Ruaha National Park Tanzania

  

Ruaha National Park Tanzania

 

Stretching 20,226 square kilometres, Ruaha National Park is the largest park in Tanzania and East Africa. Partially named after the Great Ruaha River, which frames its southeastern border, the park is accessible by car on a dirt road from Iringa.

Despite its stunning wild landscape and incompletion-class wildlife, Ruaha National Park gets fewer visitors the Selous and other parks in the Northern circuit due to its relative inaccessibility. Visitors to the park, however, are rewarded with superb safaris that boast massive elephants, buffalo herds and a mix of southern and Eastern African wildlife, not to mention a prime view of heart-racing predators. Although there are no boat tours like in the Selous, Ruaha safaris feature amongst the best in the country, boasting incomparable wildlife and virgin natural environments. To top it all up, safaris here are also great value for money.
Although the park is home to exciting general predator concentrations, the lion viewing around the Mwagusi is one you shouldn't miss out on. In fact, this park houses approximately one-tenth of the world's endangered African lions, which have decreased by 90 percent over the last century. That is why it is important to foster sustainable tourism in the park, as it supports wildlife preservation on only within the confines of Arusha but also around the park.
The park is also home to East African cheetah, African leopard and wild dog. You can also find other animals such as hyena, giraffe, hippopotamus, African buffalo and sable antelope. The park has also hosted over 561 species of birds, including the resident species named hornbills. The park is also visited by a large number of migratory birds.
The park was first named the Saba Game Reserve in 1940 by Germany. Then its name was changed to the Rungwa Game Reserve by British colonial authorities in 1946. It wasn't until 1964 that the southern portion of the reserve was excised and then elevated to full park status.
Although the main touristic activity in the park is going on a safari, due to the high number of elephants, some safaris have chosen not to operate walking safaris, but only during daytime. Those that offer safaris, such as Kwihala, Jongomero and Kigelia, offer top-class safaris. If you fancy an exciting night under the stars, your best bet is Jongomero, which is the only camp to offer fly camping trips.
The best time to visit Ruaha is during the dry season, as it's easier to spot the game as they gather around water areas. The advantage of visiting the park off-season is that it's less busy and you'll still be able to spot wildlife in their common concentration spots. If you want to get a prime view of birds, your best bet is to visit the park from December through to March.
Although there's only one lodge inside the park - the Ruaha River Lodge -, there is a large range of accommodation in or near the park, from tented camps to park-operated public and special campsites, hostels, self-catering bands and cottages. If you are looking the royal treatment, opt for Jongomero, which is tucked away in the far south of the park. Then there is also Ikuka, that vien its location near the Mwagusi river, it offers superb game viewing. Prices vary depending on where you stay, ranging from $400 all the way up to $1,500 per person per night.

 

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