The open horizons and abundant wildlife of the Mkata Floodplain, the popular centerpiece of Mikumi, is often compared to the more famous Serengeti Plains. At the end of the Dry season the waterholes, including the hippo pool, become a wildlife magnet and huge herds of elephant and buffalo visit these spots throughout the day.
Pros & Cons
- Good sightings of less common antelope such as eland, greater kudu and sable
- Guided walks available
- Excellent well-priced mid-range lodges
- En route to popular parks in the south such as Nyerere and Ruaha
- Suitable for a weekend get-away from Dar es Salaam
- Only one-road circuit accessible to visitors
- Lack of wilderness appeal with the Tanzam highway running straight through the park
- Animals are scattered during the Wet season
- Some lodges are closed from March to May
- The park can get busy at weekends
The grasslands of Mikumi support large herds of zebra, wildebeest, buffalo and impala. Giraffe and elephant are also common. Predators, such as lion and spotted hyena, are present but sightings are less common than in some of the more popular parks. Troops of yellow baboon and vervet monkeycan be found throughout the park.
The 80% portion of Mikumi southeast of the Tanzam Highway is inaccessible to tourists. The 60km circuit open to tourists is on the Mkata River floodplain, comprised of open grassland interspersed with acacia woodland, patches of borassus palms and the odd baobab tree.
Weather & Climate
Mikumi enjoys uniform conditions because of its equatorial location. The months of the Dry season (June to October) are among the coolest. This is particularly true of the higher altitudes, although these are mostly inaccessible to tourists. The Wet season (November to May) is humid and hot, especially in the closing months of the year.
Best Time to Visit
The Dry season (June to October) is the peak period for watching wildlife. The bush thins out and animals are easy to spot. Plus, the absence of precipitation is balanced by an abundance of sunshine. You can still see wildlife in the wetter periods, but the humidity and the mosquitoes might drive you crazy.