Ruaha National Park Tanzania is the best of Tanzania’s largest national park and offers excellent wildlife safaris. It is particularly good for spotting predators, including very large feelings of pride of lion and the endangered Wild Dogs. Elephants and a big variety of antelope species are other big draws to the park. It also has outstanding wilderness appeal, with limited exclusive, luxury camps available.
All big cats are regularly seen, and wild dogs are the star attraction. They are especially easy to find when denning. Several antelope species that are rare or absent in northern Tanzania, such as greater and lesser kudu, roan and sable antelope, are often encountered.
Remote Ruaha is an unspoiled wilderness famed for its large number of elephants. In fact, aside from rhino, all major safari animals are present in good numbers. Large feelings of pride of lion, sometimes counting more than 20 individuals, roam the park, and even buffalo, an unusual prey, isn’t safe here. Ruaha National Park Tanzania
One of the park’s key attractions is the wild dogs. There are only a handful of places where these charismatic pack animals are easily observed, and this is one of the best. Ruaha is also home to the largest population of greater kudu in East Africa. Other rare antelope species that can be seen here include lesser kudu, roan and sable antelope.
The middle and end of the Dry season (from June to October) is the best time for wildlife viewing in the park. Wildlife is easier to spot because the vegetation is thinner and animals gather around predictable water sources. The male greater kudu is most visible in June, the breeding season. The best time to see the wild dogs is during their dinning season, from June to August.
Bird’s species in Ruaha National Park
Ruaha’s great diversity of birds is a function of its location, which is transitional to the acacia savannah of East Africa and the miombo woodland belt of southern Africa. The park has a checklist of 450 birds. The crested barbet, whose persistent trilling is a characteristic sound of the southern bush – occurs in Ruaha, alongside central Tanzanian endemics (restricted to Central Tanzania) such as the Yellow-collared, lovebird and ashy starling. Migratory birds are present from November to April.
Birdlife in Ruaha is good year-round, but at its best from November to April when the migratory birds from Europe and northern Africa are present. At this time, many resident bird species are nesting and are in breeding plumage. For wildlife viewing, the middle and end of the Dry season, from June to October, is best for visitors to the park!
The middle and end of the Dry season June to October) is the prime time for watching wildlife in Ruaha National Park. Animals are easier to spot because the bush thins out and wildlife concentrates around trusted water sources. main feature of the park is the Great Ruaha River, which attracts loads of animals in the Dry season. Ruaha National Park Tanzania
The dominant vegetation is branchy stogie (miombo) woodland, and some areas are dotted with the impressive baobab tree.
Ruaha being near the equator, temperatures don’t change much from month to month. The area is at its coolest during the Dry season (May to October), which doesn’t say much when the average afternoon temperature is around 27°C/81°F. The Wet season November to April piles on the heat and the humidity, with the rainfall at its heaviest early in this period.
Ruaha is hot and dry. Temperatures don’t vary much throughout the year. The warmest months are October to March, and the coolest is June to August. The Dry season occurs from May to October. Ruaha has one extended Wet season from November to April. Afternoon thunderstorms are common, but it is unusual for rainfall to last throughout the day.
Dry season – May to October
May, June, July, August, September & October – It is dry and sunny and temperatures range between 27°C/81°F (daytime) and 15°C/59°F (nighttime).
Wet season –November to April
It is hot and humid. Average temperatures range from 28°C/82°F (daytime) to 17°C/63°F (nighttime).
November & December – The rains usually start in November. It doesn’t often rain all day; showers are mostly in the afternoon. The temperatures increase just before the rain starts, and peaks of over 38°C/100°F are not unusual.
January, February & March – Like previous months, it is highly unlikely for rains to last the whole day, but they will be more plentiful – usually in the afternoon. Daytime temperatures average 28°C/82°F, while night and early morning average 17°C/62°F. Ruaha National Park Tanzania
April – The rains will slow down, as this is the end of the Wet season. Temperatures average between 28°C/82°F and 17°C/63°F.
The heat is less intense in the Dry season (May to October), though plenty of dust is kicked up as you move around the park. This is also when the resident animals are more often glimpsed, unable to hide in the sun-withered bush. Safaris can get uncomfortably steamy in the wetter months, and some roads may be inaccessible at this time.
Safaris to Ruaha usually start from Dar es Salaam, and your point of entry for the country will be Julius Nyerere International Airport (DAR). In most cases, our driver-guide will pick you up from the airport and handle all further transportation.
The drive to Ruaha from Dar es Salaam takes about 10 hours, and a lot of it is on a dusty, bumpy road. Many people traveling to Ruaha make a stopover at Mikumi NP. From Mikumi, the distance to Ruaha is about 320km/200mi, and the drive takes roughly five hours.
The easier way to get to Ruaha is by chartered or scheduled flight from Dar es Salaam to the park’s airstrip. There are also flights connecting all parks of the southern circuit safari.
In this case, flights will leave from the airstrip in Selous or Mikumi. Flights from Arusha town, the base for the northern safari circuit, are also available. Coastal Aviation also offers direct scheduled flights between Serengeti NP and Ruaha NP.
Travel to Ruaha National Park can be very safe in our opinion. There is almost no crime in Tanzanian parks. Petty theft is quite common in the cities, so normal safety precautions are recommended when visiting urban centers on your trip. See ‘Cities & Other Urban Areas: Safety Precautions’ below for more information. If you’re on an organized tour, your guide will ensure your safety throughout your safari. Ruaha National Park Tanzania
Ant malarial medication is recommended for Ruaha. It is also advisable that you apply mosquito repellent with DEET (formulas containing this ingredient are the most effective) and wear long-sleeved clothing during evening hours. Contact your local doctor or health clinic regarding vaccinations required before your trip.