Ruaha National Park
The Ruaha national park, with an area of 20,226 sq km, is the largest national park in Tanzania. It is an intact and unspoiled ecosystem characterized by breathtaking landscapes.
The park is full of plants and animals; some of them, such as Greater Kudu (Tragelaphus strepsiceros), can only be spotted in this area of Tanzania.
The magnificent Ruaha River and the others rivers such as Mwagusi, Jongomero and Mdonya are essential for the continuation of life in the Park. During the dry season, the dry bed of these rivers becomes, for wildlife, almost the only source of water supply.
During this season, the elephants, using their front legs and the trunks, dig holes in the dried-up beds that allow access to the water. These holes are then also used by other animals that want to drink.
Ruaha national park has a bimodal rainforest model; its only rainy season begins in November and ends in May.
Usually there is a break in February and already from April the detected rainfall decreases. The average annual rainfall varies between 500 mm and 800 mm with an average annual temperature of about 28°C (82°F). The dry season lasts from June to October.
The hottest period is between October and December with a temperature between 25°C (77°F) and 40°C (104°F). The closer the rainy season approaches, the higher the humidity.
The coldest months are from June to September, the month in which the temperatures detected at the Msembe site vary from 8°C (46.4°F) to 30°C (86°F).
In 1910 the Germans established a protected area, which they called Saba Game Reserve. In the year 1946, this name was changed by the British to Rungwa Game Reserve and in 1964, the southern area of the reserve was elevated to the status of a park.
It is in 1974 that, with the incorporation of a large area of the Great Ruaha River, the Park changed its name to Ruaha National Park. The name "Ruaha" derives from the appellation "Ruvaha" which in the native language Hehe means "river".
In 2008 the Usangu game reserve and other important wetlands in the Usangu basin were annexed to the park, making it the largest in East Africa.
Ruaha National Park has a large variety of plants and animals including buffalo, antelopes, cheetahs, leopards, giraffes, bat-eared foxes, jackals, zebras. It is known to have the highest concentration of elephants compared to any East African National Park.
It counts a huge number of lions and gives home to some rare endangered species such as wild dogs and pangolins.
It houses wonderful mammals such as the Kudu antelopes (both greater and lesser), Sable and Roan. Rhinos are the only ones among the Big 5 who no longer live here, as, unfortunately, poachers have caused their extinction.
The park is a real birds’ paradise. It is known to have more than 571 species.
Some are migrating from Europe, Asia, Australian rim and Madagascar. Very interesting is the Ruaha red-billed hornbill (Tokus ruahae), which is endemic of this area.
Birds can be seen all the year around even if the best time for bird watching is during the wet season.
The park is also known for its reptiles and amphibians such as crocodiles, poisonous and non-poisonous snakes, monitor lizards, agama lizards and frogs.
Il parco ha una vegetazione semi-arida. Ci sono alberi di baobab, acacia e oltre 1650 specie identificate di piante.
The park has a semi-arid type of vegetation. There are baobab trees, acacia and over 1650 plant identified species.