National Park is located on the northern border of Africa's biggest
game reserve - the Selous – and is transected by the surfaced road
between Dar es Salaam and Iringa. It is thus the most accessible
part of a 75,000 square tract of wilderness that stretches east
almost as far as the Indian Ocean.
The open horizons and abundant wildlife of the Mkata Floodplain, the
popular centerpiece of Mikumi, draw frequent comparisons to the more
famous Serengeti Plains.
Lions survey their grassy kingdom – and the zebra, wildebeest,
impala and buffalo herds that migrate across it – from the flattened
tops of termite mounds, or sometimes, during the rains, from perches
high in the trees. Giraffes forage in the isolated acacia stands
that fringe the Mkata River, islets of shade favoured also by
Criss-crossed by a good circuit of game-viewing roads, the Mkata
Floodplain is perhaps the most reliable place in Tanzania for
sightings of the powerful eland, the world’s largest antelope. The
equally impressive greater kudu and sable antelope haunt the miombo-covered
foothills of the mountains that rise from the park’s borders.
More than 400 bird species have been recorded, with such colourful
common residents as the lilac-breasted roller, yellow-throated
longclaw and bateleur eagle joined by a host of European migrants
during the rainy season. Hippos are the star attraction of the pair
of pools situated 5km north of the main entrance gate, supported by
an ever-changing cast of waterbirds.
About Mikumi National Park
Size: 3,230 sq km (1,250 sq miles), the fourth-largest park in
Tanzania, and part of a much larger ecosystem centred on the
uniquely vast Selous Game Reserve.
Location: 283 km (175 miles) west of Dar es Salaam, north of Selous,
and en route to Ruaha, Udzungwa and (for the intrepid) Katavi.
How to get there
A good surfaced road connects Mikumi to Dar es Salaam via Morogoro,
a roughly 4 hour drive.
Also road connections to Udzungwa, Ruaha and (dry season only)
Charter flight from Dar es Salaam, Arusha or Selous. Local buses run
from Dar to park HQ where game drives can be arranged.
What to do
Game drives and guided walks. Visit nearby Udzungwa or travel on to
Selous or Ruaha.
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