"Please note field marked * is required"
Ruaha national park - The park covers an area of about 13,000 square kilometres. It is part of a more extensive ecosystem, which includes Rungwa Game Reserve, Usangu Game Reserve, Kizigo Game Reserve and the Mbomipa Wildlife Management Area. The name of the park is derived from the Great Ruaha River, which flows along its South-Eastern margin and is the focus for game-viewing safaris. Ruaha National Park is known for its high density of elephants and large baobab trees. The park also holds a special significance as it covers a unique transition zone where the Eastern and Southern biomes intersect thereby offering an extraordinary diversity of animals, plants and birds. There are over 570 species of birds in this area thereby making Ruaha an ideal birding safari destination. Each morning and afternoon, game drives are arranged to explore Ruaha National Park. The game-viewing vehicles are open-sided with a canvas roof and the canvas sides can be rolled down in case of rain. Ponchos are provided. All vehicles have power points where guests can recharge devices and all are fitted with fridges to keep drinks deliciously frosty. A private game-viewing vehicle can be booked by prior arrangement. In the morning, guests can maximise their game-viewing safari by taking a delicious picnic breakfast to enjoy under the shade of a tree. In the evening, guests can sip a cold gin & tonic in the heart of the bush as the sun sinks below the horizon. A safari to this park is usually taken as a 'southern circuit' Tanzanian safari.
• Mountain hike - Ruaha escarpment is located on the north-west side of Ruaha National Park where Mdonya and Mwagusi sand rivers originate from respectively. The park is dotted with other hills and valleys that provide the perfect opportunity to hike to various points of interest. The most popular hiking route in the East of the park takes you to lderemle volcanic caves.
• Hippo & crocodile pool - The pool is located on the great Ruaha river about 35 kms south of the park headquarters at Msembe. It is a good day-out activity with a picnic lunch.
• Springs and swamps - Jongomeru swamp and Mkwawa spring are located in close proximity near Jongomero safari camp. You will find many birds in this area. It is a good day-out trip for the bird watchers with a picnic lunch.
The park lies in the middle of Tanzania about 130 kilometres from Iringa. Ruaha is known to have high concentration of elephants than any other National Park in East Africa. It is also a place where, magnificent mammals like Kudu, Sable and Roan antelopes can easily be spotted in Miombo woodlands. The park is a habitat for endangered wild dogs. Other animals in the park include lions, leopards, cheetah, giraffes, zebras, elands, impala, bat eared foxes and Jackals. Reptiles and amphibians such as crocodiles, poisonous and non-poisonous snakes, monitor lizards, agama lizards and frogs can be found here. The park is characterized by semi-arid type of vegetation, baobab trees, acacia and other dryland tree species. There are over 1,650 plant species that have been identified.
• Night game drives - When the sun sets, the elusive night animals come out to life. Explore the secrets of these shy creatures on a night game drive through Ruaha National Park.
• Walking safaris - A walking safari is one the most intimate ways to experience the bush. You will be accompanied by an experienced armed guide and local animal tracker. With an eye-to-eye encounter with the wildlife, your senses will be heightened and the sights, sounds and smells of the bush will come alive.
• Bird walks - You will take a bird-walk along the riverline forests accompanied by a local guide expert in the history of the area. For bird enthusiasts, there are over 570 bird species spotted in this area which include: ostrich, kori bustard, ashy starlings, rufous-tailed weavers, yellow-coloured lovebirds, hornbill, crested cranes, marabou storks, yellow-billed stork, oxpeckers and vultures among many more. You will have a checklist of birds that you can use to identify which birds you spot.
• Hot-air balloon safaris - There is nothing quite like gliding serenely over the vast plains of Ruaha as the wildlife teems below, on a romantic and evocative balloon safari. This will be at an additional cost.
(Note – Hot air balloon is an excursion booked separately. It is advisable that you book it early to avoid disappointment.)
