Ruaha National Park Tanzania – One Of The Most Beautiful Ones In Tanzania

First of all, a warm welcome to everyone to my first blog post, we’re just starting, so wish me luck! And what a start, because Ruaha National Park Tanzania is one of the most intense and pretty ones from Tanzania for sure!

I will be going over every detail, information, and positives OR negative reviews, so let’s dive straight into things!

What Is Ruaha National Park Tanzania?

Ruaha National Park is obviously located in Tanzania ( in central Tanzania) and has a surface of 20.000 square kilometers. (which makes it bigger than the country of Rwanda! )

This makes it the second-largest National Park in Tanzania, right after Selous.

It is right in the middle of Tanzania, at about 130 kms from Iringa.

The park is not very accessible, so it attracts fewer tourists than any comparable park in the North. This gives it an almost pristine and unexplored ecosystem and it will make your safari experience unique!

There is a river flowing through the park called The Great Ruaha River and it flows right through the park.

Ruaha National Park has a large variety of trees and plants, but most of the trees are acacias and the mighty baobab trees. It’s been said that it has more than 1650 plant species.

Click on the picture below to find the place on Google Maps.

The Wildlife in Ruaha.

Reptiles and amphibians:

Monitor and agama lizards and frogs live in and around the river, but also crocodiles and venomous and non-venomous snakes.

The birds:

This national park is a paradise for bird-lovers, with over 450 different bird species! Just a small list of what’s out there:

  • Dickinson kestrels
  • Turacos with a purple crest
  • Rollers with racket tail
  • The Bateleur
  • The Giant kingfisher
  • Tanzanian red-billed hornbill
  • Collared palm-thrush
  • bea-eaters
  • The Spur-winged goose, etc..

Most of these are pretty commonly seen in the park.

Most common animals.

  • Ruaha National Park probably has the largest group of elephants of all eastern Africa, it has a huge population and some consider it the most concentrated.
  • The lions almost count for 10% of Africa’s population!
  • leopards
  • cheetahs
  • Kudu, sable and roan antelopes
  • giraffes
  • zebras
  • elk
  • impalas
  • bat-eared foxes
  • jackals
  • wild dogs (in danger of extinction)
  • white lip rhino

How Far Is It To Travel To Ruaha?

  • There are flights from Arusha, Dodoma, Kigoma and Dar Es Salaam. (you will be flown out by little sport aircraft, which I found to be an adventure on itself 🙂 )
  • The park is also accessible by car via a dirt road from Iringa (130 kms)
  • From Ruaha to Mikumi: 5,5 hours
  • From Ruaha to Udzungwa: 7,5 hours

The Best Times To Visit.

It would be advisable to stay at least 2 nights in this park, as there is much to see and you should make the travel distance worth your while.

Beautiful Ruaha natural park Tanzania is best visited in the rainy season when it is very green and the rivers are full and swirling. This seems to be in the first part of spring.

If you are worried about the weather, and especially the temperature, you might want to take a look at the tableau below. These seem quite doable, no?

The rainy season is mostly from December to March.

The Highlights Of This Park.

This park can be quiet with few people, but the more chance that you can get to see a lot of animals for a fantastic Safari! Because of the few tourists, this park feels like you are the one first exploring it. It feels very pure.

There is only one camp in the area (Jongomero) and for game drivers there are at most 3 to 4 cars in the entire zone. Talk about exclusive!

Ruaha National Park can be combined perfectly with other parks from the southern area, like Udzungwa National Park, Mikumi National Park of Selous Game Reserve.

  • So obviously, you can go an different kinds of safari’s ( game drive’s, but heading out on a walking safari is also a possibility).
  • You could have a luxurious stay and take a dip in the infinity pool and get a spectacular view from the Jabali Ridge. Have a look at this video! (Oh my gosh, I just want to go now!).
  • Find yourself a perfect guide and you could have drinks out in the bush! No better when to finish a day out in the wild nature after a game drive or long walk 🙂
  • Following up on the latter, you can have a perfect lunch or dinner out in the bush as well, off course!
  • Go on a night drive and find those eyes in the dark..

What Other Visitors Say.

On Tripadvisor, this National Park receives a totally earned number of 5 stars. Let me show you what people are saying about this park:

  • A wildlife photographer consultant says:
    ” Ruaha National Park is my favorite wildlife park among all parks and reserves that I have seen in Africa. If I had to choose only one place to visit on the continent, that would be Ruaha National Park.

