Area: 20,226 km2 (7,809 sq mi)Established: 1964
Nearest city: Iringa
How to get there: The easy way to get to Ruaha NP is to fly through airstrips—one is located at the park’s headquarters in Msembe, and one is in Jongomero. Coastal Aviation also offers daily flights from Arusha, Dar es Salaam, Selous, the Serengeti, and Zanzibar.
What to do:1. Bird watching. 2. Guided nature walks. 3. Night game drives.
Ruaha National Park is a national park in Tanzania. The addition of the Usangu Game Reserve and other important swamps in the park increased its size to about 20,226 km2 (7,809 sq mi) in 2008. The park is about 130 kilometres (81 mi) in the west of Iringa. The park is a part of the 45,000 square kilometres (17,000 sq mi) Rungwa-Kizigo-Muhesi ecosystem, which includes the Rungwa Game Reserve, the Kizigo and Muhesi Game Reserves, and the Mbomipa Wildlife Management Area.
Here the name of the park is derived from the Great Ruaha River, which flows along its south eastern margin of the park and also focuses on the game-viewing. The park can be reached by car through a dirt road from Iringa and there are two airstrips as well– Msembe airstrip at Msembe (park’s headquarters), and Jongomeru Airstrip, which is near the Jongomeru Ranger Post.
About more than 571 species of birds have been recognized in the park. Among the resident species are hornbills. Many more migratory birds visit the park. Other distinguished animals are also found in this park are East African cheetah and lion, African leopard and wild dog, spotted hyena, giraffe, hippopotamus, African buffalo, and sable antelope.
The best time to travel to Ruaha National Park is during the dry summer season (early or late), when the weather is sunny, but not too hot, and the roads are easy to navigate. This is also the best time for game-viewing. As water becomes scarce toward the end of the dry summer season, the game gathers around available water sources, by offering unbeatable game viewing opportunities for visitors.
Things to explore in detail: Game drives to spot the diverse game, including the Big Five. Birdwatching, especially during the wet season (European winter, when the migratory birds are here). Our camps also offer walking safaris to get as close to nature as possible. Bush breakfasts or sundowners. Fly camping; real, wild, African bush camping. Visits to numbers of historical and cultural sites in and around Ruaha NP, marvel at the Great Rift Valley which navigates the park.