Visitors to the game park can find different types of accommodation according to their budget ranging from lodges, luxury tented camps, open-air camping sites and fly camping options. Accommodation include among others:
• Ruaha River Lodge - It is the only lodge inside the park providing chalet accommodation stretching along the Great Ruaha River bank.
• Mwagusi Safari Camp. - Spacious and well decorated luxury tented bandas that are beautiful and blend perfectly well into the surroundings.
• Open-air campsites.
• Fly camping sites
• Picnic sites.
Tourist accommodation varies from luxury to the most basic rooms for the budget traveller. It is a tourist destination that is full-filling for those who love excitingly exclusive game drives. You will get personal attention on a southern circuit safari compared to the northern circuit. Accommodation feature all the neccessary amenities a visitor would require. It is very suitable for all travellers. The park include several airstrips such as Msembe airstrip at Msembe park headquarters, and Jongomeru airstrip, near the Jongomeru Ranger Post.
✓ Kwihala tented camp ✓ Jongomero tented camp ✓ Kigelia Camp ✓ Old Mdonya river camp ✓ Msembe bandas.
Park entry: The park is open daily from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm.
Entry on foot is prohibited and visitors are turned away after 6:00 pm.
Entry to the park is by smart card, obtained and loaded at the main gates.
Ruaha National Park was called Saba Game Reserve in 1910 by the German settlers and later changed its name to Rungwa Game Reserve by the British around 1946. During colonial times this part of Tanzania was noted to have a high number of wild animals and in particular elephants. The park is known for its large elephant population roaming freely numbering over 30,000 in the Ruaha-Rungwa ecosystem. However poaching has been rampart in the area recently and thereby declining the elephant population to nearly half by 2015. The anti-poaching efforts have been increased by the Tanzanian government including the ban on ivory trade and sensitizing the surrounding Hehe communities on the importance of preserving their wildlife heritage.
• Ruaha Gorge - The great Ruaha River that flows along the South-Eastern margin of the park attracts wild animals along its banks. The river waters have also created a gorge that is unique in this area. Take time to visit this gorge on your southern circuit safari.
• By Road: The park lies about 130 kilometres / 81 miles west of Iringa town. The park can be reached by car on a dirt road from Iringa.
• By Air: There are two airstrips: Msembe airstrip at Msembe park headquarters and Jongomeru airstrip near the Jongomeru Ranger Post. A ‘meet and greet' transfer services to your base hotel on your arrival are available from Nairobi, Dar es Salaam, Arusha, Kilimanjaro and Zanzibar that land on different accommodation units and public access airstrips.
(Make sure to contact us if you wish to visit this game park for your next south Tanzanian safari circuit holiday activity.)
Park charges are based on " " Tanzania tourism development tariffs which are reviewed from time to time. The rates we have quoted here are for information purposes and are indicative of the likely park charges you can incur. They are NOT accurate but approximate. However please note that if you have booked a complete wildlife safari package with us, park charges are included in the total cost of your safari at the time of booking. Therefore you need not worry about park entry fee!
Tourism development levy - It currently stands at US$ 1.5 per person per day including children.
• This park accepts Safari Cards.
• Park Entry Fee are based on Tourism development Tarrifs.
• Tanzanian law protects the whole Ruaha-Rungwa-Kizigo-Muhesi ecosystem from human pressures. It prevents human-wildlife conflict. As a visitor, you are therefore required to leave the park as tidy as you found it. Litering and dropping rubbish is strictly prohibited. You will be prosecuted if you violate these rules.
• If you take a walking safari along the forests, rivers and lakes, it is your responsibility to ensure that you keep a safe distance from wild animals and wear life jackets and other recommended items for your safety while in the water ways.
• The park is open daily from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm.
• Entry on foot is prohibited and visitors are turned away after 6:00 pm.
• Entry to the park is by smart card only, obtained and loaded at the main gates.
• Children must be accompanied by an adult at all times.
Scheduled local flight services to Ruaha are available from Nairobi, Arusha, Dar es salaam and Zanzibar Airports.
Airport transfers are available at an additional charge. Please let us know that we need to pick you up at the airport upon your arrival. Do not assume.