Mikumi National Park safaris, tours & holiday packagesSouthern Tanzania's answer to the Serengeti
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Bisected by the main highway through southern Tanzania, underrated Mikumi is the country’s fourth-largest national park and most accessible safari destination.
The 3,230-square-kilometre Mikumi National Park, effectively a northern extension of the vast Selous Game Reserve, protects a combination of grassy floodplains and wooded hills flanked by the Uluguru and Udzungwa Mountains to the north and south. The park's main game-viewing circuit crosses the expansive Mkata Floodplain, an area of open grassland interspersed with stands of acacia, Borassus and baobab trees. Referred to locally as the mini-Serengeti, the plains support large numbers of elephant, buffalo, zebra, giraffe and antelope, including wildebeest, impala, reedbuck and eland. Lions and spotted hyenas are present in reasonable numbers – if you don’t see them by day you’ll certainly hear them at night.
I've had mixed luck with Mikumi over the years, but my most recent visit rewarded me with one of the game-sightings of my life – two pairs of mating lions a few hundred metres apart, and massive herds of elephants and buffalo drinking alongside each other at the hippo pool. Breathtaking stuff!
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Mikumi is the most accessible of Tanzania’s savanna parks, and it makes for a relatively affordable short safari out of Dar es Salaam. Despite this, it has never featured prominently on tourist itineraries, possibly because of its mystifying proximity to a trunk route. Nevertheless, wildlife concentrations compare favourably with the more-lauded Selous Game Reserve or Ruaha National Park, and – except during long weekends, when it is inundated with hordes of city dwellers – it tends to be very quiet and peaceful.
In the dry season, the most rewarding approach to wildlife viewing is to sit at a waterhole and see what pitches up. Although Mikumi is not an outstanding birding destination, the open grasslands are home to many perennial safari favourites such as bateleur, lilac-breasted roller, southern ground-hornbill and yellow-throated longclaw.
Mikumi's location on Google Maps
Frequently Asked Questions about Mikumi
June to October is the best time to visit Mikumi National Park. During the dry season, the wildlife concentrate around waterholes and rivers - making it easier to spot them. go there.