Holidays to Ruaha National Park, Tanzania

Looking to experience the African wilderness right up close? Then come to enchanting Ruaha, the largest national park in Tanzania. Its name is derived from the Great Ruaha River – a magnet for game, especially in the dry season between June to October. That’s when herds of elephant, giraffe and zebra converge on its banks in search of water, followed of course by sharp-eyed predators.

Ruaha is wilder and more remote than its southern neighbour Selous Game Reserve, and some say that it’s one of Tanzania's best-kept game viewing secrets. The park – a landscape of wide open plains, baobab studded hills and rocky slopes – can be reached by car on a dirt road from Iringa, or by light aircraft landing on one of two secluded airstrips at Msembe and Jongomeru.

The main safari activity in Ruaha is the daytime game drives, and guides really encourage guests to get fully involved in the whole exhilarating experience. As soon as it’s safe to do so, you can get out of the vehicle and see all the thrilling details of bush life right up close. With over 10,000 elephants, more than 500 species of birds, and everything from cheetahs, lions and African leopards to spotted hyenas, giraffe and hippopotamus, you’ll come away with some magical photographs. The lion viewing around the Mwagusi area is especially rewarding.

Or how about going on a fly camping trip, and spending an adventurous night out under the stars? Just imagine the scene – after a long, colourful day of dramatic encounters with some of nature’s biggest beasts, you settle down for a hearty dinner around the camp fire. Stories are told, songs are sung, and then as the flames flicker in the darkness of an African night, you fall fast asleep under the stars, with just a mosquito net between you and the sky. It’ll be a night you’ll never forget.

Once inside the park you can stay at a lodge, a cottage or a seasonal tented camp, some of which are truly top-end in terms of rustic luxury. Locally made tapestries adorn the canvas walls, and thousands of miles away from home you’ll have all the comforts you need in a magical and harmonious setting. Relax on open verandas scattered with sofas, cushions and hammocks for those quiet lazy moments at the end of the day. 

Jen
Travel Designer & Safari Expert
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I was born and raised in Africa, and I have spent 25 years living, working and travelling across various African countries including South Africa and Tanzania. I learned how to track wild animals, went on to become a nature guide and later a safari lodge manager, and I can also speak Swahili and Afrikaans.

Map of Ruaha National Park