Ruaha National Park

Overview

Introduction

Ruaha National Park, the second-largest national park in Tanzania, lies about a two-hour drive northwest from Iringa, but is most normally visited by air in conjunction with the Selous Game Reserve.

Wild and relatively little-visited, Ruaha is known for its high elephant densities and for great predator sightings, with prides of 20 lion likely to be seen, along with cheetah and leopard. It also harbors a substantial population of the endangered African wild dog.

The Ruaha River is the main feature of the park (where hippo and crocodile thrive) and as most of the park is on the top of a plateau, the ripples of hills, valleys and plains make the topography uniquely beautiful. Because it lies in a transitional vegetation zone, Ruaha supports an unusually wide variety of ungulates, most notably the rare greater kudu, and several bird species more normally associated with southern Africa. Striking features of the landscape are the plentiful baobab trees that stud the plains and the palms that line its dry river beds. The handful of safari lodges and tented camps dotted around Ruaha all possess an intimate bush feel in keeping with the park's untrammeled atmosphere, but the park is also accessible to campers in the areas by the main gate.

The park is 292 mi/470 km southwest of Dar es Salaam.

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