Ruaha National Park covers an area of 20 226km² and is situated in southern-central Tanzania close to Iringa, a city overlooking the Ruaha River Valley.
Ruaha is more remote and relatively unknown when compared to some of the other more popular safari destinations, which has the wonderful benefit of limiting visitor numbers to mostly only serious safari enthusiasts. While the park is not known to many tourists, it is, in fact, Tanzania’s largest National Park, and part of an extensive ecosystem which includes other parks such as Rungwa and Usangu. Two distinct vegetation zones of Eastern and Southern Africa are visible in the park: in some areas, the miombo woodlands, typical of Zambia are dominant, while in other areas the striking savanna of Kenya and Tanzania is noticeable.
To visit Ruaha, you have a choice of 2 transport options. You can book a flight or alternatively travel by road. The park’s airstrips are located at Jongomero and Msembe.
The scope of wildlife in Ruaha is extraordinary, with 80 animal species, a checklist of 574 recorded birds species and 10% of the world’s lion population calling this region home.
Birding is great all year round, however, for avid birders, we recommend a visit from September to May, when you will have the opportunity to spot the migratory bird species. Leopard can often be found in the thicker woodland while lion and cheetah roam freely on the open plains. The elusive African wild dog can be found here, and black-backed jackal and hyena both have strong populations too. Also commonly seen in the area are buffalo, zebra, giraffe, greater and lesser kudu, Lichtenstein’s hartebeest, waterbuck, bushbuck and impala.