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Ways to Experience Ruaha National Park
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Reviewed October 25, 2016

We stayed at Flycatchers camp which is just on the river. We spent 5 nights here and enjoyed the entire time we spent here, but you could get away with 4 nights. Ernest was our guide and he tried really hard (and succeeded) in showing us as many of the animals as possible! We saw SOOOO much. Again, I was blown away by just how much life there is around there. The river banks and the plains close by to the river were filled with all sorts of animals (and soooo many elephants)! One day we saw 16 lions - 9 of them tracked a herd of buffalo for a couple of kilometres down the river and eventually made a kill. Many of the animals had babies too :-)
There were more tourists than I expected there - the park is getting more and more popular, but we still got plenty of time searching for creatures without having other people around. It was good to have a guide - they radio each other to let others know if there is something interesting to see, whereas if you drive yourself you have to be quite informed or just very lucky to find some of the rarer creatures such as leopards or african wild dogs.

Flycatchers camp was great. It's billed as a medium-range tented camp but for us it was complete luxury. The tent was HUGE and very comfortable with fully functioning bathroom at the back. It was so exciting to wake early in the morning and watch all the animals (mainly impala and baboons) wander around the camp. On a couple of nights we heard lions roaring at the baboons in a tree only about 40m away, and on other nights the elephants were making a snack of a nearby acacia tree. For some reason humans inside a tent are not viewed as a threat or as a snack so if you stay inside you are safe! It was a bit hard to get used to not being able to walk around much, but when you hear about leopards eating impala in a tree not 100m away from camp, it becomes less of big deal!

The service at Flycatchers was impeccable and faultless. I would happily stay here again!

Date of experience: October 2016
7  Thank 13bluedragons
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed October 24, 2016

We stayed in Ruaha N.P. for 3 nights in July as part of an extended safari having previously spent time in Tarangire (Oliver's Camp) and the southern Serengeti (Namiri Plains) before finishing off in Zanzibar. We are very keen amateur wildlife photographers and have a deep interest in the natural world generally. Ruaha was recommended to us last year by a camp manager, whose opinion we trust, as being a very quiet park with amazing opportunities to study large lion prides. With that in mind a visit was central to our plans for 2016. When reflecting back on an area visited our main judgements are based on our wildlife viewing experiences, photographic opportunities and the quality of our accommodation.
We flew down to Ruaha from Seronera via Arusha, the main part of the flight took 1 hour 10 minutes using the first class service which apparently only runs once per week. The normal flight takes twice as long.
We stayed at Kwihala Camp (Asilia) which proved to be an outstanding camp in every respect. See camp review (22/8/2016) - A Touch of Luxury in a True Wilderness.
Ruaha is very different geographically to the other parks we have visited in Tanzania. At the heart of the park lies the Great Ruaha River and her tributaries, all of which were virtually dry when we visited. The terrain varies from savanna to quite high hilly regions with amazing boulder formations. The vegetation is also very varied. I would suggest Ruaha is a unique eco-system which supports a myriad of wildlife.
After a slow start we finally caught up with a large pride of lions 15, (4M,11F), all of which were adults.On the same drive we also saw a leopard but from quite a distance. During our visit our mammal count was 29 different species and a significant number of bird species. (Not really our area of expertise, but the ornithologist would have a field day in Ruaha). The visit to a hyena den was very interesting particularly as there were several pups about.
The quality of guiding was exceptional, no stone was left unturned,Tony and Michael were a credit to their profession.
The park is very quite as there are relatively few camps, hence you can virtually drive all day without seeing another person or safari vehicle. The night drive was also very productive with numerous nocturnal mammals rarely encountered being observed. Tarangire has always been our favourite park in Tanzania but Ruaha now heads the list. We would like to return and certainly will, probably in the 'green season' to get a different perspective on the park. A recent review of the park expressed disappointment at the wildlife observed, with a good guide Ruaha must rival any area in Africa for wildlife viewing, with the added bonus of an unspoilt wilderness setting. We would recommend a visit to all committed wildlife enthusiasts.

Date of experience: July 2016
5  Thank john w
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed October 16, 2016

This is an outstanding park with beautiful landscapes and an abundance of wildlife, but without the crowds in the more famous northern parks. The dry seasons are best for wildlife viewing.

Date of experience: September 2016
3  Thank drnlm
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed September 2, 2016 via mobile

The park is just huge and vast. 20,000 km2 (larger than Rwanda).
Our tanzanian guide , Ernest was very knowledgeable about the history of the park and we managed to see part of the Big Four... Elephants, Buffaloes and ....yes...Two male lions. (Sharubu as Ernest calls them). We even got to see some hyenas feasting on some buffalo carcass.
The night was enjoyable at the cottage and the morning drive again revealing.
I think we just covered less than 5% of the park and another visit will be worthwhile.

Date of experience: August 2016
Thank dfo72
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed August 31, 2016

Ruaha has been my favorite park since the 80's. Its diverse, there's never a dull moment, there's plenty of animals and most importantly you've basically got it all to yourself. You see a lion in Serengeti and you experience it together with 40 other safari cars full of people. In Ruaha it just you, noone else around. It makes the whole experience larger and more "real". On your next safari, try Ruaha !!!

Date of experience: October 2015
2  Thank Sven Erik M
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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