Deep in the southern reaches of Tanzania lies a national park which is cut off from the outside world by the Udzungwa Mountains. Set at altitude to the west of the Selous Game Reserve, Ruaha National Park is both wild and remote – an untouched wilderness which bursts with wildlife.
The plateau is laced with dormant sand rivers that erratically flow with water from the huge catchment area, magnificent baobab trees dominate the skyline and open plains throng with wildlife. This diverse landscape is the intersection of the Eastern African and Southern African eco-regions, creating an ideal habitat for unusual and endemic species like Greater and Lesser Kudu. Like patchwork, the landscape is mosaic of clearings and classic African bushveld with rocky promontories creating ideal look-out points.
Predators abound with huge prides of lion in the Mwagusi River region – specialists in hunting buffalo and giraffe. Painted dog packs traverse the unfenced park and cheetah can be found in the more open areas making it a very rewarding safari destination. It is raw, authentic and the outfits operating in Ruaha are truly excellent with superb guides and the kind of tented camps which blend seamlessly into the landscape.
Ruaha really comes into its own with walking safaris, rivalling those in Zambia. Expert guide, Andrew Molinari narrates the scenery and explains the minutiae of the flora and fauna before approaching huge herds of elephant with absolute calm. These walks can span a week or more and highlight this incredible ecosystem. This is by far the best way to experience Ruaha, where the most elusive creatures here are other safari-goers.