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Mikumi National Park

The landscape of Mikumi is often compared to the Serengeti with its open horizon and abundant game. The surrounding mountains bring natural beauty to its landscape with superb light making it a great place for captivating wildlife photography.

Fast Facts

Major Attractions
  • Large number of buffalo, zebra, crocodile, elephant and hippo
  • European white storks in great numbers during northern winter
  • Packs of African wild dog
  • Over 400 species of birdlife
Activities
  • Game drives
  • Walking safari
  • Aerial safari
Size
  • 3,230sq km, the fourth largest park in Tanzania, and part of a much larger ecosystem centred on the uniquely vast Selous Game Reserve.
Location
  • 283kms west of Dar es Salaam, Mikumi is bordered to the south by the Selous Game Reserve. Two other natural areas bordering the national park are the Udzungwa Mountains and Uluguru Mountains. Mikumi National Park forms part of the southern circuit of Tanzania.

ABOUT

Mikumi National Park forms part of Selous’ vast ecosystem. The park lies entirely in the Mkata River floodplain, concluding in the north with the rise of the Uluguru Mountains and the Udzungwa and Rubeho mountains to the southwest. This park is located within the less visited southern circuit of Tanzania.

The Mkata flood plain is the main feature in the Mikumi National Park. The landscape of Mikumi is often compared to that of the Serengeti with its open horizon and abundant game. The surrounding mountains bring compelling natural beauty to its landscape with superb light making it a great place for captivating wildlife photography. 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 favoured mud ground for buffalo and a number of bird species such as ground hornbills.

The southern depressions form water courses which flow from the Mkata River and support large numbers of buffalo, wild dog, eland, elephants, giraffe, hartebeest, zebra, leopard, lion, impala, sable antelope, warthog, waterbuck, wildebeest and greater kudu. Yellow baboon, impala and reedbuck are commonly seen around the Kisingura area along the Mkata River.

In Mikumi lions survey their kingdom, sometimes from a perch high in the trees to keep their feet dry when the rains soak the plain’s sticky black soil. Many other animals retreat to the miombo woodlands in the wet season, which is also home to formidable herds of buffalo. The rains swell the parks bird population to more than 300 species in the wet season and Eurasian migrants seek refuge in Mikumi,  joining resident’s stars like the lilac breasted roller.

WILDLIFE 

Yellow baboons are common at Kikoboga(southern end of Mikumi), as in other areas. They are often seen near the Kikoboga River’s banks in trees or in the grasslands.

Mikumi’s elephants are primarily grazers though they sometimes browse on trees. Although elephants are found throughout the park they favour the Kikoboga area in December and January because of the life-giving river. You will also have the opportunity to see herds of eland, the largest antelopes in the world. Eland are found in areas where there is shrub growth, as they are mainly browsers. A smaller antelope, usually seen on the plains close to where the Kikoboga River crosses the Morogoro-Iringa road, is Lichtenstein’s hartebeest. If a little bit of luck is on your side you may see greater kudu, who are usually sighted in bush by the main road.

Giraffes are abundant, sometimes forming loose associations of 30 or more. Vultures, hoping to scavenge a meal are often found in their vicinity. Unlike other parks, African wild dogs are regularly seen in Mikumi  in the Kikoboga area.

About five kilometres north of the park gate and across Kisunguru Mbuga lie two hippo pools,teeming full of life. Large numbers of birds frequent the pools including the sacred ibis, jacana, king fisher and numerous stork species. During winter in the northern latitude, migrant European white storks converge on these wetlands making it a wonderful sight to behold.

More than 400 species of birds have been recorded in Mikumi including Eurasian migrants such as red billed oxpecker, marabou stork and lilac breasted roller, which stay between October and April. There are more interesting species in the Miombo woodland such as Shelley’s double collared sunbird, pale billed hornbill, violet-crested turaco as well as violet-backed starling. Also be on the lookout for bateleur eagle and yellow throated longclaw.

Chamgore , is the centre point for animals on the Mkata River. The river has two water holes(one is the hippo pool) where many animals gather to drink water, especially during dry season. The famous birds here are saddle-bill storks, hammer kops, and malachite kingfisher, while others animals include crocodile, monitor lizard, and large pythons.

GEOGRAPHY

The north west Mukumi is characterized by the alluvial plain of the river basin Mkata. The vegetation of this area consists of savannah dotted with acacia, baobab, tamarinds and some rare palm. In this area you will find the spectacular rock formations of the mountains Rubeho and Uluguru.

CLIMATE

The warmest months occur during the wet season. Temperatures can reach as high as 32 degrees celsius between October through to February. The coolest temperatures are experienced during nights in the dry season. Generally, the temperature will drop to 16 degrees celsius at its lowest.

WHEN TO VISIT

Mikumi is accessible year round.

Mikumi National Park has a single dry season (June-November) and a single wet season (December-May) and does not, as is often stated, experience two rainy seasons.

Accommodation at Mikumi National Park

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Stanley's Kopje Camp

Exclusive camping African style, combines creature comforts with the real bush experience, ideal for those wishing to be in the thick of it immersed amongst the wildlife.

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Vuma Hills Tented Camp

Consisting of only 16 chalets, Vuma is a far cry from traditional tented camping. Complete with shaded wooden veranda at the front and en-suite bathroom facilities at the back, there is not much to be asked for.

Optional Activities in Mikumi National Park