Mikumi National Park
One of the largest and least visited parks
As the fourth largest park in Tanzania, the Mikumi National Park is rarely included on a flying circuit to the southern parks, but is very accessible to those that are vehicle-bound. The main reason for this is the existence of the Tanzam highway that was opened in 1964 and runs from Dar es Salaam through to Lusaka in Zambia. While this has meant that it is rarely possible to get away from the noise, this is still a park worth mentioning.
Officially annexed to and part of the Selous Game Reserve that spans its southern border, this vast area was only really discovered and visited once the highway was put through its centre. The highway brought poaching and trucks to what was a peaceful and remote corner of Tanzania. Today, however, with poaching waning in Africa as a whole, and the open grasslands of the Mkata River in the northeast providing good grazing, the park has a lot to offer.
The only real way to visit the park is by driving out from Dar es Salaam and staying in one of the few lodges that are located in the park....the best of which is that owned by the Fox family whose camp is the only one out of earshot of the road. Once here there are quite a few interesting things to see and do such as a couple of walking trails and plenty of game viewing out on the Mkata flood plains.
On the whole, this is an interesting park and is ideal for those that are looking to get a bit of game viewing in without having to spend the earth. The open flood plains attract plenty of good game and the region to the south of the road, while relatively inaccessible, features a vast array of different birding and animals.
At a glance... Mikumi National Park
- Size 2,000 square miles
- Location Right on the northern border of the Selous
- Recommended time 3 nights
- Time to visit June to Nov/Jan to Mar
- Safari Activities driving
- Topography pen grassland plains and wooded hills
- Main species Elephant, lion, leopard, hyena, zebra, wildebeest, good birding