Ruaha National Park

Enjoy Tanzania's varied wildlife & scenery in one of the largest & wildest national parks in Africa.

Overview

Ruaha National Park, in the south of Tanzania, is the country’s second largest park. Rolling hills, baobabs and open bushveld border the wide Great Ruaha River.  The valley of the Great Ruaha River is an extension of the Great Rift Valley.

Ruaha is in an ecological transition zone with thick bush interspersed with wide open plains. Its river system is hugely important to the reserve. The floodplains attract a wide diversity of plains game such as buffalo, zebra, Defassa water-buck, impala, giraffe and Lichtenstein’s hartebeest. The open plain is also ideal terrain for cheetahs. Whilst the rarer roan and sable antelopes roam the Miombo woodland. Also prominent is the Grant’s gazelle and lesser kudu. Consequently, the lion prides are often large in Ruaha. Wild dog are also well-represented in Ruaha National Park.

In testament to its floral diversity, Ruaha boasts over 570 birding species. Goliath herons, saddle-billed storks, white-backed night heron and white-headed plovers can be seen along the rivers. Migrant birds swell the numbers from mid-November to March.

Leopard on Ruaha National Park safari

Ruaha Safari Lodges

Despite the haunting beauty and abundance of game in Ruaha National Park, the remoteness and its comparative inaccessibility have meant that the Ruaha has been one of the wildest and least visited parks in Tanzania. So it appeals to those who value unspoilt wilderness. Most are luxury tented camps such as Mdonya Old River, Kwihala and the delightful Mwagusi Safari Camp. Jongomero Camp is set far apart from the others. As is the unpretentious and enduringly popular Ruaha River Lodge.

Features

Why you may love it

  • River system through reserve.
  • Diverse terrain.
  • Common wild dog sightings.
  • Outstanding birding.

When to visit Ruaha National Park

November to Early March

Summer in Ruaha National Park

The summer is the continuous wet season in Ruaha. The short rains almost meld together with the longer rains of March and April. But the summer is the best time for keen birders. It is hot and humid with afternoon thunderstorms bringing rain. Temperatures don’t tend to vary much during the year in the Ruaha. The main difference is the rainfall.
AVG RAINFALL 165mm
MAX TEMP 30 ℃ / 86 ℉
MIN TEMP 21.5 ℃ / 71 ℉

Mid-March-May

Long rains - camps closed

This is the time of the heaviest rains so the camps tend to be closed during this time
AVG RAINFALL 221mm
MAX TEMP 28.5 ℃ / 83 ℉
MIN TEMP 19.5 ℃ / 67 ℉

June to October

Best season in Ruaha National Park

This is the dry season with very little rain during this time. This is the best time to see both general game and its attendant predators. It tends to be hot during the day (27C) and a pleasant 15C at night. Though it is dry in May, the safari season only starts in June to give time to prepare the camps and roads after the rains.
AVG RAINFALL 26mm
MAX TEMP 26 ℃ / 79 ℉
MIN TEMP 17 ℃ / 63 ℉

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Kate Bergh

Co-founder & Director

Hi I'm Kate, I'm here to help you plan your ideal holiday experience
Did you know
  • LionsWider Ruaha park holds 10% of the world's lion population
  • Size12,226 sq km - largest National Park in Tanzania

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