| The northern part mainly consists of grassland and savanna, surrounded by low mountains,
while the southern part is covered by hills and forests. As a result, game viewing is
easier in the open landscape of the north.
Savanna wildlife in the north
The differences in landscape between
northern and southern Mikumi also affects the wildlife you may see there. The
north has classic savanna species such as lions, giraffes and elephants, while
the south has less common species such as sable and greater kudu. The African
wild dog, which is sometimes observed in the park, is usually seen north of the
main road. Other species found are different types of antelopes, baboons, African
buffalos, Lichtenstein's hartebeest and leopards. Some 370 bird species have been
recorded in the park.
A transition zone
The southern circuit,
i.e. the safari region in central/southern Tanzania, is situated in a transition
zone between two main vegetation zones; the acacia zone to the north and the miombo
zone to the south. Animal and plant species from both zones may occur here, which
means that you may see species not found further north, for example in Serengeti
or Ngorongoro in northern Tanzania or in Kenya.
A road to Selous Game Reserve
To the south and east, Mikumi
borders a giant park called Selous Game Reserve. A
new road has been built to allow easy access between these two parks (getting
to Selous otherwise requires a long and uncomfortable drive on poor bush roads).
You can only expect the road to be passable during the dry season from July to
The Tanzanian southern circuit
has fewer visitors than both the northern circuit (Serengeti, Ngorongoro etc)
and Kenya. This means that you're likely to see fewer vehicles out in the bush.
The Mikumi wildlife doesn't equal that of the better parks in northern Tanzania
or Kenya, though.
The best time to visit Mikumi is during the dry season
from July to October. Some northern parts of the park have black cotton soil and
may become inaccessible during rains.
January and February may offer a
dry spell in the rainy season, and is an alternative time to visit. You'll find
the park lush and green during this season.
The Uluguru Mountains (up to 2,500m/8,200 ft), east of
Mikumi National Park, is an interesting birding area. Local shrikes, sunbirds,
nightjars, kingfishers and many other birds can be found in the mountain forests.
Lodges and camps
Stanley's Kopje Camp (former Foxes
Safari Camp) is in north-eastern Mikumi National Park, some distance
off the main road. It's a small tented camp built on a hill in a transition
zone between forest and savanna. The tents are large and comfortable, and
built well apart. The restaurant, bar and swimming pool are on top of the
hill. The camp has a lot of bush atmosphere.
More about Stanley's Kopje Camp
Web site: www.tanzaniasafaris.info
Hills Tented Camp is situated in central Mikumi National Park, just south of the main road to
Zambia that cuts straight through the park. It's a fairly small tented
camp on a hillside, where the vegetation hides the tents and creates a private atmosphere.
The comfort is good. The camp has a small swimming pool.
More about Vuma Hills Tented Camp
Genesis Motel is 20 km/12 mi from the main gate, and has 30 rooms, a restaurant
and a bar, offering basic or budget accommodation.
Web site: www.genesismotel.com
Mikumi Wildlife Camp, or Kikoboga, is a basic lodge situated at the main
gate of the national park, i.e. in central Mikumi, just off the main road (you
will hear traffic). There are 12 stone bungalows, some of them large enough for
families. There is a restaurant, a swimming pool, a bar, and a waterhole.
Mikumi Wildlife Lodge is closed.