First place photograph by Tim Robson

Bush Tip No.1

Lions tend to hunt at night or in the cooler hours and rest up during the day. So… keep an eye on giraffe. If they are all looking in one direction there is a good chance they are looking at something that might prey on them — lions!

click on images to enlarge


The game viewing in Ruaha is phenomenal. Huge breeding herds of elephant are remarkably unworried by human presence as they amble to water to quench their thirst. There is a wide variety of antelope including greater and lesser kudu. Shy bushbuck creep down to the river to drink and huge bonus for east Africa is the roan and sable antelope. The biggest buck of all, the eland, contrast sharply with the smallest, the dik dik who are able to disappear completely in their tiny territories. Vast troops of yellow baboon flank the herds of graceful impala.

Huge baobabs dominate the landscape. Parts of the river are lined by some of the most stunning trees in Africa - silver leafed Tamarind whose ripe pods attract elephants into the camp at night. Flat topped acacia and beautiful big Terminalia trees are interspersed with Sausage trees and Combretum. The park is full of undulating hills with rocky Kopjes and the great Mpululu Mountains in the distance.

Dwarf and banded mongoose scurry around foraging for food while leopard can be spotted d sheltering in trees along the dry riverbeds.

The park has numerous prides of lion. At the end of the dry season, the mountain prides recognized by their lean appearance, are forced to the river for water and food. The battles for territories are powerful and vocal, their roars drowning other night sounds.

Ruaha also boasts one of the last remaining strong holds for African Wild Dog. Large packs roam the park hunting down their quarry along the riverbeds. As they rest up under trees it is fascinating to watch their interactive behaviour and to count the numerous pups handing off a long-suffering mother.

Expect to experience:

Ruaha elephants

Ruaha leopard

  • A vast variety of birdlife in many different habitats.
  • Best Roan antelope viewing in Tanzania.
  • One of the most scenic rivers in Africa.
  • Pels fishing Owl on the Njombe river.
  • Wild dogs hunting on the banks of the sand rivers.
  • Great leopard.
  • Large numbers of elephants.

Facts at a glance

  • The Njombe River runs the entire length of Ruaha on the Northwest boundary. It is true wilderness and offers one of the best locations for walking safaris left in Africa.
  • Ruaha is famous for it's huge population of Elephants. Presently about 10,000 are roaming the park.
  • Ruaha National Park is also a true birdwatchers paradise - 436 species have been identified of an estimated total of 475.


Try mobile camping on one of Ruaha's sand rivers
Try mobile camping on one of Ruaha’s sand rivers...

stay at one of the fantastic permanents camps at Jongomeru or Mwagusi
...or stay at one of the fantastic permanents camps at Jongomeru or Mwagusi