Ruaha National Park

Ruaha National Park is the largest national park in Tanzania. The addition of the Usangu Game Reserve and other important wetlands to the park in 2008 increased its size too. Located in the heart of the country, Ruaha is the ‘other park’ on the Southern circuit. Ruaha’s relative inaccessibility has resulted in a park that takes far fewer tourists than the Selous and far fewer than any park in the Northern circuit. The rewards of travelling this far are a wild landscape with baobab studded hills and rocky escarpments, playing host to excellent levels of game including superb predator concentrations, huge elephant and buffalo herds and a cross over of game from southern and Eastern Africa. Birdwatcher’s can enjoy over 400 species of bird that are not found in northern Tanzania, and the river, spectacular gorges, and majestic trees are especially appealing to photographers. As Tanzania’s second largest park, Ruaha has large herds of buffalo, elephant and gazelle. The concentration of elephants are some of the largest in Tanzania. The Great Ruaha River is the main feature of Ruaha National Park providing magnificent wildlife viewing on the banks. The river also provides much of the electricity to Tanzania through a hydroelectric dam at Kidatu. The main activity in Ruaha is daytime game driving. Night safaris are not permitted. Due to the high numbers of elephant in Ruaha some camps have chosen not to operate walking safaris.

A huge plus of Ruaha is that there are very few lodges and yet the park is Tanzania’s largest National Park. Overall an incredibly rewarding place to be on safari and although we consider Katavi to be Tanzania’s best kept secret, Ruaha is certainly a more affordable contender and an amazing addition to any Tanzania safari holiday. The lion viewing around the Mwagusi area is especially good and general predator concentrations across the park are better than many of the other parks in the country. Overall an absolutely superb and affordable place to be on safari!

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