Mikumi National Park
Established in 1964 Mikumi national park is another notable national park of Southern Circuit of Tanzania. The closest city to the national park is Dar es Salaam. You can reach to Mikumi from Dar es Salaam directly through Morogoro. It will take you almost 4 hours of drive. You can also reach the place from Arusha or Selous.
Visit the wildlife-rich and unspoilt wilderness areas of southern Tanzania’s game reserves on safari, before hopping by plane to the island of Zanzibar for days spent snorkelling on tropical reefs and enjoying sandbank picnics. Explore the waterways and plains of Nyerere National Park by boat, vehicle and on foot, before searching for big cats in Ruaha National Park, home to 10 percent of Africa’s lion population.
The Mikumi national park also offers a great chance to meet various animal species. Out of which few mostly spotted are; wildebeest, zebra, lion, elephant, impala, hippos, giraffe, warthog, bison, wildebeest, waterbuck and eland. You can also spot some iconic species like;
The Mikumi National park is bordered by the Udzungwa Mountains and the Uluguru Mountains as well Malundwe Mountain which connects with Uluguru. The national park offers an exclusive visiting feel as it accepts very fewer visitors every year. For those who are looking for a Tanzania safari Tours in less crowded areas, Mikumi can be the best option for them. The national park is also is an important research region that is dedicated to studying the behavior of primates and especially the yellow baboons
The national park is adjacent to the Selous Game reserve in the south hence both the reserved places share the same eco-system. The vegetation of the Mikumi National Park is dominated mostly by grassy plains covered with baobab and black hardwood trees. Covering 3,230 km² it is the 4th largest national park in the country. Due to its vegetation and size, the national park mostly gets compared with Serengeti plain.
Selous Game Reserve
Selous Game Reserve is a vast, 48,000-sq-km wilderness area lying at the heart of southern Tanzania. It is Africa’s largest wildlife reserve, and home to large herds of elephants, plus buffaloes, crocodiles, hippos, wild dogs, many bird species and some of Tanzania’s last remaining black rhinos. Bisecting it is the Rufiji River, which cuts a path past woodlands, grasslands and stands of borassus palm, and provides unparalleled water-based wildlife watching.
The Selous game reserve area is mostly untouched and provides a serene atmosphere. You can take the opportunity of guided walk, and boat safaris inside the national park. Lions also can be found on the shores of small lakes inside the park. The game reserve area also offers a decent number of accommodations ranging from mid-range to extravagance lodges. The Selous national park offers a great animal concentration including; bush elephant, black rhino, East African wild dog, Cape buffaloes, Masai giraffe, Plains zebra, Nile crocodile, and more.
The game reserve is the largest in Tanzania. It is the UNESCO world heritage protected site due to its diversity and stunning natural essence. The Selous game reserve covers up 50,000 square kilometers. The game reserve got its name after the famous game hunter, Frederick Selous. He is a famous big game hunter and an early conservationist who died in 1917.
The Rufiji River flowing in the heart of the Selous area is the prime water source of the region. In the dry season, the river bed offers an iconic opportunity to spot a great amount of animal drinking water from the River. Many swamps and lakes can be spotted inside the Selous national park. The water bodies offer a decent opportunity to spot some playing hippos in the mud. Travelers also can spot crocodiles near the swamps and lakes
The area was declared as a game reserve by German Governor of Tanganyika Hermann von Wissmann in 1896. Selous Game reserve offers unique and diverse vegetation of lakes, streams, and Borassus palms. The dry season of the country offers a grassland, acacia savannah, wetlands, and extensive Miombo woodlands vegetations.
Kitulo National Park
Kitulo National Park, located in the Kitulo plateau above 2600 meters above sea level is truly enough beautiful to make you skip a beat of your heart. Nestled between the rugged peaks of the Kipengere, Poroto and Livingstone mountains the national park has covered itself in green grassland and multicolor flower bed. Covering 412.9 square kilometers area, the Kitulo National Park is lying in Mbeya Region and Njombe Region and is administrated by Tanzania National Parks Authority..
This is one of the very few protected places of the earth that is blessed with truly natural wonders. Every step you keep inside the national park you will get introduced to a new species of flower and plant. Kitulo was designated as a national park in 2005 by President Benjamin Mkapa. The flora life of the region was invented by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS). The fact that makes it unique from other national parks of East Africa is, it is the first tropical forest of Africa that was initiated to protect the flora life
The local people of the place call Kitulo as Bustani ya Mungu (garden of god). Mostly the national park is called Serengeti of flowers by the botanists. The park was especially initiated to protect the orchids from the international trade in orchid tubers.
Kitulo is a small park; it acquires a 14th position in between the 16 national parks of the country. The Kitulo National Park doesn’t showcase much of wildlife; however numerous orchids compensate for the loss. The national park is home to more than 350 plant species. You can spot mostly Afroalpine plants, geophytes, and ground orchids as well you can enjoy lilies, irises, aloes, proteas, giant lobelias, and daisies too
The Kitulo national park is home to a few endangered bird species and primates as well. You can spot some mountain animals too like; Reed bucks, zebras, elands. It is also home to 25 endangered primate species including Kipunji monkeys.
Udzungwa National Park
Udzungwa National Park is an iconic attraction for the climbers. They can explore the Udzungwa; a part of the Eastern Arc mountains. A great place to discover nature, forest, primates, few endemic plants, butterflies, etc. Travelers can explore a half-day hike to the 170m Sanje Waterfall in Udzungwa too. Located 65km west to the Mikumi National Park, Udzungwa is connected by roadways. The Udzungwa National park offers the 2nd largest biodiversity of the world..
Total area are covering 1,990 km2 Udzungwa National Park is unarguably a great place to discover during your Tanzania Safari Tours. Offering breathing views of misty mountains, waterfall, forest, and lush vegetation a national park is a great place for nature lovers. The landscape of the national park varied from grassland to woodland and from rainforest to mountain forest, as well you can find stepper landscapes too.
The national park offers 6 primate species to spot out of the 5 are endemic to the region. Iringa Red colobus and Sanje Crested Mangabey are 2 primates’ species that can’t be spotted at any place on the planet. Due to closeness with Selous and Ruaha the National Park mostly get combined with these two in the itinerary.
The Udzungwa National park offers to spot more than 400 species of birds. Established in 1992, the national park welcomes 7,749 visitors each year.
Ruaha National Park
Ruaha is a massive 10,300 sq km after being gazetted in 1964 and extended in 1974. It is the second largest park after the Serengeti and is home to 456 bird species, 1600 plant species, 50 amphibian species and a myriad of other inhabitants. The actual eco-system embraced by Ruaha, with neighbouring game reserves contains four vegetation zones and almost 40,000 sq km of land..
One of the most memorable sightings in Ruaha, is the solitary greater kudu – the spiral horns and does of lateral white stripes, allowing the kudu to blend in with its bush surroundings in time of fright. Elephants are en-masse in Ruaha, as well are giraffe, with over 8000 in population.
The elusive and endangered African Hunting Dog is also found in Ruaha, threatened to almost extinction by hunters with the incorrect view that the dogs drove wildlife out of the area and threatened domestic stock. The base rock of Ruaha is estimated to be 450-600 million years old and faulting made the earth’s crust buckle and created mountains, and the Great Rift Valley, through which the Great Ruaha River is an extension
The flow of the river in recent times has diminished due to damming for Tanzanian electricity consumers and the rice schemes upriver