With its wide-open plains bearing striking resemblance to the famed Serengeti, Mikumi National Park offers a splendid African safari vacation. Easily accessible from Dar es Salaam, this fourth largest national park in Tanzania has emerged as the centerpiece of southern tourism circuit. The wide variety of wildlife dotting the Mkata Floodplain provides a perfect game viewing experience befitting the hallmark of Africa holiday packages.
Located west of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania’s economic hub, Mikumi National Park is contagious to the northern border of Selous Game Reserve, Africa’s biggest wildlife reserve. Perched in between scenic mountain ranges – the Uluguru to the east, the Rubeho to the north, and the Lumango to the south, the forest track hosts two distinct ecosystems.
The alluvial plain of the Mkata River on the western part is the hot and happening place for tourists on African safari vacation for hosting abundant wildlife resting on savanna grass interspersed with giant baobab and tamarind trees. The rugged eastern part with its rock formations and forest tracts elevates gradually and merges with the scenic Uluguru range.
The open grassland at Mikumi allows a fantastic view or the wildlife in their natural habitat, the foremost attraction on Tanzania safari tours. At the national park, you are better placed to view tree-climbing lions than Lake Manyara, the place more known for having such unique lions. It is also home to the world’s largest antelope, the southern inland. You have a chance to spot greater kudu and sable antelope in the mountainous periphery.
Apart from classic African wildlife, such as lions, giraffes, and elephants, a routine attraction for tourists enticed by Africa holiday packages, the park has two huge pools that are home to African hippos. Mikumi too has good numbers of baboons, African buffalos, leopards, and wild dogs. Its resemblance to Serengeti is much more than just the geography. Like its more illustrious counterpart, Mikumi too has its share of zebra, wildebeest, and buffalo migration from low to high land and vice versa with changes in the season.
Apart from tree-climbing lions, Mikumi too has other unique species. African safari vacation tourists often see "midget" elephants at Mikumi. Giraffes in the park are distinct from both the Masai and the Somali type, and most possibly are a hybrid of both.
There are about 400 bird species in Mikumi making the national park together with the nearby Uluguru Mountains a perfect destination for bird lovers on Tanzania safari tours.
Spread over 1,250 sq miles, Mikumi National Park is a convergence zone of the wild acacia land more predominant in Savannah north and the miombo forest that overwhelms mountains. This not only facilitates African safari vacation tourists to witness diverse flora and fauna, but also provides with ample chance for activities.
A game drive through the Mkata floodplain unveils a thrilling chance to see a good concentration of wild animals. The forests bordering the hilly attracts its own species and aviary heritage to showcase. Follow the migration trails that animals use to crisscross the varied landscape of Mikumi. You too have the option to go on guided walking tours, safari camping, or even rock climbing. Cross over to Selous or Udzungwa reserves to see more of the enchanting African safari.
Key Attractions: Midget elephants, different eco-zones, tree-climbing lions, unique giraffes, spectacular rock formations, elephants, zebras, world’s largest antelope, wildebeests, cape buffaloes, hippos, 400 types of birds, wildlife migration, rock climbing, game drive, and African safari camping.
Getting There: Located about 175 miles west of Dar es Salaam, Mikumi National Park is easily approachable with a 4-hour safari drive. The road to Iringa passes through the park and is well maintained.
Things to know:
Location: Morogoro Region, south-central Tanzania
The Fame: Tanzania’s fourth largest national park, diverse ecology, good density of wildlife, bird species, safari camping
Exotic Animals: Tree-climbing lions, midget elephants, unique giraffes, world’s largest antelope
Things To Do: Game drive, African safari vacation tour, birding safari, walking safari, camping safari, game drives
Best Time To Visit: The dry season (June to October)