Only about 1% of visitors to Tanzania go on a Ruaha safari. It is known as one of Tanzania’s best-kept secret safari spots, promising unhurried, uncrowded game viewing. This fly-in destination offers off-the-beaten-track adventure, as well as luxury and excellent hospitality at beautiful riverside lodges and tented camps.
Set where the woodlands of Southern Africa meet the savannahs of East Africa, Ruaha's diversity of animals is matched by their numbers. Drawing its name and lifeblood from the permanent Great Ruaha River that forms its eastern border, Ruaha is home to the largest elephant herds in East Africa and has an excellent reputation for predators. All the big cats - lion, leopard and cheetah - are there in healthy numbers as are the highly endangered wild dog and spotted hyena.
These are our reasons why you should visit Ruaha National Park:
1. A Hub of Safari Activity
Ruaha National Park is one of the best safari destinations in Tanzania that offers a wide range of activities for wildlife enthusiasts. One of the most popular activities is game drives, which allows you to explore the park's vast savannahs and spot an array of wildlife. You can also embark on walking safaris, which give you a more intimate and immersive experience of the park's flora and fauna.
For a unique perspective, you can go on a night game drive to spot nocturnal animals such as hyenas and genets. Additionally, bird watching is another fantastic activity on a Ruaha safari, with over 570 bird species found in the park.
- Game drives to spot the diverse game, including the Big Five.
- Some camps offer walking safaris to get as close to nature as possible.
- Fly camping; real, wild, African bush camping.
- Bush breakfasts & sundowners.
- Marvel at the Great Rift Valley which traverses the park.
2. Year-Round Game Viewing & Predator Paradise
Ruaha is an excellent year-round destination for game viewing, and you can expect to see a wide range of game species such as greater kudu, buffalo, roan and sable antelope, zebra and giraffe. When weather is hot and dry from May to October animals concentrate along hippo-and-crocodile-filled watercourses. With a bird count around 570, it's also an excellent destination for twitchers, especially during the November to April Green Season. But when to go to Ruaha National Park ultimately depends on what you want to do and see when on safari in the region.
- Ruaha supports an incredible and globally important predator population.
- It has the second largest lion population left in the world, supporting almost 10% of Africa’s remaining lions.
- It is a hotspot for Africa’s most elegant felines – providing a home to one of only four east African cheetah populations with over 200 adults, and an abundance of leopard.
3. Uncrowded & Off-The-Beaten-Track
Ruaha National Park is one of the few African safari destinations that can provide you with an authentic safari experience. Despite being one of the best safari parks for wildlife viewing, it’s not as crowded as the well-known Serengeti, Tarangire, Lake Manyara and the Ngorongoro Crater. Even during peak season, a Ruaha safari doesn’t get congested and because of this, you may feel like you have the entire place to yourself.
- One of the world’s most pristine, off-the-beaten-path animal havens.
- Its remoteness - and utter vastness - is what makes it so compelling.
- An exclusive and secluded safari.
4. Conservation Safaris
Conservation travel in Ruaha National Park is an opportunity to engage in meaningful and sustainable tourism while contributing to the preservation of the park's precious natural resources. You can directly support conservation efforts, such as anti-poaching patrols, habitat restoration projects, and community outreach initiatives.
Conservation efforts in Ruaha National Park also support the local communities surrounding the park. Many conservation programs in the park work with local communities to provide employment and income opportunities through eco-tourism initiatives, encouraging the sustainable use of natural resources.
- By participating in this unique kind of travel, you can make a positive impact, ensuring that Ruaha National Park remains a vital and thriving ecosystem for generations to come.
- Conservation efforts in Ruaha National Park also support the local communities surrounding the park.
- You can learn about the park's unique ecology and biodiversity through guided tours and educational programs.
5. Easy Logistics & Convenient Add-Ons
Even though Ruaha National Park is in a remote and wild region of Tanzania, it’s surprisingly accessible. The park can be reached easily by air - daily scheduled flights fly into the park's two airstrips (Msembe and Jongomero) from Arusha, Dodoma, Kigoma and Dar es Salaam. You can also book a chartered flight. Being a fly-in destination means more time on safari!
- Combine a Ruaha safari with a visit to Nyerere National Park or Katavi - other savannah parks that are equally as wild as Ruaha.
- Easily add on Mahale National Park, a pristine rainforest reserve on Lake Tanganyika, complete with chimpanzees, forest birds and dazzling clouds of butterflies.