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Elephant with a nursing calf in Mikumi.
  Mikumi NP
Size: 3,230 km2/1,247 sq mi.
Best time to visit: July to October. Another good time is January to February.
Wildlife: General savanna wildlife, African wild dogs.
Getting there: A four-hour drive on fairly good tarmac from Dar es Salaam.
There is an airstrip close to the main gate, but no scheduled flights. You may charter a small plane to Dar es Salaam, or to an airstrip in Selous (flight time 30 minutes) and connect to a scheduled flight from there.
There are railroad connections between Mikumi, Selous and Dar es Salaam a few times a week, but the schedules and connections are unreliable.
Mikumi map
Mikumi map.
Tanzania map
Tanzania map.
  More web sites
Mikumi National Park
By Tanapa.
Safari glossary
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Mikumi National Park
Mikumi National Park is situated in central/southern Tanzania and is one of the parks on the so-called southern circuit, also including Selous, Ruaha and Udzungwa. Of these parks, Mikumi is the easiest to access. It's 290 km/180 mi inland from Dar es Salaam, corresponding to a four-hour drive on the fairly good tarmac main road from Dar to Zambia. This road cuts straight through Mikumi, dividing it into a northern and a southern part. Map of Africa Namibia Botswana South Africa Zambia Mozambique Malawi Rwanda Tanzania Kenya Uganda
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.

Giraffes in the Mikumi savanna.

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 October, though.

Few visitors
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
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

Foxes Safari Camp.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:

Vuma Hills Tented Camp.Vuma 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:

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.

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Page updated 27 April 2013