Mikumi national park

Mikumi is a national park in Tanzania, East Africa, located in the Morogoro Region, covering an area of about 3,230 square kilometers (1,250 square miles).  Part of the larger Selous Game reserve ecosystem, the park stands as the fourth-largest national park in Tanzania. Established in 1964, Mikumi National Park is known for its rich biodiversity and varied landscapes, offering visitors a chance to experience a wide array of wildlife and natural beauty.

Attractions of the park

Mkata River Floodplain

The Mkata River floodplain is a central feature of Mikumi National Park, attracting a diverse range of wildlife. The plains are dotted with acacia trees and are home to large herds of herbivores such as wildebeest, buffalo, zebra, and impala.

Wildlife Viewing

Mikumi is home to a variety of wildlife, including elephants, lions, leopards, giraffes, and various antelope species. The park’s open grasslands make it relatively easy to spot these animals during game drives. Other animals to spot at the park include; buffalo, wildebeest, zebra, impala, hippos, baboon, giraffe, warthog, waterbuck and eland which can be viewed throughout the year. Reptiles including crocodile, monitor lizard and python are also resident in the park. Other animals that can be sighted although rare are the Sable Antelope resident in the southern part of the park bordering the Selous, the Greater Kudu, leopard, and the wild dog also known as the African Hunting Dog.

The above-mentioned animals can be viewed during game drives where visitors explore the park with experienced guides who know the best routes for wildlife sightings. The park’s relative accessibility makes it a convenient option for those looking to experience a safari in a shorter timeframe.

Birdwatching

Mikumi National Park is a paradise for birdwatchers, with over 400 bird species recorded. The park’s diverse habitats, including open grasslands, woodlands, and wetlands, attract a wide range of birdlife, including colorful species like lilac-breasted rollers, bee-eaters, and hornbills.

Hippo Pools

The Mkata River is also home to hippopotamuses, and there are designated areas, often referred to as “hippo pools,” where visitors can observe these semi-aquatic mammals from a safe distance.

Scenic Landscapes

The park’s landscapes include the scenic backdrop of the Uluguru Mountains and the Rift Valley escarpment. The contrast between open grasslands and more rugged terrain provides a visually appealing setting for safaris.

Isolated Mountain Ranges

Mikumi National Park features isolated mountain ranges, adding to the diversity of the landscape. These areas may offer different wildlife and vegetation compared to the more open plains.

Kitonga Ruins

Near the park’s entrance, there are Kitonga Ruins, which are believed to be the remains of an Iron Age Bantu settlement. While not a major wildlife attraction, it adds an archaeological and historical dimension to the park.

Best time to visit Mikumi national park

Mikumi can be visited all year round but the best time is the dry season which is in the months of June to October. In this time, there is low vegetation and limited water sources thus a clear view of different animals.

How to access Mikumi national park

The park can be accessed from Tanzania’s largest city – Dar-es-Salaam as the plane lands at Julius Nyerere airport. The park can be accessed using different means of transport as mentioned below;

By road

The most common route used to the park is the Dar es Salaam-Morogoro route. The route takes about 4 to 5 hours by a private vehicle. When you use public means, the journey may become longer due to the frequent bus stops in different towns.

By air

Also, Mikumi can be accessed by air transport from Dar es Salaam. There is one airstrip in the park – Kikoboga airstrip and this can be accessed using Safari Airlink.

Accommodations in Mikumi national park

There are different hotels/lodges where one can spend a comfortable night at affordable rates. Among the accommodations to opt for include; Camp Bastian Mikumi, Mikumi safari lodge, Vuma Hills Tented Camp, Tan Swiss Lodge, Angalia Tented Camp, Cabin/Campground, Mikumi wildlife Camp, Asante Afrika Camp Mikumi, Morio Motel and campsite, Foxes safari camp and many others.