Mikumi National Park, located near Dar es Salaam, is the ideal safari destination for those who don’t have the time to go on a longer safari. Mikumi National Park is only three to four hours’ drive from Dar es Salaam, located astride the main highway to Zambia and the route to the National Parks of Udzungwa Mountains, Ruaha, and Kitulo, and has the same boundary and habitat as Selous Game Reserve to the south. The Mikumi flood plain, as well as the mountain ranges that border the park on two sides, are the park’s most prominent features. The flood plain is dominated by open grasses, which eventually merge with the miombo woodland that covers the lower hills.
Mikumi National Park spans 3,230 square kilometers and is home to a diverse range of animals, including buffalo, wildebeest, zebra, lion, elephant, impala, hippos, baboons, giraffes, warthogs, waterbucks, and eland, all of which can be seen throughout the year. Crocodiles, monitor lizards, and pythons are among the park’s reptile residents. The Sable antelope, which lives in the park’s southern section bordering the Selous, the Greater Kudu, leopard, and the wild dog, sometimes known as the African Hunting Dog, can all be seen, though they are rare.
The Mikumi National Park is home to around 400 bird species, including the lilac-breasted roller, yellow-throated long claw, and bateleur eagle.
FLORA AND FAUNA AT MIKUMI
Mikumi’s landscape is frequently compared to the Serengeti. The park is divided into two regions by the road that runs through it, each with its own ecology. The alluvial plain of the river basin Mkata dominates the area to the north-west. This area’s vegetation comprises savannah with acacia, baobab, tamarinds, and a few unusual palms. The mountains of Rubeho and Uluguru have beautiful rock formations in this area, which is farthest from the road. The southeast section of the park is less wildlife-rich and less accessible.
Many species found in the African savannah make up the fauna. The park is home to a giraffe subspecies that researchers believe is the link between the Maasai and reticulated giraffes. Elephants, zebras, impalas, eland, kudu, black antelope, baboons, wildebeests, and buffaloes are among the park’s other inhabitants. Two artificial lakes with hippos are located around 5 kilometers north of the park. The park is also home to over 400 distinct bird species.
TOURISM AT MIKUMI
The Mikumi is part of Tanzania’s wildlife park circuit, which is less visited by international tourists and better protected from an environmental standpoint. The majority of routes that pass through the Mikumi head for the Ruaha National Park and the Selous. The dry season, from May to November, is the best time to visit the park, with mild weather and breathtaking views that are an once-in-a-lifetime experience.
HOW TO GET TO THE MIKUMI NATIONAL PARK
After landing at the Julius Nyerere Airport in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania’s main city, the park can very easy reached. The safari company guide will pick you up from your hotel or other place of lodging on the day of the safari and drive you to Mikumi National Park.
Mikumi National Park is about a 4-hour drive from Dar es Salaam and can be reached by road. Short safaris, such as a two-day Mikumi national park safari or a three-day Mikumi national park safari, are popular weekend getaways. On the other hand, visitors can combine their visit to the park with visits to other national parks such as Ruaha National Park, Selous National Park, and Udzungwa Forest National Park as Mikumi National Park is near to both of these parks.
Safari Air link, which operates scheduled flights from Dar-Es-Salaam to Mikumi National Park and the remainder of the southern circuit national parks, is the best option for anyone interested in chartering a flight to Mikumi and the surrounding parks.
THE BEST TIME TO VISIT THE MIKUMI NATIONAL PARK
Get away on a wildlife adventure in Mikumi National Park at any time of year because the park offers various areas where you can get up close to nature in the wilderness and wildlife. However, the country has two seasons: the dry season from June to October and the wet season from April to May. The Best Time to Visit Mikumi National Park for Wildlife Viewing is from June to October, also known as the high season, because there are few rains during this time, so wildlife congregates around water pools to access water, making it easy to spot.
The thick vegetation is always easy to penetrate, catching a glimpse of numerous animals, and there are always pleasant clear weather conditions that guarantee clear photography, making it the best time to visit Mikumi National Park for wildlife safari viewing.
TOURIST ATTRACTIONS IN MIKUMI
Attractions in Mikumi National Park The ideal time to see wild life in Mikumi National Park is around the middle and end of the dry season, which runs from late June to October. During the rainy season, fauna and animals retreat deeper into the park, away from the paths, making it more difficult to see them, as opposed to the dry season, when they congregate near the water pools to drink and cool off. The following are the things/ what to see in your mikumi safari in Tanzania
Mikumi national park, sometimes known as the Little Serengeti, is home to a diverse assortment of species. The park is home to a significant number of big game, including four members of the African big five, with the exception of rhinos. Mikumi is home to vast herds of elephants, buffalos, zebras, wildebeest, hyenas, leopards, lions, sable antelopes, Great Kudu, and many other animals.
