RUAHA NATIONAL PARK
The Ruaha National Park, with the incorporation of the Usanga Game Reserve, makes it one of the biggest national parks in Tanzania, with the largest population of elephants in East Tanzania. The major sources of water are the Ruaha, Mwagusi and Jongomero Rivers that flow here in the dry season. It is an absolute pleasure to relax at one of the open rondavels along the Ruaha River after a long day on the road and look down on the hippos and birdlife all around.
Besides the large numbers of elephants, the Ruaha National Park is a paradise for bird lovers as there are more than 500 different species of exotic birds. Another impressive animal is the kudu with its spiral horns and the sable antelope with its sweeping horns that can pierce a lion. Ruaha is also home to packs of wild dogs. Other wild animals include lions, cheetahs, giraffes, zebras, elands, impalas and jackals. Rhinos were last spotted here in 1982 and probably died out due to poaching activities.
Surface area of park: about 20 226 km²
Location: distance from Dar es Salaam to the entrance of Ruaha: about 10 hours. From Iringa: about 3 hours.
Accessibility: about 1 ½ days by car from Dar es Salaam or half an hour with an inland flight.
Activities in Ruaha National Park:
Game drives: The vast expanse of the Selous means you can spend several days enjoying a safari in an open overland vehicle in search of wild animals.
Hiking safaris: A hiking safari with a ranger is the way to view wild animals from close up.