Nestled between the Uruguru Mountains and the Rift valley escarpments, Mikumi National Park is about 300km west of Dar es Salaam. It is the closest Park to Tanzania’s capital.
This Park is close proximity with Selous game reserve and animals usually move from this Park to reserve and then back. Mikumi consists of the Mkata River flood plain that surround the rolling hills in Miombo woodland.
It is less spectacular than other parks in Tanzania, but it still offers a remarkable safari experience with its diverse flora and fauna.
The abundant bird species in the park’s habitats adds to the large numbers of buffaloes, giraffes, elephants, lions, zebras, impala, wildebeest, hartebeest, wild dogs, leopards to name but a few.
This Park is transected by a surface road between Dar es Salaam and Iringa. It is the easily accessed part of the 75000 square kilometer area that stretches east to the Indian Ocean.
The park’s open horizons, notable centerpiece of Mikumi and abundant Wildlife of the Mkata floodplain invites a number of tourists to Tanzania. Lions, zebra, wildebeest and buffalo herds usually migrate to the park during the rainy season for good pastures. Giraffes are common in the isolated acacia trees that fringe the Mkata River.
Traversed by a great circuit of game viewing traits, the Mkata floodplains is one of the best spots for sights of numerous wild animals in Tanzania such as elands, elephants, buffaloes and more. The spectacular greater kudu and sable antelopes roam the miombo covered foothills of the mountains that tower the Park.
About 400 species of birds are recorded inhabit the Park’s lush habitats including the residents (yellow throated long claw and bateleur eagle) and thousands of migrant species that migrate from Europe during the rainy season. Just 5km in the north of the main entrance, you find a pair of pools that home a number of hippos.
How to get there
Most safaris to Mikumi start from Dar es Salaam and it is recommended for all visitors to land at Juluis Nyerere International Airport. Your operator will pick you up and do all the ground transportation up to the Park.
It takes about four hours for the drive from Dar es Salaam up to Mikumi National Park. If not road, there are scheduled flights offered by Safari Air Link up to the Park suburbs. For those connecting from Ruaha, it takes about five hours for the drive and the distance is about 320km.
What to do in the Park
Situated in the south western part of Tanzania, Mikumi National Park offers a thrilling wildlife experience. The drives offered in pop up roof vehicles last for about 2-3 hours and rewards magical sights of animals like black antelopes, eland, kudu, impala, zebras, elephants and Wildebeest.
Mikumi National Park consists of two camping grounds that are located in the vuma hills and Mkata plains. These camps come well equipped with comfortable accommodation, bathrooms and toilets. This is the best way to experience the parks beauty from the wild.
Guided Nature Walks
If game drives do not appeal, Mikumi is famous for guided nature walks. Tourists can take these walks via numerous trails like vuma trail, kikogoba and the lodge trail. The best time for these excursions is early in the morning or evening time.
This is one of the best activities done in Mikumi National Park. During the excursions, you can’t fail to see some of the 500 species recorded in the Park. There are both migratory and resident species. The list includes yellow throated long claw, bateleurs, lilac breasted roller and Zanzibar red bishop.