Ruaha National Park - Tanzania

Ruaha National Park  - Tanzania


Tanzania's top safari destinations, Ngorongoro Conservation Area and Serengeti National Park, are on the bucket lists of many adventurous travelers. But Ruaha National Park is another unique, pristine wilderness haven situated in the south-central part of Tanzania and considered Tanzania’s best-maintained safari destination secret.


Ruaha National Park is East Africa's largest national park, covering approximately 7,800 square miles. Ruaha national park got its name from the great and mighty Ruaha River, which acts as a vital source of water for animals at Ruaha national park during the long dry season. 


Ruaha National Park's habitats range from hills with baobab trees, open grasslands, dense miombo, and acacia woodlands. Ruaha National Park's pristine environment protects an incredible variety of wildlife species, which makes Ruaha a perfect secret safari destination for dedicated explorers interested in escaping the crowds in their homeland and wanting to experience unspoiled Africa.

Top things to do at Ruaha national park

Ruaha National Park visitors come primarily to view wildlife species through guided day and night game drives. To offer visitors the benefit of an exceptional encounter, it requires a well-experienced game ranger who knows about the areas with the best sightings. In the daylight, visitors can also take a self-drive tour of Ruaha National Park. which is thrilling for adventurers who wish to explore independently or solely. 


Ruaha national park also offers walking tours, where travelers may choose to sign up with the lodge or with the Tanzanian Parks Service. Ruaha national park gives travelers a chance to participate in guided day hikes that take approximately 2-4 hours. The guided nature walks from the Kichaka to Kidabaga route give you an opportunity to view a variety of animals and landscape if you take on the hot air balloon safari.


Travelers can choose to enjoy bush meals arranged by their specific booked lodge, bird watching, a guided safari trip, and visits to Tanzania’s cultural and historical sites, such as the Nyanywa rock paintings, the Mkwawa museum, and the natural pillars at Isimila.

Wildlife Viewing at Ruaha national park

Ruaha National Park is mostly famous for its large predator groups. Research done by the Ruaha carnivore project indicates that Ruaha national park protects at least 10 percent of Africa’s lions and cheetah population with about 200 adults; it also harbors the endangered African wild dog. Ruaha National Park is an excellent destination to spot leopards, hyenas, jackals, and bat-eared foxes. 


Ruaha national park predators feed themselves from an extensive menu where they choose from the antelope species that are abundantly protected, including kudu, waterbuck, roan, and sable.


Ruaha National Park is home to Tanzania's largest elephant population as well as other 10,000+ magnificent animals that roam freely in this vast national park. The mighty Ruaha River is the perfect place to protect aquatic species, which include Nile crocodiles and hippos. 


Bird watching at Ruaha national park

Ruaha national park is a birders’ paradise, offering more than 570 different bird species that include a rare mix of species from both East and Southern Africa. Enjoy the endemic bird species such as the yellow-collared lovebird, Tanzania’s red-billed hornbill, and the ashy starling. Other endangered bird species include the hooded vulture, Ruppell's vulture, the white-backed vulture, and the white-headed vulture.


During the rainy season, Ruaha National Park offers the best birding destination, with migrant bird species that come from North Africa, Europe, and Asia. During the rainy season, water levels rise in the Usangu wetlands and within the Great Ruaha River, which attracts a plethora of water birds such as large flocks of white and Abdim’s storks, small birds like the Sooty falcon, Amur falcon, and Eleonora’s falcon, and Eurasian hummingbirds breeding along the banks.

Where to Stay Nearby Ruaha national park

Ruaha national park has several choices to be made when it comes to accommodation options in terms of Luxury stays within the national park include the inns of private innholders, which are affordable but offer the best services, categorized as bandas, cottages, and hostels.


Ruaha River Lodge Set on the banks of the Ruaha River, Ruaha River luxury lodge offers 24 stone chalets with comfortable, spacious double beds, an en-suite bathroom, and wide private verandas for game viewing. Two dining areas where travelers can have breakfast, lunch, and dinner comfortably at the edge of the river


Jabali Ridge is set on a rocky outcropping that overlooks Ruaha National Park, offering eight luxury suites, a spa, and an infinity blue swimming pool. Jabali Ridge also has a number of tented camps. The Jabali Ridge Mess Tent offers a three-course meal.


Msembe Headquarters: Bandas, Cottages, and Hostels is another accommodation option offering Tanzania’s best, ranging from self-catering cottages, hostels, and bandas standing t directly on the Great River, The rooms have private bathrooms. If you choose to stay in a banda, you may be able to cook on your own.

How to get to Ruaha national park

Travelers can easily get to Ruaha National Park by flying into one of two airstrips located at the park's headquarters at Msembe or at Jongomero.


There is a domestic flight by the coastal aviation company operating daily flights from Arusha, Zanzibar, Dar es Salaam, Selous, and the Serengeti. Safari Airlink and Auric Air also offer domestic flights to Ruaha National Park from different destinations in Tanzania.