| Most game
driving is done in the south-eastern parts of Ruaha, where two rivers cross the
landscape. Good numbers of animals can be found here during the best season from July
to October. It's one of the better elephant parks, and among the other species you may
see are greater and lesser kudu, Lichtenstein's hartebeest, sable, roan, oribi, lion,
leopard, cheetah and African wild dog. Some birds of the area are Eleonora's falcon
Other parts of the park are less accessible, and include mountains and plateaus. Some
areas are favoured by tsetse flies.
Ruaha is more than a day's drive from Dar es Salaam. Most visitors arrive by air, by
scheduled flights from Dar es Salaam, Zanzibar
Some flights stop over in Selous, making it easy to combine
Rungwa Game Reserve and Kizigo Game Reserve
Northern Ruaha borders Rungwa Game Reserve and Kizigo Game Reserve (together 14,160
km2/5,467 sq mi), which are even more unexploited than Ruaha and lack facilities for
safari tourists. Both parks have stable populations of African wild dog, and offer fair
chances of seeing these.
Usangu Game Reserve
Usangu Game Reserve borders southern Ruaha National Park, protecting forests and wetlands.
The Tanzanian government has decided to add Usangu to the national park, to protect
the resident wildlife and to safeguard the wetlands as a natural water reservoir for
the Great Ruaha River. The hydroelectric power plants of the river provides a large
part of Tanzania's electricity.
The southern circuit
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.
The southern circuit has fewer visitors than both the northern circuit (Serengeti, Ngorongoro
etc) and Kenya. This means that you're likely to see a lot fewer vehicles out in the
Apart from lodges
camps in and outside of the park, there are also bandas.
Ruaha River Lodge is situated by the Great Ruaha River in Ruaha National
Park. The lodge has a restaurant, a bar and rooms in some 20 stone bungalows.
It is set very close to nature, and animals may be seen around. Good safari feeling!
More about Ruaha River Lodge
Web site: www.ruahariverlodge.com
Jongomero is a small luxury tented camp in the south-western part of Ruaha,
offering much safari atmosphere. It has eight large tents with quality interiors,
ensuite bathrooms and private verandas, built on raised platforms. The camp has
a dining area, a lounge and a swimming pool, and offers game drives, including
full days with bush picnics.
Web site: www.jongomero.com
Mdonya Old River Camp is a small tented camp situated along the Mdonya
sand river, a 12 hour drive from the airstrip. The overall design of the
camp is meant to offer a genuine safari atmosphere rather than a luxurious. The
11 tents (3 are family tents) are set right in the bush, and all have ensuite
bathroom. The camp also has a dining and lounge tent, and a small library. The
main safari activities are game drives and bush walks (JulyJanuary only).
Web site: www.adventurecamps.co.tz
Mwagusi Safari Lodge is a small tented camp by the Mwagusi Sand River,
offering ten basic safari tents with ensuite bathrooms and verandas facing the
river, a central dining area that doubles as reception and bar, and a location
right in the bush; it's one of the best game areas in Ruaha. The camp does game
drives and bush walks, and has a good reputation for good guiding and bush atmosphere.
Web site: www.ruaha.org
Tandala Tented Camp is a tourist class tented camp just outside the gate
to Ruaha. It has ten tents with ensuite bathrooms, verandas and solar lighting,
and a dining area with outside campfire. The camp offers game drives, bush walks,
visits to local villages, and the night game drives that are not allowed inside
Web site: www.tandalatentedcamp.com
Kigelia Camp is a new tented camp in Ruaha. It has six nicely designed
tents with ensuite bathrooms, and dining facilities. Game drives and bush walks
Web site: www.kigeliacamp.com
Kwihala Camp is a semi-mobile tented camp that can be pitched in different
parts of Ruaha depending on season. Being mobile, it's set right in the bush,
with no permanent structures. It has six spacious tents and a dining and lounge
tent. The camp, which was formerly called EMC Ruaha, has solar power and fairly
light and pleasant interiors.
Web site: www.emcmobilesafaris.com