March 6, 2014
Article by Global Pre-Meds
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The park was established in 1910 and was initially named the Saba Game Reserve by the Germans. The lifeline of the park is the Great Ruaha River which becomes the main source of water during dry seasons. There are also a few springs that serve the same purpose. A small south-eastern portion of the Great Ruaha River was included in the Ruaha National Park. Eventually other adjoining areas were also integrated into the park making it the biggest national park in Tanzania with a total area of 20,226 square kilometres.
On a safari tour of the Ruaha National Park you will see the most amazingly diverse array of animals and plants that include amphibians, exotic birds, reptiles and more. Aside from providing habitat for animals, the park also provides water for agriculture in nearby farms and hydro-electric power.
With more than 571 species, the Ruaha National Park is a sanctuary for birds that migrate from within and outside Africa. There are fowl that come to the park from Asia, Australia, Europe and Madagascar. The dominant specie in the park is the Tokus Ruahe or the Ruaha Red-Billed Hornbill.
The Ruaha National Park is known to have the highest population of elephants in East Africa. Sable, Kudu and Roan antelopes are also numerous and easily spotted at the Miombo woodlands. Other animals that live at the park include lions, leopards, jackals, cheetahs, giraffes, impalas, zebras, and bats.
Reptiles and amphibians also populate the park. Crocodiles, agama lizards, monitor lizards, frogs, and poisonous and non-poisonous snakes inhabit the park. You will find that most of the crocodiles congregate along or in the great Ruaha River and Mzombe River.
Most of the photographs taken at the Ruaha National Park depict huge majestic trees which are actually Acacia. There are 1,650 species of shrubs, grass, and trees at the park that include semi-arid types of vegetation and baobab trees. The large park contains Miombo and Sudanian vegetation.
Game viewing is of course the number one activity at the park aside from bird watching, picnicking and enjoying bush meals in a “wilderness setting”. You can explore the park by vehicle or by taking walks, preferably with an official guide for your safety.
The best times to visit the park are during the dry season from mid-May to December and during the wet season from January till April. The warmest time at the park is between June and October when temperatures can spike to 35 degrees Celsius which may be too hot for anyone to enjoy a safari