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Ruaha National Park is the second largest national park in Tanzania and is the only one which is centrally located. Because of its remote location off the tourist path, this park is often overlooked. It is however one of the best safari destinations in the country! A Ruaha safari is definitely unforgettable as the nature is breathtaking, wildlife is in abundance and you can experience the real bush feel as there are very few tourists. If you can fit it in your programme, you definitely should include a Ruaha safari!

Ruaha National Park is home to the largest population of elephants in the country and it is one of the few parks where you might spot wild dogs. There are about 500 different types of birds flying around and is packed with predators and mammals. A safari in Ruaha never disappoints and is very much worth the long drive. There is plenty of things to see on the way or you can even continue more inland for some more off-the-beaten-path adventures!


Ruaha National Park is home to the largest population of elephants in Tanzania. Wild dogs can also be spotted here, which are high on every safari-lover’s must-see list. Bird lovers won’t be disappointed here as Ruaha National Park hosts over 500 different kinds of birds.

Often spotted in Ruaha National Park:

  • Elephant

  • Giraffe

  • Hippo

  • Crocodiles

  • Buffalo

  • Zebra

  • Lion

  • Greater Kudu

  • Leopard

  • Cheetah

  • Wild dog

  • Hyena

  • 500 different kinds of birds

  • Many more small animals


Ruaha National Park is at about a full day driving from Dar es Salaam. Coming from Dar es Salaam, it is best if you sleep in Iringa the first night and the night before returning as this cuts a little of the travel time. Iringa is at about 130km from the park and is therefore the perfect starting point! A Ruaha safari fits in programmes going to the east/southeast of the country or for those who have some time to make the trip and don’t mind a long drive.

Ruaha National Park is a little bit further from the main tourist destinations, but there are plenty of off-the-beaten-path destinations which we would highly recommend adding to your itinerary. Flights can be found if wanting to avoid long days in the car. You can also stop at Mikumi National Park or Udzungwa Mountains National Park for a great experience on the way! By adding one of these stops, you only have to drive half days.

Dar es Salaam to Iringa: a full day of driving

Iringa to Ruaha National Park: 2hrs of driving

Mikumi National Park to Ruaha National Park: 5-6hrs of driving

Udzungwa Mountains National Park to Ruaha National Park: 6-7hrs of driving


The best time to go on a safari in Ruaha National Park is from June to October as temperatures don’t get too high and it is dry. The Greater Kudu is best spotted in June when their breeding season takes place.

Between November and March, the temperature rises and rains can sometimes occur. These rains are mostly during the night, so it doesn't influence your safari too much. These months are also an excellent time for a safari! Especially bird lovers will enjoy this time as the landscape gets lush and covered in wildflowers.

Rainy season starts sometime in March and ends in May. The roads become muddy and some lodges close. It is not an ideal time to go, but safaris can be organised.

Ruaha National Park: About
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