South Tanzania Wildlife Safaris
inc flights from Dar or Zanzibar
Mikumi National Park is the 4th largest in Tanzania, covering 3,230km2. This size is slightly misleading because it connects directly onto the Selous Game Reserve, Uluguru and Udzungwa Mountains which combine to make a more than 75,000km2 ecosystem.
Mikumi is well connected by road to Dar es Salaam - a drive of about 4½ hours; but this road is very busy and the journey rather hair-raising until you reach Morogoro, where most of the traffic heads north to Tanzania's capital of Dodoma. Vehicle wreckages at the sides of the road bear witness to some quite spectacular and deadly var crashes. Consequently, we recommend that you fly into Mikumi, either for safaris dedicated to the area; or to join one of our overland safaris covering first, the Mikumi National Park; before exploring the rainforest-clad mountains of Udzungwa and then the Ruaha National Park. This combination provides an incredibly rich variety of habitats, birdlife and mammals, with a one-way flight the long route back to Dar es Salaam or Zanzibar.
Mikumi itself contains more than 400 species of bird, many of which are Eurasian migrants which peak between October and April. A first-time visitor to Africa will be struck by the striking colours of the lilac breasted roller, often seen perching on dead wood before flying in a sinusoidal wave pattern. Huge and rather sinister marabou storks are often seen sitting on their knees, which operate in the opposite direction to a human's.
Of mammals, elephants are common, especially in December and January after the short rains, when they tend to move into the area from the Selous Reserve. The Mkata Floodplain is one of the best areas of the park to spot game. Zebra are often seen, along with giraffes, wildebeest, impala, buffalo and crocodiles at the edge of water.
Predators are best tracked by an expert guide amongst the mixed woodland and grassland. Lions are the most likely, but elusive leopards are sometimes seen in a tree. Black backed jackals exist here, as do African civets, whilst African hunting dogs are a rare sight.