RUAHA NATIONAL PARK.
This is one of the most remote and beautiful areas in Tanzania. Currently visitor numbers are low and you will frequently be the only car on the landscape.
This large conservation area is currently comparable to the Serengeti National Park in size at 10300 sq km and is Tanzania’s second largest National Park. The Rungwa ecosystem contains six protected areas, most famously Ruaha National Park. It is situated in the center of Tanzania about 130km west of the town of Iringa. Ruaha National Park is accessible year-round either by light aircraft from Dar es Salaam or Zanzibar, or by road through Iringa from Dar es Salaam (about 10 hours) via Mikumi or from Arusha via Dodoma.
Ruaha National Park will shortly combine with the Usangu Game Reserve to cover an area of over 15,000 km square making it the largest National Park in Africa.
Ruaha, which is home to 10,000 elephants (the largest population of any East African national park), protects a vast area of dry savanna. Typically there is Miombo woodland, Acacia woodland, Terminalia scrub and riverine forests. It depends on the Great Ruaha River, which marks the Eastern boundary of the park.
The Ruaha and Rungwa area is the home to over 450 bird species. The Usangu Game Reserve includes the Ihefu Wetland, the natural water reservoir and regulator for the Great Ruaha River.
Most of the game viewing roads are in the relatively small area of the Park around the HQ. This area is diverse, encompassing the Great Ruaha River, which offers the most reliable game-spotting, especially during the dry months, when the waters almost disappear. The river is home to numerous hippo, crocodile and a multitude of waterfowl.
Experience the freedom of luxury wilderness camping or you can enjoy the comforts of an exclusive lodge. For those on a tighter budget the Park Bandas offer a superb base from which to explore the park.
Due to the remoteness of Ruaha you need to allow a minimum of 2 nights, with 3 to 5 nights in the park being recommended. It is possible to arrange a flight, for at least one of the transfers. Flying out direct to Dar or Zanzibar is a popular choice for those staying at a luxury camp like Mdonya Old river camp or Tandala etc.
The Friends of Ruaha Society, a British bilateral aid program is funding a project on community based wildlife, a management plan for Ruaha ecosystem and a project to direct the benefits of tourism to the people who live around the park.
Ruaha National Park is is extremely interesting as it presents the transition zone where southern African and eastern African Species of flora and fauna overlap, therefore, it has unique variety of animals, birds and vegetation.