At 12 950km², Ruaha is only marginally smaller than the Serengeti, and is pristine and untouched Africa, unsullied by minibus tourism and large lodges with electric lights, discotheques and glitzy curio shops. Infested with tsetse fly, Ruaha is bordered in the north by the Kizigio and Rungwa River Game Reserves, and together they form a 26 500km² conservancy, one of the biggest in East Africa.
By road, it is a five-hour journey from Iringa, but there is also an airstrip at Msembe for fly-in safaris. The best months to visit are from July to November when the animals congregate around the water holes, but the park is stunning all year round.
Ruaha is visually a treat, with rocky outcrops and mountain ranges giving it a topography that ranges from 750m to 1 900m on the Peak of Ikungu Mountain, and the focal point of the reserve is the Great Ruaha River, with its deep gorges, swirling rapids – and excellent fishing. With over 10 000 elephant, 30 000 buffalo, 20 000 zebra and huge populations of lion and leopard (not to mention more than 400 bird species) Ruaha is a naturalist’s paradise.

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