National Parks

Ruaha National Park in Tanzania

Often overlooked by travellers, Ruaha National Park is the largest national park in Tanzania and is home to one of the world’s largest concentrations of elephants.

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Everything you need to know about Ruaha National Park

Often overlooked by travellers, Ruaha National Park is an unexplored destination. Ruaha is the largest national park in Tanzania and it boasts more wild and dangerous animals than anywhere else. Large herds of elephants, packs of African wild dogs, over 500 bird species, and lions, cheetah and kudu roam the rugged lands of the national park, makes for a rewarding safari without the crowds. Intrepid travellers will enjoy the wild camping opportunities, sitting around a campfire as the howls of wild dogs and lions echo through the air. Ruaha National Park is perfect for those looking for a taste of Africa without the crowds, somewhere to explore vast rolling hills, rocky outcrops, and yellow grassy savannah.

Photo credit | Kwihala Camp

Where is the reserve located?

Ruaha National Park is located in central Tanzania, and East Africa’s largest national park is at approximately -7°S, 35°E. Spanning 20,226 kilometres squared, Ruaha is divided in its south-eastern corner by the Great Ruaha River, including extensive rolling hills, mountainous craters and expansive grassy savannahs. Ruaha National Park can be found to the west of the Selous Game Reserve and south of the mighty Serengeti, but as a result of its relative inaccessibility, it is a more rewarding place to visit.

What can you expect of the terrain?

Ruaha National Park comprises a number of vast and varied terrains, including the fast-flowing Grand Ruaha River with its fertile plains, arid grassy savannah plains, rugged rocky outcrops and baobab-covered hills. The terrain of Ruaha National Park is home to many of Africa’s most impressive birds and animals, making for one of the continent’s best safari destinations.

About the reserve

Top experiences to enjoy at Ruaha National Park

If you ever wanted to experience an African safari but dread the crowds that go in search of the planet’s largest and rarest beasts, then Ruaha National Park fits the bill. Day game drives are undoubtedly Ruaha’s main selling point; the park has one of the world’s largest concentrations of elephants, with countless zebras, lions, wild dogs, kudu and gazelle roaming around too. Enjoying your breakfast in the bush, surrounded by wild animals jealously watching you eating your food is highly recommended, as is fly camping in the middle of nowhere, setting up a campfire surrounded by towering baobab trees and savannah grasses swaying in the wind. Cruising on the Great Ruaha River, through reedbeds and past roaring lions is also highly recommended. Take your pick.

When to visit

Game viewing is great throughout the year, but as the dry season progresses between June and October, the wildlife concentrates around the small number of watering holes that are left; although there are pockets across the park that enjoy high numbers of game throughout the year. During the low season in April and May, it is virtually guaranteed that you will see no other people on safari in Ruaha National Park.

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