Situated in central Tanzania, the Ruaha National Park is one of the largest protected areas in Africa. It is the largest national park in Tanzania. The addition of the Usangu Game Reserve and other important wetlands to the park increased its size to about 20,226 square kilometres making it one of the largest national parks in Africa.
The name “Ruaha” is originated from the Hehe (Tribe in Tanzania) word “Ruvaha” which means “River”.
Enormous Baobab trees are a key feature of Ruaha, where almost all individuals bear the scars of the huge elephant population. Elephant relish the succulent bark of Baobab trees and gouge into the tree trunks with their powerful tusks.
Ruaha has a handful of camps and lodges and the distance from Dar es Salaam makes the park less visited.
The park is believed to have the highest population of Elephants than any other national park in East Africa. Also found are Lions with prides of upto 40, Leopards, Cheetahs, Giraffes, Buffalo, Elands, Zebras, Impala, Grant’s Gazelles, Jackals, Greater and Lesser Kudu, Hartebeest, Roan and Sable Antelope.
Ruaha is a bird’s paradise with more than 571 species of birds sighted inside the park.
Some of the common birds found are Saddle-billed Storks, Goliath herons, White-headed Plovers, Ruaha Red-billed hornbill.
Birds can be seen throughout the year, the best time for bird watching is during the wet season from November to March.
Best time to visit:
January to April – Wet season – for Bird watching, scenery and wildflowers
Mid May to December – Dry season – For Predators and large Mammals