Mikumi National Park
Safari suitability: 7/10Find your tour
Tree-climbing lions, hippos, rare midget elephants and less tourists.
What YAS members think
- Can be reached by road from Dar es Salaam in around 4 hours.
- Tanzania’s fourth largest national park with great biodiversity and less tourists.
- Home to four of the big five: leopards, lions, elephants, buffaloes.
- Offers rare sightings of lions climbing trees.
- Hippos living in two ponds in the north of the park.
- Midget elephants. Enough said.
About Mikumi National Park
Mikumi National Park is located in south-central Tanzania, 283 km (175 miles) west of Dar es Salaam. It borders Africa’s biggest game reserve—the Selous, sharing its unique ecosystem. It is Tanzania’s fourth largest national park, covering an area of 3,230 km² (1,250 miles²). Also bordering the park are the Udzungwa Mountains and Uluguru Mountains, the latter offering some spectacular rock formations. The road crossing it divides the park into two distinct areas, of which the southeast part is mainly inaccessible; the southwest offers an abundance of flora and fauna and is characterized by the Mkata Floodplain. The vast open plains and rich wildlife make this park comparable to the more famous Serengeti. The Mikumi was established in 1964 and receives less international tourists than the country’s other national parks.
Wildlife of Mikumi National Park
Three of the big five can be regularly sighted within the Mikumi borders: lion, elephant and buffalo, many of which having characteristics specific to this area. Mikumi lions are famous for exhibiting the rare behavior of climbing on trees, and there is the unusual phenomenon of ‘midget elephants’, which are smaller than the normal African elephants, and have less distinct tusks. Mikumi is also popular for sightings of the world’s largest antelope—the eland. A subspecies of giraffe that has been classified as a link between the Masai giraffe and the Reticulated or Somali giraffe can be found grazing among the savannah’s baobabs, tamarinds, acacias and rare palms. In the north of the park hippopotami inhabit the two artificial ponds and are joined by an array of water birds. Mikumi is popular with birdwatchers, as it provides living and breeding space for over 400 species of birds including European migrating birds using it as their winter residence.
Visitors can go on guided game drives and walks. If you have your own 4x4 vehicle, maps of the trails are available from the front gates.You can check with the guards where is the best place for viewing that day, and if lions have been spotted. The park can be reached in around four hours if driving from Dar es Salaam. The village of Mikumi is located 15 km (9.5 miles) from the western entrance to the park.
When is the best time of year to visit Mikumi National Park?
The park is accessible all year around, although most secondary roads close during the rainy season. The dry season runs between May and November, which is the recommended time for visiting.
Mikumi National Park is the fourth largest park in Tanzania but is not that well-known like other Northern Tanzanian parks. Mikumi is a national park for visitors who want to spent less time and witness more wild animals. Mikumi is among the most picturesque parks as it is surrounded by mountains on three side and has great views. You can see many variety of wild animals like lions, zebra, wildebeest, giraffes, elephant and more. The park is very green, has very nice views and is home to many specifies of birds. As you sit and watch the birds, you will also be able to see hippos snorting, wallowing and playing in the hippos pool close by.
Mikumi National Park is one of the best national parks in Tanzania which are easier to explore from Zanzibar or Dar es Salaam. There is a day trip to Mikumi from Zanzibar by plane which seems to be more stylish than any means of safari to Mikumi. The price is very perfect and you will venture to the park for more than 8 hours as you arrive as early as 8:30 am and fly back to Zanzibar at 4:40 pm. Mikumi has all big fives except black rhinos. Marine creatures like hippos and crocodiles are very common. Bird life will make your game drive here more perfect than you expected. Also, if you would like to go by car from Dar es salaam arriving by plane at JK international airport or by ferry from Zanzibar, you can enjoy 3 days 2 nights safari and a sleepover in the park and on the last day. You will enjoy a Maasai experience close to the park. I highly recommend this park if you are looking for a perfect destination for short safaris.
