Ruaha National Park offers amazing wildlife viewing and it is the largest national park in Tanzania. The park is ideal for spotting a number of predators including lions and endangered wild dogs.
The Great Ruaha River is the main feature of the Ruaha National Park. This river attracts plenty of animals during the Dry season. Some areas are full of baobab trees and the dominant vegetation is miombo woodland.
Aside from rhino, Ruaha National Park is home to all major safari animals which are present in good numbers. Lions are known to live in large groups and in order to feed themselves, they frequently attack other big animals like buffalos. A high diversity of antelope can be spotted including dozens of rare species such as roan, kudu, and sable antelope.
Ruaha National Park seems to be a bit wilder than other pars in the area, but the real draw are the wild dog packs which you can spot regularly. The largest population of greater kudu in East Africa is located right here in Ruaha National Park.
Best Time to Visit
The best time for observing wildlife in Rhuna National Park is from the middle to the end of the Dry season, which lasts from June to October. During this time of year, the animals are easier to spot as they concentrate close to trusted water sources.
May to October –Dry Season
- Animals gather around waterholes and rivers which makes wildlife viewing easier.
- There is almost no rain and the skies are usually bright
- There are fewer mosquitos and the risk of getting malaria is at a minimum.
- It is not humid.
- Dryness and dust are quite common.
- Many lodges are closed in May.
November to April –Wet Season
- The scenery is known to be full and green
- There are fewer tourists in April and May and the rates for accommodation and tours are better.
- It is an ideal time for bird-watching.
- Some roads get impassable.
- Wildlife viewing is not at its best. The middle and the end of the Dry season offer better wildlife viewing.
- It can get extremely hot and damp.
- Many lodges and other types of accommodations are closed in April.
Most safaris to Ruaha start from Dar es Salaam and the main point of entry to the country is Julius Nyerere International Airport (DAR). The tour operator is usually in charge of picking up visitors from the airport and taking care of all further domestic flights and transportations.
The drive from Dar es Salaam to Ruaha takes around 10 hours. Keep in mind that the roads are quite dusty and bumpy. There are many travelers who make a stop at Mikumi NP during this drive. From Mikumi, you will need about five hours to reach Ruaha.
The easiest and the best way to get to Ruaha is a scheduled or a chartered flight to the airstrip in the park. Unless you are planning to visit the park as a part of a southern circuit, all flights leave from Dar es Salaam. In case you are visiting the park as a part of a southern circuit, the flights depart from Mikumi and Selous. There are also flights from Arusha town and Coastal Aviation has direct flights between Ruaha NP and Serengeti.
Airlines & Ticket Prices
For flights and ticket prices please check Skyscaner. You can also check Expedia for multiple destinations and see which airlines can transport you to Julius Nyerere International Airport (DAR).
Charter flights are usually booked by the tour operator as part of the tour package. Local carriers offer scheduled flights.