Ruaha National Park is the second largest National Park in Tanzania which covers an area of 20,226square kilometers. The park is located in south-central Tanzania and this is one of the country’s most outstanding wilderness areas. Being an outstanding area, the park’s relative inaccessibility means it gets far and this fact has caused the park to experience fewer tourists than the Selous and less than any comparable park in the southern circuit. It is during the dry season, when game viewing is at its best, animals are drawn to the Great Ruaha River and other water sources for drinking water and cooling their bodies. The name Ruaha was derived from the hehe word called ”Luhava” meaning the great river

The advantage of travelling far in the park is to experience a wild landscape with baobab studded hills and rocky escarpments with a pretty number of wild animals. Ruaha National Park has reliably exciting predator concentrations and is regarded as the home of more than 10% of the world’s lion population. The park contains as well one of four cheetah populations in East Africa and is the third prime wild dog population in the world. Mentioned last wild animals live by being accompanied by huge elephant and buffalo herds.  The park has a wild and authentic environment that remains relatively untouched.

The Best time of your safaris at Ruaha National Park

The park is about 130 kilometres west of Iringa and is a part of the 45,000 square kilometers of Rungwa-Kizigo-Muhesi ecosystem which includes the Rungwa Game Reserve, the Kizigo and Muhesi Game Reserves as well as the Mbomipa Wildlife Management Area.

Ruaha National Park enjoys only one rainy season, usually from the end of November to May with annual average rainfall ranging from 500 to 800mm. The park is located at an altitude between 750 and 1868 meters. Best months for your safari trips are from June to October

The park can be accessed by road and or air. Through road, From Iringa town to the park, the distance is approximated to be 108km to the main gate (Y-Junction) and 625Km from Dar es Salaam as well as 480Km from Mbeya City.  Through aviation, there are daily flights from Dar es Salaam and Arusha. Arusha is the easiest way to Ruaha. Airstrips are landing at Msembe and Jongomero. Coastal Aviation, Auric Air and Safari Link all have scheduled flights to Ruaha on daily bases. GVTS experts will be available to assist you.

The uniqueness of Ruaha National Park

Ruaha National Park has all the predators’ very good lions, leopards and cheetahs as well as wild dogs and hyenas. Herbs include Buffalo and elephant herds which are found throughout the park but it is the park’s crazy combinations of species from east and southern Africa that excites wildlife and bird watching visitors.  While being the park, It is common to see sable antelope, Grant’s gazelle, greater kudu and lesser kudu in the same area as east Africa’s common species such as zebra, defassa waterbuck, impala as well as giraffe.

Not only does Ruaha National Park enjoy abundant wildlife, but the magnificent and constantly changing landscapes add a magical touch to the whole experience. Baobabs dot the rocky hillsides, the cool green shade along the River, the open grassy plains, all make a wonderful and exciting trip.

Wild Animals

This is the place where visitors can see both Lesser and Greater Kudu because it is the southernmost limit for Lesser Kudu in African continent. It is also possible to see Sable and Roan antelope, Lichtenstein’s Hartebeest, Topi, both Southern and Bohor reedbuck and it is the southernmost limit of Grant’s Gazelle. In addition to this, Ruaha boasts a healthy population of Wild Dogs, Leopard, Lions, Cheetah, Buffalo, and Elephant, not to mention all the other species, of which there are plenty.


With 574 species recorded in Ruaha, it is difficult to visit this beautiful Park and not be impressed by the number and variety of birds you see

Baobab ”Upside down tree”

The park is known for having baobab trees scattered all over the park. During the dry season the baobab trees shed leaves and leave only bare branches that resemble roots. Therefore people nicknamed it “roots up tree”.

The Great Ruaha River

The Great Ruaha River is the river which gives  life to Ruaha National Park  and it is one of the main attractions for many tourists.

Tourism activities in the Park

Various activities are available in the park, such as day and night game drive, walking safari, cultural tourism, bush meal, bird watching; star gazing, balloon safari and picnicking.

Walking Safari

This activity takes a visitor more close to nature as it provides a chance of tracking animals by their footprints, stopping to admire birdlife in the trees, and watching smaller creatures and their behaviors.

Game drive

Venture into the pristine wilderness of the Ruaha in a 4*4 safari vehicle hosted by experts. The Park is hailed for its vast herds of buffalo which roam the magnificent plains as well as for its flourishing elephants, lions, leopards , crocodiles and hippo populations

Night game drive

A night drive gives you the opportunity to see Ruaha like never before with a chance of seeing nocturnal wildlife and predators when they are more active

 Filming and Photographing

The Park makes the best place for professional filming and photographing

Balloon safari

Experience hot air balloon safaris and enjoy spectacular aerial game viewing and remarkable landscapes

Bush meal

Visitors can enjoy taking their meals at the middle of the bush after a short or long day game drive

Cultural and Historical sites

Nyerere National Park hosts the Mkwawa Museum, Isimila Stone age site and natural pillar, Mapenza grave, Nyanywa, Ganga la Mafunyo and Idinda rock painting will add unforgettable story tales on your visit

Accommodation facilities

In the Park, there are various available accommodations ranging from private owned to TANAPA owned accommodations. TANAPA owns picnic sites, public campsites, special campsites, Cottages, Bandas, Rest houses and Hostel.