NEED TO KNOW
LOCATION Ruaha National Park is in central Tanzania, bounded by the Great Ruaha River, about 60 miles (100 km) east of Iringa AREA 3,975 sq miles (10,300 sq km)
KEY WILDLIFE Lions, leopards, elephants, and greater kudu, roan and sable antelopes
Tanzania’s second-largest national park has a rugged, remote, and austere character. Baobab trees litter the landscape, their bare branches reaching skyward from the semi-arid plains. This is the sort of place where you can drive for hours without seeing another vehicle. Game viewing can be exceptional and cat-lovers are in for a treat, with a good chance of spotting cheetahs, leopards, and large lion prides. More than 12,000 elephants and a diverse selection of antelopes, including the majestically horned greater kudu, also roam here.
Getting There Most visitors book an all-inclusive package with a camp, and fly in from Dar es Salaam or Selous Game Reserve. Most safaris start from Dar es Salaam, and are best broken by a night in Mikumi National Park.
When to Go Any time, though the dry season (May–Dec) is best for mammal spotting and the wet season (Jan–Apr) is best for bird-watching.