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Ruaha National Park

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Central Tanzania : Ruaha National Park
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Lions at rest in the shade.

Ruaha National Park [1] is in Central Tanzania.

Understand

Ruaha is a very impressive park with an abundance of wildlife. In addition, due to the parks somewhat remote location, it is not on the main tourist circuit, and so visitors can enjoy viewing the wildlife without competing with hordes of other tourists.

The park is home to very large prides of lions as well Giraffes, herds of Elephant and many other wild animals. The road network follows the Ruaha River, where the animals congregate in the dry season.

History

Landscape

Flora and fauna

  • lion, cheetah, buffalo, wild dog.
  • A poulation of 10,000 elephants.
  • Giraffe.
  • Kudu (greater and lesser).
  • Sable and Roan antelope.
  • Hippo, crocodile, impala, jackal.
  • A high variety of bird life.

Climate

Get in

By Road

  • Self-drive. The most direct route to the park is from the town of Iringa on the main Zambia-Dar Es Salaam trunk. A dirt road traverses west to north-west to the park entrance. The road is in a reasonable condition and can be travelled by two wheel drive vehicle.


  • Hire. From Iringa, you are looking at US$120 per day to hire a 4x4 to get there and drive round the park (this includes a driver and the cost of the fuel). This may seem like a lot of money but the drivers are excellent spotters of game and avoid you the misfortune of missing some interesting and hidden animals.

By Air

Upmarket tourist resorts ferry their guests directly to the lodge via light aircraft. The landing stip is situated near the main camp on the Ruaha River.

Fees/Permits

Permits are obtainable at the gate.

Get around

Self-drive or join an organised safari.

See

Do

Buy

Eat

Drink

Sleep

Lodging

  • Ruaha River Lodge.
  • Jongomero Camp.
  • Mwagusi Camp. The price is US$70 per person per night for local visitors and US$500 per person per night for foreign tourists. Price includes accomodation and meals but not drinks. The cost may seem high, but if you are after a little luxury, this is the place. The accommodation is made up of self contained traditional bandas with hot solar showers and flushing conveniences scattered along the Mwagusi Sand River. Inside the banda is the sleeping “tent” fitted out with comfortable bed, desk for writing your journal, etc., truly the height of opulence. Every banda has a veranda overlooking the sand river where you can watch the game wander by in the early morning and evening in unbridled comfort.

A typical day at Mwagusi can consist of the following:

  • 07:30 Coffee served in your banda
  • 08:00 Early Morning Bird Walk (Can’t tell you how good this is - walking around the park with guides looking at the wildlife whilst watching the sun rise)
  • 09:00 Breakfast (Juice, Fruit, Toast, Eggs, Tomatoes, Tea/Coffee etc.)
  • Game Drive
  • 11:00 Morning Coffee and pastries (if required)
  • Game Drive
  • 13:00 Lunch (3 courses – e.g. Gaspatcho, Buffet, Dessert and Coffee); Afternoon Game Drive
  • 16:00 Afternoon Coffee and pastries (if required)
  • Game Drive
  • 18:00 Return to Camp, Hot Shower
  • 19:30 Cocktails in Sand River around a camp fire, Evening Meal (5 Courses) set in Sand River surrounded by Elephants and Lions within touching distance (I kid you not!)

It is also possible to arrange a days walking safari, although this definitely not for the faint hearted as the guides don’t like to carry guns (make sure you know how to climb a tree)!

Camping

Backcountry

Stay safe

Get out


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