For a genuinely rewarding safari experience, delve deep into the heart of Tanzania to uncover the wild and remote Ruaha National Park.
Ruaha is the same size of South Africa‘s Kruger National Park – making it the largest national park in Tanzania and East Africa – with same wildlife density and diversity of the Kruger, but only around 1% of the visitors, so you can imagine how untouched and pristine the area is.
Home to an abundance of varied dramatic landscapes, this mighty wilderness brims with vast open plains, rolling hills filled with baobabs and the park’s lifeline, the Great Ruaha River. Huge herds of zebra, giraffe, elephant and buffalo gather here by the water, making excellent game viewing, while their predators wait in the shadows, including a tenth of all the lions in Africa, the third largest population of wild dog, hyena, leopard and cheetah. Rarer antelope species found here include kudu, sable and roan, and the birding is spectacular between January and April.
Despite is variety of wildlife and large size, Ruaha is still only home to a few camps, giving it that untarnished feel of a true wilderness and the perfect adventurous safari setting.
When to go
The best game viewing in this national park is generally from May to November, but the bush is greener and prettier from January to June, and birding peaks during the European winter months of December to April
Access to the Ruaha National Park
Ruaha is relatively far from Dar, which is part of the reason why so few visitors come here, having said that it is still reasonably accessible. It is served by daily flights with Coastal Aviation and Safari Airlink from Dar es Salaam. These usually cost around US$380 per person. When you land at the local airstrip in Ruaha you will be collected and transferred by a representative from the lodge where you are staying.
What to do
Game drive with open 4×4 safari vehicles, which are a great way of seeing easy game viewing and photograph to explore different section of vast park. The destinations are quite varied normally directed towards the game viewing hot spots . Game drives are reliably rewarding , especially towards the end of the dry season , when large mammals concentrate around the five lakes; The Rivers and Lakes of the Selous are the life-blood to the wildlife in the game reserve.
Guided Bush walks:
Take in the fresh scents of the grass and Miombo woodlands, perhaps see an elusive Leopard lounging in a tree by the beautiful riverine forest.You will be led by a friendly guide who has extensive knowledge and experience of life in the bush. They will show you how to read the clues in the bush - a steaming pile of dung indicates an Elephant passed through not long ago. Walk in the huge wrinkled foot prints for a while.Listen out for the chirps and trills of birds and the guide will help you identify them. Listen and you may hear alarm calls indicating the presence of a predator nearby. Lion and Wild Dog are rarely encountered on walks, but Elephants and Buffalo are frequently seen.
Guided Bird Walks:
Your guide will be happy to tailor a guided bird walk to suit both your interest and your schedule. More than 400 species of birds have been recorded in the Selous (350 of which are waterfowl), particularly along the banks of the Rufiji River.
The magnificent Rufiji River bisects the park in the north as it makes its way to the Indian Ocean. It provides a number of beautiful waterways along which boat safaris are offered, giving wonderful encounters with a huge variety of game coming down to drink on the banks of the river, beside the hundreds of hippos and crocs!
Catfish and tiger fish are prolific in the river. Considered by many fishermen to be the finest fresh water fighting fish, the tiger fish’s Latin name, Hydrocyon, means ‘water dog’ and aptly describes this voracious predator, which is armed with ferocious blade like teeth. If you’d like to try fishing, your dedicated guide will provide rods, boat and choice of sites.
Hot Springs Visit and Swim:
Within a short drive from Selous Serena Camp lie the Maji Moto hot springs, this can be easily reached via a short walk into a hidden ravine surrounded by lush vegetation. Here hot sulphurous water pours from the rock and forms little streams, which gather into a series of picturesque pools cool enough to swim in.