Ruaha National Park Safari - Packages, Cost & More.
Imagine embarking on an unforgettable safari adventure, surrounded by vast landscapes and diverse wildlife, where the woodlands of Southern Africa meet the savannahs of East Africa. Welcome to Ruaha National Park, Tanzania’s largest protected area, offering a unique and remote safari experience in the heart of Africa.
Ruaha National Park is one of the quieter parks of Southern Tanzania. It receives far fewer visitors which has allowed it to retain its pristine wilderness nature.
On a game drive, you may spot the usual resident species—elephants and lions—alongside rare species like the lesser kudu, greater kudu, and wild dogs. And some prey-predator action too!
To book your Ruaha safari package, we invite you to contact us via phone or WhatsApp at +254-704-532-105. You can also connect with us via email at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ruaha National Park Safari - Photos by our Guests
Discovering Ruaha National Park
Ruaha National Park was originally gazetted as the Saba Game Reserve by the Germans. This was back in 1910 and when the British colonial authorities took over, they renamed it the Rungwa Game Reserve. Fast forward to 1964 and the southern portion of Rungwa Game Reserve was carved off and elevated to full national park status aka the Ruaha National Park.
Nestled within the heart of Northern Tanzania, Ruaha National Park is a remarkable destination where you can truly immerse yourself in the beauty of East Africa. As Tanzania’s largest national park, Ruaha covers a staggering 20,000 km² and is home to diverse landscapes and abundant wildlife, earning its reputation as the country’s best-kept game viewing secret.
The park is part of the greater Rungwa-Kizigo-Muhese ecosystem which includes the Rungwa, Kizingo, and Muhesi Game Reserves as well as the Mbomipa wildlife management area. Ruaha’s wilderness comprises forested highlands, lakes, rivers and wetlands, open grasslands, clumps of palm trees, scrubby woodlands, and scattered baobab trees.
Regular East African safari goers cherish this park for its authentic East African safari experience, far from the beaten track.
The Great Ruaha River
The Great Ruaha River, which forms the eastern border of the park, is the lifeblood of Ruaha National Park. This permanent river attracts a variety of wildlife, providing breathtaking scenery and unparalleled game-viewing opportunities.
The hot, dry climate and dependable water sources make predicting game movements a breeze, ensuring an unforgettable experience for all visitors.
Merging with Usangu Game Reserve
In 2008, Usangu Game Reserve merged with Ruaha creating an even larger and more diverse ecosystem for visitors to explore. This expanded park now offers a unique combination of:
- Majestic mountains
- Lush valleys
- Vast grasslands
- Beautiful Miombo woodlands
The Usangu Wetlands alone are home to nearly 500 animal species, including swallows, crocodiles, and herds of impala.
Planning Your Ruaha Safari Adventure
To fully enjoy your Ruaha safari adventure, careful planning is key. This part guides you through optimal visitation times, available transport options, and tour packages that will help you tailor the perfect trip.
Best Time to Visit
The ideal time to visit Ruaha is during the long dry season, which runs from June to October. During this peak season, the Great Ruaha River is in full flow, and wild animals congregate around the water sources, making game viewing at its best.
Ruaha experiences an extended wet season that runs between November and April. In the rainy season, showers and thunderstorms show up in the afternoons mostly. The rainy season brings with it lush landscapes full of verdant grasslands and wildflowers. With fewer visitors around, it’s the perfect time for photographic safaris.
Migrant birds also arrive around this time. So, if you’re a bird enthusiast, the European winter months of December to April are the best time for birding.
Reaching Ruaha National Park is an adventure in itself! Internal flights on small Auric Airplanes land at various airstrips in the park, including the Msembe airstrip or Jongomero Airstrip. If you prefer a more scenic route, a 4×4 journey to the park is also an option, though it may take 5-6 hours with stops.
Flights from five airports in Tanzania, Dar es Salaam, Arusha, the Serengeti, Kigoma, and Dodoma offer easy access to local airstrips. This ensures convenient travel for passengers.
