Ruaha offers fantastic game viewing but its real attraction is the sense of unspoilt and untamed Africa you can capture here.
You can drive for hours without encountering another soul, and the peace and solitude are overwhelming.
Moreover, Ruaha is slap-bang in the middle of Tanzania’s little-visited south – you can easily combine a trip here with game viewing in the Selous Game Reserve or tracking chimpanzees in the Gombe Steam and Mahale Mountains.
The second-largest national park in Tanzania at 10 300km2, Ruaha National Park’s trump card is undoubtedly its diverse range of habitats. Bordered by the Great Ruaha River to the east and the Mzombe River to the west, Ruaha is a varied wilderness of buckling plateau, punctuated by rocky outcrops and veined with sandy riverbeds.
Remote and wild, it was once one of Tanzania’s least accessible nature reserves, but now Ruaha is one of the most striking nature sanctuaries in the country. Ruaha National Park is part of Tanzania’s wild southern safari circuit – a region that is fast growing a reputation in African safari circles.
Ruaha’s rugged appeal is characterised by dry slopes covered in dense, tangled woodland and wide open plains studded with squat, brooding baobabs.
Bordered in the north by the Kizigio and Rungwa River Game Reserves, and together with several smaller conservation areas, a 40 000km2 ecosystem protects most of the big game species as well as more than 350 species of birds.
It has over 10 000 elephant, 30 000 buffalo, 20 000 zebra. Throw in large prides of lion, a significant population of African wild dog, plus leopard, cheetah and spotted hyena and you have a naturalist’s paradise.
The best months to visit Ruaha are from July to November when animals congregate around water sources, but the park is stunning all year round.