Here at CIEE Tanzania we take our students on safari each semester, and this RD is making it a point to explore the lesser known, equally beautiful, and less (humanly) populated parks than those found on the popular circuits.
Tanzania has twelve national parks, and seven game reserves; the most well-known being those in the Northern Circuit (Serengeti National Park, Ngorongoro Crater, and Kilimanjaro National Park). The majority of safari goers coming to Tanzania plan their trips in the popular Northern Circuit where they can choose their own adventure from rugged camps to luxury hotels and hot air balloons over the park.
While the Northern Parks are unquestionably beautiful, they are also very popular and thus heavily populated with seemingly more Land Rovers than animals - safari guides communicate to each other with walkie talkies and you can find yourself chasing herds of Toyotas in search of simba.
We at CIEE TZ have just returned from a beautiful safari in Tanzania’s Ruaha National Park. Next to Serengeti National Park, Ruaha takes the title of being the largest National Park in Tanzania It covers a massive area of 23,000km² and is located in Southwest Tanzania.
To reach the park one must take a scenic, but bumpy, dirt road from Iringa town for about an hour or so before arriving at the gate.
Ruaha is considered one of Tanzania's wildest national parks and as it is one of the lesser visited in the country, it remains isolated, peaceful and unspoilt in its wilderness.
The parks gets its name from the Great Ruaha River (the main park feature) which rises in the swamps to the south and sweeps north and eastward through the park. Its deep pools, gorges and swirling rapids make for excellent fishing. The River features a large number of hippos and crocodiles.
Ruaha is also famous for its abundance of elephants (which we saw plenty of!) – having the highest population of any East African National park.
We managed to see everything on this trip, and we were free to explore the vast wilderness at our own pace while getting very up close and personal with the animals.
What we didn’t see on this trip were herds of Land Rovers.
Enjoy these pictures from our trip… and get inspired to come visit! ...and in the meantime find more information on Tanzania’s National Parks at the TZ parks official website: http://www.tanzaniaparks.com/
CIEE students checking out twiga (giraffe)