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Mikumi National Park | Safaris from Mbeya

Mikumi National Park

Sharing a common border and ecosystem with Selous Game Reserve to the south, Mikumi National Park is only three to four hours drive from Dar es Salaam, lying astride the main highway to Zambia, and en route to the National Parks of Udzungwa Mountains, Ruaha and Kitulo. The main feature of the park is the Mikumi flood plain, along with the mountain ranges that border the park on two sides. Open grasslands dominate in the flood plain, eventually merging with the miombo woodland covering the lower hills.

Mikumi National Park covers an area of 3,230 sq km, and is rich in wildlife including buffalo, wildebeest, zebra, lion, elephant, impala, hippos, baboon, giraffe, warthog, waterbuck and eland which can be viewed throughout the year. Reptiles including crocodile, monitor lizard and python are also resident in the park. Other animals that can be sighted although rare are the Sable Antelope resident in the southern part of the park bordering the Selous, the Greater Kudu, leopard, and the wild dog also known as the African Hunting Dog. More than 400 bird species have been recorded, including European migrants during the rainy season.

How to get to Mikumi from Mbeya

For many tourists who may want to visit this fourth largest National Park in Tanzania but are still wondering how to get to Mikumi National Park, the worrying should be less because this park is one of the southern circuit National parks in Tanzania with great accessibility and thus has always enabled daily trips. 

How To Get to Mikumi National Park is quite easier compared to other National Parks due to the National Park’s close proximity to Dar – Es Salaam which is Tanzania’s largest city with the main entry point for all international visitors. The park is situated in the southern part of Tanzania 283 kilometers from Dar es Salaam and lies astride the well-constructed Tanzam High way to Lusaka Zambia. This park can be accessed by both Air and Road.

For tourists interested in flying straight to the park there are different flight companies such as safari Air link or coastal aviation that offer scheduled chattered flights to Mikumi and other southern circuit National parks from Dar es Salaam, Arusha, or connecting from the Selous Game Reserve.

Wildlife at Mikumi National Park

Mikumi is one of the most reliable places in Tanzania for sightings of the eland, the world’s largest antelope. The equally impressive greater kudu and sable antelope can be found in the miombo woodland-covered foothills of the mountains that rise from the park’s borders. The Lichtenstein’s hartebeest is one of the more unusual antelopes found here.

Best Time for Wildlife Viewing

The Dry season, from June to October, is the best time for wildlife viewing in the park. Wildlife is easier to spot because vegetation is thinner and animals gather around predictable water sources such as the Mkata River, the hippo pool and other waterholes. 

At the end of the Dry season, during September and October, these waterholes are almost constantly visited by big herds of buffalo and elephant as well as other wildlife.

Mbeya to Ruaha National Park

When to visit Mikumi National Park?

The best time for a dream safari in Mikumi is between June and October, in the dry season, when the plains host large herds of elephant and ungulates clustering to the last remaining water sources where rare antelopes are most easily spotted in the nearby deciduous woodlands. 

Clear skies make for bright days but temperatures can drop at night in higher altitudes, so a light fleece is recommended if venturing into the foothills in the early morning.

The wet season will see the acceleration of the calving season as the rains renews the vegetation. Some ungulates like duiker and impala attend their new-born foals some distance from the main herds, making them difficult to find, but photo shoot opportunities are frequently most endearing.

Safaris at Mikumi National Park

The 3,230-square-kilometre Mikumi National Park, effectively a northern extension of the vast Selous Game Reserve, protects a combination of grassy floodplains and wooded hills flanked by the Uluguru and Udzungwa Mountains to the north and south. 

The park’s main game-viewing circuit crosses the expansive Mkata Floodplain, an area of open grassland interspersed with stands of acacia, Borassus and baobab trees. 

Referred to locally as the mini-Serengeti, the plains support large numbers of elephant, buffalo, zebra, giraffe and antelope, including wildebeest, impala, reedbuck and eland. Lions and spotted hyenas are present in reasonable numbers – if you don’t see them by day you’ll certainly hear them at night.

Cultural Tourism

The Chilunga Cultural Tourism programme can take you to meet the Waluguru people of Choma village. You can experience their hospitality, sample their tradition food and see their pot and mat making skills. You may even get a chance to share a cultural talk over lunch and waterfalls visit.Enjoy the picnic to the waterfalls.

The local community are directly involved in designing and organizing our tours and showing tourists the aspects of life they live.

