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8 Best Reasons To visit Ruaha National Park In Tanzania
The 8 best reasons to visit Ruaha National Park. The park is Tanzania’s largest safari park, and it derives its name from the Great River Ruaha, which flows through the park’s southern section.
The park is a part of the 45,000 square kilometres, river Njonje also passes through the rocky broken landscapes, at the river banks crocodiles are mostly spotted. The dry seasons shrink the river, which draws wildlife in for drinking which makes it an excellent game viewing area, the large gatherings of elephant, giraffe, buffalo, kudu, and impala can often be seen in herds around the river banks. The Mdonya woodlands are a great area for seeing hartebeest, sable, and roan antelope.
Ruaha National park collects a big number of Elephants in Tanzania, it offers hides and tree houses which are situated in places which provide excellent views of the watering spots most frequented by wildlife. This is a great opportunity to have stunning views of the wildlife and various bird species, the park is one of Tanzania’s lion conservation area, other predators in the park include leopards, wild dog, cheetahs, hyenas among others other wild species include warthogs, Zebras, hippos, buffaloes, giraffes, antelopes among others which tourists can spot in a game viewing escorted and guided by a knowledgeable tour guide and a ranger driver.
Ruaha is also a bird lovers paradise with over 570 species of birds found within the park. Hornbills, raptors, bee-eaters, rollers, Tanzanian red-billed hornbill, Bateleur, Giant kingfisher, Collared palm-thrush, White-browed coucal, Spur-winged goose, African fish eagle, Ashy starling, Black-bellied bustard, Collared palm-thrush, Crested barbet, Emerald-spotted wood dove, Goliath heron, Long-crested eagle, Namaqua dove, Southern ground hornbill, Tanzanian red-billed hornbill, White-bellied go-away bird, Yellow-collared lovebird and many other species which makes bird-watching a popular activity in the park. This is also home to the rare Eleonora’s Falcon during the months of December and January.
The varied landscape is a result of a transitional point between Zambezian and Sudanian vegetation zones. The park’s lifeblood is the Great Ruaha River which crosses the park, passing through diverse landscapes ranging from rolling hills to groves of bulbous baobabs, and in the southeastern regions, through rugged gorges and open plains. Ruaha national park is a home to 10% of the world’s remaining lion population,it is also home to the largest elephant population in Tanzania, numbering around 20,000, and habituated with one of the four large cheetah populations remaining in East Africa.
Ruaha national park offers exceptional and unique landscape for nature walk, a knowledgeable tour guide is provided to lead you through different trails which offers visitors a fascinating insight into the wilderness and the varied vegetation.
Ruaha national park’s hot springs are associated with the base of the western rift valley escarpment.These hot springs are a great site to visit during game viewing experience in the park most especially in the dry season as many animals gather around them to drink water, the notable hot springs include Mkwawa, Mwayembe, Makinde and Majimoto hotsprings. Majimoto hot spring is the most interesting hotsrping offering tourists an opportunity to touch its hot water and it is situated in Jongomero area which is approximately 20 kilometers from Jongomero tented camp.
Marvel great Rift valley
Ruaha national park is crossed by the Great Rift Valley creating spectacular scenery in the park, the rift valley in the park consists of an escarpment wall of about 50 to 100 meters high in the north-eastern parts along the western valley side and its height increases to the southwest.
The valley of the Great Ruaha River in Ruaha national park is considered to be an extension of the Great Rift Valley, this valley is crossed by the Great Ruaha River flowing for approximately 160 kilometers along the entire eastern boundary through rugged gorges and open plains.
Cultural and historical visits
Visiting Ruaha national park offers an opportunity to explore the tribes and history of the southern Tanzania and early trade routes used by the Arab caravan which crossed over the area, the cultural sites include Mapenza grave which belong to the Gogo chief who has a burial site in the park and it is located on the rout leading to Mpululu, the Nyanywa rock paintings historical site hosting various ancient painting made by ancient people and many other, the Ganga La Mafunyo rock, is a ritual site for the local people of Pawanga villages, Idinda rock paintings consists of rocky paints and traditional materials believed to have been made by ancient people.
Ruaha national park is hailed as “the land of the brave chief Mkwawa” the chief of the hehe people who resisted against the German attack in the late 19th century. The area of the park was part of the Hehe community which was under the leadership of Chief Mkwawa, in process of resisting the Germany colonial influence, fierce battle tactics were used against the Germans and some of the rocky outcrops in the park were used as hiding places. These out crops are famously known as the hiding places of Mkwawa who went into hiding after the fall of his Kalenga Empire to the German in 1894.
Ruaha national park’s gretest attraction is the Great River Ruaha is and the most significant river running along the eastern boundary of the park. It is an excellent sight for bird watching and game viewing as the river banks hosts various water birds and always crowded by animals most especially during the dry season to sustain their thirst, the river flows through the Usangu wetlands then eastwards through the park to join the Rufiji River, Ruaha River is fed by many other rivers which include Yovi,Kitete, Little Ruaha, Kisigo, Mbarali among other rivers.
Ikuka is an incredible rocky escarpment with the best view of ruaha national park catering for luxurius safaris
Mbataka Makali Luxury tented camp offers luxury accommodation, on-site bar,volleyball court,swimming pool among others in located in the boarder of the park in Idodi village
Mdonya old river camp is a simple aunthetic safar base like those of hunters in colonial era with tents along the sand river which is used as a game corridor by migrating wildlife.
Ruaha river lodge is a budget hotel with a thatched wooden lodge, a complete restaurant, liblary lodge and bar with a good view of the great Ruaha river bed and distant Ruaha escarpment.
When to visit Ruaha National Park
Ruaha national park is best to visited during the dry season from May to December when water becomes scarce that the large mammals and predators gather to the water sources in the park for drinking and relaxing though during the rainy season migrating birds from Northern parts are seen in the green bushes making it the best season for birders.
How to access the park
ruaha national park can be accessed by road transport which takes around nine hours and above to reach the park according to traffic and the road state, it is 625 kilometers from Dar es Salaam to the park.
By air transport flights are scheduled on a daily basis to either Jongomero or Msembe airstrips in Ruaha National Park.