There are several tour packages available for Ruaha National Park, catering to a variety of preferences and budgets.
Some popular options include safari tours offered by specialized tour operators, and vacation packages with a duration of 3 to 9 days. The duration of your stay in this “off the beaten track wilderness depends on your preferences.
Accommodation Options in Ruaha National Park
Despite its considerable size, Ruaha has only a handful of tented camps and lodges which translates to fewer people trooping in. This has built Ruaha’s reputation as a “wilder” and more authentic park compared to the Northern parks.
That said there are still multiple accommodation options from luxury lodges to budget-friendly camps in Ruaha National Park. There’s something for everyone, ensuring a comfortable rest after a day filled with exciting wilderness encounters and safari adventures.
Let’s look at the luxury, mid-range, and budget-tented camps and lodges you will find on a Ruaha safari
Opulent lodges include:
- Ikuka Safari Camp
- Jabali Ridge
- Mwagusi Camp
- Ruaha River Lodge
Many of these lodges and tented camps often feature hammocks, infinity pools, and spas for the ultimate relaxation after a day of exploring the park.
If you’re looking for a balance between comfort and affordability, mid-range lodges are an excellent choice. Options such as Kwihala Camp and Nomad Kigelia Camp provide comfortable rooms with en-suite bathrooms, swimming pools, and restaurants.
They also offer exciting activities such as game drives, walking safaris, and cultural experiences. These lodges are perfect for those who want to experience the beauty of the African bush without breaking the bank.
For those on a tighter budget, Ruaha offers budget-friendly camps like Mdonya Old River Camp and Kigelia Ruaha Camp. While these camps provide basic facilities, the experiences are immersive allowing you to fully connect with the park’s incredible wilderness and natural beauty.
Wildlife Encounters in Ruaha National Park
Ruaha National Park, located in southern and Eastern Africa, is home to a variety of wild animals. The park hosts large populations of elephants, big cats, and wild dogs, alongside unique species like the roan and sable antelope.
Actually, close to one-tenth of the world’s lion population can be found in Ruaha. With its incredible array of wild animals, Ruaha is an irresistible destination for wildlife enthusiasts and nature lovers.
Elephants, Lions, and African Wild Dog
As you venture through the safari parks, keep your eyes peeled for the magnificent elephants, majestic lions, and the highly endangered African wild dog. These incredible animals can often be spotted roaming the park’s open grasslands and woodlands, providing unforgettable sights and memories to cherish for a lifetime.
In addition to the more well-known species, Ruaha National Park is home to some truly unique animals. The rare roan and sable antelope, cheetahs, and leopards can all be found within the park’s boundaries.
These remarkable creatures are a testament to the park’s diverse and thriving ecosystem.
If you’re a bird enthusiast, Ruaha National Park is nothing short of paradise. With over 571 bird species present in the park, you’ll have ample opportunity to spot a wide range of beautiful and fascinating birds throughout your visit.
The slightly wetter months of December to April are an ideal time for birdwatching, as resident and migratory birds flock to the park.
Safari Activities in Ruaha National Park
A selection of engaging safari activities await you in the Ruaha, allowing you to deeply experience its wonders. Whether you prefer thrilling game drives, intimate walking safaris, or breathtaking balloon safaris, this extraordinary park has something to suit everyone’s taste.
Morning game drives offer an up-close and personal encounter with Ruaha’s diverse wildlife. Led by expert guides, these drives take place twice daily and provide an unparalleled opportunity to observe:
- African wild dog
- other unique species
The experience is truly unforgettable, and the guides are knowledgeable and passionate about the park’s
For a more intimate and immersive experience, walking safaris are an excellent choice. Various camps within the park such as Jongomero Camp offer guided walking safaris that take you through the bush and allow you to observe the wild animals up close.
This incredible game-viewing experience gives you a unique insight into the park’s environment and its inhabitants.
