Ruaha National Park
As of 2008, when Usangu Game Reserve merged with Ruaha National Park, the park is now the largest in Tanzania – more than 20,000 sq. km. It is famous for its varied dramatic scenery, which includes rolling hills; large open plains; groves of skeletal baobabs and along its southern border, the Great Ruaha River, from which the park gets its name. The Ruaha Rive is the most dominant geographical feature of the park and, an important life-giving feature for the wildlife. Ruaha is generally hot and dry, so animals tend to hand around dependable water sources. This makes for superb, predictable game viewing especially in the dry season. The game viewing here is some of the best you will find in the country with very few tourists and offers superb value. The park is a superb contrast to the Selous offering visitors a much wilder experience to what they would have experienced elsewhere. The general predator concentrations across the park are better than many of the other parks in the country. Overall an absolutely superb and affordable place to be on safari!
The best time to visit the park for game viewing is generally from May to November, but the bush is greener and prettier from January to June, and birding peaks during the European winter months of December to April. The predator list at Ruaha is impressive; lion, leopard and cheetah, wild dog and hyena. Buffalo and elephant herds are found throughout the park but it is the park's ability to throw up species from east and southern Africa together that excites wildlife enthusiasts. It is not uncommon to see Grant's gazelle, greater and lesser kudu in the same area as east Africa's common species such as zebra, defassa waterbuck, impala and giraffe. Put in the hours and travel across the park to find sable, roan, hartebeest and over 500 species of bird!