Ruaha National Park
Ruaha national park: Ruaha national park started as Saba game reserve in the year of 1910 under management of Germany government officials which later on in 1946 changed from Saba game reserve to Rungwa game reserve and as years passed by, the southern part of Rungwa game reserve became a national park known as Ruaha national park and that was the in 1964. As of now, Ruaha is under the management of Tanzania National Parks Authority (TNA) and known to be the biggest protected areas in Tanzania and the entire region of East Africa covering a land area of 20,226km2 which came as a result of adding Usangu game reserve, wetland areas such as swamps, savanna grassland and woodland including the acacia trees, riverine forest, and other unique vegetation covers that al harbor several fauna species. Ruaha obtained its name from River Ruaha that acts as the focal point for wildlife viewing safaris as it attracts several species of wildlife all year round. Amongst the fauna species found in Ruaha include mammals such as Hippos, antelopes, elephants, buffaloes, Cheetahs, Lions, Leopards, hyenas, and a large population of bird species with 570 species recorded in the park including the migratory birds which visit the park seasonally and the resident birds that are frequently spotted in the park.
Tourist attractions in Ruaha park
As mentioned earlier, Ruaha thrills with several tourist attractions that make it one of the most visited national parks in southern part of Tanzania but the most attractions are the wildlife species. Ruaha national park is the most remote park in Tanzania and you all know what happens in the wilderness of remote place which is none other than a huge population of wildlife species such as mammals which include Lions, elephants, Buffaloes, antelopes, hippos, crocodiles, leopards, cheetahs, hyenas, impalas, kudu, and foxes among others. Most of these mammals are seen during the game drive and guided walks in Ruaha national park. Other wildlife species in the park include reptiles such as monitor lizards, amphibians such as snakes and many more. Without forgetting over 570 recorded bird species that the park indeed the best place to visit on a wildlife viewing adventure.
Apart from wildlife, Ruaha national park has some other features which are worth a see while on a Tanzania safari and these include; rivers, rift valley and the entire stunning landscape best for photo taking.
Tourist activities in Ruaha
Game drive safaris in Ruaha national park: amongst all parks in Tanzania’s southern circuit, Ruaha national park is one of the best destinations to visit for game drive safaris offering both day and night game drives. Taking an early morning game drive enables tourists to have a glance at hunters and nocturnal mammals before they return to their hiding place and other grazing mammals such as elephants, buffaloes, impalas, giraffes, zebras and many more plus the birds as heard and seen singing in tree branches. While an afternoon game drive is enjoyable towards the waterbodies where mammals flock the shores to quench their thirst without forgetting the night game drive that opens the door for mammals that appear are most active during night hours after sunset. These mammals are easily spotted with the help of sport light amidst tight security of armed rangers. Amongst the spotted mammals in the night include; Leopards, hyenas, serval cats, bush babies and many more including a good number of Hippos that graze almost for the whole night and spend their day hours in water. Dry months are the best seasons for game drive safaris in Ruaha national park.
Guided nature walks in Ruaha: taking a guided nature walk with in well designated walking trails in Ruaha national park opens door to encounter and view several species of Fauna and flora species in their natural habitats within the park. The vegetation cover of the park is easily enjoyed on foot via different trails include walking in forests, swamps and anywhere else in the park as long as the safari is under tight security of armed ranges for safety purposes. Amongst the wildlife seen on foot include mammals such as elephants, antelopes, impales, big cats, several birds and the entire stunning vegetation that is awesome for photo taking.
Bird watching in Ruaha national park: With over 570 recorded bird species recorded, Ruaha national park is indeed a birders haven with both Resident species of birds and those that migrate from other continents seasonally. Almost every part of the park acts as a birding spot including in acacia woodland, in swamps, in the rift valley walls, and long the rivers. Amongst the bird species seen in Ruaha national park include; hornbills, herons, lover birds, bustard birds, barbets, fish eagles, doves among others and the best birding season is during rainy months where a good number of birds are breeding and the migratory birds flock the park. All you need is a pair of binoculars and a camera plus a birder’s book.
Ruaha can be accessed either by road or by air.
By road, getting to Ruaha national park by road has two different option of which, one can access the park from Dara salaam which is about 625km or from Iringa which is about 130km and this is the nearest city to Ruaha national park. Any vehicle can take you to the park whether a safari vehicle, a taxi or self-drive private car.
By air, Ruaha national park thrills with two airstrips where tourists that prefer to fly in the park can land and these include; Msembe airstrip which is the commonly used airstrip situated closer to the Ruaha national park headquarters and Jongomeru airstrip that is situated close to the Jongomeru ranger post. This implies that tourist land into Tanzania and then take a charter flight to any of these two airstrips in the park.
Accommodation/ where to stay in Ruaha
Amongst the frequently asked questions is where can one stay while on a Tanzania safari in Ruaha national park and here I bring you a list of some lodges, hotels, camps which suit any tourist’s budget let it be budget accommodation, luxury accommodations or midrange accommodations. These accommodations are situated both within the park and outside the park and they include; Ruaha River Lodge, Ruaha hilltop lodge, Mwagusi safari camp, Ikuka Camp, Kwihala Camp, Kigelia Ruaha Camp, Mdonya campsite, Jongomero safari Camp, Msembe rest house, Jabali Ridge, Msembe rest house, Mdonya campsite, Ruaha River Campsite, Kilimatonge Camp, Msembe Bandas, Msembe hostels, Tandala tented camp, Chongela camp, Sunset mountain lodge and many more.