Ruaha National Park
Named for the Great Ruaha River that traverses the southeast portion of the park, Ruaha National Park is one of the roads less travelled by tourists. While not as popular a destination or as accessible as the parks to the north, its rugged terrain and rocky escarpments offer a richly diverse and less crowded safari experience. The horizons are dotted with Baobob trees and Acacia, while herds of elephants wander in search of water and food. The annexing of the Usangu Game Reserve into the park in 2008 made Ruaha the largest national park in Tanzania.
A high concentration of diverse plants, animals and birds, as well as a rugged and primarily untouched ecosystem, makes the park a good choice for visitors looking to get off the beaten path.
At the base of the Western Riff Valley escarpment, these pockets of natural springs provide much needed water for the wildlife in the park during the dry season (May-December).
Leader of the Hehe tribe, Chief Mkwawa led his tribe in a fierce resistance against a 19th century German invasion. Although ultimately not successful, his bravery and leadership remains a strong part of the Ruaha area’s history. Many sites within the park believed to be ritual spots and hiding spots for the great chief still exist.
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