Holidays

Mikumi National Park – Tanzania

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Best to know in Mikumi National Park

  1. Fourth Largest National Park in Tanzania.
  2. Shares boundary with Selous Game Reserve in the south which is transected by the main road from Dar es Salaam to Iringa.
  3. Animals migrate between the Mikumi National Park and the Selous Game Reserve.
  4. Lions, Buffaloes, Impalla, Gazelles, Elephants, Giraffes can be found in the National park an hippoes and crocodiles in the rivers.
  5. Over 400 bird species resident in this national park.
  6. It’s also the most accessible from Dar es Salaam. With almost guaranteed wildlife sightings, it makes an ideal safari destination for those without much time.

 

Wildlife Highlights

Mikumi is one of the most reliable places in Tanzania for sightings of the powerful eland, the world’s largest antelope. The equally impressive greater kudu and sable antelope can be found in the miombo woodland-covered foothills of the mountains that rise from the park’s borders. The Lichtenstein’s hartebeest is one of the more unusual antelopes and has a slightly different appearance to the Coke’s hartebeest, which can be found in the northern parks of Tanzania.

The fauna includes many species characteristic of the African savannah. According to local guides at Mikumi, chances of seeing a lion that climbs a tree trunk is larger than in Manyara (famous for being one of the few places where the lions exhibit this behavior). The park contains a subspecies of giraffe that biologists consider the link between the Masai giraffe and the reticulated or Somali giraffe.

Zebra, wildebeest, impala and buffalo can be found on the grassy plains. Lion, which prey on these animals, share the same area and can occasionally be spotted. Giraffe browse leaves from the isolated acacia trees that fringe the Mkata River. The small islands of shade provided by these acacias are also favored by elephant. Hippos are the star attraction of the pair of pools situated 5km north of the main entrance gate, supported by an ever-changing cast of water bird.

Mikumi National Park covers an area of 3,230 sq km, and is rich in wildlife including buffalo, wildebeest, zebra, lion, elephant, impala, hippos, baboon, giraffe, warthog, waterbuck and eland which can be viewed throughout the year. Reptiles including crocodile, monitor lizard and python are also resident in the park. Other animals that can be sighted although rare are the Sable Antelope resident in the southern part of the park bordering the Selous, the Greater Kudu, leopard, and the wild dog also known as the African Hunting Dog. More than 400 bird species have been recorded, with such colourful common residents as the lilac-breasted roller, yellow-throated long claw and bateleur eagle joined by a host of European migrants during the rainy season.

Mikumi National Park abuts the northern border of Africa’s biggest game reserve – the Selous – and is transacted by the surfaced road between Dar es Salaam and Iringa. The open horizons and abundant wildlife of the Mkata Floodplain, the popular centrepiece of Mikumi, draw frequent comparisons to the more famous Serengeti Plains. Mikumi National Park is only three to four hours drive from Dar es Salaam, lying astride the main highway to Zambia, and en route to the National Parks of Udzungwa Mountains, Ruaha and Kitulo. The main feature of the park is the Mikumi flood plain, along with the mountain ranges that border the park on two sides. Open grasslands dominate in the flood plain, eventually merging with the miombo woodland covering the lower hills.

The Park is near Morogoro in Tanzania and was established in 1964. It covers an area of 3,230 km² and is the fourth largest in the country. The park is crossed by Tanzania’s A-7 highway. The Mikumi is sharing a common border and ecosystem to the south with the Selous Game Reserve, the two areas forming a unique ecosystem. Two other natural areas bordering the national park are the Udzungwa Mountains and Uluguru Mountains.

Tourism

The Mikumi belongs to the circuit of the wildlife parks of Tanzania, less visited by international tourists and better protected from the environmental point of view. Most of the routes that cross the Mikumi proceed in the direction of the Ruaha National Park and the Selous. Most visitors come to Mikumi National Park aiming to spot the ‘Big Five’ (cheetah, lion, elephant, buffalo, and rhino), and they are always not disappointed. Hippo pools provide close access to the mud-loving beasts, and bird-watching along the waterways is particularly rewarding.

Location

It covers an area of about 3,230 square km (1,250 sq miles).

It is located 283 km (175 miles) west of Dar es Salaam, north of Selous, past Morogoro.

Best Time for Wildlife Viewing

Climate is tropical and the park is accessible year round. The best time to visit the park is during the dry season which is June through February.

During the rainy season (March through – May) some of the park roads may be impassable.

The park lies in a horseshoe of towering mountains and forested foothills which almost enclose the flood plain of the Mkata River.

Activities

Safari drives within the national park with 4×4 vehicles.

Guided walks in selected areas.

 Visit the nearby Selous Game Reserve r Udzungwa Mountains National Park.