The vast area of Ruaha National Park in central Tanzania varies between mountains and escarpments, grassland plains, rocky kopjes and rivers. With such a choice of habitat it is not surprising that a wide diversity of mammal species make Ruaha National Park their home.
During the long dry season wildlife concentrates along the Great Ruaha River, the lifeline of the Ruaha National Park in Tanzania, attracting a host of predators: Lion, Leopard and Hunting Dog. Numerous other species, including Cheetah, may be seen on the plains. From a game enthusiast's point of view, Ruaha National Park offers an outstanding paradise of the natural world.
The Great Ruaha River begins as a series of clear mountain streams in the Southern Highlands before developing into an extremely beautiful and important feature of one of the largest and wildest game parks in the world. Ruaha National Park, 13000 sq km is the size of Belgium, and is a special park due to its remoteness, dramatic topography of mountains, river, rocky kopjes and plains with a vast range of habitats and correspondingly diverse number of wildlife species.
With over 480 bird species you can find half this vast country's bird species in one location. Amongst other rare species Ruaha National Park is home to Greater and Lesser Kudu, Sable and Roan antelopes.
February is often a scenically stunning time to stay in Ruaha National Park when the winds change forcing a break in the weather. The drive to Ruaha National Park offers visitors the opportunity to visit both Mikumi Udzungwa National Parks and the Southern Highlands along the way.
It is an exceptionally spectacular route that takes you through ever changing scenery past the Uluguru Mountains, through Mikumi National Park and the Mikumi Hills, along the dramatic winding Great Ruaha River gorge, up the Katonga Gorge and Iringa escarpment onto the scenic southern Highlands, passing through Iringa regional town before ending the journey in Ruaha National Park.
Ruaha National Park can be visited at any time of year. However, the best time for game viewing is during the dry season from June until December when wildlife converges on the dwindling water reserves of the park and concentrates along the Great Ruaha River, the only permanent water source in Ruaha National Park.
Open your eyes to a different Africa, to the one you thought you know so well. During the rains from December until April, the trees erupt into leaf and the Ruaha River swells into a bursting torrent. Although the game viewing becomes more difficult due to lush vegetation, there is no major migration of gameaway from the park as happens in the north of Tanzania, so the game is still greatly in evidence. This season is the best time for bird watching as the population grows with both the northern and southern migratory species visiting Ruaha National Park.
Ruaha National Park in Tanzania is 120km (74.6 miles) from Iringa, the nearest town. Tarvel down the rather aptly named 'Never-ending' road. This takes approximately 2 hours. There is a daily air schedule operating out of Dar es Salaam/Zanzibar to Ruaha. There is also a flexible and convenient private air charter available.