The glorious combination of fascinating landscape and fabulous wildlife makes Ruaha National Park a show-stopper on the itinerary of Africa holiday packages. Home to the unrestrained yet accessible wilderness, the park hosts an impressive array of large predators and endows a sense of authentic African safari charm. Ruaha takes pride in its great network of game-viewing roads that takes you on an adventurous, action-packed Tanzania holidays in an untouched ecosystem that flourished on its remote location.
Located in the heart of the Iringa Region, Ruaha National Park covers an area of 20,226 sq km. With the addition of Usangu Game Reserve in 2008, it stands as the largest national park in East Africa. A part of the greater Rungwa-Kizigo –Muhesi ecosystem, the park rests in a remote area surrounded by Rungwa, Muhesi, and Kizigo game reserves, all with untainted wilds. The Great Rift Valley passes through Ruaha.
Much of Ruaha remains untouched for decades due to the predominance of the tsetse flies and its arid ambiance. This resulted in the unhindered breeding of wildlife. With facilities coming up in the park, the undiscovered wilderness is now accessible. However, the national park still remains uncrowded and undisturbed due to its remote location.
While the track is mostly dominated by rugged, semi-arid bush, the Great Ruaha River sprinkles the southern and eastern periphery. The flooding river ventures into the wild territory during the rains to fill up small lakes and enlivens streams and these water bodies sustain the wildlife in the area.
Apart from its untouched wilderness and unparalleled game viewing opportunity, Ruaha has a historical flavor. The ancient Arab-Africa trade route once passed through it. It was the place where the He He tribesmen led by their chief Mkwawa successfully resisted the German colonial army for years.
An African safari of Ruaha during the dry season unveils a large number of wild predators, including lions, leopards, cheetahs, hyenas, and jackals. It is the second largest home of African wild dogs. The lion groups at the park are bigger, often in 15 to 20 in numbers, compared to any other safari destination.
Ruaha is home to more than 12,000 elephants and over 1650 plant species. Other big mammals, such as Cape buffalo, zebra, giraffe, Grant's gazelle, impala, kudu, antelopes, waterbuck, bushbuck, and impala, are often seen roaming across the wild habitat. The presence of over 500 bird varieties, mostly around the Usangu basin, adds to its distinction.
The park wildlife starts to concentrate in the southern part with the onset of the dry season making it an exotic game-viewing experience during Tanzania holidays from June to October. Reptiles and amphibians also dot the riverine areas and wetlands in large numbers.
A visit to Ruaha during Tanzania holidays unveils the country’s unexplored wilderness. The serene park is suitable for both day and night game drives. Explore He He cultural sites or explore elephant trails. Walking safari and fly-camping though challenging is a must to spot the unadulterated wild charm of Africa.
Key Attractions: Elephants, cape buffalos, African wild dogs, lions, giraffe, leopards, zebras, wildebeest, African buffalos, antelopes, over 500 species of bird, game drive, walking safari, night safari, fly camping.
Getting There: Iringa located 130 km away from Ruaha is the nearest tourist hub. Air transportation available from Dar es Salaam, Zanzibar, and Arusha is the most popular mode to arrive at Ruaha.
Things to know:
Location: Iringa Region, Tanzania
The Fame: Tanzania’s biggest national park and home to over 12,000 elephants
Exotic Animals: Greater kudu and the convergence zone of eastern and southern African wildlife
Things To Do: Game drive, African safari vacation tour, birding safari, walking trips, and fly camping
Best Time To Visit: The dry season (Jun to Oct)