For a truly unique and breathtaking perspective of Ruaha’s vast landscape, consider embarking on a balloon safari. As you float above the park at sunrise, you’ll be treated to a unique perspective of the diverse ecosystem and the countless species that call this park home.
Cultural Experiences around Ruaha National Park
Apart from its diverse wildlife and captivating safari activities, Ruaha also enables you to delve into a variety of cultural experiences. Discover the intriguing German colonial architecture in the adjacent city of Iringa and venture into the region’s pre-historic sites to catch a glimpse of Tanzania’s illustrious past.
German Colonial Architecture
The nearby city of Iringa is home to beautiful German colonial architecture, with buildings featuring red-tiled roofs, white-washed walls, and ornate balconies. This architectural style serves as a reminder of the town’s history and its connection to the German colonial period, offering a unique cultural experience during your visit to the region.
The region around Ruaha National Park is home to several pre-historic sites, including the Isimila pillars near Iringa Town, God’s Bridge, and the tiny museum near Kalenga village. Kalenga was the former headquarters of Chief Mkwawa, a Hehe ruler who resisted German colonial rule back in the day. The museum contains the skull of Chief Mkwawa along with his personal effects and relics.
These ancient sites offer a fascinating glimpse into Tanzania’s ancient history, allowing you to connect with the past while exploring the park’s incredible present.
Conservation Efforts in Ruaha National Park
Conservation is at the heart of Ruaha National Park’s mission, with numerous initiatives undertaken to safeguard its extraordinary biodiversity and wildlife. Your participation in biodiversity audits and support for wildlife protection initiatives can make a significant contribution to the park’s conservation endeavors, preserving its natural beauty.
One way to support the park’s conservation efforts is by participating in biodiversity audits. These research projects, conducted by the Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute and the National Parks Authority, help assess and document the park’s diverse plant and animal species.
By recording your wildlife sightings during your visit, you’ll contribute to the understanding of the local ecosystem and aid in its protection.
Support wildlife protection initiatives by staying at eco-friendly lodges and participating in conservation-focused activities during your visit. These efforts, which include anti-poaching patrols, habitat restoration projects, and community outreach initiatives, help protect the park’s incredible wildlife and ensure its future for generations to come.
Ruaha National Park is a truly remarkable destination, offering a unique and authentic safari experience in the heart of Tanzania. With its vast landscapes, incredible wilderness encounters, and diverse safari activities, this hidden gem is a must-visit for any nature lover. We hope this guide has inspired you to plan your own exhilarating adventure to Ruaha and create memories that will last a lifetime. Key highlights of a safari in Ruaha National Park:
- Explore Tanzania’s largest national park, Ruaha National Park—home to incredible wildlife & unique species!
- Plan your safari adventure now and experience the best of East Africa with transport options & tour packages.
- Join in on conservation efforts such as biodiversity audits and help protect its natural beauty for future generations!
Contact Us to Plan Your Safari to Ruaha National Park
Frequently Asked Questions
Is There a Safari in Ruaha National Park?
Yes, there is a safari in Ruaha where you can experience the authentic African wilderness and superb wildlife viewing. A true gem for safari adventurers, Ruaha is on the Southern Tanzania circuit.
What Is the Best Time of Year To Visit Ruaha National Park?
Escape the crowds and experience a wildlife-filled adventure in Ruaha National Park by visiting between June to October for optimal wildlife viewing.
What Animals Are in the Ruaha?
Ruaha National Park is brimming with incredible wild animals including elephants, zebra, lions, giraffes, hunting dogs, ostrich, and various antelopes! With more than 540 species of birds also inhabiting this area, it’s an unforgettable spot for nature lovers.
What Transportation Options Are Available To Reach Ruaha National Park?
Take the adventure of a lifetime and explore Ruaha National Park with options like internal flights on small planes, 4×4 journeys, or connecting flights from other Tanzanian cities.