RUAHA NATIONAL PARK
Ruaha National Park is the second largest national park in Tanzania, after the Serengeti.
Ruaha National Park is the second largest national park in Tanzania, after the Serengeti. It is a remote bastion of spectacular wilderness, undisturbed wildlife, and breath-taking scenery and also combines well with the Selous Game Reserve. A major attraction here is the fact that it is one of the least visited parks offering a personal and private safari experience. Ruaha offers one of the largest populations of elephant in any African park, and the vast open areas are teeming with antelope and buffalo followed by the predators especially lion and potentially leopard, as well as African hunting dog and numerous giraffe and zebra. Historically, Ruaha was not a sought after destination for tourists due to the arid environment and the tsetse fly population; however, nowadays, the tsetse flies are under control and wildlife abounds. The best part is that it is still an uncrowded and undiscovered reserve.
Ruaha has recently been combined with the Usanga Game Reserve making the largest National Park in Africa covering over 15,000 sq km. This new park itself is at the heart of a much larger ecosystem covering over 40,000 sq km. The highlights of a trip to Ruaha is watching the huge elephant herds (the greatest concentration in Africa) gathered around the mighty Ruaha River; the lifeblood of the park. Ruaha National Park is a visually stunning park with an undulating plateau about 900 m with occasional rocky outcrops and mountains reaching heights of 1900 m. Running though the park are “sand rivers” which dry up completely in the dry season and act as roads for the game to move from waterhole to waterhole.
Ruaha National Park is home to an enormous variety of animals, plants and birds with an estimated 20 000 elephants in the park. The birding is spectacular with a recorded 530 different species of birds, which is almost half of all bird species found in Tanzania. The park has one of the biggest counts of large mammal species compared to any other park, as well as having the second largest population of wild dog in Africa. The park’s wildlife includes elephant, huge herds of buffalo, giraffe, zebra, impala, eland, hippo, crocodile, lion and leopard. Sable antelope can sometimes be seen in the Miombo areas and in the springs in the Western part of the park. Roan antelope are also sometimes seen in the eastern area of the park. In Ruaha, guests can enjoy superb walking safaris with an armed guides from one of the lodges and gain huge insight into the ecology of the area. Classic game drives take place on a daily basis and guests will find there are not many other visitors in the park at one time.