Mikumi National Park

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Overview

Elephants in Mikumi National Park
Elephants in Mikumi National Park

Mikumi National Park

Description

Mikumi National Park is located on the northern border of Africa’s biggest game reserve – the Selous – and is transected by the surfaced road between Dar es Salaam and Iringa. It is thus the most accessible part of a 75,000 square tract of wilderness that stretches east almost as far as the Indian Ocean.

The open horizons and abundant wildlife of the Mkata Floodplain, the popular centerpiece of Mikumi, draw frequent comparisons to the more famous Serengeti Plains.

Lions survey their grassy kingdom – and the zebra, wildebeest, impala and buffalo herds that migrate across it – from the flattened tops of termite mounds, or sometimes, during the rains, from perches high in the trees. Giraffes forage in the isolated acacia stands that fringe the Mkata River, islets of shade favoured also by Mikumi’s elephants.

Criss-crossed by a good circuit of game-viewing roads, the Mkata Floodplain is perhaps the most reliable place in Tanzania for sightings of the powerful eland, the world’s largest antelope. The equally impressive greater kudu and sable antelope haunt the miombo-covered foothills of the mountains that rise from the park’s borders.

More than 400 bird species have been recorded, with such colourful common residents as the lilac-breasted roller, yellow-throated longclaw and bateleur eagle joined by a host of European migrants during the rainy season. 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 waterbirds.

About Mikumi National Park

  • Size: 3,230 sq km (1,250 sq miles), the fourth-largest park in Tanzania, and part of a much larger ecosystem centred on the uniquely vast Selous Game Reserve.
  • Location: 283 km (175 miles) west of Dar es Salaam, north of Selous, and en route to Ruaha, Udzungwa and (for the intrepid) Katavi.

How to get there

  • A good surfaced road connects Mikumi to Dar es Salaam via Morogoro, a roughly 4 hour drive.
  • Also road connections to Udzungwa, Ruaha and (dry season only) Selous.
  • Charter flight from Dar es Salaam, Arusha or Selous. Local buses run from Dar to park HQ where game drives can be arranged.

What to do

  • Game drives and guided walks. Visit nearby Udzungwa or travel on to Selous or Ruaha.

Highlights

Bird life: Over 300 species of birds have been observed in the park some of, which are Eurasian migrants who stay between October and April.

Wildlife: The famous lion climbing tree are also found here other animals are Africa rare wild dogs, Elephants, giraffes, Zebras, buffaloes, wildebeests, eland, and litechrstein's hartebeest crocodiles, monitor lizard and python are also found in the area.

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