km away from Ruaha National Park. It takes around 9 hours to Ruaha National Park, and it takes about 5 hours to go 320 kilometres from Mikumi.

Daily chartered flights to Msembe and Jongomero airstrips serving the park are offered by a number of airlines, including Coastal Aviation, Auric Air, and Safari Link, from Arusha airport in Arusha city or Julius Nyerere international airport.

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