    True wilderness (based on my safari experience so far), absolutely stunning and varied scenery, very few visitors (due to the remoteness of the park) and high density of wild animals.”

  • March 2020, from Henk from the Netherlands:
    ” Ruaha is one of the most beautiful parks I have ever visited. Far away in the South of Tanzania and far away from the usual safari locations. Here, nature is still untouched with very few tourists. There are no rows of cars that all stop at the same place to look at the same pair of lions.”

  • June 2018, A couple’s view:
    ” For us, this was the second visit to Ruaha. We have been there 4 years ago, also in June. We feel we have seen more wildlife the first time than this time, but it remains a beautiful park! Lots of variation in vegetation so you can see different animals”.

    We saw a lot of Greater Kudu’s, one of my favorite antelopes so for me the trip was all right. There are also many different birds.

    I like the north-eastern part of the park the best, with the best game drive tracks and next time I will look for a camp closer to it so you can reach it with half-day drives so you can see gorgeous evening and morning light.”

  • Oktober 2014: Luc from Belgium:
    ” To know how beautiful the Ruaha River can be, you have to be in the south of the reserve. Close to where the dry season waterless Jongomero river flows into the Ruaha, the river is so scenic in both directions!
    In this area, there are a bit more problems with the tse-tse flies, but in most places it’s not so bad. The elephants are definitely the best attraction here. Lions showed themselves every day. Large herds of buffalo contrast with small groups of giraffes, zebras, impalas, waterbuck and hippos.”

  • Jan 2015: a couple from the UK:
    ” We have been lucky enough to visit Ruaha twice, once in June a few years ago and once in January this year. Different seasons, but both are beautiful. In January the park is lush and green and all the antelopes have babies. We saw thousands of elephants and lots of other wild animals.
    The park is very well managed by Tanapa and luckily there is little or no poaching. We love Ruaha!”

If you would like to see some more of this second largest park of Tanzania, then please take a look at the Youtube video below (and I will start dreaming about another trip to Africa 😉 ):

My Final Conclusion.

Although there is no large migration in Ruaha National Park Tanzania, this beautiful park is definitely worth a visit. And who knows, when you visit this park, you will encounter the endangered wild dogs!

Each national park has its own unique sides, so I will keep writing about as many of them as I can.

Of course, there are several places to stay (and they look very affordable), but I will leave that information for another article soon!

If you have any questions about this article, please leave a message below.

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Enjoy your travels!

Best regards,


6 thoughts on “Ruaha National Park Tanzania – One Of The Most Beautiful Ones In Tanzania”

  1. Is it better than the Kruger national park in South Africa? I currently live in South Africa and I have been to the Kruger national park and I must say that it is very beautiful. But, if this national park is better than Kruger national park, I will definitely look into checking it out.

    • Hello Daniel,

      I don’t think that one national park is ‘better’ than the other, it is a matter of personal taste I would think 😉 Kruger Park is beautiful as well, I just think it is a lot busier than Ruaha national park if peace and quiet is what you are looking for 😉 Whatever you decide, have a good time!


  2. Wow Lizzy! Your description of Ruaha National Park in Tanzania really makes me want to visit there some day. I love the fact that it is off the beaten track with just a few visitors at a time. That is so much more closer to nature. And the amount of wildlife present sounds amazing. When I get a chance to go that way, I would definitely make it a week long adventure if not longer. There is just so much to see and experience. I have only been to Africa once and that was just Morocco for a day. Thank you so much for writing this! Mel

    • Hey Mel!

      It sure makes you want to visit this National Park, I know right?! I hope you will get there one day!

      Safe travels!


  3. Africa has always been on my bucket list and this sounds like a lovely place to visit!  I don’t think there would be anything like seeing this wildlife in their natural environment.  Maybe I’d go in the fall when the nights are warmer.  I love Jabali Ridge and that I could wake up and look right out to see the terrain and any animals that might be wandering through.  I’m going to see what I can do to make it happen.  Thanks for posting!

    • Hi Cynthia,

      You will see that once you have been there, you will have the ‘fever’ as I have and I hope that we can both go (back) soon!

      Happy travels,

      Kind regards,



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