Ruaha National Park is one of the largest national parks in Tanzania, located in the southern part of the country. It covers an area of 20,226 square kilometers and is home to a wide variety of wildlife and vegetation. The park is named after the Great Ruaha River which flows through it and is an important source of water for both the wildlife and the local communities. In this article, we will provide you with all the information you need to know about Ruaha National Park.

Getting to Ruaha National Park

The easiest way to get to Ruaha National Park is by flying to the nearest airport, Iringa Airport, which is about 130 kilometers away from the park. From there, you can hire a car or take a taxi to the park. Alternatively, you can take a bus from Dar es Salaam or Mbeya to Iringa and then hire a car or take a taxi to the park. It is important to note that the road to the park is rough and requires a 4-wheel drive vehicle.


The climate in Ruaha National Park is hot and dry, with temperatures ranging from 20°C to 30°C. The dry season runs from June to October, while the wet season runs from November to May. The best time to visit the park is during the dry season when the wildlife is easier to spot due to the lack of vegetation and the animals tend to gather around the rivers and waterholes.


Ruaha National Park is home to a wide variety of wildlife, including elephants, lions, leopards, cheetahs, wild dogs, giraffes, zebras, and many more. It is also a great place for birdwatching, with over 570 bird species recorded in the park. The Great Ruaha River is an important source of water for the wildlife, and during the dry season, you can see large herds of elephants, buffalos, and other animals gathering around the river to drink.


There are several accommodation options available in and around Ruaha National Park, ranging from basic camping sites to luxurious lodges. Some of the popular lodges in the park include Ruaha River Lodge, Mdonya Old River Camp, and Jongomero Camp. It is important to book your accommodation in advance, especially during the peak season (June to October).


There are several activities you can enjoy in Ruaha National Park, including game drives, walking safaris, and birdwatching. Game drives are the most popular activity, and you can hire a 4-wheel drive vehicle with a driver-guide to take you around the park. Walking safaris are also a great way to explore the park and get up close to the wildlife, but it is important to do so with an experienced guide. Birdwatching is another popular activity, and there are several bird hides in the park where you can observe the birds without disturbing them.

For those interested in cultural experiences, there are several Maasai villages around the park where you can learn about their traditional way of life and culture. It is important to note that you should always respect the local communities and their traditions.

It is also possible to combine a visit to Ruaha National Park with a visit to other nearby parks, such as Mikumi National Park or Selous Game Reserve.

Conservation and Sustainability

Ruaha National Park is an important conservation area in Tanzania, and efforts are being made to ensure the sustainable use of the park’s resources. The park has implemented several conservation programs, including anti-poaching efforts and community-based conservation initiatives. It is important for visitors to the park to be aware of their impact on the environment and to practice responsible tourism.


Ruaha National Park is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in wildlife and nature. With its diverse wildlife, stunning landscapes, and rich cultural heritage, the park offers a truly unforgettable experience. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveler, there’s always something new to discover in Ruaha National Park.


Table – Wildlife Found in Ruaha National Park

Animal Scientific Name
African elephant Loxodonta africana
Lion Panthera leo
Leopard Panthera pardus
Cheetah Acinonyx jubatus
African wild dog Lycaon pictus
Giraffe Giraffa camelopardalis
Zebra Equus quagga


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