Guide to Mikumi National Park

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Mikumi is Tanzania’s fourth-largest national park. Easily accessible from Dar es Salaam, it is an ideal safari destination for travel lovers. Located between the Uluguru Mountains and the Lumango range, it is a great spot for wildlife watching and game viewing. It is not very crowded, and offers views of the vast grassland, shrubland and lush green forest. It is home to large herds of elephants, wildebeests, buffalos, zebras, elands, impalas, lions, leopards, hyenas, and wild dogs. Here is a guide to Mikumi National Park!

  • Getting there

The best way of getting to Mikumi National Park is to drive from Dar Es Salaam. The car ride will take around 5 hours, and the road is paved and smooth. If you are driving from Dodoma, you will have to travel for around 6 hours. It is also accessible from Tanga via a 7 hour drive, and Mbeya via a 9 hour drive. Buses on these routes are also available. If you are visiting Selous Game Reserve, you can take a 9 hour ride to Mikumi! To enter the park, you must get a visitor's permit for USD20 per person, which stays valid for 24 hours from time of purchase. Non-residents must pay the park entry fee in US dollars. Visitors must enter before 4PM and exit before 7PM. 

  • Things to do

There are a number of activities that tourists can enjoy here. 

  1. Most visitors come to Mikumi National Park to spot the ‘Big Five’ (cheetah, lion, elephant, buffalo, and rhino). They can also find wildlife such as zebras, elands, giraffes, hyenas, and jackals, or visit hippo pools to closely observe hippos. 
  2. The park is great for bird watching as migratory and exotic birds rest along the waterways. It is home to more than 400 bird species including the lilac-breasted rollers, eagles, storks, hornbills, oxpeckers, bustards, egrets, and kingfishers.
  3. Guided walks are a great way of exploring the natural beauty of the park. Tour guides can tell tourists about the flora and fauna of the region and help them reach the locations ideal for bird watching and wildlife viewing.
  4. Tourists can spend the night in the park by staying at a camp.
  • Best time to visit

The Dry season from June to October is the best time to visit as it is the peak time for watching wildlife. As the bush is thinner, it is easier to spot the animals. You may also spot tree-climbing lions that get to a higher vantage point as a hunting strategy. As the park is rarely crowded, visiting during peak season (June to October) has no disadvantages. 

  • Where to stay

In Mikumi National Park, there are no true luxury East African travel accommodations. You can stay at Stanley’s Kopje Camp, a smaller camp with twelve tents. It is personalized, but is located only four kilometers from the Tanzam Highway. A traditional ethnic ambience is created by design. The camp is solar-powered, and offers buffet breakfast and lunch with fixed dinner menus. It is only open from June to February. Tourists can also stay at tented camps in Vuma Hills Camp, which has sixteen large, insect-proof tents with en-suite bathroom facilities and large private balconies above a small swimming pool. Mikumi Wildlife Camp is a basic lodge with six simple stone-built thatched bandas with en-suite bathroom, a fan and insecticide spraying service to protect you from insects.

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