Mikumi National Park is situated in southern Tanzania, just north of the Selous Game Reserve. Often overlooked, it is one of Tanzania’s largest national parks at 323,000 hectares, and forms part of a much greater eco-system of which the gargantuan Selous Game Reserve is the heart.
The northern perimeter of Mikumi National Park is ringed with mountains (the Uluguru and Udzungwa Mountains), their low miombo-covered foothills providing shelter to a great variety of small game. The focal point of the park, however, is the Mkata Floodplain. Brimming with game, its open savannahs and flat horizons – interrupted only occasionally by an isolated acacia tree or gentle depression – call to mind the more famous Serengeti plains to the north. The Mkata River cuts across this landscape, ensuring that it remains well irrigated throughout the year. The northern reaches of the Mkata floodplain is permanent swamp land, and during the dry season, when the rest of the park is dry, attracts prodigious quantities of game, large and small.
Like the terrain, the game in Mikumi is comparable to that found in the Serengeti, only you won’t see the huge migratory herds. Buffalo and ground hornbill can be found wallowing in the swampy north of the park, yellow baboon dominate the forest, and the whole gamut of antelope, from impala to greater kudu, can be seen in their herds on the savannah plains, with lion, leopard and other predators never far away. Mikumi is also home to a number of rarer species, including wild dog (sightings are rare, but better than most anywhere else in Tanzania), and is also one of the best places in Africa to see eland, the largest of the antelopes.
In and around Mikumi National Park, Tanzania
One of the main advantages of Mikumi over other Tanzanian safari parks is the comparably few visitors it receives. But despite the low visitor-count, the park has a good network of tracks, making game-viewing comfortable and generally easy. Access to the park is equally easy, with a direct road route from Dar es Salaam via Morogoro. There’s only a limited selection of camps in the park, and a number of these are intended to cater to more intrepid explorers, including those regular safari-goers who arrive with their own private guides and vehicle. But there are also luxury camps of the kind you find in the Serengeti, offering the full safari package of day and afternoon guided game drives.
A visit to Mikumi works well as part of a longer southern Tanzania safari taking in the Selous Game Reserve and Ruaha National Park, or even neighbouring Udzungwa Mountains National Park, which attracts very few visitors but offers marvellous walking opportunities. We can help you plan an “offbeat” walking and guided 4×4 safari to these most overlooked of Tanzania’s national parks