Ruaha is a dramatic and wild park of pristine savannah, giant baobab trees and red hills. It is ancient, rugged and captivating.

Huge herds of elephant roam across wide open spaces cut by glorious rivers in Tanzania’s isolated central region. This is the second largest National Park in Tanzania and where Southern meets Eastern Africa. Predators, antelope and birds thrive in this isolated and unspoilt region..

far & wild

Ruaha covers an impressive 12,950 km2 and yet is only a small portion of a 45,000 km2 ecosystem that includes the mighty Selous Game Reserve. It is this region where the transition between southern and eastern species of flora and fauna occurs, resulting in over 1650 plant species in the park.

Much of Ruaha is covered by hilly savannah, with large stretches of miombo woodland. The Ruaha River touches only a small portion of the park with resulting swamps and river sands. This is a dry country park, with ochre-red hills and open savannah – true African safari territory.

Ruaha maintains its wild and isolated atmosphere because of its size and difficulty to access. Like Katavi, a long and arduous drive or a costly flight is necessary. Facilities do exist but there are also large areas of the park that remain inaccessible.

Most visitors make this part of a long safari tour that also includes the Selous Game Reserve. The costs and difficulty mean that it is definitely not a 3 safari day destination.


  • Ruaha has one of the largest elephant populations in Africa.
  • Carnivores are regularly seen, especially lion (prides of more than 20) and hyena. There is also a healthy cheetah and leopard population.
  • Packs of the endangered African hunting dog are also found in the park.
  • Giraffe, zebra, giant crocodiles and hippo are all present in high numbers.
  • Ruaha is the only park in East Africa with both greater and lesser kudu. Other antelopes include sable and roan.
  • Birdlife is excellent, with 535 species recorded. From forest species such as African broadbill, Abyssinian hill babbler, black-backed barbets to the many species of dry country birds.

Game drives and hiking through the untamed landscapes are superb. There is also a chance to visit stone-age ruins at Isimila; one of Africa's most important historical sites.

Dry season (June-November) game viewing is easier as animals gather around diminishing water sources. The rainy season (January-April) is better for birdwatching and lush scenery but many roads become impassable.

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