Never in my life, had I thought or imagine Id see as many animals as Ive seen in one place like I did in Mikumi. Id say that was an unforgettable 2 days. Our day game drive started early in the morning right after the long cheerful bonfire night at the camp tailored by the Lakeland Africa who made our visit a once in a lifetime moment. Top Class Organization. So right after us hitting the very nice park roads, we started off by seeing the Giraffes and herds of antelopes, zebras, wildebeest and buffalo wandering around. It didnt stop there. We went deep in the park and before we know it we witnessed a lion eating a buffalo caucus. We then left to see another pack of lions laying around with the cubs. The next stop we saw Elephants, baboons and a lots of birds. To wind up the day, we went to down to see meet the hippos chilling in their pools and was an epic final moment of the day. This was nothing but amazing!
One of the biggest park in Tanzania, with abundant wildlife species like herds of elephants, buffalo and interesting bird species, too. The park staff were also friendly and quick in processing the tickets. Inside the park the trails are well-marked
Mikumi is the closest park to Dar Es Salaam with an average drive time of 4-5 hours with a lunch break. I recommend everyone to pre-plan your safari with a reliable safari company and ask for a car just special for your group with an opening ceiling. If you are lucky enough and your driver knows what he is doing, you can observe every animal living in Mikumi from lions to crocodiles.I thanks you John for a wonderful experience. Nature is perfect and environment is purely wonderful. Cottages, guestrooms are available in the park and they are all reasonable to stay in. The restaurant near the cottages cook delicious food for dinner and breakfast. To take clear photographs, make sure you have a semi-professional or a professional camera as the animals can be far away from you time to time and phone camera zooms does not work well enough under those conditions.
When I think of Mikumi National Park what, always comes to mind is the natural beauty that I had the chance to see more than one time. Trust me, it never gets boring to see green glass with plenty of animals roaming around. This is one of the parks that I really love from Tanzania. The giraffes that are always mesmerizing are ever present so are the zebras with other animals of the wild. The diversity of animals is incredible and I recommend this place. It is amazing and fun. I had a fantastic time with my friends. The drive around the park went really well and we saw plenty of wild animals. The giraffes, zebras, impalas and lots of monkeys plus many more. This national park is definitely a park that is surrounded with the wild throughout the year!!
Driving to Mikumi National Park from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
It is roughly a three-hour drive from Dar to the park entrance.
Domestic flights to Morogoro, Tanzania
It is also possible to fly to the closest town, Morogoro, from Dar.
The following airlines travel to Mikumi National Park
As Salaam Air has grown to be a leading air carrier between the Tanzanian Islands. Our experienced team understands that customer satisfaction is important to the creation of a successful flight operation. Thus, we go above and beyond to satisfy our clients. The airline plies eight routes to promote tourism within and outside the country. We have two fuel-efficient aircraft Cessna 208B Grand Caravan and Embraer EMB 120 Brasilia, which are good for the environment and the safety of our clients.We would like to help you discover more about our Islands here on our website and at every step of your journey Visit website
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Affordable Flights now connect the most remote and exciting parts of Tanzania - Zanzibar/Dar/Selous/Mikumi and Ruaha to Katavi and Mahale National Parks. Daily Flights from Zanzibar or Dar to Ruaha National Park via Selous or Mikumi. Visit website
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Premier safari airline and charter. Safarilink is Kenya's premier safari airline with a network of connecting domestic scheduled services to all the best safari destinations within Kenya and across the border into northern Tanzania. From it's base at Wilson Airport, Nairobi SafariLink provides daily scheduled flights to Masai Mara, Amboseli, Tsavo West, Naivasha, Nanyuki, Lewa Downs, Samburu, Lamu, Kilimanjaro, Loisaba, Migori and Diani Beach. Additionally it can also provide private charter flights if a client's particular requirement as regards destination or timing cannot be met by the scheduled services. Visit website
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TANZANAIR was formed in 1969 and pioneered aviation throughout Tanzania. Today it continues to live up to its slogan as theComplete Aviation Company. It was founded by Dinos J Samaras who managed the Company until he passed away in April 2010. It is now headed by his son John Samaras who was his deputy since 1983. With 45 years experience, TANZANAIR offers tailor-made air travel to suit the needs of its customers. With a modern fleet of twin and single-engine Cessna and Beechcraft turbine aircraft, TANZANAIRs well-established reputation leads the way in air charter services throughout the region. TANZANAIR operates out of its own purpose-built Passenger Terminal located between Terminal I and II at Julius Nyerere International Airport in Dar es Salaam. The passenger lounge is adjacent to the two hangars. It is housed within a secure wall enclosed compound with ample parking facilities. Visit website
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