RUAHA NATIONAL PARK
Ruaha national park is the largest national park in Tanzania. The addition of the Usangu game reserve and other important wetlands to the park in 2008 increased its size to about 20,226 square kilometers (7809 sq. Mi) making it the largest park in Tanzania and east Africa.. It is located in the middle of Tanzania about 130 kilometers from Iringa. The park is part of a more extensive ecosystem, which includes rungwa game reserve, Usangu game reserve, and several other protected areas.
The name of the park is derived from the great Ruaha river, which flows along its south-easternmargin and is the focus for game-viewing. The park can be reached by car via Iringaand there is an airstrip at msembe, park headquarters.
Ruaha ’s relative inaccessibility means it gets far fewertourists than the selous and less than any comparable park in the northerncircuit. The rewards of travelling this far are a wild landscape withbaobab studded hills and rocky escarpments, with superb wildlife; Ruaha has reliably exciting predator concentrations,huge elephant and buffalo herds and a crossover of game from southern andeastern Africa.
The park is one of the Tanzania birds’ paradise with more than571 species and some of them are known to be migrants from within and outside Africa.
Ruaha is believed to havehigh concentration of elephants than any national park in east Africa. It isalso a place where, magnificent mammals like kudu, sable and roan antelopes caneasily be spotted in miombo woodland. The park is also a habitat for endangeredwild dogs. Other animals in the park include lions, leopards, cheetah,giraffes, zebras, elands, impala, bat-eared foxes and jackals.
Apart from large animals, the park also harbors a number ofreptiles and amphibians such as crocodiles, poisonous and non-poisonous snakes,monitor lizards, agama lizards and frogs
The park is characterized by semi-arid type of vegetation,baobab trees, acacia and other species. There are over 1,650 plant species that have been identified.