All tours start from our office in Morogoro Town. Morogoro Town is approximately 3-4 hours drive west of Dar Es Salaam. It is also esily accessible from Mikumi (1 hours drive), Udzungwa (2 hours drive) and Ruaha National Parks (4 hours drive) and Selous Game reserve.

Accommodation in Mikumi National Park

Accommodation in Mikumi National Park is offered on a wide range with varying categories offering tourist’s services in tranquility, authentic, and rustic wild experiences.

These Accommodations in Mikumi National Park are Luxury lodges, mid-range, and Budget facilities categorized in tented camps and Public Campsites within the protected area of Mikumi National Park and in its nearby surrounding places and town of Mikumi and they include;

 Luxury lodges: 

Stanley’s Kopje, Vuma Hills Tented camp.

Mid- Range Lodges and Camps:

Mikumi Wildlife Safari Camp, Tan Swiss Lodge,

Standard/budget camps

Mikumi Safari Lodge is a standard accommodation located 7 kilometers from the main road

Cost / Tarrifs & Regulations

Entrance fee

Prices per day:

  • USD $20 per adult to enter  
  • USD $10 per party at Udzungwa mountains for the daily guide fee. An armed ranger is required for longer hikes, costing $20 per party.

Carrying a small amount of Tanzanian currency, the Tanzania Shilling (TZS) is recommended as back-up when paying for items where credit card facilities are unavailable. Visitors can also review further details on overall Tanzania safari prices here

Regulations

Visitors must respect the rules of the park including the flora and fauna. Details will be provided at the park entrance gate.

Mikumi National Park FAQ's

A famous and very popular national park of equatorial Africa, Mikumi National Park is situated near the city of Morogoro in central Tanzania. It has a unique eco system and the area close to 32 hundred square kilometers. 

The park was founded in 1964 and is visited by about 40,000 people every year. It is enjoyable to see tigers, elephants, zebras, giraffes, buffalos, and other animals in their natural habitat, as well as the plants of savannah like baobabs, acacias, etc.

Distance from Dar es Salaam to Mikumi is 255 kilometers. This air travel distance is equal to 158 miles.

The air travel (bird fly) shortest distance between Dar es Salaam and Mikumi is 255 km= 158 miles.

If you travel with an airplane (which has average speed of 560 miles) from Dar es Salaam to Mikumi, It takes 0.28 hours to arrive.

Visitors can expect to find tree climbing lions, elephants, giraffes, buffaloes, zebras, elands, greater Kudu, wildebeest, roan and sable antelope, buffalo, Burchell’s zebra, sable, eland, Lichtenstein’s hartebeest, spotted hyena and baboons. 

Useful information  

  • Geography: Located in south central Tanzania, visitors typically fly into Dar es Salaam city on the east coast, Tanzania’s largest city. Tour operators can pick guests up directly at their airport and make the 4 hour drive to Mikumi. 
  • Weather: Day-time high temperatures range from 26C/79F to 31C/88F with the last of the rain falling in May.
  • Best time to visit: Wildlife viewing in Mikumi is fine throughout the year, the best time to visit however is from late June to October (the Dry season). 
    • At this time vegetation is thinner, and animals gather around waterholes. 
    • The end of the Dry season (September and October) is particularly rewarding as big herds of animals come to drink at the last sources of water.
    • Understanding the best time to visit Tanzania is useful as this impacts flight prices and availability. 
  • Health: Visitors should seek medical advice from their doctor and consider antimalarial medication. 

There are multiple activities and things to do in Tanzania that can be added to your safari including walking safaris. Here are some other activities which visitors can consider during their visit:

  • Mikumi walking safari: Explore the African safari experience with a local guide on a day trip walking safari, an authentic and economical means of exploring the wildlife and local viewing points including the vuma trail and Kikogoba trail. 
  • Bird tours: With an incredible range of birds to view including the Zanibar red bishop and the yellow throated longclaw, many visitors come just for the birding park tours, a special experience with colorful common residents such as the lilac-breasted roller.  
  • Picnic: Experience a relaxing lunch whilst on a game drive with picnic sites located in Mkata plains and Kusungura.

Browse other National Parks near Mbeya

Kitulo-National-Parksa
KITULO NATIONAL PARK
Nyerere National Park Guide
SELOUS GAME RESERVE
Mikumi safari
RUAHS NATIONAL PARK
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