Ruaha National Park


  6 reviews
Ruaha National Park
Ruaha National Park
About Ruaha National Park
Country found in:
Parks total area:
22,000 km² (8494 miles²)
Year established:
1964
Anti-malarial:
Absolutely!
Park wildlife:
  • Located between the northern and southern hemispheres, where migrant birds and east and south African mammals meet
  • There is an abundance of wildlife, including 10,000 elephants
  • The park is not a very busy tourist destination, keeping its ecosystem largely pristine
  • Ruaha National Park is an excellent location for bird watching, with over 550 species of birds

Centrally located in Tanzania, Ruaha National Park is one of the country’s largest parks covering about 22,000 km² (8494 miles²). Established in 1910, the park is part of a larger ecosystem that includes Rungwa Game Reserve, Usangu Game Reserve and other protected areas.  It is made up of mountains and escarpments, grassland plains and riverine areas and contains over 1,650 plant species.  Because of its unique location at a joining point between the northern and southern hemispheres, where migrant birds and east and south African mammals overlap, it is exceptional in that visitors can experience an abundance of wildlife all in one place. In short, Ruaha National Park is perfect for migration enthusiasts. The park is somewhat remote and is not on a main tourist circuit, offering visitors an opportunity to experience its pristine and unexplored ecosystem. Though there are some natural springs throughout the park, the main water source and “life line” is the Ruaha River, which also serves as a resource to lure game out into the open.

Wildlife of Ruaha Natioal Park

The park is best known for its large population of elephants. To date there are about 10,000 elephants residing within its boundaries. Ruaha National Park also is home to a variety of other mammals including large prides of lions, cheetah, buffalo, zebras and giraffe and a variety of reptiles including crocodiles, agama lizards and both poisonous and nonpoisonous snakes. The park is considered to be a birdwatchers’ paradise with more than 550 species of birds including the purple heron, grey-crowned crane and red-billed hornbill. 
Ruaha National Park is easily accessible by car or air travel. By land, the most direct route is from Iringa, which is about 130 km (80 miles) long. There are chartered and commercial flights from Arusha, Dodma, Kigoma and Dar-es-salaam. 

When is the best time to visit Ruaha National Park?

The dry season at Ruaha National Park falls between the months of May and December, which is also the best time for viewing large mammals and predators. The wet season, which runs from January to April, is the best time for bird watching and to experience the flourishing vegetation and plant life. 

 

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(5/5 stars) Written on: Mar 01, 2016   |   Visited: Mar 2015.
I did a safari in Ruaha three years ago. It was my first experience on African soil. I was overwhelmed by its scope, its mammals and my nights spent in lodges. Unforgettable. And, yes, poaching exists. My guides showed me an elephant that had been killed 10 days earlier. Its head removed by chainsaws. My photos allow me to educate my friends on the horrific slaught... read more
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(4/5 stars) Written on: Jan 16, 2016   |   Visited: Aug 2012.
Ruaha National Park is a remote, peaceful, isolated and beautiful Tanzanian Park. This park offers unmatched game drive experience with less vehicle in the park in comparison with northern Tanzanian Parks. The environment at Ruaha is wild, authentic and untouched in comparison to Northern Parks.

Predators in the park have higher concentration than other souther... read more
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(4/5 stars) Written on: Feb 27, 2015   |   Visited: Jan 2015.
Having visited Ruaha last September during the dry season, I was eager to return after the rains had come as I know what a dramatic change it can be in Southern Tanzania.
While the animals tend to concentrate along the river during the dry season making for a prolific game drive, there are still many animals to be seen during the green season. However, with the tr... read more
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10 people gave this review kudus.
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** Safari guru **

(4/5 stars) Written on: Aug 07, 2014   |   Visited: Apr 2011.
I visited Ruaha on the heels of visiting Selous. I thought the two would be very similar and, in some respects, they were. But, Ruaha has even more dense foliage and less visitors. So, the animals were a bit harder to spot, but there were less crowds.
I prefer northern Serengeti because of the closed-sided vehicles and because you can do a private safari.
Oh, and... read more
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(5/5 stars) Written on: Sep 18, 2013   |   Visited: Oct 2012.
After spending time in northern Tanzania, I wasn't prepared for the marked change in climate in southern Tanzania. Ruaha is dense with foliage and has tsetse flies and mosquitoes galore. If you can look past that, it's what I thought a safari was supposed to be! We saw a fair number of lions and were pleasantly surprised at the paucity of fellow tourists. We were o... read more
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** Safari guru **

(4/5 stars) Written on: May 27, 2013   |   Visited: Nov 2011.
When we first visited Tanzania we were told Tanzania's best kept secret was Katavi national park. And after an awesome visit there, we were told there was another contender for this exquisite title. The contender, as advised, was a natural, authentic, wild experience. Game was plenty here, there was less crowds and affordable superb game viewing experience.

Curi... read more
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12 people gave this review kudus.
Safari suitability: 9 / 10
Four of the big five can be seen in Ruaha National Park on long and short wilderness walking safaris and game viewing expeditions. Distance from major airport keeps it from scoring a perfect 10.
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Articles about the Ruaha

Nearby parks and game reserves

Animals you can find

Cheetah
Cheetah
Leopard
Leopard
Lion
Lion
Wild dog
Wild dog
Elephant
Elephant
Giraffe
Giraffe
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Getting to Ruaha

Activities you can do

Bird watching
Bird watching
Boating / canoeing
Boating / canoeing
Bush walks
Bush walks
Cultural / Tribal visits
Cultural / Tribal visits
Fishing
Fishing
Game drives
Game drives
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