In the lesser known southern circuit provides the purest and most intensive safari experience.
Due to the limited number of accommodations, you will feel like a real explorer here among the animals
The starting point of the southern circuit is usually Dar es Salaam. With domestic flights, each park is also accessible as the start of a safari.
In the southern circuit one can visit Ruaha NP , Mikumi NP , Udzungwa Mountains NP and Nyerere/ Selous Game Reserve
Ruaha National Park has recently been combined with the Usangu Game Reserve making the largest National Park in Africa covering over 15,000 sq km. This new park is at the heart of a much larger ecosystem covering over 40,000 sq km. The highlight of a trip to Ruaha is watching the huge elephant herds (the greatest concentration in Africa!), gathered around the mighty Ruaha River; the lifeblood of the park.
Carnivore Info. Ruaha National Park is rich in carnivorous species including the big cats like lions, leopards, cheetahs and the like. The lions of Ruaha can be seen in large prides of up to 20 individuals. This is indeed a unique feature which is attractive to most of the visitors. Several packs of Wild dogs are frequently seen in this park, though because of their mobility and big home ranges, the certainty is not guaranteed. Cheetahs can be seen in sparsely distributed bushes in the grasslands.
Birds of Ruaha National Park. For bird enthusiasts, the park is one of the birds’ paradises in Africa with more than 540 bird species which is one of the highest bird diversity in East Africa, an excitement that can be enjoyed by both casual observers and serious birders; this diversity is considered to be influenced by various factors such as topography, vegetation zones, transition between Sahel/ Sudan and Zambesian Miombo woodlands.
Antelope’s Diversity. This park is also unbeatably rich in antelope species, and is among few areas in East Africa where you can see a diversity of antelopes in one game drive. The species includes Eland, Kudu, Sable and Roan, Impala, Klipspringer, Dik dik, Bushbuck, Waterbuck and Reedbuck. Ruaha National Park is the Southern limit of Grant’s gazelle to the South of Tanzania.
Elephants of Ruaha. Ruaha National Park is known for its highest concentration of Elephants in East Africa. For this reason, Elephants become the icon of the park. In the dry seasons several groups can easily be seen along the Great Ruaha River, Magus River and Mzombe River. In the sand rivers, elephants use their trunks to dig for water.
Best time to visit. The best time to visit is between July and November when the animals congregate around water holes, but the park is stunning all year round. Their cover is blown during the dry season (May to December), when the foliage dies down and animals become easier to see. Twice a year in March/April and October/November, Eurasian migrating birds arrive to boost the already high numbers of exotic and colorful species in this park.
Getting there. There are both scheduled and charted flights into the park from Arusha and Dar es salaam.
Sharing a common border and ecosystem with Selous Game Reserve to the south, Mikumi National Park is only three to four hours drive from Dar es Salaam, lying astride the main highway to Zambia, and en route to the National Parks of Udzungwa Mountains, Ruaha and Kitulo. The main feature of the park is the Mikumi flood plain, along with the mountain ranges that border the park on two sides. Open grasslands dominate in the flood plain, eventually merging with the miombo woodland covering the lower hills.
Mikumi National Park covers an area of 3,230 sq km, and is rich in wildlife including buffalo, wildebeest, zebra, lion, elephant, impala, hippos, baboon, giraffe, warthog, waterbuck and eland which can be viewed throughout the year. Reptiles including crocodile, monitor lizard and python are also resident in the park. Other animals that can be sighted although rare are the Sable Antelope resident in the southern part of the park bordering the Selous, the Greater Kudu, leopard, and the wild dog also known as the African Hunting Dog. More than 400 bird species have been recorded, including European migrants during the rainy season.
Mikumi National Park is one the most popular visitor points sold from our Dar es Salaam branch office. Being close to Dar es Salaam on good road, day trips are popular especially for those who have little time to spend an overnight there. But it is recommended to spend at least a night in Mikumi to enjoy a fulfilling game drive in this beautiful park. A number of accommodation facilities are available in Mikumi.
Udzungwa Mountains National Park is a national park in Tanzania with a size of 1,990 km2 (770 miles2). The habitats contained within the national park include tropical rainforest, mountain forest, miombo woodland, grassland and steppe. There is a vertical height range of 250–2,576 metres (g peak of Lohomero), which incorporates the Udzungwa Mountains part of the Eastern Arc Mountains. There are more than 400 bird species, 2500 plant species (25% of which are endemics) and 6 primate species. It has the second largest biodiversity of a national park in Africa.
Six primate species have been recorded in the park, five of which are endemic. The Iringa red colobus and Sanje crested mangabey are only found in the Udzungwa Mountains National Park, the mangabey species was undetected by biologists prior to 1979Het park is ideaal voor walking safaris.The park is ideal for walking safaris. There are several trails , long and short ! Visit one of the waterfalls in the park.
Nyerere National Park is the northeastern part of the huge Selous Game Reserve set aside for photographic safaris, which was upgraded to the national park status in November 2019. The park was named after the first president of Tanzania, Mr Julius Nyerere (late), in recognition for championing conservation and protection of wildlife in the country. Nyerere National Park, is one of the most beautiful and game-rich areas in the ecosystem of Selous Game Reserve, spanning the Rufiji River basin in southeastern Tanzania.
Nyerere National Park is located in south eastern Tanzania, bordered by Mikumi National Park to the northwest and Udzungwa Mountains National Park to the west.
With an area of about 30,893sqkm, Nyerere National Park is the largest national park in Africa. It is perhaps one of the most pristine wildernesses still remaining in Africa, with a wide variety of wildlife habitats, including open grasslands, Miombo woodlands, swamps and riverine forests in the many tributaries of the mighty Rufiji River which flows through the National Park to the Indian Ocean.
Its wildlife is spectacular, with some of the largest population of mammals and reptiles in Africa, including buffaloes, elephants, hippos and crocodiles which can be seen here. Nyerere National Park, together with the remaining part of Selous Game Reserve, is considered to be the last stronghold of the African wild dog. Other common wildlife include the wildebeest, zebra, giraffe, eland, the greater kudu, sable antelopes, black rhino, waterbuck, impala, lion, leopard, the spotted hyena, cheetah, baboon, vervet and blue monkey, and the black and white colobus monkey which can be viewed in riverine forests. About 440 species of birds both resident and migratory have been observed in the national park.
The park offers a wide variety of game viewing opportunities including the thrilling experience of a walking safari in the company of an armed ranger. The many waterways in the park provide an excellent natural setting for boat safaris, both for big game viewing and bird watching. This is in addition to the game drives in specially designed safari vehicles which, combined with boat and walking safaris, offer an exciting and rich game viewing itinerary unique to Nyerere National Park.
The best time to visit is from June to October. During the long rains, between March and May, some parts of the park are temporarily closed for game drives due to poor accessibility.
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