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Ruaha National Park

Ruaha national park is one of the few Tanzania’s famous wilderness area where one can have a rare experience of game viewing spiced up by the fascinating landscape. The park is rich of plants and animals such as Greater Kudu (Tragelaphus strepsiceros) which can not be found in any other national park. The park boasts of her almost untouched and unexplored ecosystem, making visitors’ safari experience very unique.

The Great Ruaha River as other rivers like Mwagusi, Jongomero and Mzombe save as the life line of the park. During dry season, these rivers become mostly the main source of water for wildlife. There are few natural springs saving the same purpose.

In the pick of dry season, elephants obtain water from dry sand rivers using their front feet and trunks. The remaining water falls along the Great Ruaha River are also important habitat for hippopotamus, fish and crocodiles.

Ruaha National Park has a bimodal pattern of rain forest; the short rainfall season begins November to February, while the long season is between March and April. The annual mean rainfall ranges between 500mm-800mm with the average annual temperature of about 280c. The park experiences its dry season between June and October when the temperature at Msembe headquarter reaches 350c.

Ruaha National Park has a high diversity of plants and animals including elephants, buffalos, antelopes and some of rare and endangered species like wild dogs. The park serves as water shade both for wildlife and human being. This makes it to be economically significant as it supports agricultural activities down stream and contributes to hydro- electric power (HEP) for the country at Mtera and Kidatu dams.

You Will See

Buffalo

Buffalo

100%
Giraffe

Giraffe

80%
Lion

Lion

80%

Fox

30%
Wildebeest

Wildebeest

100%
Elephant

Elephant

100%
Zebra

Zebra

100%
Leopard

Leopard

80%
Hippo

Hippo

90%
White Rhino

Rhino

15%

When to go

The park is open year round, but the middle and end of dry season are

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The park is open year round, but the middle and end of dry season are considered the best for game viewing in this national park. These are the month of June through October. During this period, the park dries up and animals congregate around the Great Ruaha River which makes spotting the animals of the park easier.

The wet season from the month of November through April is however not recommended as the park and the roads get muddy and impassable.

Art & Culture

Inaccessible, wild, and raging with primordial instincts, the Ruaha is Tanzania’s

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Inaccessible, wild, and raging with primordial instincts, the Ruaha is Tanzania’s biggest national park. The no-frill park is raw and wild as Africa can get. The park derives its name from the word Luvaha which means “great” in the Hehe language. And no ''Hehe' has nothing to do with the chat site or the e-laughter. It’s a tragic reminder of the once mighty Wahehe tribe and their Chief Mkwawa that inhabited this obscure piece of land. Harried out by the Germans at first and then forced to relocate, the park still resonates with anecdotes of Mkwawa's military exploits. While you are there, hop over the Iringa village to know more about Mkwana and Igeleke, a cultural heritage site famous for ancient rock paintings and the caves that were once home to hunter-gatherers. Here's your clue - Igeleke is Hehe for “stone upon a stone”

Culinary

While on the southern highlands why not sample the culinary spread of the locals

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While on the southern highlands why not sample the culinary spread of the locals inhabiting the place. Two pastoralist groups the Masai and the Mangati and two agricultural groups, the Bena and the Hehe dominate the southern landscape. For them, Ugali made from maize is the most used staple and the main component in a meal. It can also be made of sorghum or a combination of maize and cassava when cassava is available after the harvest. Mboga a sauce or stew made with vegetables and/or meat, or it can be beans, cabbage boiled with oil, tomatoes, and onion is the side dish for ugali. There is pilau too, a rice dish flavoured with coconut milk. Nyama Choma grilled meat of goat, chicken or even fish is on offer for those who believe in the virtues of animal protein. That’s the traditional local fare but you seek fine dining options then the multiplicity of European style restaurants won’t disappoint you.

How to go

The park is located right in the center of Tanzania and remains secluded.

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The park is located right in the center of Tanzania and remains secluded. The best and easier way to get into the park is by charter flights, but by road is also an option.

Roadways:

The closest city to Ruaha Park is Iringa and the distance between them is 120 km and requires a 2-hour drive. From Dar Es Salaam, it is 8-hours drive time.

Airways:

Take charter flights from Julius Nyerere International Airport or Kilimanjaro International Airport into the park’s airstrips which will take about half an hour.

Activites

It is designated as a “multiple land use area” where Maasai people graze their

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Ruaha is a large park and there are quite a few number of things tourists can take part in to keep themselves busy. Some of them are:

  • Regular game drives (day only)
  • Walking safaris
  • Camping
  • Photography tours

What to see?

It is located in the slopes of Usambara and Pare Eastern Arc Mountain Range.

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The park showcases a crossover of Eastern and Southern species. Four of the Big Five members are seen in this park with the exception of rhino. It hosts the highest concentration of lions in the country. Besides that, there’s impressive concentration of buffaloes, caracal, civet, gazelle, wild dog, giraffe, hippopotamus and many more.

The majestic Ruaha River flowing through the park offers excellent animal and nature sightings.

The Uniqueness of Ruaha National Park

  • Ruaha National Park is the second largest national park in Tanzania.
  • You can spot impala, waterbuck, wild dog, lion and leopard.
  • Approximately 10,000 elephants reside in the park.

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