Ruaha National Park covers an area of 12,950 sq. kms and is Tanzania’s second largest National Park. It forms the core of a much larger (45,000 sq. kms) ecosystem including Rungwa and Kisigo Game Reserves and although it was established in 1910 as part of the Saba Game Reserve it’s present boundaries were demarcated as recently as 1964.
The central spine of the Park is the watershed between the Nzombe and Ruaha rivers, with its dramatic escarpment above which are large stretches of miombo woodland. Below this lie undulating plains with vegetation ranging from dry bush country to treeless grasslands, swamps and evergreen forests intersected by the many sand rivers that are such a feature of this area. Ruaha represents a transition zone where eastern and southern species of flora and fauna overlap and in all some 1,650 plant species and over 450 bird species have been recorded within the park itself.
Ruaha is known for its large elephant and buffalo herds and one of its principal attractions lies in being able to see greater and lesser kudu as well as the majestic sable and roan antelope within the same area. As well as an abundance of lion, leopard and cheetah it is also home to the increasingly rare African Hunting Dog.
Ruaha is a great year round park due to its good all weather road network. The South West area of Tanzania where Ruaha is located has the lowest rainfall in Tanzania. June to November is driest with the focus of wildlife viewing around the river courses and permanent waterholes.