Mikumi National Park is one of the few national parks in Tanzania, if not all of East Africa, where visitors can witness endangered African wild dogs. The wild dogs were practically extinct from the time they were afflicted by the rabbis’ plague. Hundreds of hippos now live in the two constructed water pools, which have become hippo viewing areas
Birds are one of Mikumi main attractions; the park boasts over 400 bird species in both permanent and migratory settings. Because of the vast quantity of birds, the park has become a popular birding safari destination in Tanzania’s southern region. Despite the fact that the park is not particularly large, the diversity of its ecology and vegetation has attracted a variety of bird species.
Black-bellied bustard, Secretary bird, Guinea fowl, Ox peckers, Bateleur eagles, cattle egret, Open-billed stork, Yellow-throated long claw, Zanzibar red bishop, Lilac-breasted roller, Martial eagle, Francolin, Superb Starling, Straw-tailed Whydah, and Boehm’s bee-eater are some of the most commonly seen birds. Come on a birding expedition during the rainy season to see the majority of European migratory species.
When visiting Mikumi National Park, one of the must-see attractions is the residences. The local community surrounding the park offers a fantastic African cultural experience. Locals are organized under the Chilunga Cultural Tourism banner, with educated guides who are well-versed in their history and culture. Their offices are located in Morogoro, which is only a few minutes’ drive from the park’s main gate. You’ll be mingling with the locals and participating in community events such as cultural dances, cooking demonstrations, and other activities. Because residents are actively involved in tourism management, cultural tourism is one of the approaches to promoting sustainable tourism.
Because Mikumi National Park is located in the center of mountains, mountains are one of the park’s main attractions. The magnificent views of the mountains, which have a unique formation system, draw more visitors to the park, particularly writers, photographers, and scholars. The most well-known mountains are the Uluguru Mountains, which every visitor to Mikumi National Park wishes to walk during their visit. Other mountains in the park include the Udzungwa Mountains and the Malundwe Mountains, the largest and highest. It is located in the heart of the national park, connecting the Uluguru and Udzungwa mountains, as well as Uvidunda. The Malundwe Mountains are made up of three peaks, the highest of which is located in the southern portion and rises to 1290 meters.
Although the Kinole waterfalls are not located within the park, they are one of the park’s most popular attractions. Kinole Waterfall is located a few kilometers outside of Morogoro. It’s in the Uluguru Mountains, in the Kinole settlement. The village where the waterfall is located was given its name. It boasts beautiful scenery, and you can swim beneath the falls or walk to the top. Local guides can be hired in Morogoro town to drive you deep into the village to the starting site of the climb. Despite the fact that Mikumi National Park is less visited, it contains more tourist attractions for visitors to enjoy during their visit.
TOURIST ACTIVITIES IN MIKUMI NATIONAL PARK
Because of its proximity to Dar es Salaam, Mikumi National Park has evolved into a wildlife safari destination, attracting an increasing number of explorers, particularly those who are clearly interested in weekend gateways, short safaris that are usually ideal for those with limited time. The park’s most popular activities include:
A typical African wilderness safari is not called a safari unless a wildlife drive is included in the itinerary. The game drives at Mikumi National Park allow visitors to explore and witness species in their natural habitat. Some of the highlights of the game drive include the manmade hippo pools, which are filled with a large school of hippos swimming. The hippos’ pool collects many herds of species from time to time, including giraffes, elephants, elands, zebras, hippos, and many others. During the game drive, you may come across a pride of lions, and if you’re lucky, you may see them on a kill hunt.
According to surveys undertaken, particularly the most recent one, the number of bird species at Mikumi national park is estimated to be over 400. Migratory birds, savanna birds, aquatic birds, and other species are among them. Among the rest are the Zanzibar red bishop, yellow-throated long claw, lilac-breasted roller, bateleur eagle, and open-billed stork.
Mikumi National Park provides beautiful vistas, terrain, and locations, making it an ideal wilderness setting for having the best of picnics. Activities include meals, games, and many others.
Mikumi National Park features two camping sites/grounds, one for public camping and the other for private camping. Regardless of the differences in management, both camping sites provide the same camping experience. The campgrounds are open all year, but the dry season, which runs from June to November, is the best time to visit. The private campsite is located in Vuma Hills (Campsite 5), while the public campsite is located in Nkata Plains (Campsite 1).
Hiking the Uluguru Mountains
The Uluguru Mountains, an extensive mountain range part of the Eastern Arc Mountains, are located in the far north of Mikumi National Park, with its main mountain ridge standing at an altitude of 2,630 meters at its highest point. The mountain offers an amazing landscape and spreads its beauty with unique plant, bird, mammal, and amphibian species found nowhere else in the world. Hike along the trails through lugged but lush woodlands to relax and indulge in the true authenticity of natural habitats and wilderness to enjoy adventure and scenic landscapes, vegetation, and the beautiful biodiversity of popular pot plants and endemic species such as African Violets, impatiens, and begonias.
Guided Nature Walks
You can get acquainted with nature in the savannah plains of Mikumi National Park through different trails such as the Lodge trail, Vuma trail, and Kikogoba trail, especially for visitors who are nature and bird lovers, to enjoy the features, wildlife, and bird species that the park environment is composed of in its details.