Ruaha National Park

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


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. Its river system is hugely important to the reserve. (Indeed, the name ‘Ruaha’ is a corruption of the local word for river.)

Ruaha is in an ecological transition zone with thick bush interspersed with wide open plains. This attracts a wide diversity of plains game such as buffalo, zebra, Defassa water-buck, impala, giraffe and Lichtenstein’s hartebeest. 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. Whilst the open plain is also ideal terrain for cheetahs. 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.

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, appealing 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.

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Gloria Darvall

Africa Travel Specialist
Our experienced band of Safari Planners can create a bespoke plan for you. More enriching, more restorative and making more of a difference. Discover how working with a specialist adds value to your African adventure.


Why you may love it

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

Explore the Ruaha National Park map

When to visit Ruaha National Park

November to April

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. So the camps tend to be closed during at least the wettest part of this time. 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.
MAX TEMP 25 ℃ / 77 ℉
MIN TEMP 17 ℃ / 63 ℉

May 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.
MAX TEMP 25 ℃ / 77 ℉
MIN TEMP 17 ℃ / 63 ℉

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