Ruaha National Park
Is the largest national park in Tanzania. In 2008 the addition of the Usangu Game Reserve to Ruaha increased the size of the park to about 20,226 square kilometres (7,809 sq mi) making it a candidate for one of the largest national parks in Africa. Nevertheless according to the Tanzania National Bureau of Statistics in June 2013 the park is only about 13,000 square kilometres (5,000 sq mi), although this is probably an oversight.
The Great Ruaha River as other rivers like Mwagusi, Jongomero and Mzombe save as the life line of the park. During dry season, these rivers become mostly the main source of water for wildlife. There are few natural springs saving the same purpose.
The park is one of the Tanzania birds’ paradise with more than 571species and some of them are known to be migrants from within and outside Africa. Migrating species from Europe, Asia, Australian rim and Madagascar have been recorded in the park. Species of interest in the park include Ruaha red-billed hornbill (Tokus ruahae) which is dominant in the area. The recently annexed wetland, the Usangu basin is one of the country’s important bird area (IBA) as recognized by Birdlife International. Though birds can be seen all the year around, the best time for bird watching is during the wet season.
Ruaha is believed to have high concentration of elephants than any national park in East Africa. It is also a place where, magnificent mammals like Kudu (both Greater and Lesser), Sable and Roan antelopes can easily be spotted in Miombo woodland. The male Kudu have beautiful spiraled horns while male Sable antelope have impressive curved horns. The park is also a habitat for endangered wild dogs. Other animals in the park include lions, leopards, cheetah, giraffes, zebras, elands, impala, bat eared foxes and Jackals.
Other special animals in Ruaha are the African Wild Dog and the Sable Antelope. Rhinoceros were last been sighted in 1982 and most likely extinct in the park due to poaching.