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Ruaha National Park is the only protected area in which the flora and fauna of eastern and southern Africa overlap, leading to fascinating combinations of wildlife. Game viewing can begin the moment the plane touches down; a pair of giraffe may race besides the airstrip, with a line of zebras parading across the runway as nearby protective elephant mothers guard their young under the shade of a baobab tree.

Size

10,300 sq km (3,980 sq miles), Tanzania’s 2nd biggest park.

Location

Central Tanzania, 128km (80 miles) west of Iringa.

Getting there

Scheduled and/or charter flights from Dar es Salaam, Selous, Serengeti, Arusha, Iringa and Mbeya. year-round road access through Iringa from Dar es Salaam (about 10 hours) via Mikumi or from Arusha via Dodoma.

What to do in Ruaha

Day walks or hiking safaris through untouched bush. Stone age ruins at Isimila, near Iringa, 120 km (75 miles) away, one of Africa’s most important historical sites  

Best time to visit Ruaha

  • For predators and large mammals, dry season (mid-May-December).
  • bird-watching, lush scenery and wildflowers, wet season (January-April).
  • The male greater kudu is most visible in June, the breeding season.

Accommodation in Ruaha

Riverside lodge; three dry season tented camps; self-catering bandas, two campsites.