Mikumi National Park
Mikumi National Park is lying just to the north of the famous Selous Game Reserve. Gazetted in 1964 covering an area of 1070 km2, it was later extended in 1975 to cover the current area of 3,230 sq km, the Park is the fifth largest National Park in Tanzania after the Ruaha (20,226km2), Serengeti (14763km2), Katavi (4471 km2) and Mkomazi (3245km2). It is in one ecosystem with Selous making the animals (Elephants, buffalos and Zebras) migrate to and from the northern part of the reserve into the park.
The Park Shares the name ‘Mikumi’ with the village just beyond its Western border of the Dar es Salaam – Iringa highway, which traverse the Park for 50km. The small town in turn takes the name from the (Borassus spp.) palm, which ones grew there in profusion but no stem is visible in the village.The park lies in a horseshoe of towering mountains enclosed foot hills, which almost enclose the flood plain of the Mkata River. To the East rise the 2,743 metres massif of the Uluguru ranges while to the southwest are the craggy peaks of the Vidunda hill.
Mikumi Natinal Park is one of the “biodiversity hot spot” in the Country. It has over 20 species of Mammals, about 1200 species of Plants and 30 species of Butterflies. The Park offer spectacular concentration of variety of animals in Mkata flood plain including four of the big five, elephant, buffalo, Lion and Leopard. Herds of Wildebeest, Zebra, Impala and giraffes are common sight on the plain. The worlds’ largest Antelope – Eland, Greater Kudu, Sable Antelopes, Defassa Waterbuck and African Hunting dogs. Troops of Baboons are entertaining to watch and are common in the Park.
Mkata flood plain
The plain is dominated by ridges and separated by narrow depressions of black cotton soil. The northern portion of the plain remains swampy all year round providing a favorite mud grounds for buffaloes and number of birds species, such as ground hornbills.
The southern depressions form water courses which flow to Mkata River and supporting large population of wildlife including buffalo, wild dog, eland, elephant, giraffe, hartebeest, zebra, leopard, lion, impala, sable antelope, warthog, waterbuck, wildebeest, and greater kudu. Yellow baboons, impala and reedbuck are commonly seen at Kisungura area along the Mkata River.
Sunrise and sunset
As its uniqueness, it attracts many tourists .Two sites exist for sun rise/set watching. At Vuma Hill view point where you can watch the sunrise and sunset and Hippo pool where you can watch the sunset.
The afro-montane forest
Found on the summit of Malundwe Mountains is part of forest type that is renowned for its unique flora and fauna. It offers spectacular view of different flowers depending on seasons, ranging from the fragile purple to deep purple.
This is the made dams which offering diverse habitats for a variety of fauna and flora wildlife species .Hippos and crocodiles are the stars attraction of the pair of pools situated 5 kilometers north of the main entrance gate, supported by an ever-changing cast of water birds.
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How to get there
The park can be accessed by road, air and railways.
- By road-from the city of Dar es Salaam, Morogoro, Iringa and from other southern countries (Malawi, Msumbiji and Zambia). The highway from Iringa to Dar es Salaam makes easily and comfortably reached by vehicles. Also from Selous Game Reserve via Pwaga and Mahondo Ranger Post to the Main entrance gate.
- By air-Air craft with the capacity of 4 to 30 seater through airstrip which is located at Kikoboga near the park headquarters.
- By railway-From Dar es Salaam to Man’gula and from Man’gula using road to reach the Park
Best time to visit
The best time to visit the Park is during the dry season. However the northern part of the park is accessible through-out the year.
Best time to visit Mikumi National Park
What to do in Mikumi National Park
Wondering what you could do and see in Mikumi National Park? Here are a few itineraries that Original Masai Safari can offer you for your next trip to Southern Tanzania.