Mikumi National Park
Mikumi National Park is Tanzania’s fourth largest national park and a year-round travel destination. The park is located in Southern Tanzania close to Morogoro and just a few hours’ drive south-west of Dar es Salaam. It is a popular destination for weekend visitors from Dar es Salaam as well as business visitors who don’t have enough time for a safari.
With the completion of the Tan-Zam-Highway that connects Dar es Salaam and Iringa in the center of Tanzania, Mikumi has become easily reachable. However, the park is divided in two by this highway, which reduces slightly the atmosphere of being out in the bush. Nevertheless, the park offers a gentle safari introduction – especially for first time safari visitors.
Mikumi shares its southern border with Nyerere National Park (formerly Selous Game Reserve) – Africa’s largest protected area, which results in frequent movement of wildlife. And although the park is no park of superlatives, it is still a nice stop over on a safari itinerary between Nyerere and Ruaha with its typical grass savannah, great vistas and wildlife.
established in 1964 with a size of 3,320 km²
all year around – best during dry season: June to October
Antelopes: eland, impala, wildebeest
Big Five: buffalo, elephant, lion
Birds: more than 300 species
Cats: leopard (rarely seen)
Mammals: giraffe, hippo, warthog, zebra
easily accessible through the Tan-Zam highway from Dar es Salaam
great variety of wildlife in the savannah plains
incredible vistas with the various mountain ranges nearby
Further Details – Mikumi National Park
Mikumi is part of the Selous-Niassa Wildlife Corridor
Mikumi National Park is set between the Uluguru Mountains to the northeast, the Rubeho Mountains to the northwest, and the Udzungwa Mountains to the west, which all belong to the Eastern Arc mountain range. But most importantly the southern border of Mikumi connects the park with Africa’s largest protected area – Nyerere National Park (formerly Selous).
Through the shared border of Mikumi and Nyerere animals are frequently moving between the parks. Mikumi has therefore become an important part of the 155,000 km² trans-boundary Selous-Niassa ecosystem that ranges from Tanzania to Mozambique. This ecosystem provides one of the most significant migratory routes for buffaloes, elephants and sable antelopes in Africa.
Flora & Fauna of Mikumi
Mikumi’s landscape is characterized by acacias, baobabs and tamarinds trees. The heart however is the grass savannah of the Mkata flood plains in the north-western part of the park. Large herds of buffaloes, elephants, gazelles, giraffes, impalas, wildebeest and zebras are often seen here.
The park also hosts a few hippos. Especially during dry season, the best game viewing is around the waterholes where you can come across predators such as leopards, lions and maybe even the highly endangered African wild dog who lie in wait for their preferred pray.
Mikumi is also home to eland, greater kudu and sable antelope as well as bushpigs, bushbuck and warthogs. Early morning and late afternoon game drives are the best with the horizon colored in gold offering stunning panoramic views on the surrounding mountains.
Birdwatchers will be thrilled as over 300 bird species have been recorded. Common resident birds are black-bellied bustards, bateleur eagles, guinea fowls, yellow-throated longclaws, ox-peckers, lilac-breasted rollers, which are joined by European migrants during the months of October to May.
Which travelers will particularly enjoy Mikumi National Park?
- travelers who only have a limited amount of time available for a short safari
- travelers who want to slowly get used to Africa and the upcoming safari highlights
- travelers who are interested in a varied landscape and scenery
- travelers who are on a driving itinerary combining the parks of the Southern Tanzania