Ruaha National Park


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Tanzania’s largest park and best-kept secret


The semi-arid savannahs of the Ruaha National Park’s rolling plains are scattered with acacias and baobabs and over-hanging forest, and is said to have the highest concentration of African elephants in all of East Africa. Inside Tanzania’s largest park, the rushing Great Ruaha River and its borders stretching across two vegetation zones promise an abundance of diverse wildlife.

Visitors will be pleased to spot some of the 8,000 elephants and over 570 species of birds that call the park home. The dry months offer the most excellent game-viewing opportunities as many of the park’s residents gather near the Great Ruaha and Mzombe rivers. The shrinking water sources of the dry season force predator and prey together as impala, giraffe, and zebra cautiously quench their thirst alongside the African wild dog, cheetahs, and lion.

Once the kingdom of Chief Mkwawa, the uninhibited plains that make up Ruaha now see scores of elephants pressing wells into dry riverbeds in the thirsty summer months, an impressive leopard population disguised in among the abundant sausage trees, while smatterings of eland, sable antelope, and impala spring through savannah grassland. The Ruaha National Park’s location in southern Tanzania makes it a convenient and cost-effective addition to a Zanzibar trip with flights from the island landing directly in the park.

 

Highlights

  • Home to over 8,000 African elephants
  • A large concentration of predators and big game are present in the park
  • Away from the crowded reserves and parks of northern Tanzania
  • A more budget-friendly add-on to a Zanzibar trip than northern Tanzania
  • Direct flights from Zanzibar to Ruaha are available
  • The Great Ruaha River and its borders stretch across two vegetation zones, offering abundant wildlife

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