Ruaha National Park is a national park in Tanzania. The addition of the Usangu Game Reserve and other important wetlands to the park in 2008 increased its size to about 20,226 km2 (7,809 sq mi).

The park is about 130 kilometres (81 mi) west of Iringa. The park is a part of the 45,000 square kilometres (17,000 sq mi) Rungwa-Kizigo-Muhesi ecosystem, which includes the Rungwa Game Reserve, the Kizigo and Muhesi Game Reserves, and the Mbomipa Wildlife Management Area.

The name of the park is derived from the Great Ruaha River, which flows along its southeastern margin and is the focus for game-viewing. The park can be reached by car on a dirt road from Iringa and there are two airstrips – Msembe airstrip at Msembe (park headquarters), and Jongomeru Airstrip, near the Jongomeru Ranger Post.

Ruaha National Park is one of Tanzania’s largest and most diverse national parks, located in the southern part of the country.

Wildlife Safaris:

Ruaha National Park is known for its exceptional wildlife viewing opportunities. The park is home to a vast array of animals, including elephants, lions, leopards, cheetahs, giraffes, zebras, buffalos, hippos, crocodiles, and various antelope species. The park’s diverse habitats, which include grasslands, woodlands, and the Great Ruaha River, support an abundance of wildlife.

Bird Watching:

Ruaha National Park is a paradise for bird enthusiasts, boasting over 570 bird species. The park’s varied ecosystems, including riverine forests, wetlands, and open plains, attract a wide range of birdlife. Visitors can spot various raptors, kingfishers, hornbills, and the endemic Ruaha red-billed hornbill, among others.

Scenic Landscapes:

Ruaha National Park offers breathtaking landscapes characterized by rugged terrain, rocky outcrops, and vast plains. The Great Ruaha River, which meanders through the park, creates a picturesque setting and serves as a vital water source for wildlife. The park’s diverse scenery provides excellent opportunities for photography and enjoying the natural beauty of the African wilderness.

Game Drives:

Game drives are the primary way to explore Ruaha National Park. Experienced guides lead visitors on guided safari drives, allowing them to observe wildlife behavior and explore different areas of the park. Morning and afternoon game drives are popular, offering the chance to witness both predator and prey interactions.

Walking Safaris:

Ruaha National Park allows for guided walking safaris, offering a more intimate and immersive experience in the bush. Accompanied by armed rangers and knowledgeable guides, visitors can explore the park on foot, learning about animal tracks, plant life, and the smaller intricacies of the ecosystem.

Conservation Efforts:

Ruaha National Park is committed to the conservation of its unique ecosystems and wildlife. The park collaborates with local communities to promote sustainable livelihoods and conservation initiatives. Visitors can learn about these efforts and contribute to conservation by supporting responsible tourism practices.

Remote and Untouched Wilderness:

Ruaha National Park is known for its remote and untouched wilderness. The park receives fewer visitors compared to some of Tanzania’s other popular parks, allowing for a more exclusive and authentic safari experience. The feeling of being surrounded by vast expanses of untouched nature adds to the park’s allure.


While Ruaha National Park is relatively remote, it is accessible by air and road. The closest major town is Iringa, which is connected to the park via a network of roads. Charter flights and scheduled flights from Dar es Salaam, Arusha, and other major cities in Tanzania serve the park’s airstrips.

Ruaha National Park offers a unique and off-the-beaten-path safari experience. With its diverse wildlife, stunning landscapes, and sense of untouched wilderness, visitors can immerse themselves in the beauty of the African bush while enjoying exceptional game viewing and nature encounters.