Ruaha National Park

Ruaha National Park located in Tanzania is the largest protected area. The park is to the west of Iringa around 130 kilometers. Ruaha National Park is acquired from the Ruaha River. The Park has two airstrips Msembe airstrip and Jongomru Airstrip.  This park is prominent for its elephant population.

Ruaha River Lodge is the only lodge within the park and can be visited anytime. There are water reserves for wildlife and river.  Birds are over 571 species in this park and many animals are spotted including giraffe, sable antelope, wild dog, lion, cheetah, African buffalo, hippopotamus, and spotted hyena.

Places of attraction

The Park

Birds paradise is Ruaha National Park housing over 571 species and some migrants. The migrating species are from Asia, Europe, Madagascar, and Australian rim. The interesting species include the dominant Tokus ruahae (Red-billed Ruaha hornbill). Birds are seen throughout the year and in the wet season, bird watching is to its best.

Animals are in high concentration, especially elephants. Magnificent mammals such as Kudu, Roan antelopes, and Sable can be spotted. Kudu has spiraled horns and Sable has curved horns. Other animals include leopards, lions, cheetah, zebras, giraffes, impala, elands, wild dogs, jackals, and bat-eared foxes.

Amphibians and Reptiles include crocodiles, agama lizards, monitor lizards, snakes, and frogs.

Historical and cultural sites

There are Tanzanian tribe’s historical and cultural sites worth exploring.

  • The historical sites to mention include Kalenga, Lugalo, Mlambalasi, Isimila pillars close to the Iringa town, and God’s bridge.
  • The cultural sites include Nyanywa and Chahe, Ganga la Mafunyo, Mapenza grave, and the Nyanywa Painting rock.

Physical features

Ruaha National Park is abundant with physical features as it ranges from natural springs, river systems, hot water springs, wetlands, beautiful rolling mountains, hills, and kopjes.

The main rivers are the Great Ruaha, Mdonya, Mzombe, Jongomero, and Mwagusi. Natural springs are throughout the park notably Majimoto, Makinde, Mwayembe, and Mkwawa springs. These springs are the dry season refugees.

Things to Do

Ruaha National Park accommodates large predators. Regularly seen are lion, cheetah, and leopards. The park has African wild dogs. Sightings of animals are good in June and July. The Ruaha ecosystem has elephants inhabiting with heftiest tusks weighing 201 kg.

  • Bird watching
  • Bushwalks
  • Boating
  • Cultural visits
  • Game drives
  • Fishing
  • Photography
  • Night drives

How to access

By air

There are chartered and scheduled flights into the park from Kigoma, Dodoma, Arusha, and Dar-es-salaam. The airstrips in the park are located at Msembe and Jongomero.

By road

It is 130km drive from Iringa town and Dar-es-salaam city 625km.
The road is passable into the park throughout the year.

Best time to Visit

Ruaha National Park can be accessed throughout the year, yet visitors arrive in the dry season to see the game congregates at the water sources. The drier it is, there will be fewer places to drink and animals congregate around the water sources.

  • The best season is to visit from June and October as it is the dry season.
  • Temperatures are the same almost all year round

Note the rules

  • Do not feed or disturb animals.
  • No walking safari without an armed guide
  • No picking of plants or flowers and burning or littering is strictly prohibited

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