More parks to visit
Western Tanzania also has other parks, which may not have wildlife good enough to be
of interest to most safari-goer, but may attract visitors that are looking for places
off the beaten track or places offering special features.
The parks and areas described below are all such alternative places to go. They have
by far fewer visitors than the main parks, and generally offer a less developed infrastructure.
The roads may be very poor, the options for comfortable accommodation fewer or absent,
Click the map for more information about parks in western Tanzania.
Biharamulo Game Reserve
Biharamulo Game Reserve (1,666 km2/643 sq mi) is situated on the south-western shore
of Lake Victoria. The area is undulated and mainly
covered by forest. Tsetse flies may be present in large numbers seasonally.
The wildlife includes Lichtenstein's hartebeest, Sharpe's grysbok, crocodile and hippo.
The rich bird life includes for example blue-breasted kingfisher, scarlet-chested sunbird
and grey kestrel.
Burigi Game Reserve
Burigi Game Reserve (2,200 km2/850 sq mi) is situated in northern Tanzania, west of
Lake Victoria's southern tip. It's an undulating park,
intersected by two rivers. Water is also available in waterholes and wetlands. Much
of the park is covered by woodland, but there are also forests and papyrus beds. The
wildlife is mainly concentrated to the central parts, where you may see for example
giraffes, elands, hippos and sable antelopes.
Kigosi & Moyowosi Game Reserves
Kigosi Game Reserve and Moyowosi Game Reserve (together 21,870 km2/8,450 sq mi) in western
Tanzania are the only parks in the country where the shoebill (a very large stork-like
bird) is regularly observed. The rare sitatunga (a wetland antelope) can be found in
Lake Tanganyika (675x80 km/420x50 mi in size and 1,440 m/4,700 ft deep) on the western
border of Tanzania is the longest and deepest lake in Africa. It has a slight content
and some 250 species of fish, of which many are endemic to the lake.
The Poroto Mountain is an interesting birding area in south-western Tanzania, north
of Lake Nyasa/Lake Malawi. The mountainsides, valleys and wetlands of the area are home
to for example turacos, barbets, woodpeckers and swallows not seen further north in
Ugalla Game Reserve
Ugalla Game Reserve (5,000 km2/1,930 sq mi) in the central parts of western Tanzania
has been named from the Ugalla River, which by never drying out attracts good numbers
of animals during dry seasons. The areas surrounding the river may be inaccessible during
The landscape is fairly flat, and is dominated by river plains and miombo woodland.
The wildlife is fairly rich in species, including sable antelope, roan antelope, southern
reedbuck, oribi, greater kudu, lion, leopard, hippo and Lichtenstein's hartebeest.
West of Ugalla, on the far side of the Ugalla River, is Tongwe East Forest Reserve,
which is a forest reserve of roughly (the borders are vaguely defined) 2,800 km2/1,080
sq mi. The reserve has a natural and stable population of chimpanzees.
Uwanda Game Reserve
Uwanda Game Reserve (6,000 km2/2,300 sq mi) is situated in south-western Tanzania, in
the same region as Katavi National Park. Its wildlife is
similar to Katavi's. The park is dominated by the shallow soda lake Lake Rukwa.
The wildlife includes puku, topi, eland, southern reedbuck, lion, sitatunga and many
crocodiles. Some interesting mutations that have been observed in Uwanda are albino
giraffes and spotted (i.e. not striped) zebras. More than 400 birds have been recorded,
including black heron, glossy ibis and red-necked falcon.
The best time to visit the park is during the dry season from March to October, even
though the wildlife may be seen in larger concentrations during wet seasons. There are
sites in the park, but you need to bring your own equipment, provisions and fuel. The
roads may be poor or inaccessible during wet seasons.