In 2008, Ruaha National Park became the largest national park in Tanzania and East Africa at large though not so much popularly visited. This happened after the addition of the Usangu Game Reserve and other important wetlands close to the existing park.
The size from then increased to 20,226 square kilometers (7,809sqmi). Ruaha National park is part of the 45,000 sqkm Rungwa-Kizigo-Muhesi ecosystem including the Rungwa, Kizigo and Muhesi Game Reserves with the Mbomipa Wildlife Management Area. Ruaha is more remote than many popular Tanzania wildlife safari destinations especially safari parks. This offers the tourists who tour the park with a true African pristine view.
With this vast landscape, the area is comprised of diverse landscapes that range from the rolling hills, rugged gorges, open plains to groves of spiky baobab. Crossing through is the Ruaha River flowing south east.
The Ruaha national park is situated in the middle of Tanzania about 130 km (81mi) west of Iringa. The park can be reached on a safari in Tanzania by car on a dirt road from Iringa or by air to the two airstrips of Msembe airstrip at Msembe (park headquarters), and Jongomeru Airstrip, near the Jongomeru Ranger Post.
The name Ruaha originates from the Great Ruaha River that flows along the southeastern margin.
By then as a Germany colony, the colonial government gazetted the Saba Game Reserve in 1910. The British colonies later in 1946 changed the name to Rungwa Game Reserve. Ten years later in 1964, the southern portion of the reserve was uplifted as a national park and opened for Tanzania wildlife safaris.
The park plays host to more than 571 bird species. Bird species easily sighted are the hornbills, migratory birds from within and outside Africa too visit the park. For a Tanzania birding safari, this is one spot for a visit.
Wildlife species noted in the park include the Cheetahs, klipspringer, lions, Leopards, hyenas, giraffes, Zebras, elands, impalas, hippopotamus, buffaloes, antelopes, bat eared foxes, jackals and wild dogs. Ruaha national park than any other East African national park is believed to have a high concentration of elephants.
On a wildlife safari in Tanzania, expect to see reptiles and amphibians such as frogs, crocodiles, snakes, monitor lizards, agama lizards and more.
Over 1,650 plant species characterized by semi-arid, baobab and acacia trees, are hosted by Ruaha national park.
Don’t wonder where the biggest park in East Africa is you now know, just add it on to your Tanzania safari itinerary this vacation.