Mikumi National Park Tanzania, Attractions, Activities & Lodges
Mikumi National Park is located south of the famous Selous Game Reserve, near Morogoro in Tanzania. Mikumi National Park is known as the 4th largest national park in Tanzania and is closest to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania’s largest city.
Mikumi National Park started off as a small Game Reserve which was later established as a National Park in 1964. Mikumi National Park is situated between the mountains of Uluguru and Udzungwa.
The park is also referred to as ‘Little Serengeti’ because the landscape has similarities with that of Serengeti National Park and it covers an area of 3230 square kilometers. Mikumi National Park shares its name with a village that is located far away on its Western border.
Attractions in Mikumi National Park
Mikumi National Park boasts of a vast diversity of attractions including the Savanah plains, Acacia trees, Baobab, Tamarinds, and Palm. Large numbers of different animal species can be seen roaming in the park’s savannah vegetation and these include; elephants, impalas, eland, zebras, greater kudu, wildebeests, buffaloes, and sable antelopes. Several bird species can also be spotted such as the Yellow-throated Longclaw, Bateleur eagle, Lilac-breasted Roller, and many more.
The best time to visit and experience great wildlife sightings in Mikumi National Park is during the dry season in the month of June to October. Vegetation is thinner during this time and animals can easily be sighted as they gather around the freshwater source, Mkata River. This is also a high season with a large number of tourists visiting during this time of the year.
Activities in Mikumi National Park
Mikumi National Park is a great destination for a birding experience. Mikumi National Park is inhabited by more than 400 species of birds such as the African fish eagle, Lilac-breasted eagle, Bateleur eagle, Yellow-throated Longclaw, Saddle-billed stork, Long-tailed fiscal, Cattle egrets, Malachite Kingfisher, and more other species that can be spotted in the park, at the hippo pools and at the shores of Mkata river. Migratory birds can be spotted in the park during the rainy season.
Guided short walks can be taken through the park’s designated walking trails as you learn and discover more bird and animal species in the park. Beautiful pictures of the savannah grasslands can be captured along the way.
Game viewing in Mikumi National Park can be done both during the day and at night. During the day, there is a chance to get a glimpse of the tree-climbing lions, watch hippos swimming in the hippo pools found northeast of the park’s main gate. The Mkata plains attract large herds of buffaloes and elephants that gather to enjoy the fresh water at the Mkata River. Other splendid animals that can be seen include impala, eland, baboons, and the greater kudu.
A night game drive in Mikumi National Park gives you a unique viewpoint and an opportunity to catch sights of the nocturnal animals like Leopards, Hyenas, lions, and other day animals. On your night game drive, you are escorted by an experienced and armed game ranger.
The spectacular landscape offers picnic sites that provide visitors with captivating nature sights as they enjoy their packed lunch and drinks after or during a break on the game drive.
A tour around the local communities that are close to the park and engaging in several activities such as traditional dances, traditional food tasting, and a visit to the local markets as you interact and learn more about their traditional lifestyle.
Camping can be done in the Northern part of Mikumi National Park at a public campsite. Feel the different animal sounds like lions roaring as you rest and view the park’s nature. Camping is best done during the dry season in the month of June to October or November.
How to get to Mikumi National Park?
Fly to Julius Nyerere International Airport in Dar es Salam and this will be your point of entry. A drive from Dar es Salam to the park takes about 4 hours. Mikumi National Park is mostly visited on the way to Nyerere or Ruaha parks. Driving from Ruaha National Park to Mikumi national Park takes about 5 hours and is approximately 320km.
Accommodation facilities in Mikumi National Park
- Stanley’s Kopje Camp
- Vuma Hill Tented
- Mikumi Wildlife Camp
- Angalia Tented Camp
- Mikumi Safari Lodge
- Tan-Swiss Lodge