Ruaha National Park is the second largest national park in Tanzania covering an area of 22,000 square kilometres. It is located in the southwestern part of the country. The park has not gained the fame it deserves, being isolated from any of the major cities and international airports. Happily, the result of this is much more of an off-the-beaten-track experience for those who do visit.
A meeting of North and South
The Ruaha National Park covers vast expanses of varied habitats, from baobab country, savannah and miombo woodland to forested rocky hills. Visitors can observe a unique transition in environment at this latitude, as the typical acacia woodland of Eastern Africa blends into the miombo forests of Southern Africa. The park has an elaborate river system that is dominated by the Ruaha river, which sustains abundant wildlife.
Everything is larger here
One of the park’s major highlights is the large number of predators that it is home to: lions, leopard, cheetah and hunting dogs. Also referred to as African wild dogs, they are formidable predators that hunt in packs. Hunting dogs display high levels of cooperation in caring for the sick and wounded among them. Ruaha National Park has one of the largest populations of African Wild Dogs on earth. Sighting this endangered species here is common. The elusive lesser kudu and greater kudu can be found here, along with the rare sable and roan antelopes. The Ruaha river offers year around water supply and sustains a large population of elephants (numbering over 10,000). Other common sightings include waterbuck, bushbuck, impala and large buffalo herds.