Ten reasons why you must visit Mikumi National Park from Dar es Salaam
If there is one hidden natural wonder of Africa that one should not miss if one ever visits Dar es Salaam, it definitely has to be the Mikumi National Park located just under 300 km from Tanzania's financial capital.
HERE ARE 10 GOOD REASONS WHY ONE SHOULD VISIT THE PARK:
REASON 1: BIG GAME + DIVERSITY OF OTHER WILDLIFE
Mikumi is home to an amazing diversity of big game including 4 of the the famed big 5 of Africa- elephants, buffalos, lions and the leopard.
The Park also has a staggering diversity of lesser-wildlife/ small game and game birds, apart from the big game. It is a dream destination for bird lovers, with over 400 species to sight and photograph from. Apart from birds there are many species of insects and reptiles that roam here.
|Big herds of zebra, impala, giraffe, wildebeast, wild buffalo are found in Mikumi National Park|
|A staggering 400 species of birds have been apparently recorded in Mikumi National Park, including residents like this beautiful Black-winged Red Bishop (Euplectes hordeaceus)|
|Among the reptiles gracing this park is the Nile monitor (Varanus niloticus)|
REASON 2: GAME CONCENTRATIONS
The wild animal numbers here may not rival the spectacular concentrations of the parks near the Kenyan border like Serengeti or Ngorongoro, but the numbers are still amazing. If this is your first visit to Africa you are sure to be awed by the huge herds of herbivores in the safari areas of the Mkata Flood Plain.
|The graceful impalas delight one throughout the long safari drive through the Mikumi National Park|
|Group of giraffes (referred to in English as 'tower') keep an eye on the visitors to the park|
REASON 3: CONNECTED TO AFRICA'S BIGGEST GAME RESERVE
Mikumi National Park (circled in the below map) is connected to its south to the Seleous Game Reserve. Covering a land mass over 75,000 sq. km. Seleous is Africa's biggest Game Reserve and certainly the biggest protected area in Africa as well as being probably the largest Tropical terrestrial protected forest/ habitat on earth.
According to Tanzania National Parks Authority, the Park was gazetted in 1964 encompassing an of 1070 sq. km. It was extended to the current area of 3230 sq. km. in 1975. The park is the Tanzania's 5th largest NP.
|Mikumi National Park (circled) is connected to its south to the Seleous Game Reserve|
REASON 4: A NICE DRIVE ON AN ALL-WEATHER INTERNATIONAL HIGHWAY
A very good all-weather tarmac road, Highway No: A7 which goes beyond into the neighbouring country of Zambia connects the park to Dar through Morogoro the nearest city. Leave behind worries of a bad road or worrying about personal safety, which are often the prime concerns of tourists visiting African continent.
|The all weather Tanzania-Zambia international highway from Morogoro city cuts through Mikumi National Park|
REASON 5: NEAREST WILD 'SIMBA' FROM DAR
Mikumi National Park is probably the nearest place to view Simba, Swahili for lion. Prides of lions grace the grasslands here- wild and free. You can start off early from Dar, take a game ride in the park and be home in Dar the same evening.
|A lioness prowls the grasslands of Mikumi National Park|
REASON 6: EASY GAME VISIBILITY
What is the fun in listening to wildlife biologists telling us how rich a park is, if we don't get to see the same? If you are in a hurry to see big game, then look no further than Mikumi from Dar es Salaam. If you have kids or adults in the family who have watched African wildlife only on television, there is no better way to get a first-hand experience of the continent's wildlife than a visit to Mikumi National Park.
|This impala like many other game in the park tolerate close approach|
|Mikumi National Park is probably the best destination to expose your little ones to African wilderness and its spectacular wildlife|
|Tourists can view the wildlife here at leisure|
|Mikumi National Park is home to many herds of African Elephant which can be easily seen here|
The all-weather safari roads mean you can take your vehicle on the game roads. For me the meaning of a dream safari is to start from home in my own vehicle and stopping in front of my favourite African animal.
|One can choose between hiring a safari vehicle and preferring to drive one's own vehicle|
REASON 8: A COMPLETE FAMILY EXPERIENCE
You can get off your safari vehicle at designated spots and get up-close with the natural environment here. Among such spots are the Hippo Pool and the tree house at the Baobab tree. Mikumi National Park captivates adults and children alike with the things and places it offers its visitors.
|One can get off the safari vehicle at the Hippo pool to get a closer view of the hippos|
|Climbing up the tree house on Baobab tree|
REASON 9: WIDE RANGE OF ACCOMMODATION
There are a host of restaurants and resorts that cater to a wide range of tourists visiting the park. One decent place to stay is the Mikumi Adventure Lodge. This place is just about a 150 metres from the highway immediately after exiting the park's southern entrance, a couple of kilometres from the small town of Mikumi.
REASON 10: A DRIVE THROUGH PICTURESQUE LANDSCAPES
The drive to Mikumi National Park is very scenic, particularly as one nears Morogoro City which is ringed by the rainforest clothed Udzungwa Mountains. It passes through a couple of big patches of forests before it enters the Mikumi Park.
|Looking back on the Udzungwa Mountains near Morogoro City|
|The drive to Mikumi National Park from Dar es Salaam cuts through many woods|
Here are a few other posts on Mikumi National Park that may interest you:
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