Mikumi National Park

Located astride the main Dar to Mbeya highway, to the north of Selous Game Reserve and only 283 km from Dar-es-Salaam, the park is an important educational center for students of ecology and conservation, having been established to protect the environment and resident animals. The Mikumi flood plain is the main feature of the park along with the bordering mountain ranges. It has a landing strip and is home to, among others, the buffalo, zebra, giraffe, lion, wild dogs, python, monitor lizard, hartebeest, wildebeest, elephant hippo, impala, warthog, eland and antelope. Birds include the hammerkop, saddle-bill stork, and the malachite kingfisher. The vegetation is made up of woodland, grassland and swamp. There are two water holes, Mkata and Chamgore.

Ruaha National Park

At 13,000 sq. km, it is the second largest Tanzanian park and the world’s largest elephant sanctuary. The park represents a transition zone where eastern and southern African species of fauna and flora overlap. It is the northernmost example of Miombo woodland, common in central Africa, and the most southerly protected area in which Grant’s gazelle, lesser kudu and striped hyena are found. To be able to see both greater and lesser kudu and roan and sable antelope in the same park is one of the special attractions of Ruaha. In the dry season, the river is an excellent place for observing large numbers of game including lions, leopards, hunting dogs, giraffe, waterbuck, eland and warthogs. Thousands of birds flock to Ruaha on their annual migration from Europe to Asia, and 465 bird species have been sighted in the park. The park’s residents include kingfishers, plovers, hornbills, green wood hoopoes, bee-eaters, sunbirds and egrets.

Selous Game Reserve

The pristine reserve, a World Heritage Site since 1982, comprises an area of 55,000 sq. km, covering about six per cent of Tanzania’s land surface. Larger than Switzerland, it is the world’s largest game reserve and second only to the Serengeti in its concentration of wildlife. It is also the sanctuary of the biggest elephant herd in the world, about 32,000 elephants live in the reserve – 70 per cent of those in Tanzania. The reserve is difficult to describe without the use of superlatives.

Named after British hunter and writer Frederick Courteney Selous who was killed during the First World War in the Beho Beho region (of the reserve), the reserve is part of the 75,000 square kilometer Selous ecosystem, which includes Mikumi National Park, the Kilombero Game Controlled Areas . Nature experiences include a boat safari on the mighty Rufiji, walk on the wild side and ornithology (over 350 species).

Udzungwa Mountains National Park

Udzungwa is one of Tanzania’s largest park’s but accessibility is severely limited-game drives are not possible, and therefore only trekking expeditions can be organized into the wilderness.

The park hosts six species of primate, two of them are of endemic forms – the Red Colobus Monkey and the Sanje Crested Mangabey, discovered in 1979. The large resident populations of Elephant, Buffalo, Lion, Leopard, Wild Dog and Sable Antelope reside primarily on the side of the mountain range which is presently inaccessible. Other attractions of this park include the spectacular mountain scenery with rain forest, wooded grasslands, rock faces, rivers and waterfalls; the falls on the Sanje River which drops some 170 m through the forest and into the valley below; and the mountain plateau with views of over 100 km, much of it across a mosaic of mountain forest and grassland.

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