Ruaha national park is one of Tanzania’s famous wilderness areas where one can experience game viewing spiced up by its fascinating landscape. The park is rich with plants and animals such as the Greater Kudu (Tragelaphus strepsiceros) which cannot be found in any other national park. The park boasts of her almost untouched and unexplored ecosystem, making the visitors’ safari experience very rich and special.
The Great Ruaha River as other rivers like Mwagusi, Jongomero and Mzombe serve as the life line of the park. During dry season, these rivers become the main source of water for the wildlife, along with a few natural springs .
During the dry season, elephants obtain water from dry sand rivers using their front feet and trunks. The remaining water falls along the Great Ruaha River are important habitats for the hippopotami, fish, and crocodiles.
The park is one of Tanzania’s birds’ paradise, with more than 571 species. Some are migrants from both within and outside Africa. Migrating species from Europe, Asia, the Australian rim and Madagascar have been recorded in the park. One particular species of interest in the park include the Ruaha red-billed hornbill (Tokus ruahae), which is dominant in the area. The recently annexed wetland, the Usangu basin, is one of the country’s important bird areas (IBA), as recognized by Birdlife International. Though birds can be seen throughout the year, the best time for bird watching is during the wet season.
Ruaha is believed to have a higher concentration of elephants than any national park in East Africa. It is also a place where, magnificent mammals like the Kudu (both Greater and Lesser) and Sable and Roan antelopes can easily be spotted in the Miombo woodland. The male Kudu have beautiful spiraled horns, while male Sable antelope have impressive curved horns. The park is also a habitat for endangered wild dogs. Other animals in the park include lions, leopards, cheetah, giraffes, zebras, elands, impala, bat eared foxes, and jackals.
Apart from large animals, the park also harbors a number of reptiles and amphibians such as crocodiles, poisonous and non-poisonous snakes, monitor lizards, agama lizards, and frogs. The Great Ruaha and Mzombe rivers are presumably the most preferred habitat for crocodiles.
The park is characterized by semi-arid types of vegetation, Baobab trees, the Acacia, and other species. There are over 1650 plant species that have been identified. The park is the transitional point of two vegetation zones, the Zambezian (characterized by Miombo vegetation) and Sudanian (characterized by Acacia vegetation).