Tanzania’s largest national park is Ruaha National Park. Ruaha, located in the country’s heartland, is a predator-rich rural wilderness off the usual path. Ruaha is a hidden gem in the office for its worth alone.

The park’s distant position only adds to its allure, as it is blissfully empty of visitors. The big cat viewing is excellent, and the overall guiding quality is among the finest in the country. Ruaha National Park is an off-the-beaten-path destination that is often regarded as suitable for old safari hands. It is usually scheduled in combination with Selous Game Reserve. We feel, however, that this park is for everyone who enjoys pure wilderness and large game viewing.

There’s no reason why brave safari newbies should overlook this outrageously fantastic safari park!

Ruaha boasts one of the largest predator populations in Africa, as well as a beautifully untamed character that is hard to come by anymore. The camps here are daring yet of extremely high quality, with genuinely great guiding standards. This park is one of our favorites because of its low tourist count and excellent game watching. Without a doubt, this region is one of Africa’s best-kept secrets, a really wild park teeming with Africa’s most violent animals.

There is a case to be made that if you want the whole Ruaha experience, you should stay in the Mwagusi region, which is about two hours north of Jongomero and 45 minutes from Mdonya. Mwagusi is where the big concentrations of game can be found, which is why Ruaha has such a good reputation. There are a several campgrounds in this region, but Mwagusi Camp and Nomad Tanzania’s Kigelia Ruaha are two of the best.

 

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Is it possible to see the Big Five in Ruaha?

The rhino is the only member of the Big Five (lion, buffalo, elephant, leopard, and rhinoceros) that has been gone in Ruaha for years.

Ruaha is without a doubt one of Africa’s best places to see big cats. The concentration of lions here is the most we’ve ever seen. Ruaha’s elephant herds are genuinely spectacular, and a large lion population almost goes hand in hand with thriving buffalo herds. Leopards are frequently seen in the park, with the majority of visitors catching a glimpse of this elusive feline!

Ruaha’s Wildlife

Ruaha is a fantastic safari park since it features a fusion of East and Southern African species in terms of vegetation and wildlife. The Great Ruaha River, a key water supply throughout the year but especially during the dry season, is one cause for the swarms of animals in Ruaha.

The success of game drives in this region contributes significantly to the river’s dependability, since animals concentrate predictably along the long beaches.

Large prides of lions reside here, sometimes totaling over twenty individuals! Leopards and cheetahs like hunting on the broad plains, while servals, caracals, civets, genets, and banded wildcats are also found here. Cheetahs are surprisingly plentiful, making sightings of the three main cat species highly feasible – something that is becoming increasingly rare in Africa.

Other animals can also be found in abundance in Ruaha. The elephant herds in the park are enormous!

Buffalo, zebra, giraffe, hippopotamus, and a diverse range of antelope species, including roan, sable, eland, impala, gazelle, reedbuck, hartebeest, and klipspringer – as well as the biggest population of greater kudu in all of East Africa! Predators include the black-backed jackal, spotted hyena, and (less common) striped hyena, in addition to the cats. The park is also a popular spot for wild dogs, with over a hundred of them as of latest count.

When is the best time to visit Ruaha for wildlife?

The months of July through the end of October are ideal for visiting Ruaha. This is the height of the dry season, and the time of year when the vast majority of Ruaha’s wildlife congregates around the park’s rivers.

How much does it cost to visit Ruaha?

To begin, we’d like to emphasize that Ruaha is one of Africa’s top value parks… As a result, there is a case to be made that visitors should visit during the dry season when prices are greatest, but the overall value (in comparison to other African countries) is still excellent! When comparing the costs here to similar lodges elsewhere in Africa, it’s clear that this park provides some of the greatest value on the continent. The height of the dry season, from July through October, is ideal for game viewing, although fees are expensive. However, if you travel outside of these months, you will get even greater deals.

June is a favorite month for some guides since the park is lush after the rains, fees are reasonable, and Ruaha is relatively uncrowded. Traveling in the beginning of November is also a good idea because prices drop on November 1st!

Ruaha safari activities

Because Ruaha is a National Park, it is governed by the TANAPA laws (the National Park authority). Every resort offers game drives, and the majority of them also provide walking safaris. However, we would like to point out that there are some excellent walking operators in the area, as well as others that must rely on the TANAPA rangers to execute their treks.