Ruaha National Park - Tanzania
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Directions to Ruaha National Park
Some safari goers want nothing but vast plains, miles of bush and a plethora of animals. For those travelers, the wide vistas, impressive game viewing, and sparse visitors of Ruaha National Park are a dream.
At over 10,000 square kilometres, Ruaha is the largest national park in the country, located west of Iringa in the Eastern Rift Valley. The Great Ruaha River borders the park to the east, fertilizing the semi-arid topography during the torrential rainy season. During the dry season, the waters of the park recede, leaving only precious pools to satisfy both predators and prey. During the dry season, the park can look like a lifeless mass of dirt and rock, but look closer - an impressive variety of game animals make their home in the park.
Ruaha has one of the highest diversities of antelope in Tanzania, including one of the country's largest populations of the magnificent greater kudu. The greater kudu is one of the largest antelope species and is known for its impressive twisting horns. Along with many other antelope species, the greater kudu is hunted in Ruaha by large prides of lion and solitary cheetahs and leopards. One of Ruaha's crowning glories is the large packs of African wild dogs, one of the most endangered animals in the region. Hyenas are also spotted in the park.
As with most Tanzanian parks, a remarkable number of bird species are found in the park - some 450. The convergence of acacia grassland and semi-arid bushland make Ruaha a meeting place for birds from a variety of habitats.
Ruaha is 128 kilometres (80 miles) west of Iringa. Scheduled and charter flights to the park itself are available from Iringa, Dar es Salaam, Selous, Arusha and Mbeya. The park can be reached by road from Iringa, and Iringa is accessible year-round by road from Dar es Salaam (10 hours) and Dodoma.
Camping (budget and luxury) facilities are available, as well as park-owned resthouses, school hostels, cottages and single rooms. Private facilities of all types are available. Outside the Park there are also various lodges.
Ruaha National Park Special Campsite
Mbagi Special Campsite
Capacity / Beds: 20
What To Do
Ruaha is particularly well suited to day walks and hiking safaris. Near Iringa lies Isimila, one of the most important Stone Age historical sites in Africa. Found in the 1950s, the tools found at the site could be up to 100,000 years old.
When To Go
For game-viewing, the best time to go is the dry season (mid-May - December), when receding water draws animals together. Wet season (January - April) is excellent for birdwatching and wildflowers.
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All Tanzania National Parks & Game Reserves
Arusha National Park
Gombe Streams National Park
Katavi National Park
Kitulo National Park
Lake Manyara National Park
Mahale Mountains National Park
Mikumi National Park
Mkomazi National Park
Mount Kilimanjaro National Park
Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Ruaha National Park
Rubondo Island National Park
Saadani National Park
Selous Game Reserve
Serengeti National Park
Singita Grumeti Reserves
Tarangire National Park
Udzungwa Mountains National Park
Lesser Known Game Reserves
Tanzania National Parks
P.O. Box 3134
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