BEST SOUTHERN SAFARIS
Mikumi National Park:
Mikumi National Park (3,230 sq m) is about three to four hours drive from Dar es Salaam, lying astride the highway to Zambia, en route to Ruaha and Udzungwa Mountains National Parks in southern Tanzania. The park is dominated by flood plains and grasslands and rich in wildlife including buffalo, giraffe, wildebeest, zebra, hippos, baboons, impala, lions, leopard, warthog, eland, and the rare wild dogs. More than 400 bird species have been recorded, including a host of European migrants during the rainy season.
Ruaha National Park:
Ruaha National Park takes its name from the Ruaha River, which flows along its southeastern border. The river provides permanent water in the park, and during the dry season there is a large concentration of wildlife along its banks. Covering an area of 20,226 square kilometres, Ruaha is the largest National Park in Tanzania. The park is rich in flora and fauna with a great variety of wildlife including the rare the Kudu (both Greater and Lesser Kudu), Roan & Sable Antelopes and some endangered species like wild dogs. Ruaha is famous for its large herds of elephants said to have the highest concentration in East Africa. Other animals in the park include buffaloes, lions, leopards, cheetah, giraffes, zebras, elands, impala, bat eared foxes, Jackals, and the hippos and crocodiles which inhabit the river. The park is rich in bird life with more than 571species including migrants from within Africa, Europe, Asia, Australian rim and Madagascar.
Selous Game Reserve:
The Selous wilderness, with an area of 55,000 sq km meets the kind of dream visitors have of Africa of the early European explorers like Dr Livingstone and Henry Stanley. The Selous, a United Nations World Heritage Site, offers a variety of game viewing activities to the visitor, including the thrilling experience of a foot safari in the company of an armed ranger. This is in addition to game drives in 4X4 vehicles, and boat safaris on the Rufiji River, providing a richer and exciting game viewing experience to the visitor. Common animals in the game reserve include elephants, wildebeest, zebra, wild dogs, lions, leopard, hippos, eland, buffalo, giraffe, greater kudu, impala, sable antelopes, and about 400 species of birds. The best time to visit the Selous is from June to October. During the long rains, between March and May some parts of the Selous remain inaccessible and temporarily closed for game drives; most of the accommodation facilities also close during this time.
Mahale Mountains National Park
Famous for containing some of the last remaining wild chimpanzees in Africa, the Mahale Mountains National Park was gazetted in 1985, covers an area of 1 613 km² and is located about 128 km south of Kigoma town on the eastern shore of Lake Tanganyika. The western boundary of the park protects an adjacent 1.6 km wide strip of Lake Tanganyika’s waters. The land in and around Mahale is the traditional homeland of the Watongwe and Waholoholo tribes. Japanese primate researchers began exploring along the shore of Lake Tanganyika, south of Kigoma as early as 1961. In 1965, the researchers established their first camp, ‘Kansyana’, in Mahale and began habituating chimpanzees. BEST SOUTHERN SAFARIS