Ruaha National Park
Ruaha National Park is Tanzania’s largest National Park. Ruaha is considered by many to be the definitive game park because it lies at the transition point of the Northern acacia savanna and the Southern miombo woodlands biomes, and thus has a tremendously diverse mix of East African and Southern African wildlife. For example this is a rare place where striped hyena from the north, brown hyena from the south, and the wide-ranging spotted hyena all co-exist. The park is known for evocative scenery with rugged and highly variable terrain. The Ruaha River provides the only reliable source of water for a huge area, leading to intense wildlife viewing where animals are forced to come to the limited water during the dry season.
Despite the biological richness and dramatic landscape the park only has five permanent camps/lodges and two seasonal tented camps for a total of just a little over 100 beds (Serengeti has at least 7 times this). It is not unusual to go for long game drives in this great park and not encounter another vehicle.
Ruaha National Park is nearly 4,000 square miles in size and is located in the south-central portion of Tanzania, around 150 miles northwest of Selous Game Reserve. Together with Selous it forms the Southern Circuit originating from Dar es Salaam. While that works well we also love to pair it with the wild west of Katavi and Mahale for an ultimate remote Tanzania flying safari. Daily flights allow Ruaha to combine with the Serengeti as well but the logistics are slightly more cumbersome.
Ruaha contains Tanzania’s best concentration of elephants, thousands of buffalo, large prides of lions, and surprisingly good populations of cheetah, leopard, sable, and roan antelope.
- African Wild Dog
- Spotted Hyena
- Over 400 species of birds
Below are some sample itineraries that include a visit to Ruaha:
Best Times to Go
Ruaha National Park is best considered a dry season park as large quantities of animals move in from a huge area as the landscape dries up, leaving the Ruaha River as the only major source of water. Quality game viewing occurs between June into November with ease of game viewing typically improving throughout the season until the first major rains (usually in November). Solid game viewing remains possible through January and then much of the wildife disperse far from the core park area.
Below are some of the accommodations available for Ruaha National Park. Click a link below for more information.