Ruaha National Park

Description

The huge Ruaha is the second largest national park of Tanzania. Like Katavi, Ruaha is also a hidden-secret of Africa offering abundant wildlife and pristine wilderness. It's an amazing place to find predators. There is a huge amount of lions but also leopards, cheetah and African wild dogs. The park landmarks are characterized by the great Ruaha river, which follows the southeast boundary for 160km. This river provides great sights of wildlife when animals come down to drink water from it. 
The vegetation is a transition between the southern miombo and the eastern savanna. There are also many baobabs in some areas of the park.


Wildlife

This park has an abundant wildlife population. Both predators and ungulates are encountered frequently during game drives. One of the most interesting things is that it has the highest elephant population amongst the parks in Tanzania. There are also great opportunities to view the rare species of cheetah and wild dog. Other predators include lions, leopards, black-backed jackals and hyenas. Ungulate species include the zebra, eland, impala, buffalo, waterbuck, giraffe, lesser kudu, roan and sable. 
The birdlife is also one of the greatest in Tanzania with more than 450 recorded species which consist in a mix of both southern and northern species. Some of the more famous bird species would be the black-collared lovebird, the ashy starlings and the crested barbet. The watercourses support a lot water bird variety.


When to go

Best between July and November because it is the time when animals concentrate around the river. It is open throughout the whole year but during the rainy season some roads may be inaccessible.


What to do

4x4 game safaris.


What we suggest

Ruaha is an incredible park making it a perfect complement of the northern itinerary. It is a bit expensive but really worth it. It offers great wildlife and pristine wilderness so it will be a very different experience than the northern circuit. If you have the time to go there after an itinerary in the northern circuit, we'd recommend going there for 3 or 4 days.