Ruaha National Park covers an area of 10,300 square kilometers, is
the third largest game conservation area after Selous and Serengeti.
Located in south central Tanzania, it is a remote a wild place which
is way off the routes taken by most visitors to the country
receiving a paltry number of visitors each year.
In consequence Ruaha is considered to be one of the great
"undiscovered" wilderness areas of East Africa, it is actually at
the heart of a much larger ecosystem, which extends across the
Rungwa and Kizigo game conservation areas (hunting blocks), which
totals an area five times the size, the main feature of the park is
the Ruaha river, which rises in the swamps to the south and sweeps
north and eastward through the park, turning back south and passing
through the Iringa Highlands in deep-cut gorges to reach the Great
Rufiji in the region of the Beho Beho mountains in the western
Selous, it is the presence of this river which brings life to the
broad valleys that make up the main portion of the park, sustaining
the wildlife through the dry season, along the northern border of
the park runs the Northern Escarpment.
Ruaha is a wonderful place to visit, which if done correctly can
offer some superb game-viewing. One interesting little feature down
here is the little rope bridge spanning one of the tributaries of
the Ruaha, which when in flood cuts off Ruaha River Lodge from the
airstrip and was thus installed to make sure that guests could
arrive and depart on schedule. It is a pretty precarious affair.
Across the centre of the park lies a seemingly endless swathe of
featureless dry scrub, made up of combretum and comifora bushes ...
which you may not have heard of now, but you will get to know pretty
well out here. They are remarkable for their red flowers and orange
seed pods, which are the largest flying seed pods that we've ever
The area immediately around the Jongomeru sand river is a
particulary nice section of mature riverine woodland, which
presumably plays host to a wide variety of game. Unfortunately
everything is so shy down here that it legs it at the first sight of
One particular highlight in the area is a good hippo pool, with a
few dozen chubby chaps and quite a few good sized crocs too.
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